Paranoid about autism in toddler - any insight? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 03-27-2011, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS2 is 16 months old, and I'm concerned he may have some signs of autism. For what it's worth, ASD is very prevalent in my family (2 uncles, 2 nephews, possibly brother). DS1 was very verbal at this age, and very social, so I'm not sure if I'm just comparing when I shouldn't, or if there is something else here. I did mention it to his dr. last month who completely brushed me off because my DS looked at him and shook his head no when he asked him something. The dr. said that kids on the spectrum didn't engage that well, and that I was imagining things. Here is what I'm concerned about:

 

-no real words other than the occasional mama (in context) and dog (he also uses it to mean cat);

-very poor eye contact when in my arms. He simply will not look at me;

-started spinning and toe-walking a few weeks ago. He seems to find it funny, but he's hard to distract from doing it;

-as an infant, hated to be held unless it was to nurse. He does like to be held now and will give hugs;

-seems very serious and rarely smiles, although will sometimes return a smile;

-seems distant at times, like he's here but not really.

 

Here's what he does do:

 

-he points with his finger at what he wants;

-he has fairly good eye contact when he's not in my arms. He'll look at my eyes when I talk to him, but will immediately avert his gaze if I get too close (about a foot). I have never been able to gaze into his eyes unless I am tickling him;

-shakes head no, nods, waves bye-bye, can clap when asked, although rarely unprompted (to show excitement, for example);

-understands 2-step instructions (take your shirt off and put it in the laundry hamper, take the blue ball out of the closet and give it to DS1...);

-responds to his name consistently;

-plays great with toys (knows how to race cars, feed dolls, pour tea, build towers...);

-follows my gaze when I look at things and say ''look'' (even without pointing).

 

I can't think of anything else right now, but I'm sure there is more...

 

I know that there are things here that seem very normal, and others that are ''flags''... anyone have any insight? I don't know if I`m just overly paranoid because of the family history, or if I'm just in denial.

 

I did do the M-Chat by the way and he doesn't fail any critical questions. The other quiz (the PDD one, I believe) gives me a very low score.

 

Thanks.

 


Mommy to The Boy (August 2006) and Another Boy (November 2009)
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#2 of 10 Old 03-27-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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Hi Mama,

Follow your instincts. Before the birth of my daughter I taught special ed., and also have individuals with ASD in my family. I obviously am in no position to diagnose your son, but if you feel there is a chance he may be displaying signs of PPD/NOS I would def pursue an evaluation. My cousin was diagnosed with this and greatly benefited from the early intervention. Big hugs to you and good luck!
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#3 of 10 Old 03-28-2011, 01:34 AM
 
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There is no harm in having a professional evaluation, then you will know for sure. 


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#4 of 10 Old 03-28-2011, 04:36 AM
 
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I have a friend whose eldest is dx ASD and the baby (same age as yours) is starting to concern the mum too.  TBH he isn't doing anything on your list of stuff your son IS doing (no clapping or waving, no words at all, only just began to babble, no pointing and cannot follow a point, no "interactive" play with anyone else, when he wants his bottle he stares at the bottle and cries, doesn't seek his carers' attention..i could go on).  He has fairly good eye contact, but he has an odd "gaze" - he sort of looks through your eyes rather than into them.  

 

My eldest DD had many of the things on your first list, and has mostly grown out of them.  My father is Aspie and there is a lot of Aspergers and ASD in my family, so like you i was on the look out.  I have come to the conclusion that she has a few traits, like me, but nothing worth getting a dx for since it's not interfering with her life - i purposefully kept her out of nursery until she was ready to start school, which she does in August, aged 5.5, so she wouldn't be cared for by others while she was still having these problems (she also had a lot of issues with certain sounds).

 

I think if you're worried you should look into getting an evaluation done.  

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#5 of 10 Old 03-28-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asparagus78 View Post

I did mention it to his dr. last month who completely brushed me off because my DS looked at him and shook his head no when he asked him something. The dr. said that kids on the spectrum didn't engage that well, and that I was imagining things.

 

Dump this doctor--or any doctor that actually responds to your concerns with "your're imagining things". Autism is a spectrum and a child on the mild end (Asperger's) could still behave that way and be on the spectrum.

 

You could contact your school district's early intervention program; also, you could try a DAN doctor; there may not be anything "wrong" at this point (your child may still be developing in the normal range) but you deserve a doctor that will take your concerns seriously, particularly with your family history.

 



 


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#6 of 10 Old 03-28-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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He sounds a little bit like my oldest. It wasn't an ASD. It was Mixed Expressive-Receptive Language Disorder.  

 

If I were worried, I'd get a developmental psych or developmental pediatrician to evaluate it. If he needs speech therapy, the sooner you start, the better.

 

 

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#7 of 10 Old 04-05-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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  Some of the things you mentioned would concern me too, particularly given your family history, but it seems as though he is also showing some good skills, particularly with regard to imitation/play.

