Curiosity - Dd lines things up

adellabedella_usaJanuary 31, 2006

I curious what this means. My 2 yo dd loves to put things like toys, blocks, shoes, etc., in lines. Can someone tell me what this means in child development terms? No, I don't think there is anything wrong with her. She's different. My two boys have never exhibited this organization. I'm assuming this is probably just another one of those instintive differences between girls and boys.

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My daughter lines up her toys, too. Little Pet Shop animals all in a row with their food bowls in front of them. One day she lined up all her stuffed dinosaurs by her bed then lay down on it. She said she was Snow White and they were dwarves. I have no scientific explanation, but I think it just must be a kid thing.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 10:57PM
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She will also get into patterns soon. It is a lot of fun and means she is developing good eye-hand coordination and a good recognition of patterns.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 3:03PM
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My dd does this too, she calls it her pattern. We have a throw rug in her room and she lines up her fake food in a row around the design on the rug. She loves to make patterns.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 2:41PM
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At 14 months, my son took every cookbook within his reach off my baker's rack - one at a time - and lined them up across the floor. The next week he did the same with the Sunday newspaper. He has always been very much into 'order' and gets very upset about things being out of place, dirty, unorganized, etc. Toys are always lined up! I joke that he is just wired a little too tight. He has had some testing done a few years back, due to speech delay, and did test borderline for a sensory disorder. We haven't had any further testing done on him, though sometimes have questioned that maybe he does have something more going on. His preschool teacher has told us that she thinks that he is 'within the normal range,' so that eases my concern some. It was interesting last week at his Valentine's party, though... Watching DS eat with 12 other kids his age. My DS lines everything up, cup has to be placed just so, fork in the proper place, napkin straight, etc. All the other kids just dig in to eat. When it came time to exchange Valentine's - same story. DS lined everything up. I don't really know what is normal - he is our only child. Maybe it is just the way he was raised? Maybe it is because his father is an engineer and a neatness fanatic? I don't know.
As an interesting side note - DS turned four in December - has been reading for close to six months now. He isn't really interested in the 'reading' aspect of it - he is more interested in the word formation, knowing how things are spelled and lining letters up correctly to spell words. He knows how to spell words that are on 1st and 2nd grade reading lists. We have always encouraged our son - to some extent - for example, he loves doing mazes and can do very complicated ones on his own so we continue to buy them or print them off the internet. He loves Thomas the Train and enjoys making new tracks. We got him a 'marble run' for Christmas and he loves watching the marbles and following every twist and turn.
For what it is worth - my male cousin has a boy that is the same way as my son. My brother has two toddlers/preschoolers and neither boy is like that. ~ Suzie

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 12:11PM
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My 2 y/o son does the same thing!
He gets his toys and such and places them in rows.
He can sit at his little table for hours doing this.
Don't know exactly why but he does this as my oldest never did.
But from everyone else's post seems to be the norm.
:) Susan

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 12:42PM
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My daughter did the same thing when she was 2.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 10:06AM
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I just got my AA in Liberal Arts this May. I've been studying Child Development and all because I'm going to be an Elementary Education teacher. My Child Development teacher said that this is perfectly normal. Children that do this find comfort in order. There's nothing wrong with your children...they just like organization. I observed one child that would take all the shoes in their house and line them up along the wall in their living room. She thought that tis was the most fun anyone could have...even getting her brother and little sister to help.
Your children are in the process of learning about lines, linear perspective, and even patterns or math. Take this opportunity to help them learn. Count the objects with them, show them other ways to make patterns (tallest to shortest, biggest to smallest, etc.). It's like a self-taught math lesson for children that do this.
We talked in class one night about children that like to line things up. The teacher said that most of these children end up in the Gifted and Talented programs at their school. Again, take advantage of this stage.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 1:15PM
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NotEnoughRoses -
Please look into Hyperlexia and see "if the shoe fits" your son. A child who teaches himself to read before age 4, gets overly upset when his order is disturbed, had a speech delay and borderline sensory integration issues should be watched extra carefully. If this is a problem, there are therapies that can help him cope with our 'disorderly' world, and they're much more effective when started early.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hyperlexia

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 6:35PM
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lindac beat me to it...I was going to suggest Ausbergers...
But it does bear further looking into. Not because he is reading early, but because he is doing other things that send alarms...pronouncing words and not reading for meaning, lining things up in an obssesive manner....and Ausbergers syndrome seems to run in families and you say your cousin has a boy who acts like your son.
Please follow through and get him help if he needs it.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 12:23AM
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Interesting reading about Hyperlexia, it brings to mind the son of a friend of mine. He is now 19, but when very small perhaps 3, he could read, and do puzzles with LOTS of pieces. This child had problems with speech, and could not soicalise. He would grunt when he was trying to say things.

