Early signs of autism...please help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-24-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I believe my baby is showing early signs of autism.  Please tell me 1) if your child with autism displayed these types of symptoms at a very early age  and 2) how your child functions now...is your child mild, moderate, severe?  Did he/she regress at some point and when exactly?

 

I would love some input on how autism happened in your family exactly...a timeline, if you will.  I'm feeling upset and nervous, mostly because I feel like I don't know what to expect.  My biggest fear is that my child will get worse, regress, and she will be unable to be affectionate.

 

 

Here's what we're dealing with:

 

-She's almost 13 months old

 

-Her older sister is 8 and is undiagnosed, but in all likelihood is on the spectrum somewhere (probably asperger's)

 

-She was a late crawler (11 months)

 

-She doesn't walk yet, but she does pull up and tries to take small steps

 

-She doesn't talk, but she babbles a good bit

 

-She doesn't always seem to know her name; sometimes it's very hard to get her attention

 

-She's always had odd behavior in which she repeats things over and over, get's "stuck"

 

-She can make eye contact, but it's inconsistent, on her terms only, and typically very limited (looks away quickly)

 

-She avoids my kisses.  :(  She pushes my face away and seems annoyed/uncomfortable

 

-She seemed to learn to give kisses at one time, but then dropped it.  She did the same with a few other interactions...picked them up briefly (and weakly) then dropped them.

 

- She doesn't play right with her toys.  She throws her blocks around, one by one.  Or picks them each up to put them in the box, then gets them each out and starts over again.  She flips the electronic toys over and fiddles with the on/off switch.

 

- She doesn't smile as much as I'd like.  She's often very serious.

 

- She flaps.  :(   When she's upset or overwhelmed, she flaps her hands, turning them round and round at the wrists.  She does this a few times a day at least. 

 

 

Now, she does wave bye-bye.  She does get playful, just not as much as I'd expect...playfulness is short-lived and she gets overwhelmed and tired, then clings to me and puts her two fingers in her mouth to soothe herself. 

 

 

I have an appointment for an infant development screening on August 7th.  We're going to take whatever steps we need to get her evaluated and get her some help.  She's never been seen by a pediatrician...she's never been sick...was born at home...no vaccines or other meds.

 

These behaviors have gotten worse in the last couple of months, and I only took notice of them as being a developmental problem quite recently.

 

I'm terrified that I'm going to watch my baby slip away.  Please offer whatever advice you think I could use.


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#2 of 15 Old 07-24-2012, 01:18 PM
 
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A lot of what you posted are completely developmentally appropriate.  That being said, obviously your Mommy Sense is tingling and the only thing that will really help is to see a specialist which is what you are doing.

 

{{{hugs}}}

 

Keep in mind - no matter if she's on the spectrum or not, you are getting her help and that's all that matters.  The #1 thing with developmental delays (all) is the earlier you get help, the better off your child will be.


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#3 of 15 Old 07-24-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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Has she had her hearing checked? One of my kids had minor hearing problems that contributed to it being hard to get her attention. Many people think of hearing in black and white terms, but that isn't the case. Some kids, like mine, can hear, but not well enough to interact normally.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 15 Old 07-24-2012, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She has not had her hearing tested. I'm making an appointment to get that done ASAP.

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#5 of 15 Old 07-24-2012, 04:22 PM
 
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That is one of the first things they are going to ask at the Developmental screening, if her hearing has been checked. It would be great if you could go in there with that already done. You want to go to an audiologist. DS1 was also born at home, we had his hearing tested at 7 months I think because there were already some developmental concerns going on. The test took between 1-2 hours, my mind is fuzzy now abut it.

 

We don't vax either and it is certainly your right not to have a pedi, but it may make things easier to get one, even before the screening. Some people and places can get caught up on the fact that there is no MD involved in the child's life, add in a home birth, and you may raise eyebrows. I truly do not say this with judgement on my side, my first child did not have a pedi until she was 4, I understand, I really do. If you go in there with a HB, no vaxs if they ask, no doc, the child has never been seen, etc... you may get a person that is totally fine with it and just moves on OR you can get someone who is more judgmental and might create issues where they should not be. I am not even talking about CPS, but rather that the screening takes another focus or that they do not listen to your concerns because they have already written you of as a nutcase. I have been here, done that before. Once you have a pedi, you have a pedi, there is no reason to say that you JUST got a pedi. winky.gif And then you are able to fill out all the forms with that person's name instead of having to explain and explain. You get my drift? 


