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3.5 DS not moving past 'scribble'

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#1 barney34

Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:33 AM

Hi there!

Just wanted to know if im being a paranoid mum lol. Ive noticed that a lot of kids my DS' age have started to loosley show form in their drawings. Like a circle for head, dots for eyes, stick legs etc and are slowly starting to attempt to write their name. My DS has not moved past the scribbling stage and shows no form in drawing although he can write his name with assistance.

He has excellent language and communication but seems to be a bit sluggish on the physical side so I thought Id see if I should be concerned. Ive been told they get there when they get there but as an ex school teacher it makes you a bit too ultra aware!!


#2 =Magpie=

Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:46 AM

I remember that my DS was much the same. He was not at all interested in drawing, colouring in, writing etc. He was just doing a scribble until he was about 4.5 or there abouts.

He is 7.5 now and doing very well in school but he still has zero interest in these activities.

It's a struggle to get him to do anything with a pencil in his hand, his hand writing is terrible.

So while I wouldn't be 'concerned' I would attempt to guide him into some practice so that it's not such a chore later.

I hope that helps, good luck.

#3 Mercurial

Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:49 AM

DS was a bit like that.  He did just gradually get better though I found he was always much better if he could copy something.  ie if I drew a person he would copy that person.  If I drew a rainbow he would get all the colours out and draw a rainbow.  He seemed to struggle with what to draw and how to draw something specific.

#4 barrington

Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:19 AM

DS barely picked up a pencil before starting school.  He had no troubles keeping up with everyone else in his FYOS and now at 7 has other parents commenting on his 'beautiful writing'.

#5 marley*and*me

Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:42 AM

My son only started doing understandable drawings once he got to prep at he start of the year. He had just turned 5 when he started prep.

Now he can draw most ithings and is learning to write at lightening speed.

#6 belindarama

Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:50 AM

DS1 was exactly the same.  Excellent verbal skills, not so physically advanced.

Even at preschool most of his drawings were unrecognisable. Now he is in FYOS and his drawings are suddenly really good!

If nothing else worries you I wouldn't consider this on its own a major problem.

#7 imamumto3

Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:15 AM

ds was like that too at that age.  After starting school we found he has low muscle tone which could have been part of it, but after talking to other mothers of boys I have found a lot have no interest in this type of activities.  

DD on the other hand can right her name & draw people and is really interested in practicing letters, colouring, drawing and craft and I have found a lot of girls to be like this too.

So maybe it is just a boy / girl difference.  Keep encouraging him & offer play dough to play with as well as activities which may help to strengthing his hand & fingers muscles like picking up small objects with tweezers and pinching pegs off the side of boxes.  Even if he doesnt have a muscle tone problem it will help.

#8 Xiola

Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:17 AM

My DS1 was exactly the same in fact it was a struggle to get him to draw anything and he didn't write his name until he was 5, however now at 7 his writing is beautiful, really neat and he draws really well too with lots of tiny detail!  He has notebooks full of drawings so like a pp said if nothing else is worrying you it's probably not a problem.

#9 barney34

Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:03 AM

Thanks so much for all your comments I feel a bit better now! I do encourage him but as others have said he isnt really interested and would rather play with his cars etc and I dont want to force him and make it an issue!

I think for the most part as ive said his language is excellent but things like writing, riding a scooter, bike etc he is very reluctant which in the back of my mind makes me think that there might be a muscle tone issue. I think ill keep an eye out and maybe seek proffesional advice if he hasnt shown improvement in a year!

Thanks again!

#10 Isolabella

Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:12 AM

At the beginning of 4yo Kinder all the kids did a self portrait which was put in a book and sent home to all families (ie. all 25 portraits in the one book).

The kids were all 4-5yrs of age.

Generally speaking all the girls had very detailed drawings using lots of colours, the boys (including mine) were mostly scribbles. There were some exceptions with some girls doing scribbles and some boys doing some detailed drawings, but if you lined up the pictures and rated them 1-25 you would have put the girls in the top half and the boys in the bottom half.

