Kids with autism as babies? (update post 19) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 08-12-2010, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I'm sure I'm fretting over nothing, as is typical, but I do have to ask:

how did your kids with ASD behave as 6-12-month-olds? Esp your mildly-ASD girls.

Vivi's almost-13-year-old half-sister (via me, a super successful, wonderful open adoption situation) is profoundly gifted and also has ASD, as well as some other learning difficulties like agraphia. M was an incredibly placid baby- she literally never cried unless something was wrong, was alert and engaged, and was a bright, sweet little girl, though was openly "shy."

We describe V as being an "easy" baby, but, honestly, we don't know a lot of babies. She's easy to us, anyhow. Since birth, she's been a funny mix of super-calm and hyper-intense. These days, there's a lot less calm and a LOT more intense.

Lately I've been a little concerned about her. After doing some reading, I'm a bit more concerned. She makes eye contact and really enjoys patty-cake and itsy-bitsy spider, but isn't cuddly at all. We cosleep and breastfeed, and while she resists being held closely, she does like to sleep/eat with a hand gently resting on either DH or me, or both. She finds a lot of things funny, and smiles freely at DH and me, almost never at others, and laughs seldom. She responds to questions- "Where are the puppies?" and she looks until she sees them. "What does a monkey say?" and she pauses, smiles, flaps her arms and says "ha-ha-ha-ha". (That is super cute.)

Her eye contact level has definitely decreased since 6 months (which spurred my recent flurry of research). She appears to have Moebius mouth- image 1- 5 months, image 2- 7 months, image 3- 2ish weeks. After reading this, I realized that she didn't (and still doesn't) roll over as the research says an NT child should- here's video from one of her first roll-overs. She started babbling a little late, not really til 7 months, and now still mostly relies on consonants, though we think she says a few weird words appropriately, like "anana" for banana at mealtimes, and "sgeegee" for spaghetti. Maybe not, though. She doesn't say "mamama" unless she's wailing, and says "dadada" maybe once a day.

She crawls fine as far as I can see, and has been pulling to stand since the day she learned how to cross-crawl at 6.25 months. She seems pretty coordinated, but will stand leaning on things for very long amounts of time- if I'd let her, she would have stood and watched They Might Be Giants "Here Comes Science" for 30+ minutes without sitting or falling from the time she could stand.

We did the tilt test tonight a few times, and she failed each time.

Her father and I would likely be coded with mild ASD if we were kids now; as it stands we both function reasonably well in general society, but still struggle with social stuff (me moreso than him, frankly). M's birthfather is very similar as well.

So, knowing that there may well be a genetic component of some sort, and seeing what are some questionable (though probably zebra-in-a-herd-of-horses stuff) developmental things, do you see any similarities between V and your kiddos' baby time? Is it worth bringing up at her 9 month well-baby?

I guess my only major concern is that because she's so alert and engaging (and female) that if she is on the spectrum, it won't get caught until her childhood years. We plan on homeschooling regardless, so I guess I also think early intervention, if needed, really needs to be initiated by us.

Thank you so much for your insights.

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#2 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 12:45 AM
 
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I have a son and my father is probably highly functional autistic or extreme Asperger's... something nobody considered until my son was going through evaluations. Everyone just thought he was a narcissistic bastard psychopath. All of his siblings are very bright and "a bit eccentric". And like you, I have difficulty with social situations; but I always thought that was a combo of being raised by a mother who was bipolar alcoholic and then moving in with my father... plus being the new kid at school 9 times.

But my son was profoundly delayed. When we changed peds at 7mo, the new one was IMMEDIATELY on us to have him evaluated by EI. He didn't crawl until 11mo. He didn't look at me until 1yo (when we removed ALL traces of dairy--we were mostly dairy-free before that). He didn't know that we left the room until he was between 15-18mo. Before 1yo he almost NEVER smiled, let alone laughed ("I'm a little teapot" with moving his arms was the only thing that could get him to do anything close to laughing). I was a bfing SAHM and if I went to the store, he had no concept that I was gone and didn't realize I had come home.

