We wonder whether our 1 year old DS is on the spectrum. His 4 year old brother has an Aspergers DX.
He has obsessions such as the light switch and the vaccuum. He will scream as if he is in pain when he can not play with these.
Tonight he screamed and sobbed unconsolably until we bought him a balloon that he was handed at one of the mall kiosks. We walked away, tried to distract him to no end. He cried and screamed until he got it again and almost obsessively started playing with it and then screaming at it because it wasnt going the way he was pulling it.
It's confusing because he has good eye contact, looks at you to gage reactions and has a sense of humor. Things that we never saw in our first.
But he does have some other behaviors that we did also see in DS1. Behaviors that we think are not done often enough to really tell -such as head banging, spinning and stimming with hands.
It's so tough walking on eggshells with our first all the time and we are beginning to walk on eggshells with our second. Is it possible that it's something we are doing? We feed on demand and co-sleep part of the night. We take care of his needs. Only thing I could say is that we don't have any planned activities for him during the day and many times I am paying alot of attention to the older one because of his special needs. Is it possible he is acting this way because he is not getting enough attention?
Wife to - Mama to DS 6/08 and DS 9/11
A couple of thoughts:
It would be fairly difficult to tell with a high-functioning kid if they have ASD at 1. Things I would be looking for: joint referencing (pointing and then looking for your response), normal language development (using single words, adding more with time), typical development of play skills (using items symbolically for pretend play). But my ASD kid had all those things at 1. His deficits weren't apparent until 4, when peer play became too complex and fluid for him to keep up.
Some of the things you describe could be sensory issues. Some could be normal toddler defiance. And, yes, it could be ASD. I don't think a sensory diet ever hurts and can be helpful to most. Do you do that stuff with your older?
My youngest DS has a lot of things that could be spectrumy -- very intense special interests, very demanding, strong need for physical contact -- but is very clearly not on the spectrum. My oldest, too, is highly introverted and isolates herself socially, but is not on the spectrum. That said, I had both of my ASD kids siblings looked at by professionals because I felt that I was too close to really assess what was going on with them. I don't think it hurts to be proactive with sibs. Do you have a professional you trust who could take a look at your little one?
And I know the temptation to blame oneself, but try not to. You are a good mom, trying the best you can to meet lots of needs. Parenting doesn't cause special needs and kids are fairly resilient about sharing attention. You didn't cause his behavior and you are in a great position to address it early, whatever the cause.