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#6 of 15 Old 07-24-2012, 07:06 PM
 
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I am sorry you are going through this, but I must commend you for being so in tuned to your baby.  Whatever happens, she is in the best care.  So many parents do not know what to look for or just wait and see.  Then they loose valuable time to provide intervention.

 

I do see the concerns from the list of her behaviors.  As the previous poster has mentioned, she definitely needs her hearing checked.  Children can have fluid in their ears for weeks before displaying any signs of an illness.  That is during a critical time when she needs to hear in order to develop language.  The inconsistent eye contact and response to name is a concern if her hearing is okay.  Also the repetitive behaviors, which includes getting "stuck."  I do have a question ~ you mentioned that she has always been healthy.  Does she have any food intolerances or allergies you might be aware of even though she has not seen a doctor?  She has no gastrointestinal issues, ie gas, loose stools, constipation, etc?  I only mention this because in treating my children using biomedical and dietary interventions, allergies/ intolerances and even certain health problems can cause a regression in development or behavior.  Just wanted you to keep that in the back of your mind.  My eldest (DD) shared a few of the behaviors you described about your DD.  We discovered she had an intolerance dairy and her health improved, ie eczema disappeared, stools improved, was more focused and started communicating appropriately.  Instead of labeling everything (on her terms), she actually put 2 words together "want juice."  She still has autism, but she has made tremendous gains from being a nonverbal, uncontrollable toddler just diagnosed.

 

(((HUGS))) - I hope you find the answers you seek and hope her evals go well.
 

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#7 of 15 Old 07-24-2012, 08:35 PM
 
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She's very young to be considered for ASD. Most symptoms of ASD only appear as such because those behaviors should occur developmentally but don't, such as pointing, turn-taking and socializing, not using imaginative play, etc. At 13 months, repetitive play, such as with blocks, is very developmentally appropriate, as is babbling but not talking yet.

I can see why you'd have hightened concerns due to your older child, but I don't really see anything in your post that suggests it, especially at this age. If 3-5 more months go by and she is still doing some of these things, then you might want to get her checked out just to make sure. But I think it's too early.

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#8 of 15 Old 07-25-2012, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SpottedFoxx View Post

A lot of what you posted are completely developmentally appropriate.  That being said, obviously your Mommy Sense is tingling and the only thing that will really help is to see a specialist which is what you are doing.

 

{{{hugs}}}

 

Keep in mind - no matter if she's on the spectrum or not, you are getting her help and that's all that matters.  The #1 thing with developmental delays (all) is the earlier you get help, the better off your child will be.

 

Thank you.  I just want to do right by her.  My oldest had quite a different situation...she was a calm, sweet baby who turned into a living nightmare after a set of vaccines, so I've always automatically attributed her issues to the shots.  I still do, but I know that a genetic predisposition could certainly play a role in susceptibility, whether or not there's an obvious environmental trigger in the picture.

 

After struggling to get my oldest daughter help through the medical community in my area, and hitting many walls, my husband and I eventually gave up on mainstream medicine as being something useful to the average person (modern medicine certainly has a place in unique situations of course). 

 

So this was our third baby...we had a homebirth with a fantastic midwife, baby was healthy, our nurse midwife checked her over at 3 weeks and that was good enough for us.  I'm feeling...not guilty about the way we've gone about it, but bummed out because she's supposed to be the picture of health that I know most children can be when breastfed, loved, and cared for (my middle daughter fits this model well.)

 

Now I feel like I'm facing screenings and evaluations and doctor's visits that I did not anticipate for her, and it has really, really got me down.  I feel like it's possible my whole family will look down on us with that "tsk tsk" attitude for not doing well checks (even though in all likelihood a ped  would not have caught any of these things this early).