He barely made any noise. If he cried, there was no way of knowing if it was a diaper cry or a hungry cry or a tired cry; but admittedly, I have a NT adopted daughter who is now 21mo and I'm not sure I knew the difference with her between 6-12mo, either. I know NOW, but I don't remember when that happened.

He had a REALLY hard time eating any kind of solid foods. Until he was in feeding therapy around 1yo, he could only really get down cereal and some purees.

I know nothing about the tilt test. My son was never engaged. He really, truly was in his own little world. In fact, they thought he HAD to have a hearing problem because he didn't respond to noise... at all. One of the things they did when they evaluated him was to pretend they were throwing something in his face--like as if it might hit him in the face to see if he would blink or shrink back. He didn't.

I can't think of what else. It was pretty bad. And my NT 21mo really drives it home now. My son is 6-1/2 now but even that far back, you remember. So she does things and my husband and I look at each other like "Wow... he was really pretty bad". Like when she wants your attention and pulls your chin towards her where my son never knew you were there, let alone WANT your attention. Crazy.

We've been through A. LOT. He's way, way, way different now. We've been through MUCH therapy, many different types of interventions, etc. He knows who we are and is very loving. He has some remaining issues and some gifts. His PDD dx was lifted last fall with the caveat that he needs re-evaluation at 8yo and will likely be dx'd with Asperger's. To be honest, the eval in the fall was by no means comprehensive, but I didn't really care. I have my son and he's able to communicate with the general populus. He's loving and although he definitely stands out, it's not usually so much that he can't be around other kids his age.

Early Intervention evaluations are free. If you're really worried, get her evaluated.

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#3 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for sharing your story! I'm so glad your son is doing better now- it looks like it took (and will take?) a lot of work to help him. You're an awesome mommy.

DH and I talked about this quite a lot last night- his stance is very much that of "Well, if we focus on math and science with her, she'll be fine. Friends are for suckers." (I must show him Temple Grandin's TED talk- she thinks ASD kids absolutely have a place in our world, but EI is key to helping them succeed with as few complications as possible.) After sharing my concerns- that my social skills are so sucky that not only will I not recognize if she's struggling, but I have no idea how to organically deal with it, that I don't want her to have the same problems we had as kids if we can help it, etc, he agrees that staying proactive is the right course.

His maternal grandfather is likely mildly ASD- he's a great genius, excels at violin and chess, but is disastrously aloof and self-involved. My maternal grandfather was a Navy engineer, and (sadly now has Parkinson's) always was very sweet, but very reserved, my paternal grandfather is a multi-generational dairy farmer, but his tremendous intelligence shines through in surprising ways (he wrote a 400 page autobiography that just blows you away, particularly when you remember he had only an 8th grade education) and my father is an engineer with mild ASD tendencies as well, though it's so hard to gauge older generations who socially were forced to sink or swim. I always thought the men in my family were just traditional cold, reserved, unemotional Yankees.

M, my birth-kid's ASD is quite mild, and though she's nearly 13 and has only this past year been officially dx'd, the question of her spectruminess has been present since she was quite young. For a long time, it was thought that he issues stemmed from her brilliance alone, but as she's now pubescent, it seems that it's not entirely the case.

Valentine is overtly a "perfect" baby- happy, alert, etc, and advanced in a few ways. Her dad sees the things I'm concerned about when I point them out- I showed him some youtube videos of babies rolling over, and he saw that they moved in a more corkscrew kind of way, but doesn't think that V has anything "wrong" with her, which I can understand- she's our perfect girl, after all, and will always be, no matter what!


