The short story is that I am worried about ASD in my 3 1/2 year old but DH disagrees, says all of what DS does is "just being a little kid" and thinks I'm a hypochondriac (I agree, I'm a worrier, especially about the kids). Too much Google has me analyzing every little thing he does, every noise he makes and I think DH is about to kick me out of the house.
I try to observe other kids his age to compare, but unfortunately he's somehow always around girls and they are SO different at this age. For whatever reason, every time we join a class or playgroup, it's him plus tons of girls and maybe 1 or 2 other boys.
So, do these things sound normal or abnormal for a 3 1/2 year old boy? (Note: He is the oldest of two and has spent the past year adjusting to a new baby sister. He stays home with me, but started 2 days per week (2.5 hours/day) of pre-school this past September. He also goes one day a week to an outdoor program at a farm. We don't have other kids in the neighborhood and has never been in daycare, so maybe he's not around other kids as much as he should be.) For that matter, maybe I'm not around other kids enough to know what's normal.
He speaks very well, talked on the early side of normal, and picked up words and sentence structure a bit early. He's just like me...observant, excellent memory, and a bit hypersensitive to things around him, but more in a "hey, I notice that" way and not really bothered my them. He has not liked loud or harsh noises since he was much younger, but lately he's been OK with a wider range of noises and seems to be outgrowing that.
He can "read" some of his favorite books from memory, but is not like those gifted kids that are actually reading at age 3. He is "all boy" and likes trucks and trains, but also plays with a wide variety of other toys, including his play kitchen.
Once in a while, he will line up all of his cars or trucks, but not in any order (just in the order they come out of the bin). He maybe does this once per week, if that. Otherwise, he plays with things and makes up little stories. The stories are a mix of things he's seen on Thomas or other shows or books and his own ideas. Its not word-for-word Thomas, for example.
Like most kids, he has favorite videos and books and things he likes to do, but he doesn't watch or play or read the same thing over and over. He knows certain routines and will point out if something is different, but goes along with it without a problem.
If another child starts crying, he will look at them with concern and even stop what he's doing, but that's it.
I don't notice many things like toe-walking or hand-flapping but he seems to be always making some kind of noise with his mouth. He's either singing, humming or saying things he thinks are funny or that will get our attention.
DH says I'm being to hard on him and he's "just 3" (he'll be 4 in May) and I'm expecting him to act like a much older child.
So, if you were me, would you relax or pursue an eval? Oh, and the main reason I'm being cautious is that I feel matching a kid his age up with the really vague diagnostic criteria of ASD and the fact that we live in a time where they have a very narrow definition of "normal" will mean he'll get diagnosed with something and I don't want to do that if these are just normal things that 3 1/2 year old boys do and that he just needs a chance to grow out of.
Any help is appreciated. Sorry this is long!