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My 13 month olds is very social but lacks eye contact

Hi everyone, I’ve been really concerned about my 13 month old boy who is very social, seems to have no sensory issues, but looks at my mouth all the time and rarely makes eye contact.. He’s been pointing and gesturing for a long time. He is constantly trying to get my attention to do something with or for him! He’s been saying mum or mumma since he was 8.5 months and dada to, he says ball and door (he loves doors and balls!) cheese and various other words or half words.. He’s shy when initially meeting new people but is fascinated by them and soon tries to engage by making sounds or laughing or interact with them and get their attention after a while.. Sometimes where myself and my partner and a friend will be watching him do something, he shouts and points at the person who isn’t watching, and then when they watch him, he first smiles gleefully before showing them what he was about to do.. He seems to enjoy attention, the more people the better.. He’s fine with other toddlers but not massively interested (and neither are they in him). Not massively social at groups and can be a bit clingy. He’s motor skills are all on point and he’s walking (still very cautious and doesn’t like stumbling much) but enjoys showing people when he walks.. He smiles and seems to have a few different smiles, Babbles and is generally quite happy. Though lately he’s been going through a very whiny phase.. He plays well alone but loves to play with us interacting even more. He claps, waves when asked (will also wave at inanimate objects or places when we leave them) he loves us reading books with him and will point at the right animals and make the noises when asked, he also loves peekaboo and chase games. my concern and confusion is his eye contact. He seems to look in the eye more from a distance, but when on my lap or just close to me, he will only watch my mouth. If I cover my mouth, or direct his attention to my eyes by pointing at them he will look. He has no aversion to looking at eyes and if I say “where’s mummy’s eyes” he will point to them and look. He also loves to open and close doors but can be distracted if the distraction is good enough, he also finger flaps at times, but not when excited or upset, it’s almost like a habit he does occasionally without realising it, he seems to do it on things other than when his hands are free. Like scratching at things, but he’s not aware of it and can be distracted from it. He also loves kitchen and toilet rolls and can be obsessive over them, but will lose interest after a while if we let him
have them. He is interested in many things really, buttons and knobs, his toys, lights and light switches, the Hoover and he’ll imitate the sound of it.. He has just started head shaking and clasping his ears sometimes and will repeatedly say “no” while doing it.. Again, he can be distracted and will smile when he stops doing it.. The main point of concern is the eye contact. For example he woke early, screaming and I picked him up and sat him on me trying to calm him, but he never once looked me in the eye! I found that so strange, as he was upset. He just looked at my mouth the whole time.. It’s things like this that I can find so confusing.. He’s also very affectionate and gives kisses to.. sometimes he will look me in the eye when doing this but most of the time he’ll look to the side. I feel like close eye contact is something he has to be prompted to do. He never looks into my eyes for long.. He doesn’t have any routine, and doesn’t seem bothered, prefers to desimate toys rather than line anything up, he doesn’t mind loud noise, or several different noises going on at the same time, he’s not sensitive to light or clothes and shoes. He doesn’t like bibs or hats though and will wip them off. Apart from a few things he seems to be quite typical. I’m so confused about the eye contact and wondered if some neuro typical children just don’t make much eye contact, or if while acquiring language some toddlers are more focused on the mouth, but later change?  Any knowledg and information that might shed some light, would be greatly appreciated!!
1 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Ahh,  he sounds like a darling boy!!  Truly.  I know it is easy to worry about our little ones.  I have one with a developmental delay ---  sensory processing disorder and one without.  Both have their own unique quirks.  And things they did when tiny were more retrospectively meaningful at the time.  That he looks at your eyes when you tell him is great.  He may just be a little anxious.  But since it is you he also does this with, he may just find your mouth interesting.  :>)  If it continues, other things will surface. My son has a hard time with eye contact but he had a host of other issues by the time he was 3.  Unless you see a regression with social skills or communication, I would not worry about this at this point.  As he gets older, he sounds quite bright and you will be able to instill things that help him with eye contact.  A good tool with toddlers a little older than him is to role model doing something their way, having a whole discussion staring at his mouth never looking in his eyes.  And then say, Now here is what we are supposed to do and then role model eye contact (some kids do best looking at the forehead or eye brows if eye contact isn't happening).  Making it kind of exaggerated and funny.  Do this when he's a bit older though.  It will all work out.  :>)  
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