She does a few other quirky little things. Her attention span isn't just for watching videos- if I didn't take the initiative, she'd play by herself for hours. She'll read books with me for 30-45 minutes. The most eye contact I get is when she's really sleepy- she'll crane her head to look at my face for a minute or so, otherwise she looks at different parts of my face, and only fleetingly in the eye. As I said above, she'll seek out the dogs and smile once she sees them when I ask "where are the puppies?" but won't do the same for mama or dada. She LOVES the dogs, and we're blessed to have such little sweeties for her to grow up with. She has NEVER made eye contact while nursing. Now she'll unlatch and look at my face, but it's not often, and, as I said, she's literally never made eye contact while latched.

Since birth she's been very low-need. If she's crying or hurt, then she absolutely needs to be held- she's never, ever been able to cry herself happy (not that we give her much of a chance!)

She eats solids with gusto, and doesn't seem to have any sensory issues as yet. She does have a high need for novel stimulation, and takes quite a bit of time to settle into a new environment- she'll sit for 15-30 minutes just taking everything in, then play like she's lived there her whole life. (This may be normal, though, I dunno.) She'll swing for 20-30 minutes at the park, smiling and squealing the whole time.

I think the things we're seeing, all in conjunction with each other in the context of our family history, I'll bring it up at her 9 month appointment. In my reading, it looks like the differences between NT and ASD kids starts at 6 months, but is usually not noticed by parents until past a year. I just want her to have every chance to flourish and be a happy girl, and happy adult.

Thanks again, and sorry for my lack of brevity.

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#4 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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Prior to 12 months of age, my son with autism wouldn't make any eye contact. He also hated looking at himself in the mirrors or looking at pictures of babies--most babies like that, and my ds was ambivelant. He screamed and cried all the time--for hours and hours a day. He stared at ceiling fans a lot, and running water. At 9-10 months old, he would sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and pour water back and forth for *hours* at a time. I am not kidding about that in the least...he would sit there, pour water back and forth, staring at it falling, and that was all he would do. He had a dozen words by a year old,and then at 12 months old, he stopped making all words/babbles/sounds (except a high pitched screech) for a year.

Oh, and before a year old, ds would line up toys--he continued that for a couple years. He didn't respond to his name. He had sensory issues (couldn't get his hair washed because the motion of moving his head would set him off, etc.)

When we'd try to play patty cake or peekaboo with him, we'd get absolutely no response--he would be deadpan.

So yeah, it was really obvious, and there was no question in my mind.

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#5 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post
He stared at ceiling fans a lot, and running water. At 9-10 months old, he would sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and pour water back and forth for *hours* at a time. I am not kidding about that in the least...he would sit there, pour water back and forth, staring at it falling, and that was all he would do.
This stands out to me, as V is obsessed with fans and water, too. Once a week or so I give in and let her go to town with the dog's water dish (cleaned out and fresh, of course) and she'll sit and splash it with her hand for quite some time- 30 minutes to an hour. She also likes her baths a lot. But she also loves looking at babies, and will search the pages for a minute or so and pat the baby when asked "Where's the baby?" I can't help but wonder if the differences between boys and girls factors into even the earliest social stuff.

Thank you so much for responding. Did your ped take your observations into consideration, or was it obvious to them early as well?

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#6 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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DS is one of those kids with several inaccurate diagnosis. He is 8, we think as does his pediatrician, therapist, and developmental pediatrician, that he has ADHD, mild SPD, and he's gifted. He was diagnosed with autism at 4 and PDD-NOS at 5, but by 6 no longer met the criteria for ASD. Whether he was misdiagnosed or "recovered" from ASD, is anyone's guess, so take this description in that context.

DS met all his physical, social, cognitive, and speech milestones until he was 18 months. I could recognize his different cries by 14 weeks. He was very aware of us. He had excellent eye contact with his dad and I. He had appropriate stranger and separation anxiety. He babbled on time, said his first word at 10 months, "Look" and pointed to reference with us. He could respond to basic questions like "where is mama?" and point at me. If I wan't in the room, he'd point to my picture or where I went. He had basic imaginary play, made the toy lion roar etc. He was reserved with strangers, but very affectionate with us. If he was hurt, he looked to us for comfort. He would look around to see if anyone was watching and lay down on the floor and pretend to cry.