  How does he respond to disruptions or unsolicited intervention with his routines? His play? Can you get a game going of throwing balls in a bucket-handing them to him- and what might he do if you stop? Will he try to get a ball from you? Will he go get one from across the room and resume play? Does he have shared intent at all?

  Can you be silly to get him to laugh- maybe roughhousing a little and tickling? How does he let you know he wants things?

  Can you grab him and love him up when he's spinning to switch his focus to you?

Because he is so little there is a wide range of skills for communication, specifically. Have you noticed any hearing issues/sensitivities? Does his behavior change in any way that you can see with certain foods?

  Of course I know that these are lots of questions but hopefully it might get you to be able to look specifically at how he is coping with his environment, which is a major factor with kids on the spectrum....

  You , and your baby, deserve a doctor who respects your concerns. Regardless of how he continues to develop- and I hope he's just fine- no mother's concerns should be dismissed like that. I would ask trusted nearby friends who they have for a pedi and go elsewhere.

  One more thing strikes me as I reread your post- you might want to also bring him to a developmental optometrist as you mentioned a few times that he has issues with things up close....

   I hope he's okay and you are able to get whatever help and/or reassurance you need.

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#8 of 10 Old 04-06-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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I have three children and my oldest has HFA (High-Functioning Autism).  This is different from Aspergers in that she has delayed language, which most Aspie's do not.  She will be 7 next month and she was diagnosed when she was 5, much older than most.  

 

Autism is a spectrum disorder - no two children are alike and symptoms vary greatly.  I, too, had a doctor (whom I loved) who dismissed my early concerns as each child developing at a different rate.  In my gut, I knew something was amiss, but I was a first time mom and I trusted my doctor to be the wisdom.  Boy, I wish I had listened to my instincts - we mamas have them for a reason!  Even when she was being evaluated by Psychologists and Neurologists, my pediatrician still insisted that she does not "look" like she has autism.  He is no longer caring for our children.

 

My daughter NEVER did any type of imaginary play.  She had a baby doll that she clung to (still has it), but she just carried around - did not take care of the doll, or feed it things, or pretend with it.  I have a two year old girl who plays tea party EVERY day, and I never "taught" her to do it, she just simply did.  My ASD daughter played with cars and blocks and pattern toys, only she lined them up or stacked them or organized them.  She also didn't speak well.  She repeated things - like a parrot.  She stared - through you.  She was unresponsive to her name, she didn't sleep, she would tantrum and hit herself, she would rock on her stomach.  She would hide under tables, she would hold her ears, she would feel no pain, she would laugh when people cried.  Oh, there is so much more.  BUT, this didn't happen all at once, it was gradual.  I was in denial, I think.

 

Anyway, none of my story matters other than:  TRUST YOURSELF.  If you feel there is a problem, have him evaluated.  Early intervention is key.  And, without seeing a doctor, there are lots of things you can do to see if there are other components.  See if any foods exacerbate his behaviors, have a blood draw to see if he has any nutritional deficiencies, engage him in things to see if he responds.  

 

Big, big {{hugs}} to you. I hope you get some answers.  If you have any questions, I am an open book and awareness never hurt anyone. :) 

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#9 of 10 Old 04-14-2011, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

 

My eldest DD had many of the things on your first list, and has mostly grown out of them.  My father is Aspie and there is a lot of Aspergers and ASD in my family, so like you i was on the look out.  I have come to the conclusion that she has a few traits, like me, but nothing worth getting a dx for since it's not interfering with her life - i purposefully kept her out of nursery until she was ready to start school, which she does in August, aged 5.5, so she wouldn't be cared for by others while she was still having these problems (she also had a lot of issues with certain sounds).

 

I think if you're worried you should look into getting an evaluation done.  


Thanks for sharing your story. I suspect that I probably do have some traits as well, and my brother is very likely HFA.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by kanga2roo View Post

  How does he respond to disruptions or unsolicited intervention with his routines?

He's pretty laid back, and usually goes with the flow. TBH, we don't really have a routine; we eat, play and sleep when we feel like it!

His play? Can you get a game going of throwing balls in a bucket-handing them to him- and what might he do if you stop? Will he try to get a ball from you? Will he go get one from across the room and resume play?

He likes to play with others. I did try the game you mentioned and when I stopped playing, he looked at me perplexed and pointed at the ball and motioned for me to hand it to him. Is that good?

Does he have shared intent at all?

Not sure... do you mean him showing me stuff? Then yes.

  Can you be silly to get him to laugh- maybe roughhousing a little and tickling?

He loves being tickled and roughhoused. That always makes him laugh.

How does he let you know he wants things?

He points and says ``dat-dat`` (which I think is from me saying ''you want that? That?''

  Can you grab him and love him up when he's spinning to switch his focus to you?

I usually have to wait until he falls, then he stops. He never spins for more than 2-3 minutes at a time, and can go days without doing it. It worries me though because DS1 never did that, and one of my nephews with ASD spins every time he's anxious.

