is it normal for my baby to stare off into space? And forget who he's talking to? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-28-2008, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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at approximately six months old I noticed my son would occasionally just sort of space out. It would last about 20 to 30 seconds i guess.
His eyes would just have this pensive fixed gaze like he was off somewhere in his precious little head. It scares me so much. Does anyone know about this?
Do all babies do this?
Is there something wrong?

Also ever since he began to speak he would always seem confused about who he was talking to. Like he would be playing with me and say, "look gramma..." or "hey daddo..." He does this quite often. I'm scared for him.
It concerns me that at such a young age he mixes up who he's interacting with.
Is this something i should look into?
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#2 of 8 Old 12-28-2008, 05:15 PM
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Can you "snap him out of it" by waving your hands in front of his face, making a noise, ect? If so then I wouldn't suspect seizures. If not then I'd definitely bring it up to the ped and see if he's concerned. Get a video of him doing it if you can. It really helps doctors when they can see the child do it.
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#3 of 8 Old 12-28-2008, 07:41 PM
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I zone out. Have for as long as I can remember. Self-dx'd w/ Asperger's Syndrome.

Could also be seizures.

Forgetting who he's talking to, don't really know. My aspie son does that, though. So does my as-yet-un-dx'd daughter.

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#4 of 8 Old 12-28-2008, 07:48 PM
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How old is your baby now? If your 6mo is saying "grandma" and "daddo", but getting the names mixed up, he or she is incredibly advanced!

My NT (neurotypical, aka "not special needs") kids would often get names mixed up, especially things like calling me Bubbie (what they call my mother) after spending time with her, calling me by the teacher's name in the afternoon after school, etc. I even get my kids' names mixed up often! And the "staring off into space" thing could just be that the child was bored with whatever it was you wanted the child to focus on and wanted to look at something else.

You know your child better than anybody else, and you should definitely trust your gut instincts if you think something is wrong. However, from the details you've shared in your first post, I'm not seeing anything to indicate that anything is wrong.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#5 of 8 Old 12-28-2008, 09:17 PM
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My typical kid uses the wrong names sometimes. I think it's that he is thinking of someone or really just not tuning in. And then how many times have I called someone by another name?

But it sounds like you think he's maybe genuinely confused and you're concerned. And mommy concern should always be listened too. We're usually right--sometimes not about the specifics but at least about the need for concern.

Staring off could be absence seizures and is also consistent with autism spectrum and perhaps attention deficit stuff. Could be personality. For my kid it was autism spectrum.

As far as being scared. I understand that. But know that nothing you've mentioned seems overly scary on the "other side" of all this. It's the what could be stuff that is usually worse than the what is.

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#6 of 8 Old 12-28-2008, 09:48 PM
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The "staring off into space" thing can be totally typical. I did and still do it, especially if I am tired. It is like my interior dialogue interupts what I am doing and I am suddenly just inside my head. However, I can be "snapped out of it" at any moment. If somebody can't snap out of it and you can't get their attention, and they don't seem to realize that they were "gone" for a bit (continue a sentance exactly where they left off, for example), it can mean seizures. (I think they are called absent seizures, but I am not entirely sure).

As for forgetting names, I do it all the time. I especially tend to mix up the names of my dh, my ds and my brother...all 3 names seem interchangable in my brain for some reason and it gets really amusing when all three are in the same room because I can't ever seem to use the correct name the first time. My mom does this too...she mixes up me and my brother, my brother and my dh, etc. I wonder if it is because I see the person in my head (visual thinker) and "see" the person I mean, and get frustrated that other people can't "see" it too and know who I am talking about.

If your instincts are telling you that something is off, investigate it. Just because something can be typical, doesn't mean that it always is when put together with other puzzle pieces. None of the stuff you described is really all that scary once you know how to manage it.

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#7 of 8 Old 12-28-2008, 10:52 PM
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When DD was evaluated for seizures, the telling sign for absence seizures vs. regular spacing out was whether or not we could get her attention back by saying her name.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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#8 of 8 Old 12-29-2008, 01:12 AM
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I would get a pediatric neurologist appointment ASAP. I wouldn't rely on self-tests of seizures v. not. I would get a pediatric neurologist consult. I just wouldn't mess around with it. It could be nothing, in which case you can feel relieved, or you'll be able to be proactive about wahtever the issue is. I am unsure whether to even say this, but I know someone whose baby had a few fleeting neuro symptoms. Lightning had struck. It was a brain tumor. But fortunately, she found out very quickly and her son is doing great.
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