He went on to do well at school, showing great promise. He left school the year before last, after gaining entry to university.

He has now packed all that in, and is working at a supermarket, his mum is annoyed with him for throwing away the opportunity.

I always thought this boy had problems, he would never socialise, when we visited and would sit under a table and just read.

What to do now...should I bring this up with her ? What will become of the poor lad.

I guess it pays to find out things, if you think something is just not right with your child. Even if they do seem to be brilliant, this in itself can bring up problems.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 5:15PM
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Popi -

Please bring it up to your friend, but do so as diplomatically as you can. One of the world's foremost experts on Asperger's Syndrome (Dr. Tony Atwood) is in Australia, and has worked with some absolutely brilliant but poorly-functioning young adults with Asperger's. If your friend has ruled this out, she won't be surprised by your question; but if she hasn't, it could change her life (not to mention her son's) for the better. Often when a child is bright enough to excel in school, he isn't diagnosed, and any 'oddities' get attributed to his high intelligence. IMO, it's a huge disservice.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 7:03PM
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This thread took a serious turn; I was just going to say some people exhibit librarian tendencies early LOL.

Retired librarian

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 6:15PM
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Wow, my son does this too. I was worried about it before because he was so particular about certain toys only going with certain other toys (only certain little people can go in certain car, etc), and if you put the wrong one in the car, he would absolutely throw a fit and be inconsolable. He was the same with mixing up the tops of his sippy cups (certain cap color on certain cup), and he will still line up all of his toy cars into long straight lines and freak out if they aren't in his own order. I have noticed in the last few months he is much less strict on the dolls and allows them to intermingle or ride in each others cars, and even mixes media (little people can now play with playmobil people, etc). So, I am glad to see that he is not the only one. I was worried he might be slightly OCD or something.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 12:44PM
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Grizzle -- I saw your recent follow-up on the other thread, and since your son has already been through the Soonerstart program, I'd urge you to call his therapist from there and discuss that issue with her. It's a classic red flag for austic-spectrum issues -- which (if present) would probably be mild in your son's case since he's talking so well.

For anyone who's interested, I'll mention some other behaviors that can also indicate cause for concern:

- Unusual sensitivities (heightened or lowered) to certain sounds (vacuum cleaner, leaf blower, buzzers), to certain sights or lights (turning them WAY up or dim), to certain textures (hating the tags on his shirts, seams on his socks), to foods (a strong preference or aversion to certain foods -- like ONLY eating chicken nuggets or mac 'n' cheese, drinking gallons of milk, or throwing hissy fits if food items touch each other) or to temperatures (everything's too hot or too cold, or NOTHING's too hot or cold)

- Not pointing. This is a big red flag. Children with autistic-spectrum disorders often will take your hand and move it instead of using their own fingers to point something out to you. Or, not responding appropriately to your pointing. If you say "Oh my!" and point out the window, an autistic child will more often look at you, NOT at the place you're pointing to.

- Repetitive speech - Quoting phrases heard on TV or repeating your questions instead of answering them. Or having very different speech patterns for when he is 'quoting' versus when he's articulating his own ideas.

- Limited and intense interests - trains, vehicles, dinosaurs are common. But an interest in something odd (my son fixated on the pool sweep and trailer hitches) that doesn't go away in a few weeks.

- Playing with toys in limited or repetitive ways. For example, those stacking rings for todlers? By age three, you could, without any advance direction, play a pretend 'donut shop' game with a typical child and he would instantly grasp the whole idea and play along. An autistic child might insist that you're not playing right and that those rings are for stacking, that they're NOT donuts, or have no idea how a donut shop game might be played.

There are lots of other signs. And many children have one or two of these signs to some degree but no autism. But for parents reading this thread because their children line things up...

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 2:10PM
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He is going to see the child development specialist on Valentine's Day. I will mention it to her. I really am curious to see how he acts when I am not around, so I will be watching him through one of those one way mirrors.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 5:37PM
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That is great that he is seeing someone soon. Even if he gets a dignosis of Ausbergers its not the end of the world. It could be very slight of a issue. My 3 yo nehphew has it and my sister found out about three months ago. He has most of the symptoms that were posted above. The state is now providing daily therapy and in three months he went from not talking at all to being able to communicate with words and short phrases. They think by the time he is 5 most people will not even know he had/has it. Most children with it are extremely intelligent and can range from barely functional to highly functional. I know my sister was so upset for a couple weeks, beating herself up for not getting him tested sooner, so just in case you get this diagnosis, I wanted to let you know there is a lot of hope.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 10:15PM
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My 2 year old lines things up too! Totally normal!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 8:51PM
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