#11 CallMeFeral

Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:23 AM

Mine (3) has been drawing circle people and smiley faces since she was 2 1/2 - but is nowhere close to writing letters or her name.... now I'm getting paranoid!
I guess they are all different original.gif

#12 new~mum~reenie

Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:38 AM

DS is the same. He has done a stick figure/personae once, but he has no interest in repeating the process. He 'writes' me a letter with a series of circles, but wont let me teach him to write - only once have I managed to get him to join the dots for his name once, but that's it.

On the flip side, my fiends little girl (6 days older) just the other day drew a picture of her and her mum, with quite a lot of detail, and wrote (unprompted and in aided) 'mum'. It is so impressive. She is very talented.

But my boy is talented in other areas. I'm not going to stress, but I'll keep an eye on it for now.

Op, if you a worried, maybe speak to a chn or a paed.

#13 caz411

Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:55 AM

QUOTE (barney34 @ 04/05/2012, 04:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi there!

Just wanted to know if im being a paranoid mum lol. Ive noticed that a lot of kids my DS' age have started to loosley show form in their drawings. Like a circle for head, dots for eyes, stick legs etc and are slowly starting to attempt to write their name. My DS has not moved past the scribbling stage and shows no form in drawing although he can write his name with assistance.

He has excellent language and communication but seems to be a bit sluggish on the physical side so I thought Id see if I should be concerned. Ive been told they get there when they get there but as an ex school teacher it makes you a bit too ultra aware!!


You know, as much reassurance as you might get here, you should still speak to your GP about this and keep an eye on it.  

On the one hand, I doubt it is anything serious, but on the other your story is reminiscent of the sort of things my son's father used to do and unfortunately he was diagnosed with a fine motor disorder too late to get the sort of intensive occupational and physio needed to "fix" it.  His handwriting is atrocious, I've seen kids in my sons creche with better handwriting.

As much as I sometimes rubbish parents instincts when it leads them to do dangerous things (like NOT vaccinating their kids), parental intuition/instinct about their kids is often quite spot on.  And it should be, because you live with your kids and watch them all the time, you are constantly observing and cataloguing behaviours and worries.

I knew there was something wrong with my son when he was a very small baby, but everyone used to dismiss my feelings (trying to reassure me I'm sure, since he was a premie) and last year (he is now 3) he was finally diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.  My GP was very good, in the early days he didn't think there was much wrong but always listened, and he would ask me at every visit if I still thought there was something wrong - he always listened. A good GP knows that he/she sees your kid for 15 minutes whilst you live with them everyday.  

So to reiterate, if it's worrying you speak to your GP about it and ask for a referral NOW.  The public health waiting list for some specialties (like an OT or physio which could diagnose the problem) is quite long and at least if he starts writing and drawing on a par with his peers you can always cancel any appointments later.

So in short, yeah you are probably being paranoid  rolleyes.gif but run with it in case you're right.

Edited by caz411, 04 May 2012 - 08:56 AM.

#14 liveworkplay

Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:05 AM

Boys, on average, take longer to develop the fine motor skills necessary for writing (or detailed drawing) then gilrs. Hence a lot of boys are not interested in sitting and drawing as they know they can do more gross motor movement eg, running, wrestling, kicking wink.gif with much more ease. Yes, my girls were doing detailed drawing at that age and they were writing their names but the two elder ones both adore drawing and making stuff. The first time DD2 picked up a pencil she held it in the correct grip!

I wouldn't worry just yet. Even in 4 yr old kinder lots of kids haven't progressed past the cirle for a head/body with lines out of it for the limbs. It does all work out in the end.

#15 Mercurial

Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:14 AM

If he's reluctant to do other physical things like ride a bike or a scooter, it's probably worth mentioning it to your GP.  The drawing along wouldn't stand out but several things together may not mean anything but are worth checking.

