I think my nephew may be autistic. I have concerns. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did any of you think at first, that your child appeared to have a hearing problem?
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#2 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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My ds has Asperger's and I had his hearing tested like 4 times before he was 4. His hearing is perfect.
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#3 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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LOL - exactly what Wendy said. At first we thought it was a hearing problem. He wasn't diagnosed with Asprher's until he was 10. He's almost 18 now.

Why do you think he is autistic?
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#4 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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Yeah Bede could hear an M and M clink from across the house, yet wouldn't look up for his name.
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#5 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, your posts confirm my suspicions. The first thing I started to notice, was that when I call his name or speak to him, he very very rarely looks at me. My first thought wasn't autism, but maybe a hearing deficit. My sister has never had his hearing checked and I thought it a logical explanation. I mentioned it to her and she says she'll have it done. But after all of the news reports, the reading I have done here, and the links and videos I have been watching about autism, he shows MANY of the warning signs. And honestly when I stop and think about it, he has been showing warning signs for a long time.....I can remember as early as less than a year old. He has never really engaged with any of us. I would play with him, kiss his feet, get down on the floor with him and play, and I don't remember him ever really playing back or engaging at all. He very rarely babbled as a babe and now at 2, I don't think I have ever heard him say one word. He babbles a bit and does say what I think is ma ma ma and that's about all I can understand. This doesn't seem like normal development. I babysat him last week. He frustrates easily. My sister has been mentioning with more frequency, he has meltdowns all of the time. She has mentioned it takes a long time to calm him down. I find myself thinking is it really just normal 2 yo behavior, testing the waters and asserting independance or not? When he gets excited, he shakes and moves his arms up and down ever so slightly. I bring my youngest who is 4 yo over to play all of the time. He occasionally will chase my DS or snatch toys from him, but that's it. He doesn't play "with" him, he plays around him if that makes sense. They have a dog. Last week I saw him look at a toy on the ground, he picked it up, made a face like you wouldn't believe, growled, and threw it as hard as he could right at the dog. He kept trying to do that and even after I would firmly tell him no, he wouldn't look at me or acknowledge me...just kept trying to do it as if I wasn't even there. I mentioned it to my sister and she said that he just started doing that a week or two earlier. There is more. But so far, what do you think?
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#6 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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Yep! My nephew was the same way. We thought all the ear infections were causing hearing problems so my sister had his hearing tested and he was just fine. He has Aspergers as well. Since starting Magnesium, B12, B6, DMG and Folic Acid he has made tremendous progress and is in classes with his "normal" peers and excels!!!!!!!:
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#7 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 07:08 PM
 
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What does your sister think about his development? Does she have other children to 'compare' him to, in a general way?

I knew something was different about Bede when he was 18 months old. Before that, I chalked it up to just being a boy, after two girls. It took me another year or so to figure out he was autistic, and we got his official diagnosis about a year after that, at age 4.

http://del.icio.us/feebeeglee/autism_diagnostics has some online screeners I've found, but I don't know if you spend enough time with him to fill them out accurately, kwim?

If he is autistic - and I'm absolutely not saying he is or isn't - it's really, really okay. The media portrayals of autism make it look like it's hell, but it's not. It's just life, but different. It's hard and it's tough sometimes, but really it's okay. Really!
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#8 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 08:26 PM
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It is difficult to discern normal toddler behavior/frustration from other possible reasons for the frustrations. I think thats where trying to figure out what is a communication difficulty versus a didn't-get-my-way frustration makes a difference.

Out of curiosity, does your nephew point purposefully to things? (ie, to show you things)
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#9 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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My son was very inconsistent in responding to his name. I can see how one might think he had a hearing issue. I didn't though because he would respond to some things (like if I went ahead and started reading a book he loved even if his back was to me he'd come....yet the same tone/volume with his name and I'd get no response). In our case my son still often waits to see what I'm going to say to decide whether or not to respond. On the other hand, he's got some pretty severe ADD so sometimes he's just really tuned out or over tuned into what he's doing. He also was late to point (after a year) and I was aware the not responding to his name and not pointing were flags for autism. So we didn't actually have his hearing tested until 2.5--it was normal as I expected it to be.

