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Behavior of Arranging Objects into Neat Manner

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: If a 23 month old male likes to line his toys up in neat rows, does that say anything decisive about that child's make-up for the future.

A: I need much more information to be able to tell anything decisive. Children are generally not neat; they have not mastered that ability and it is absolutely alright and normal for them to be messy, throw their toys around, play with food, take things off the shelf, etc. In this case, it is really hard to tell since the details given are very limited.

If he places everything else in neat rows as well, he may have very good eye-hand coordination at 23 months. However, if he keeps on doing it again and again repetitively, you may want to consult a health professional. I do not want to alarm anyone here as I don't have the details but unfortunately, children whom, instead of playing imaginatively with toys, engage in repetitive behaviors such as arranging objects into neat rows, flapping their hands in front of their eyes, and gazing at spinning objects for extended periods of time, may be linked to autism. Please get him checked to rule out any such disorder.


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