 

 

Sorry for the rambling.  :(


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#9 of 15 Old 07-25-2012, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Peony View Post

That is one of the first things they are going to ask at the Developmental screening, if her hearing has been checked. It would be great if you could go in there with that already done. You want to go to an audiologist. DS1 was also born at home, we had his hearing tested at 7 months I think because there were already some developmental concerns going on. The test took between 1-2 hours, my mind is fuzzy now abut it.

 

We don't vax either and it is certainly your right not to have a pedi, but it may make things easier to get one, even before the screening. Some people and places can get caught up on the fact that there is no MD involved in the child's life, add in a home birth, and you may raise eyebrows. I truly do not say this with judgement on my side, my first child did not have a pedi until she was 4, I understand, I really do. If you go in there with a HB, no vaxs if they ask, no doc, the child has never been seen, etc... you may get a person that is totally fine with it and just moves on OR you can get someone who is more judgmental and might create issues where they should not be. I am not even talking about CPS, but rather that the screening takes another focus or that they do not listen to your concerns because they have already written you of as a nutcase. I have been here, done that before. Once you have a pedi, you have a pedi, there is no reason to say that you JUST got a pedi. winky.gif And then you are able to fill out all the forms with that person's name instead of having to explain and explain. You get my drift? 


Thanks so much.  We're looking into getting a pediatrician, and if we don't have one by the time she's going through the screening process, we're not opposed to lying.  lol  No reason to raise anyone's eyebrows when they most likely just jot the name down on their form.


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#10 of 15 Old 07-25-2012, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by buttercup View Post

I am sorry you are going through this, but I must commend you for being so in tuned to your baby.  Whatever happens, she is in the best care.  So many parents do not know what to look for or just wait and see.  Then they loose valuable time to provide intervention.

 

I do see the concerns from the list of her behaviors.  As the previous poster has mentioned, she definitely needs her hearing checked.  Children can have fluid in their ears for weeks before displaying any signs of an illness.  That is during a critical time when she needs to hear in order to develop language.  The inconsistent eye contact and response to name is a concern if her hearing is okay.  Also the repetitive behaviors, which includes getting "stuck."  I do have a question ~ you mentioned that she has always been healthy.  Does she have any food intolerances or allergies you might be aware of even though she has not seen a doctor?  She has no gastrointestinal issues, ie gas, loose stools, constipation, etc?  I only mention this because in treating my children using biomedical and dietary interventions, allergies/ intolerances and even certain health problems can cause a regression in development or behavior.  Just wanted you to keep that in the back of your mind.  My eldest (DD) shared a few of the behaviors you described about your DD.  We discovered she had an intolerance dairy and her health improved, ie eczema disappeared, stools improved, was more focused and started communicating appropriately.  Instead of labeling everything (on her terms), she actually put 2 words together "want juice."  She still has autism, but she has made tremendous gains from being a nonverbal, uncontrollable toddler just diagnosed.

 

(((HUGS))) - I hope you find the answers you seek and hope her evals go well.
 


Thank you...we haven't noticed any food sensitivities. She's still nursing although our nursing relationship has been a bit shaky (due to my having to travel for work) and there's been some supplementing involved (mostly powdered goat's milk) especially as an older baby.  When we see a pediatrician, and hopefully we can find a really good one who has knowledge on holistic/natural medicine, we'll certainly bring the topic of nutrition up.


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#11 of 15 Old 07-25-2012, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by PikkuMyy View Post

She's very young to be considered for ASD. Most symptoms of ASD only appear as such because those behaviors should occur developmentally but don't, such as pointing, turn-taking and socializing, not using imaginative play, etc. At 13 months, repetitive play, such as with blocks, is very developmentally appropriate, as is babbling but not talking yet.
I can see why you'd have hightened concerns due to your older child, but I don't really see anything in your post that suggests it, especially at this age. If 3-5 more months go by and she is still doing some of these things, then you might want to get her checked out just to make sure. But I think it's too early.

 

Thank you so much! :)


The repetitive thing is more than playing.  It's an oddity that I noticed about her since she was a newborn.  If her eye catches something, such as a bright window, she'll become mesmerized by it for a moment, then break free, but then return to repeat the glance and be mesmerized again.  20 or 30 times in a row, or until I break her attention away from it.  It looks very neurotic, and I don't believe she's playing.  It's like she gets stuck.