So what happened? I don't know, that is the 64,000 dollar question. At around 18 or 20 months, his speech just stalled out. He had 10-20 words that he used in a functional way to communicate with us (his dad and I). He became horribly shy, had terrible temper tantrums, developed sensory issues, and was very hyper. He eventually started talking more at around 2.5 and at around 3 or so his receptive language improved a lot. He had a significant expressive delay until he was 7, and his receptive language normalized at 5 or 6 years old.

DS still isn't quite typical, but doesn't seem to have ASD anymore. He's a little too chatty (ironically), very active, impulsive, anxious, and hates loud noises. He has several good friends, is academically advanced in math and science, has purple belt in taekwondo, plays the piano, and writes very elaborate stories. He's very empathetic.

DH and I have significant and multi generational family histories of speech delays. DH didn't speak until he was 3 years old and has social anxieties, but doesn't have ASD. I have CAD and dyslexia. I have a sister, three nephews, and a father with ADHD.
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#7 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 09:16 PM
 
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Hi,

(Sorry this turned into a novel. Cutting to the chase, I'd bring up the issue of decreased eye contact with your doctor, but mostly to put your mind at ease.)

Given your genetics, I think there is some cause to watch your dd's development, in case she's on the autism spectrum.

However, based on what you've described here, I'm not seeing anything that screams autism. Remember that it's a spectrum -- that means that some neurotypical (NT) kids share behaviors with kids with autism. Kids with autism have behaviors that are found with kids not on the spectrum.

The one behavior that you might be on the look-out for is what's known as "Joint Attention". Joint Attention is a pretty good predictor of language and social development in infants. At 8 months, your dd should be beginning to show a bit of joint attention in the next two months, so don't freak out if she doesn't have them now.

Joint attention is the ability to engage another person in attention and the ability to follow where someone else is attending. For example, if you point to something, a typical 7-8 month old will not necessarily look in the direction you point. They'll sometimes look in that direction and sometimes look at the end of your finger. However, a 12 month old will follow the direction of your point nearly all the time. At 9 months, a baby will be able to follow your gaze and look in the same direction you are looking, witih this ability improving greatly over time. These skills continue to improve until kids are 3-4, and then they're pretty adult like.

To make matters more complicated, there are different kinds of joint attention, and only some are delayed in children with autism. Joint attention where you want to show someone something interesting or 'talk' about something is delayed. Kids with autism are particularly delayed in initiating these responses. Joint attention to request something (and object or help with something) doesn't seem to be as good a predictor.

For many behaviors, it's a matter of degree. So, many many infants are fascinated by ceiling fans. Our very NT loved the ceiling fan in my parents bedroom. When ds was an infant and we needed to go to Home Depot for something, ds and I hung out in the ceiling fan aisle while dh shopped. Ds has SPD but not autism.

Ditto for the water play. Babies and toddlers are very sensory learners. That's why preschools have sensory tables and sensory areas. They love to play with water, sand, beans, etc. Pouring and filling are huge activities for kids under age 5. So, wanting to play and pour is pretty typical.

Compare that to what AllyRae said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post
At 9-10 months old, he would sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and pour water back and forth for *hours* at a time. I am not kidding about that in the least...he would sit there, pour water back and forth, staring at it falling, and that was all he would do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post
When we'd try to play patty cake or peekaboo with him, we'd get absolutely no response--he would be deadpan.
From what you've listed, things that sound typical:
  • Makes eye contact
  • Plays patty-cake and itsy bitsy spider
  • Smiles freely at you and your dh
  • Responds to questions with appropriate non-verbal behavior (searching when asked where)
  • Babbling mostly consonants at 8 months
  • Has a few words (this is actually early for words!)
Things that might be of concern, might be personality, and might be sensory issues unconnected with autism:
  • resists being held closely (might be sensory, which often co-occurs with autism, they can definitely be separate). Some babies just aren't cuddly.
  • decrease in eye contact (but that could just mean she's busy doing other things)
  • tilt test (OK, I had to look this one up, and I'm not sure how much I believe the research; to me it sounds more like a test for early diagnosis of sensory issues. BUT sensory issues aren't automatically linked to autism. For those who are interested, here's a link.)