Given what you wrote it sounds like a speech evaluation might be helpful. Early intervention is generally free speech therapy if the child is behind. He's behind and not being able to communicate has to be frustrating and result in some of the behaviors you describe. I'd not mention autism personally unless I was asked directly. Better for a parent to figure that out themselves/tread carefully. It's really scary when you don't know anything but what the media presents.

As a side note: peer play at two years isn't really indicative in my mind; many typical kids are mostly parallel playing at that age. The fits and aggressive with pet stuff can be typical too, especially given his language delay. No two word phrases by 24 months (single words by 18 months) are flags too but there are many other reasons for that in kids and some spectrum kids are talking by then anyway. So not responding to his name (if indeed there isn't a hearing issue; given his speech definitely something to rule out) and lack of back and forth interactions are possible signs. Not pointing would be a third if that exists. Hard to tell sitting here reading though how much concern there should be. Again, I'd not mention it personally but I might mention that speech therapy might help with his frustration.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#10 of 22 Old 11-02-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by feebeeglee View Post
Yeah Bede could hear an M and M clink from across the house, yet wouldn't look up for his name.
Yup!

Although a lot of other people thought his hearing was impaired, and we had a sedated hearing test done because he had difficulty cooperating for the typical hearing tests.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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#11 of 22 Old 11-03-2007, 09:23 AM
 
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We wondered the same with DD when she was 12 months or so but concluded it couldn't be her hearing when she could hear the crinkle of a cheetos bag on the other end of the house and come running..lol.
DS is the same way now, rarely looks up when you talk to him or call his name but if you say "Wiggles" or "Sesame Street", he's all smiles and all eye contact ..lol.
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#12 of 22 Old 11-03-2007, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the feedback, suggestions and links. I do not want to be an alarmist with her but I don't think I should remain silent either. How to approach her and what to say will take some thought. I found it interesting that when I browsed through some of the links feebeeglee posted, that some of the questions on the sample evaluations, I could have answered yes to with my own children. And they outgrew some of that same behavior. The comment that also stuck out at me as perfectly reasonable, was yours sbgrace....the lack of verbal communication skills has to be frustrating for him and that could well explain some of the tantrums etc. Heck, anyone would be frustrated in that scenario.
Oh and some of you asked if he points purposefully.....I have never seen him point at all. One other thing...he refuses to eat most solid food and has a strong gag reflex. Yesterday he started a 2 year old art class through the park and rec. Sis called me and told me this morning that he went up to nearly every child in the class, made a face (stuck out his jaw and bared his teeth and grunted) and pushed them.
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#13 of 22 Old 11-04-2007, 01:39 AM
 
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I still don't have a sense from your posts about where your sister would be about getting an eval. and services through Early Intervention, for example. I am pretty sure your nephew would qualify on the basis of speech alone.

I have a really hard time suggesting how you should approach her without knowing more about her. Some Moms would be upset by the suggestion. Another may be afraid she'll be dismissed, considered an alarmist, or suspected of having some pervase desire to get her child diagnosed with something if she raises concerns. Some of the things you've written would lead me to suspect she is concerned or at least looking for feedback of some sort, but it really depends upon the way in which she brought up the making faces and pushing experience and the tone she used in describing it, for example.

Maybe you could just ask her if she's concerned about her son. If she is, you could ask if she wants to know what you think.

Sherri
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#14 of 22 Old 11-04-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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My youngest dd wouldn't look at her Aunts or Uncles. In fact if one of them teased her or something she would cry. My husband's family is LOUD and I am not and their loud talk and loud screaming put her off in a big way! Her younger by a year cousin would let anyone hold her , toss her up into the air, whatever. She's a real attention hound! Not my shy girl (who is not shy anymore).

NONE of my children NT or not would play with other children at 2. They would play a little at 4. None of my children were in preschool and they have siblings so they didn't feel the need to reach out. Now that they are older they approach children at the park and include these children in their play all the time.

None of what you posted to me flags autism in a definate way.

All of my children have shown bad behavior to our dogs at one point or another. That's very typical ime.