#16 Expelliarmus

Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:20 AM

At 3.5 he's still in the range of normal age for scribbling. original.gif

#17 I*Love*Christmas

Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:22 AM

My 3.5 yr old is not into drawing or arty stuff or anything. He recently went to my MILs for the day so they could do Easter craft and she said he ended up spending the day outside riding the bike or helping garden with my FIL.

Perhaps find something he might be interested in drawing? If I ask DS to draw a person he says no. But if I ask him to draw a Ford (car) or something he will at least give it a go. I notice my 1 y old DD tries to hold a pencil and shows so much more interest than DS.

#18 Soontobegran

Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:24 AM

Our 5th, a son after girls was speaking in 4 and 5 word sentences by age 14 months but never wrote his name or drew anything recognisable until the end of pre school at age 5.
He was however an engaging and active kid who excelled in every sporting,physical and social activity you could imagine.
He was just not 'into' sitting still and using a pencil.
If you are concerned though it is always advisable to run it by your GP but in my experience with our children when our children were developing normally socially and physically in all other ways but were not perfecting one area it was lack of interest rather than anything else.
Good luck

#19 Kemismum

Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:43 PM

Hmmmm. Now Im starting to worry about my 4 yr old DD who just scribbles............ sad.gif

#20 barney34

Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:42 PM

Thanks so much! I did end up calling my HCN and she is also a friend and spoke to her about his scribbling and also he reluctance to ride a scooter/bike as well (thought I might throw that in too). She said it was too early for a referral and  as many of you said, she said they develop at their own pace but to check back in a years time if im concerned. Im a big believer in early intervention!

Thanks all!

Edited by barney34, 05 May 2012 - 08:37 PM.

#21 Julie3Girls

Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:22 PM

Like everyone else has said, keep an eye on it, but the drawing alone wouldn't worry me yet.

It's not just a boy thing original.gif

I've got 3 girls.
DD1 was still scribbling at age 3-4. She didn't start drawing pictures really until she was closer to 5. Didn't write her name until around age 5. She did get better with the pictures, but still did a lot of "abstract art" as we called it original.gif
Hasn't been any problems with her writing (although her pencil grip has always been lousy, and we haven't been able to correct it)
Even now, she loves colouring. She will draw pictures, but she still likes just doing patterns, colouring in random designs, spirographs etc.

DD2 was drawing faces at 2.5yr (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, cheeks). Her first day of preschool at 3yr 1mth, she wrote her full name on the sign in sheet. Now at age 8 loves drawing and does a pretty good job of it.

DD3 was kind of in between. At 3.5, she could draw a fairy (person with wings). But it wasn't something that interested her as much.  Her sisters will sit and colour for ages, DD3 tends to have a much shorter time frame. And will often choose to do something else rather than draw. We got hardly any art home from her over her 2 years of preschool, particularly when compared with the bucketloads we got from the other two.

#22 Kay1

Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

If drawing is the only thing you feel he is lagging in I would give it a few months. Both my boys were late to draw anything recognisable. But DS2 went from doing nothing but tiny scratchy scribbles to sitting down and drawing a recognisable picture - literally in one sitting. He was 3 and about 8 months. DS1 was well after 4.

Both of mine are not keen drawers but DS1 particularly hated it and it was very hard to get him to do anything with a pen/pencil. He absolutely refused to colour in etc. It was a bit of an issue when he started school - he was a little behind the other kids in terms of writing but he is now right on average (in Year 1), with a lot of encouragement and work at school. He still disparages all form of "craft" though.

One thing I found they both loved doing was dot to dots. Usborne does a series of "My first dot to dots" which DS2 adores and they keep him busy for ages. original.gif Also Lego is great for hand strength so if he enjoys that then that is great.

Edited by Kay1, 05 May 2012 - 08:34 PM.

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