A couple of resources for you:
First Feelings: Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child
Building Healthy Minds: The Six Experiences that Create Intelligence and Emotional Growth in Babies and Young Children

Autism Speaks has a really interesting set of videos where they compare behaviors from children with autism vs. typically developing children. You have to login to see them, but I've never received any spam/solicitations from them. (Note: a lot of people object to their stance on autism, but I find this a helpful resource.) I don't know if they have any examples from children who are as young as your dd, but they do have some from 12-18 month olds. The Social Interaction section has a really good example of joint attention that I was described above.

Autism Speaks Video Glossary

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#8 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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I was concerned because Andrew wasn't consistently responding to his name when called and there was a different quality about his facial contact. He was very vocal as a baby and, in fact, his twin who is neurotypical was a later babbler, less "talkative" in babbling, less cuddly, etc. But Andrew was my easier baby when he wasn't in pain. He loved face/eye contact and imitation type games and peek a boo but I felt more like an entertainer than a back and forth partner like I did with his brother. There was a just a different quality.

But the typical signs at 12 months will be:
1. nonverbals missing or delayed (things like pointing--and particularly pointing to show you things or draw your attention, waving, etc.). My son was late to reach to be picked up, then late to point (14 months), very late to wave, nod head, etc. His twin could competently communicate with us using gestures long before he could speak.
2. lack of consistent response (turning toward) name when called. They will respond much less frequently compared to a neurotypical 12 month old.
3. less back and forth interactions like imitation, seeking, showing, etc. if I remember correctly.

This site has videos that show signs of autism in spectrum kids are various ages and how a neurotypical child responds. It's really complete. You have to register but it's immediate, free, and they have never contacted me.

http://www.firstsigns.org/asd_video_...sdvg_about.htm

Given the family history I think it's worth watching for her. I think you'll know more at 12 months and beyond than you can possibly tell now though.

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#9 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you SO much! It has really helped put my mind at (relative) ease!

She actually is VERY good about responding to certain things- her name, no, uh-uh, careful, etc- she'll stop what's she's doing (unless it's REAAAAALLLY nice, fun, dangerous, and/or disgusting thing, lol), look, and often stop the behavior and redirect herself.

We usually consider her to be "advanced" socially, as she is so engaged and attentive- we take her to the open mic my DH hosts once a week, and she simply doesn't take her eyes off the performers. Today she started putting her paci in my mouth and smiling like she won a million dollars, because that's not where the paci belongs! She also does it to a little toy monkey, and it's pretty hilarious.

I did a little experiment today to see how long she'd play by herself without fussing or seeking attention- 45 minutes this am (ended by falling, thus crying,) 1 hr 50 minutes at mid-day (same end result), and 1 hr this evening (are we sensing a trend with the falling and crying?) Obviously it's not something I'm going to continue, but I think in my efforts to stimulate her, she might have been overstimulated by one-on-one play? Regardless of how she continues to develop, I think this independent streak may well continue.

I'll check out the Autism Speaks videos- I'm well aware of the controversy surrounding them, but have never been one to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Thank you all so much! This forum is amazing, and I really appreciate everyone's input.

