Different Stages of Different Ages - Ideas!

Looking for ideas to help a 2 year old who is somewhat behind the other 2 year olds in my class. I know that every child develops at a different pace, however, this child is clearly not as advanced as the other 2 year olds, and I'd like suggestions on how to help him.

The other 2 year olds:
Are able to put on their own snow pants and boots

Can pull up and down their pants for the most part during diaper/potty time

Are trying to put on their own shoes

Are able to follow simple directions, along with two step directions : "when I say your name, go find your name at the table", "please take off your things and bring them to the closet when you are done" (we do this after we come in from outside and have one teacher in the closet showing them where their cubbies are), "go to the sink and wash your face and hands". They even understand getting a paper towel, turning on the water, and wiping their face with wet paper towel.

Can use their words if someone is bothering them, and can verbalize how they feel for the most part

Can understand, for the most part, if a friend doesn't like something they are doing, etc.

Of course they are two, and still learning, and they are so stinking cute. It's a work in progress, and everyday they are growing and learning.

What has been observed with this child:
Takes 20 minutes to put on and take off snow pants. We have up to 11 other kids depending on the day, and everyone else can dress themselves for the most part. This child sits there and doesn't move. By the time everyone else is dressed, this child is getting started, and needs someone to dress him.

Cannot even put on shoes, doesn't even try; just sits there, like he is waiting for someone to help him

Is very sidetracked by what is going on around him when attempting self help skills, such as getting dressed, washing hands and face, etc.

Has difficulty following simple directions: a few weeks ago, children were asked to find their names at the table, and sit down for lunch. Everyone was sitting down eating. This child was wandering around the tables for fifteen minutes like he didn't know what was going on, after being told what he needed to do several times. One of us had to guide him to his spot, which was the only one left at the table with a plate of food. We were surprised that he couldn't figure out what was going on, and what everyone else was doing.

Lack of social skills: he will go up to another child and take whatever they are playing with, or reading. Last week an older child (almost three) asked this child to please move out of her way so she could get through. This child just stood there and didn't move. The other child repeated what she asked again, a little bit louder this time, and he still didn't move. Finally, I walked over to them and gently moved him over so she could get through. Yesterday this child took a book from someone and kept holding on to it, before I explained to him he couldn't do that, as it was her choice of book. I asked him to give it back, and he couldn't grasp what I was asking him. I encouraged the child to use her words and take the book back, which she did with my help.

When I do hand over hand for self help skills, he jerks his hands away. I'm wondering if he has no fine motor skills, such as grasping and dexterity. Today after snack time, I told him to go to the sink and wash his face. He went over to the sink, then walked away. I explained the process: get a paper towel, run it under water and wipe the face. He got a paper towel and threw it in the garbage. I reminded him again how to wash his face. Finally, after the fourth time, I did hand over hand through the entire process, and he stiffened his hands and arms like he doesn't want to learn, and wants me to do it for him.

It's almost as if he wants everything done for him, and we are thinking that's the case at home. From what my director said, this child has always been like this, even in the 1 year old room. I started counting to ten, stating "let's see if you can get dressed before I get to ten". It seems to work, yet I also wonder if there could be a speech and comprehension delay that is preventing him from trying and understanding.

He is a mid-November birthday, hitting two and a half in mid-may. My director wants to wait until he is in our room for a few months before she says anything to the parents. I want to try a few things before that happens. Any ideas?


Leigh Raymer said...

It cold be that he has a form of autism, or it could be as you say that his parents just take the easy way out

Something similar happened to me when I was a camp counselor, it's not the same but similar. Myself and 2 other counselors were assigned to the 4-5 year olds, and it was not easy. They only had a VERY short time to get undressed to swim, and a very short time to get back dressed for auditorium time.