Because he is so little there is a wide range of skills for communication, specifically. Have you noticed any hearing issues/sensitivities?

No. No sound sensitivities, and he seems to hear fine. He responds to all types of noise, and his name.

 Does his behavior change in any way that you can see with certain foods?

No, and he eats very well. No processed foods at all.

  Of course I know that these are lots of questions but hopefully it might get you to be able to look specifically at how he is coping with his environment, which is a major factor with kids on the spectrum....

  You , and your baby, deserve a doctor who respects your concerns. Regardless of how he continues to develop- and I hope he's just fine- no mother's concerns should be dismissed like that. I would ask trusted nearby friends who they have for a pedi and go elsewhere.

  One more thing strikes me as I reread your post- you might want to also bring him to a developmental optometrist as you mentioned a few times that he has issues with things up close....

   I hope he's okay and you are able to get whatever help and/or reassurance you need.


Thanks kanga2roo. I hope you can elaborate on my answers to your questions.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Straysod View Post

 

My daughter NEVER did any type of imaginary play.  She had a baby doll that she clung to (still has it), but she just carried around - did not take care of the doll, or feed it things, or pretend with it.  I have a two year old girl who plays tea party EVERY day, and I never "taught" her to do it, she just simply did.  My ASD daughter played with cars and blocks and pattern toys, only she lined them up or stacked them or organized them.  She also didn't speak well.  She repeated things - like a parrot.  She stared - through you.  She was unresponsive to her name, she didn't sleep, she would tantrum and hit herself, she would rock on her stomach.  She would hide under tables, she would hold her ears, she would feel no pain, she would laugh when people cried.  Oh, there is so much more.  BUT, this didn't happen all at once, it was gradual.  I was in denial, I think.

 

Anyway, none of my story matters other than:  TRUST YOURSELF.  If you feel there is a problem, have him evaluated.  Early intervention is key.  And, without seeing a doctor, there are lots of things you can do to see if there are other components.  See if any foods exacerbate his behaviors, have a blood draw to see if he has any nutritional deficiencies, engage him in things to see if he responds.  

 

Big, big {{hugs}} to you. I hope you get some answers.  If you have any questions, I am an open book and awareness never hurt anyone. :) 



Thanks Straysod. I do think he has some imaginary play, although I understand that 16 months is a tad young to be doing a lot of creative play. But he does understand how to play with toys, and doesn't stack, line up, or mouth them.

 

Thanks everyone. I will ask for an evaluation, if only for my peace of mind. I see autism in everything he does now, and this cannot be healthy.

 


Mommy to The Boy (August 2006) and Another Boy (November 2009)
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#10 of 10 Old 05-14-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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I'm so sorry I must have missed your post somehow! The info you gave in response to my post was encouraging. He seems to have good relational skills.

   re the ball throwing game- heres a rec.  As soon as he glances at you, he's asking. Immediately give him another ball. Have a little stash ( assorted sizes/types/colors will help to be sure he can generalize) and keep giving them to him one at a time. If you can get another person to be next to him, have them help sign and say "give" ( one finger touching the other palm, or if pointing is tricky just adapt it and hit one hand with his other one). Right away give him the ball. Have fun with it. When it becomes solid that he looks to you and asks ( in whatever way he can) move the bucket quickly while he's not looking. Vary the location. Introduce the sign/word "throw". After a few cycles give him a beanbag to throw instead of a ball. Can he shift? Will he continue? You can develop lots of little systems- like throwing wooden alphabet blocks in water, sending cars down ramps, blowing up a balloon and handing it to him to hold while it deflates, then he "give"s it back to you, etc.

   Think simple, repetitive systems. Fun kid stuff. Cause and effect toys, dramatic visuals/sensory like the balloon. Have him "give " everywhere and you ask that of him too. Its a very powerful word to learn! Later you can have him watch you put the beanbag on a little pull toy wagon, he needs to pull the string to get it and throw it. Next time maybe send him a few cars in a row to send down the ramp, then back to a beanbag. Maybe encourage him to point to what he wants you to put in the wagon. Put the toy in a zip lock bag or box, so now he has to pull the string, then open the container, then decide what he needs to do with the toy.

  These types of things are fun for most any little kid, whether they have learning challenges or are on the spectrum, or not.

Just reread you post- if he loves tickles try this- stand a few feet away from him, with another adult behind him. Have him be helped to say/sign "come". Dramatically step towards him. Do it again, then get to him and tickle him. Can you move further away- maybe 5 reps of "come"will be needed before you get to him ( try to figure out his zone of intention. How far away can you be before you are out of sight/mind/contact with him). Be dramatic when you come to him, Have your tickle fingers out and wiggling. Make eye contact and show your excitement as you play. You want to teach him that he can control and affect his environment with his words and actions. Be as useful to him as you can throughout many little play times and use the few words you are working on in lots of different scenarios to generalize his learning.

  Hth- pm me if you'd like anytime...

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