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#10 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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Ds was different in a lot of ways as a baby.He hand flapped constantly,especially when watching a ceiling fan.He would rock in his high chair for hours if I let him.He ate very little solids until about 2yo,he would just gag on the texture.Now he eats everything and anything,.He still hand flaps on occasion,at 9yo.He was and still is a screamer.Like high pitched screams.He would play for hours with his trains,lining them up and playing with the wheels.He's always had difficulty with eye contact.He gets frustrated very easily,anything little can set him off and he's off for the day,screaming,banging on things,only I can calm him down,mostly with tight hugs and having him look me in the eyes and talking calmly to him.Then he'll just cry for a minute and be ok for a while.I knew from very early he was different.He hit all milestones late,pulled up at about 12 months and crawled at about the same time,walked around 17 months.Had very little words until about 3yo.He's had open heart surgery so we knew some things may be late,but not as late as he was.It took until he was 6yo for us to finally get a diagnosis,of Asperger's.

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#11 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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how did your kids with ASD behave as 6-12-month-olds? Esp your mildly-ASD girls.
my DD is 13 years old and her current dx is Asperger's. Because she is very high functioning, she was hard to dx. Even at age 3, they said "autistic like behaviors" rather than ASD.

My first piece of advice is to make peace with the not-knowing. Because you can't know now, and not for a long time. And if she is on the spectrum, you still won't know what it really means for her. I still don't really know what it means for my DD, and she's taller than me!

Quote:
I guess my only major concern is that because she's so alert and engaging (and female) that if she is on the spectrum, it won't get caught until her childhood years.
What difference would it make? If she has a speech delay, then get her into speech therapy. If she has other delays and issues, work with them specifically. You don't need a label of autism to get her what she needs.

Quote:
We plan on homeschooling regardless, so I guess I also think early intervention, if needed, really needs to be initiated by us.
Early intervention is for children who aren't school aged, so I don't see what difference your plans to homeschool make. In my experience, the parents are the one's who generally notice something is up with a child, even very mainstream parents.

Back to your main question -- my DD was a very easy baby, liked me and her daddy but not other people, seldom cried, and hit all milestones slightly late. She was generally happy and very beautiful. Strangers would stop me to tell me what a beautiful and sweet baby she was. It wasn't until she was 2 that she really seemed different.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 20 Old 08-14-2010, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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my DD is 13 years old and her current dx is Asperger's. Because she is very high functioning, she was hard to dx. Even at age 3, they said "autistic like behaviors" rather than ASD.

My first piece of advice is to make peace with the not-knowing. Because you can't know now, and not for a long time. And if she is on the spectrum, you still won't know what it really means for her. I still don't really know what it means for my DD, and she's taller than me!



What difference would it make? If she has a speech delay, then get her into speech therapy. If she has other delays and issues, work with them specifically. You don't need a label of autism to get her what she needs.



Early intervention is for children who aren't school aged, so I don't see what difference your plans to homeschool make. In my experience, the parents are the one's who generally notice something is up with a child, even very mainstream parents.

Back to your main question -- my DD was a very easy baby, liked me and her daddy but not other people, seldom cried, and hit all milestones slightly late. She was generally happy and very beautiful. Strangers would stop me to tell me what a beautiful and sweet baby she was. It wasn't until she was 2 that she really seemed different.
Thanks for this!

I guess I've read too many stories from parent of special needs kids (including my own parents- my youngest sister has CP, and I had a sister with Prader-Wilii who sadly passed on at 10 months) where concerns are dismissed out of hand. By no means do I want a dx where nothing exists, though. But you're right, I think, that girls with high-functioning ASD aren't so easy to spot early. M, Vivi's half-sister, only got a dx this year, though the possibility has been lurking in her parent's brains for years.

And I totally see your point re. early intervention. I guess I meant "intervening early" as opposed to EI programs. With my own social deficits, it's hard for me to gauge other's social ease or strengths, and as she won't have 15-20 age-appropriate peers around her every day, I do worry about my own ability to see issues as they arise. Regardless of her state of NT or ASD, I'll be looking for some good tools to teach her social stuff so my issues don't become hers, KWIM?

We have a great ped, and I think he'll take our current concerns to heart, and stay observant and proactive along with us. She'll develop however she develops, and hopefully, if we just remain vigilant, we'll be able to get her the hypothetical assistance she needs early.

Thank you very much!