 

I hope that these things will fade away and just be one of the quirks she went through as a baby, I really do.  But if there's a possibility this is leading to a regression or a continuing developmental delay, then I want to be on top of it.


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#12 of 15 Old 07-25-2012, 09:21 PM
 
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They now know there are important signs at even these young ages. I commend you for being so in tune and aware.
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Originally Posted by emma1325 View Post

I believe my baby is showing early signs of autism.  Please tell me 1) if your child with autism displayed these types of symptoms at a very early age  and 2) how your child functions now...is your child mild, moderate, severe?  Did he/she regress at some point and when exactly?

I would love some input on how autism happened in your family exactly...a timeline, if you will.  I'm feeling upset and nervous, mostly because I feel like I don't know what to expect.  My biggest fear is that my child will get worse, regress, and she will be unable to be affectionate.


Here's what we're dealing with:

-She's almost 13 months old
** certainly old enough to see signs

-Her older sister is 8 and is undiagnosed, but in all likelihood is on the spectrum somewhere (probably asperger's)
** does increase risk of course but not a sure thing; I've got one of the spectrum and one not and they are fraternal twins!

-She was a late crawler (11 months)
**not a spectrum sign and not even an issue if she never crawled; crawling isn't a milestone

-She doesn't walk yet, but she does pull up and tries to take small steps
**she's not late on walking; sounds developmentally fine

-She doesn't talk, but she babbles a good bit
**you've got some time before no words is a red flag

-She doesn't always seem to know her name; sometimes it's very hard to get her attention
**this is an autism flag and an important indicator at this age. Here is some information on that http://www.drgreene.com/blog/2007/04/04/what%E2%80%99s-name My son didn't respond consistently to his name either. Do have her hearing tested too though as that's another possibility

-She's always had odd behavior in which she repeats things over and over, get's "stuck"
**can be a spectrum sign; my son did that and does that

-She can make eye contact, but it's inconsistent, on her terms only, and typically very limited (looks away quickly)
**can be a sign of course; does she look to you when she's confused or scared for reassurance or information?

-She avoids my kisses.  greensad.gif  She pushes my face away and seems annoyed/uncomfortable
**could just be sensory; hugs momma!

-She seemed to learn to give kisses at one time, but then dropped it.  She did the same with a few other interactions...picked them up briefly (and weakly) then dropped them.
*skills coming and going can be a concern; normally developing kids do some of that too

- She doesn't play right with her toys.  She throws her blocks around, one by one.  Or picks them each up to put them in the box, then gets them each out and starts over again.  She flips the electronic toys over and fiddles with the on/off switch.
*can be spectrumy yes. My son dropped things off edges over and over

- She doesn't smile as much as I'd like.  She's often very serious.
*can be just personality; my spectrum son was and is my smiley one while his typically developing twin was more serious; more indicative are the interactions between and you.

- She flaps.  greensad.gif   When she's upset or overwhelmed, she flaps her hands, turning them round and round at the wrists.  She does this a few times a day at least.
**can be spectrum but normally developing kids at that age do it too--look around on the playground!  


Now, she does wave bye-bye.  She does get playful, just not as much as I'd expect...playfulness is short-lived and she gets overwhelmed and tired, then clings to me and puts her two fingers in her mouth to soothe herself. 
**this is good; nonverbals are a big thing as you probably know. Does she point to show you things (say point out a plane she sees or similar?) Lack of that in the next month would be indicative and doing it at this point would be a good sign. http://www.drgreene.com/article/revolutionary-test-early-detection-autism My son didn't point in that way until around 15 or 16 months--late--and I "worked" on it with him. His twin just naturally did it and very young like children typically do. My son did not wave until much, much older (6 or 7; and even now it's not natural looking).

I have an appointment for an infant development screening on August 7th.  We're going to take whatever steps we need to get her evaluated and get her some help.  She's never been seen by a pediatrician...she's never been sick...was born at home...no vaccines or other meds.

These behaviors have gotten worse in the last couple of months, and I only took notice of them as being a developmental problem quite recently.