One little girl,overweight with red hair, would sit staring in a spacey way while ALL the other kids were running too and fro getting dressed. She could not be dressed intil it was one on one - it made us late and got us in trouble 3 times

So - we decided to get her out of the previous activity to be 1st to undress before swimming and out of the swimming pool 5 minutes early to get dressed by herself with me - which worked !! BUT - of course she did not like getting out of the pool early and after about 8 times being sad to leave the pool early she look ed right at me ( in the pool) and said Miss L, I promise if i stay in the pool I can get dressed on time. And she did and I and the other counselors praised her and it went smooth from there. EXCEPT on PARENT day her mother came and got in my face about "not letting her swim" - I then relayed the entire thing above including the learning and praise, the mother turned away without a word.

So - it could be a number of things - delayed development, a medical condition, stubbornness, anti-social condition

He and his mother are lucky to have you guys working with him - keep us posted

Taleia said...

It's interesting that you have a whole group of 2 year olds to compare him to. I'm surprised he's so far behind the others because a lot of what you're describing seems a bit advanced for the age. It's great that most of your kids can handle those things, but I wouldn't think these are average goals for a 26 month old. I nanny for triplets who JUST turned 3 and they're only just now in the last few weeks/months doing some of the skills you've described. The little boy still struggles with getting sidetracked and following directions. From what you've described here, I'd be more inclined to think of this as just developing in different rates, not neccesary developmental problems. (And if he's only been in your room since his birthday in november, I agree with your director that it seems very early to take action. The holidays have been going on for most of this child's time with you, and that's usually a disrupted time at home anyway which can lead to a slower adjustment period. Too much going on at once.)

Leigh Raymer said...

I was thinking the same thing - that the majority of the 2 year olds were really doing very well, aadvanced even. It sounds like you have a very effective school system. It's been a while since I have been in charge of a group of 2 year olds but it's not easy to give verbal instructions 100 % successfully - I also noticed that at 3 years old - it gets alot better

OP Here said...

A few things I forgot to add:

My class consists of 3 two year olds (10/5, 10/16, 11/15) 7 two and a half year olds (3/23, 4/3, 4/7, 4/21, 4/23, 4/23, and a pre term that was 6/17; her dob should've been 9/17) plus 2 three year olds (11/27 and 12/29). Compared to the other two year olds, he appears behind in self help, language and other areas.

Our center is very structured: each classroom has specific skills they work on based on the classroom they are in, and we build on what was learned in the previous room, along with the basics for the next room. EG: in our toddler rooms, they work on color and shape recognition, potty training (18 months or older with parent permission. There is an 18 month old in one of our toddler rooms who is alread potty traiined...😀) Other skills we work in my room are use of scissors, letter recognition, pre writing skills, self help, and scissors skills. The school district teachers have commented they can tell which incoming kindergarteners have gone to our center because they are advanced compared to their peers.

When we talk to him or explain things, he has a blank stare on his face, like he cannot comprehend what we are saying. He shows no emotion, or expression, and cannot /does not communicate with the other children. When they say "stop, I don't like that," etc, he has the same blank stare on his face. He often keeps to himself, and the other children do not like paying with him. We think it's because of the lack of social skills. He is a younger sibling, and from what his last teacher told us, Mom and Dad are more into the sibling, compared to this child.

Just a few things I forgot to add. Ask any question you need to....

Unknown said...

Ideally this child should be evaluated by a Developmental Doctor. Maybe parents are seeking this out already? Sometimes, the waiting list to see this type of specialist can take up to 6 months. They are few of them and such a demand for evaluations. Another doctor they should consult is a Developmental Neurologist. Once child is in the public school system he will receive more help. In our state we have preschool ( free) for children diagnosed with ASD. This program is amazing! I hope this child will be able to be helped thru this program.

Leigh Raymer said...

OP - thank you for trying so hard with your charge - please keep us posted

Unknown said...