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#13 of 20 Old 08-14-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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It wasn't until she was 2 that she really seemed different.
Same here. When ds was two, I did my best to shift focus away from those differences, and by the time he turned 3, I started to be alarmed. Having a diagnosis wouldn't have helped, except in getting speech therapy. It might have hurt, because it may have changed my perception of him and the way I interacted with him. (OTOH, I might have been more proactive with speeech and social interactions, but ymmv.)

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Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#14 of 20 Old 08-14-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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With my own social deficits, it's hard for me to gauge other's social ease or strengths, and as she won't have 15-20 age-appropriate peers around her every day, I do worry about my own ability to see issues as they arise. Regardless of her state of NT or ASD, I'll be looking for some good tools to teach her social stuff so my issues don't become hers, KWIM?
The good news is that infants and young children actually learn much more about social interaction from the adults around them than they do from young peers. And it would probably be good for you (and her) to join a homeschooling group so that she has an opportunity to interact with other kids. These groups are nice because there are often kids in a range of ages, so she'll get to see more sophisticated skills, and she'll have to adjust to younger children as she ages. The key would be to find a group where you feel comfortable.

Another idea is to look at the Floortime literature and RDI (relationship development intervention). Not so much because it sounds like she needs help, but because it might give you a structured way to interact with her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
We have a great ped, and I think he'll take our current concerns to heart, and stay observant and proactive along with us. She'll develop however she develops, and hopefully, if we just remain vigilant, we'll be able to get her the hypothetical assistance she needs early.
That's great! I think that's a good attitude to have. Just make sure that you enjoy her while remaining vigilant. She's a beautiful child, and she sounds super smart and focused. Have fun!

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#15 of 20 Old 08-14-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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My son wasn't diagnosed until age 2, but there were many red flags before that. He never went through a babbling stage. The most words he's ever had were about 15 when he was 18 months, and he would say them out of context and inappropriately. By age 2, he "lost' them and has since been nonverbal.
DS also never went through separation anxiety as an infant. He would be totally content to play by himself and made little distinction between family and strangers.
By the time he could crawl (7-8 months), he would line his toys up. If you would try to engage him in pattycake or peekaboo he would arch his back, turn away from you and start screeching.
Now, not sure if this is totally relevant, but I'm convinced it's connected. DS also had serious breast feeding issues. He did not want to be held close for long periods of time and would often refuse to latch or would react to being breast fed as being tortuous. He would scream and cry.

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#16 of 20 Old 08-22-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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My son is recently diagnosed, nearly 3. I suspected his autism - his peds never did. I urge you to go with your gut.

As for pursuing an early diagnosis..

I can see it both ways. On one hand, I am glad in a way that I had the time I had with my son pre-diagnosis. It's hard to articulate (and I hope what I'm writing doesn't offend anyone) but I think it had something to do with.. well, I can't explain it really. It's too personal, and would take too many words, but just know that I loved my son pre-diagnosis and I love him now, so it has nothing to do with that..

On the other hand, for some parents, an early diagnosis may change some things... like how they vaccinate (or don't), or when they introduce dairy/gluten (or don't)... or how they limit toxins... or the toys they choose (my son's playroom looks drastically different now than it did at age 1)

For other parents, they might not vax/avoid dairy/have all wooden-non-flashy toys anyway.

and then some parents have children with autism and vax. or consume dairy.