I'm terrified that I'm going to watch my baby slip away.  Please offer whatever advice you think I could use.

I'm sorry you're scared. Not all or even most spectrum kids regress. Did your other daughter regress? My son did regress but he has a (unknown at the time) metabolic condition that was responsible for that. Regression does indicate metabolics or genetics (so does low muscle tone, coming and going of skills, other health issues with the spectrum stuff, atypical spectrum, and more--if you want that information please let me know.

I think you have enough flags to warrant looking into this and maybe acting as if in terms of things you select (Hanen Program has some fantastic at home materials you could use with her). I will say getting an accurate diagnosis for spectrum at this young of an age is difficult in most areas and girls are even more difficult than boys in terms of accurate diagnosis.

I'd probably act as if no matter the assessment. If she turns out to be typically developing on her own timetable nothing lost doing something like Hanen anyway! If you're like me you'll feel better knowing you're doing something.

Oh, my son is (so far..he's 8) pretty mildly affected.

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#13 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 06:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SpottedFoxx View Post

A lot of what you posted are completely developmentally appropriate.  That being said, obviously your Mommy Sense is tingling and the only thing that will really help is to see a specialist which is what you are doing.

 

{{{hugs}}}

 

Keep in mind - no matter if she's on the spectrum or not, you are getting her help and that's all that matters.  The #1 thing with developmental delays (all) is the earlier you get help, the better off your child will be.


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#14 of 15 Old 07-27-2012, 04:47 AM
 
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I find stories of other families' journeys to be SO helpful, so I wanted to try to respond to your request for a "timeline" even though I'm still pretty new at this myself. My son (2 1/2) had a few of the behaviors you describe, didn't have some, and did have others. I feel like one thing I've learned is not to get too hung up on the specific behaviors I'm seeing, because they keep changing! What I mean is, I attend to them while they are present, but I also try to recognize that they may not be permanent and do not define him. For example, my biggest concern when he was a newborn was lack of eye contact and face-gazing. While these are still not where they could be, they have improved so much, as have most of his social skills. At the same time, his sensory-seeking behaviors have also increased, so where I was most focused on social stuff 6 months ago, I am now almost totally focused on the sensory. No, I never saw regression. In fact, just about everything has been moving in the direction of his developing skills, not losing them. Just because he didn't reach certain milestones within the typical timeframe, does not mean he never reached them or won't reach them. Yes, he also tends to be in the later range of typical for gross motor skills - walked at 14 months, still cautious on steps, just started jumping a month or two ago.

 

I think it will be great if your screening leads you to someone who can help your daughter develop her skills, regardless of whether she is or isn't determined to be on the spectrum.

 

Good wishes, and keep us posted!
 

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#15 of 15 Old 07-27-2012, 05:36 AM
 
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Your dd sounds so much like mine. Mine is 2 now and will see her dev pedeatrician in 2 weeks. Now, she went through a profound regression at about 20 mos. Lost all her verbal and social skills. However there were some red flags that we in retrospect have pieced together. She was late on crawling (13 mos) and walking (19 mos). She would get mesmerized by trees outside for longer than other kids. She was an easy baby, enjoyed it at the time, but now realize she was too easy. When I carried her in a sling a lot of people said she's "my gosh she's not like a baby, but more like a doll" greensad.gif I think now they were responding to her very calm and unanimated expression, big eyes looking off into the distance. At that time we weren't worried about her yet

She also has the very short tolerance for play, 5 minutes or so. And she clings to me with 2 fingers in her mouth too. Also look into sensory processing disorder. I know my dd has issues with a lot of her senses, she's very underwhelming in her responses. Her motor planning, muscle control, muscle tone all all lacking. I suspect her vestibular sense is as well she had that "drunken sailor" walk for the longest time, she still staggers a bit and her legs are stiffer than should be.

Anyway, obviously just because your dd sounds similar to mine doesn't mean she will be where mine is now. I do suspect some metabolic disorder as well because of the regression, she had some digestive problems which improved after being put on the gf/cf diet. Its good that you are acting so early, we were completely oblivious at 13 mos greensad.gif

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