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4
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#15 of 22 Old 11-04-2007, 05:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dallaschildren View Post
I found it interesting that when I browsed through some of the links feebeeglee posted, that some of the questions on the sample evaluations, I could have answered yes to with my own children. And they outgrew some of that same behavior.
So a person who is not experienced in autism diagnosis' cannot possibly label a child. Some children behave inappropriately and they do not have autism.
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#16 of 22 Old 11-04-2007, 07:24 PM
 
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yea, but he couldnt hear for the first three months of his life. Now he is three, and has had other hearing screenes, and he hears fine. Its just selective ;]
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#17 of 22 Old 11-04-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AuntLavender View Post
So a person who is not experienced in autism diagnosis' cannot possibly label a child. Some children behave inappropriately and they do not have autism.
this is very true, thats why its best to get them tested as soon as you think somethings amiss.
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#18 of 22 Old 11-06-2007, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Update: Yesterday my sister took him to their ped. Sis explained that she was worried about his speech, tantrums, and general behavior. The ped said not to worry, and everything is normal. When I asked her what she thought, she said she is going to continue to keep an eye on him and I agreed with her. I also told her that if she feels uneasy, she should get a second opinion. I guess I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that a "ped" not specializing in developmental delays and such, is so quick to just say he's just fine and send them on their way. Personally, I think the the appropriate coarse of action should have been for this ped to send my sister and nephew to a specialist. Just seems to me that the ped is blowing her off and IF he does have a problem, early intervention is best and precious time is being wasted.
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#19 of 22 Old 11-06-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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Our pediatrician was the same way - "oh she's fine". Well she was fine but she was also autistic. I ended up going through the behavioral health part of my insurance to find a clinical pyschologist - no referral from the ped was necessary. Then I switched peds hehe.
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#20 of 22 Old 11-06-2007, 02:11 PM
 
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i don't post a lot but wanted to respond, particularly to your last post.

firstly, i'm of the mind that non-parents should tread lightly on the topic of potential developmental delays with other's children. that being said...

it seems like your sister is open to talking to you about this and i would *strongly* recommend that, if she feels there are issues with her child, she should have the child evaluated *regardless* of what the pediatrician says. my pediatrician called my 2.8 yo son's behaviour (constantly repeating "scripts" to the exclusion of regular conversation) "normal" and that we should wait 3 months (til his 3 yr apptmt) to take any steps. i didn't follow her advice and began his evaluations immediately. i have to say, i am *so* glad we started his therapies 3 months earlier and wish that we discovered his issues at 2, instead of 8 months later.

best of luck to your family!
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#21 of 22 Old 11-06-2007, 02:22 PM
 
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Update: Yesterday my sister took him to their ped. Sis explained that she was worried about his speech, tantrums, and general behavior. The ped said not to worry, and everything is normal. When I asked her what she thought, she said she is going to continue to keep an eye on him and I agreed with her. I also told her that if she feels uneasy, she should get a second opinion. I guess I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that a "ped" not specializing in developmental delays and such, is so quick to just say he's just fine and send them on their way. Personally, I think the the appropriate coarse of action should have been for this ped to send my sister and nephew to a specialist. Just seems to me that the ped is blowing her off and IF he does have a problem, early intervention is best and precious time is being wasted.
Sadly that is how a lot of peds are here too. Your sister has to be firm and let them know that she really is concerned. Have her tell him that she wants him to be at least evaluated for her peace of mind. If the doctor refuses, there are other doctors.
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#22 of 22 Old 11-07-2007, 02:07 AM
 
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I would just echo what's been said about validating her mama's intuition & following up on HER concerns and suspicions. Pediatricians are NOTORIOUS for shrugging off developmental delays. Our ped did it too and then later said, "oh, she has a discipline problem." I don't think peds get alot of training in child development, truthfully. they are great at diagnosing illness but not developmental disabilities or delays. and its a real shame b/c early intervention has been proven to significantly improve outcomes for children. waiting until they enter KG really limits them I think. where I live in NC, a parent can self-refer to the local evaluation place. and its free. and comprehensive. She can start by calling the school system- they can tell her where to go for an eval. In my state there are many wonderful services available for free to families of special needs kids. (ST, OT, PT, service coordination, etc etc).

good luck,
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