(I'm trying to be as non offensive as possible while til trying to explain my thoughts)

You've gotten some really good suggestions in this thread here. Things I *WISH* my ped had asked me about, encouraged me to look for: pointing/gesturing, joint attention, consistently responding to name...
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#17 of 20 Old 08-22-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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My son was also an easy baby, from what I have read a lot of babies on the spectrum are. My son excelled in every area as a baby, he was so smart, started crawling at 6 months, walking at 8. By the time he was 1 year he could say 5 words appropiatly. (Momma, Dadda, Duck, Yellow, and Stop) He also knew many signs.
He loved to be around kids, he would run back and forth with them for hours.
About 13-14 months my son had major regression... He lost all language, receptive and expressive. He lost all of his social skills, he was still good with mommy and daddy but in an area with kids he was terrified. He was also terrified of new adults.
His pedi said that regression was normal, she was such a idiot, at this time he also had many sensory issues I had mentioned to her and she ignored and I let it go because I had never heard of sensory issues.
Anyways I found another pedi, found tesing in the area and got my son the help he needs. My son is doing wonderful because of early intervention. Do not wait if you are concerned... try to find answers, a lot of people will say... just wait and see, don't... get help fast. If you don't get a dx, it is okay, as long as your child is getting the help she needs.
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#18 of 20 Old 08-22-2010, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone!

I had a loooooong talk with Mira's mom (for those just tuning in, I gave birth to Mira at 17, made an adoption plan, and we have a wonderful, very open adoption.) the other day.

Mira was a "perfect" baby- she never cried, was alert and engaging, made great eye contact, etc. The only issue she had as a young baby/toddler was low tone- she never crawled, just scooted, and continues to have low-tone today.

Her issues didn't really come out til 5ish, but even then they were put under the umbrella of "being so spooky smart that of course she can't relate to kids her age." As she's gotten older, her issues have become more pronounced.

Transitions are especially hard for her- she needs a lot of predictability, and a plan laid out ahead of time to do anything. She hates large groups of people, and while she does have kids she calls friends, she'll never be a social butterfly. She has some sensory issues- many are the same that I had for a long time- like only eating white food, etc.

Based on that, I do think I'm looking for zebras with Valentine right now. She may well "grow into" some ASD traits, but I think her infancy is well within the "normal" range.

I will be bringing concerns up with her ped next month, so we can both stay proactive, but other than that, DH and I are just not worried about it. We plan on incorporating Floortime, and some social tools used with ASD kids in our early preschooling with her, as learning about emotions etc certainly isn't going to hurt her.

Thanks again, for everyone's continued input! I'm learning a lot!

Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.

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#19 of 20 Old 11-02-2011, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought I would update a bit. (I actually rediscovered this thread doing an image search for "Moebius mouth" again, and V's picture came up! Our newborn has the same mouth, and a lot of the same chillaxed mannerisms, but Arya's her own person etc etc.)

 

V's 22-months-old now, and is simply an amazing little kid. We suspect more and more that she's not NT, but, you know what? She is who she is. She's highly verbal now and has just this week started hugging. We were kind of "huh, she should probably hug by now, huh?" and actually showed her how to do it and told her that it makes people very happy to get a hug. She loves hugging us now, and often hugs and kisses her 6-week-old sister.

 

She was almost exactly 18-months old before she asked for me, or said "mama" deliberately, despite having 50ish words. You better believe I cried the first time she asked for "mama?!" when my DH was putting her to bed. 

 

She's very physically active and ahead of the curve in her physical development, though clumsy, as one might expect from a not-quite-2-yr-old. She'll parallel-play if it's quiet enough and if the other child is calm and focusing on play, but otherwise she's far, far more engaged with her environment than with other children. She's a brilliantly funny and clever kiddo, and while her language is 90% echolaliac (which could very well be age-appropriate?) she does ask for things without being cued, and has novel sentences.

 

She's still not a cuddle-seeking kiddo, and since she started sleeping in her crib at night, at 9 months, she's only slept while touching us once. It was a lovely half-hour. ; D

 

We shall see what life brings us, but as I become more comfortable with the upsides of AS while at the same time recognizing my deficits and working toward adapting in a more typical way, esp socially, I become more "meh" about the what-ifs. 

 

Thanks again for the awesome advice.


Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.

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#20 of 20 Old 11-02-2011, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh- (is the edit button missing? I've been gone so long from here!) I received a formal dx of Asperger's from a center that focuses entirely on ASD in December of last year, which came as no big surprise to anyone.


Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.

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