As the above poster said maybe he needs more time to develop these skills children learn at different stages. He maybe developmentally delayed. But it does sound like he has autism or asbergers syndrome. Do you have a birth to 3 program in your area? I would give it another month then talk with his parents to get him evaluated. It is possible that there are too many things going on around him and he can't focus witch makes me think of maybe ADD. Do you get down one on one with him look him in the eye and give him one direction at a time? If not true that. How is his hearing? Maybe he doesn't hear well and misses a lot of the directions. I know that is a rewarding age group to work with so keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

You're a despicable waste of space! How dare you call a child slow or spacey?!?!! WTH is wrong with you???

OPHere said...


Thanks so much for the compliment. I really appreciate it.

Unknown said...

Ugh!, seriously Anonymous, get ahold of you self and quit the Negitive Nellie thing AGAIN! She did not directly call the child slow & Spacey!
She used for her title and to describe the child's actions!

Leigh Raymer said...

I was uncomfortable with the word "slow" - it was suggested by the Op ( understandable) and approved by my awesome ad-min *( she is not a judge, she just presents the clients views) so - there are valid views on each side - we will remove the word "slow"

Jaxx - appreciate you, we do need to be careful - and we all should have room for growth and learning - all views are reasonable

Leigh Raymer said...

continuing though - attacks on character are not reasonable - but I can understand the view of the word "slow" as not appropriate - we will take action on this

Jen said...

Thank you Leigh. It's absolutely despicable that an adult would say those disgusting words to a child OR ABOUT a child!

It's completely unacceptable from a site that parents and nannies read. Imagine if someone read this description and their child happened to be differently abled. It would be extremely hurtful. I expected better from Leigh who is always preaching about kindness and compassion

Anonymous said...

If you think saying that about a child is ok, then you have no business being around children in any capacity. Words hurt. This was totally reprehensible

Jaxx said...

NO, I do not think it is ok to label children or call them names!

Leigh Raymer said...

Jen - get out the wet noodle and smack me as many times as you need - I was uncomfortable when I read that - my admin SS, who does a very good job usually, let that one get by. As a business owner I am distracted by payroll taxes right now and I did not follow thru quickly enough on my knowledge that needed to be changed. SS is at school teaching but will be here in about an hour and 1/2 and that will be the 1st order of business - I certainly apologize for this mistake - there is no excuse, it will be taken care of very soon

I compliment all who took offence - you could not be more correct

Kim said...

Thank you for being a conscientious blog owner and taking other's feelings into consideration. It is appreciated

Leigh Raymer said...

back at you! again, I should have been on top of that. And the Op did not mean it literally, it was a misunderstanding but we all worked together to solve it - which is not a bad thing! good eve to everybody!

Unknown said...

everyone makes mistakes, haven't you ever said something you didn't mean? She owns a website about catching nannies if they neglect your child for goodness sake!!!! Clearly she loves children and would never belittle them. Give her a break. theres no need to point fingers when I'm sure your hands are not the cleanest.

Unknown said...

everyone makes mistakes, haven't you ever said something you didn't mean? She owns a website about catching nannies if they neglect your child for goodness sake!!!! Clearly she loves children and would never belittle them. Give her a break. theres no need to point fingers when I'm sure your hands are not the cleanest.

Leigh Raymer said...

thank you Karen - I believe everyone worked together here - I can understand the emotions if you think a child is being insulted! I believe the op did not mean "slow" as an insult just literally he could not dress as "fast" as the other kids who were advanced for their age. But the other commentators are right also - the word slow can be used as an insult and should not be used at all, I should have caught it at once, my fault - and I am glad the posters called it! It shows awesome caliber of the members/participants !

Dadhere said...

I think this is a good example of communication and cooperation. Not everyone will feel the same, but the word choice offended some people. I'm glad to see it corrected.

Leigh Raymer said...

Thank you for your comment Dadhere - we would love to have more input from great Dads - hope to hear more from you

Anonymous said...

Are you people kidding me?? There is nothing wrong with this kid. All kids progress at different rates. OP - you should know this.

I have two kids, one of them is a 2 year old and he absolutely does not put on his own shoes or boots, and can't really even take off his coat without help and there is NOTHING wrong with him.

You should do some research into child development before writing these things.