Mothering Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I may have posted about this before but I guess I just need some reassurance...<br><br>
My 18 mo son is definitely not advanced in speech but I am still waiting to see if he is "behind"... he babbles constantly and has a few things we recognize as words but he doesn't use them regularly and doesn't seem to want to use the words or MANY MANY signs that I have used since around 6 months to communicate. My husband didn't talk until 3 and then began speaking in complete sentences so that is another reason I hesitate to put him in speech therapy...<br><br>
Something that does bother me and has for a quite awhile is his profound lack of eye contact. Since birth he has avoided my gaze and will look away if I try to label anything for him or get down on his level and try to figure out what he wants... he just pulls away and avoids my eyes and there are LOTS of times throughout the day that I call his name or try to get his attention and he can't/won't look or respond (ESPECIALLY if the TV is on). Please don't flame me about the television, we all do what we can to get through the day and if I didn't get a break from the constant neediness I would be a worse mother. But the lack of eye contact is something I cannot ignore. Is there ANY reason other than being on the autism spectrum that would cause a child to avoid eye contact like this?<br><br>
He only within the past month or so has started taking out hand and leading us to things but he never points and in general I feel like our days are spent with him upset/whining constantly broken up by him nursing (which is all the time and I feel like he uses it as a crutch when he doesn't want to communicate anymore... in general, if he touches me he has to nurse). I don't even know what I'm asking. I guess I just feel sometimes like the difficult days have a reason behind them, but I don't know if every parent of a toddler feels like that. I have been brushed off by DH so I don't know where to go from here...<br>
Any thoughts or ideas are welcomed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
My 24 month old is still undiagnosed.... just yesterday the therapist said that he has been a mystery to everyone on the team. We got him evaled at 18 months and he was showing many MANY signs of autism, including lack of eye contact, lack of pointing, tip toe walking, lack of imitation, hand flapping, head banging, not turning when called... and more, but that's off the top of my head.<br><br>
Now at 24 months he is not showing any of the social detriments of autism. He has a number of OTHER symptoms now but he has been helped tremendously by speech therapy, and he also has sensory issues and balance issues and just other things. But he is very social now, interacts appropriately with kids and adults, signs, babbles, "talks" (with horrid pronunciation but he has his words down), plays, loves books... He's still somewhat behind cognitively but it's not nearly as noticeable as before. It's like night and day.<br><br>
I just wanted to give you some encouraging words, that things can turn around. But I would recommend EI because they have definitely helped us a lot. I'm not sure where he would be without speech therapy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ChampagneBlossom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13275434"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My 24 month old is still undiagnosed.... just yesterday the therapist said that he has been a mystery to everyone on the team. We got him evaled at 18 months and he was showing many MANY signs of autism, including lack of eye contact, lack of pointing, tip toe walking, lack of imitation, hand flapping, head banging, not turning when called... and more, but that's off the top of my head.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
My son does not imitate either ... and toe walks but I thought it was just a phase. He has always been advanced in both gross and fine motor. He also did/does have a lot of food issues (i.e. never ever will eat things the consistency of purees like yogurt or dips, loves crunchy things, will chew on meat forever and suck the juices out and thens spit it out) and we did BLW so he didn't start eating really until 14 months and this boy is big so that made for a very draining BF relationship. He also has a few obsessions like straws and I am still educating my self about sensory issues but he seems to need a lot of constant high contact/high energy movement... having Dad home to rough-house (in a gentle way of course) is extremely helpful in his moods, he loves to push things around like the adult sized broom and his wooden lawnmower, will try to push/move large and heavy objects like the end tables and chairs and he also climbs all over everything. He also is a yeller and a pincher/hitter (I actually started a thread about his hitting in GD but didn't get any responses <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">. But I'm sure NT kids act this way, I just feel with my DS in particular it happens with an incredible frequency and intensity.<br><br>
I will definitely try to get a referral for a EI through my nutritionist who also works with kids who have autism/add/adhd. Thank you for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
Throwing in my two cents on speech delays - I'm glad you're going to call EI anyway, because I really see no downside to speech therapy, especially in situations where you don't know what the future will bring, i.e. if it may be something he'll just outgrow. It can be a pain logistically sometimes, appointment-wise, and some EIs have family fees involved, but from the perspective of the child's situation it really can't hurt. Ordinarily speech therapy through EI is usually play-based.<br><br>
My ped's rule is 5 words by 18 months or off to EI you go.<br><br>
Three of my four kids who are of speaking age have been through speech therapy. The first one, dd, had no words until 20 months, had about 20 words by 28 months, and was speaking in 10-word sentences by 36 months. The other two, my twins, had no words whatsoever until 3 y.o. One of them then improved dramatically (the tear tubes he had from 2-3 probably helped significantly; this was a kid who at 2 y.o. was lining up cars all day long, had head-banging tantrums, etc.; now at 6 y.o. he's at the top of his class in language). The other one, who I thought was the better sound-maker from the time he was a baby, is STILL in speech therapy at 6 y.o. Both he and his older sister also have sensory processing disorder, and the speech issue is really an oral motor issue for them. The twin who is fine now probably also had an oral motor thing going on, though his sensory issues are so mild I never got him treatment for it. In all three cases, while they're very bright, I'm certain that speech therapy helped. How much, I'll never know. DD (almost 8 y.o.) needs to go back for a lisp, but really I need to be disciplined about making her say a list of s-words properly on a daily basis (I'm pretty sure the lisp thing is genetic in our family). Fortunately, #4 suddenly started having words just before 18 months, though now I'm starting to wonder about his articulation (ear infections). And the baby seems close to saying mama since he says the sound, but I've been fooled before LOL.<br><br>
I can't comment on the eye contact thing though it sounds concerning. Does he return your smile? The only thing besides autism that comes to mind are vision issues (especially ocular motor stuff like eye tracking), but I don't know anything about evaluating for that at such a young age. We went through that process at a much older age (none of my kids are on the spectrum so I don't know about that part).<br><br>
For EI, you don't need a referral from anyone. Google early intervention for your state and call - beyond that each state tends to have it set up slightlly differently (our current state has it separated by county) - but getting started is really that simple. It may take time to get that first appointment set up, so don't wait.<br><br>
Good luck with the evals!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
p.s. it often takes many tries for my kids to respond when the TV is on too!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,138 Posts
edited to add: I see now that in your OP you wanted reassurance. I think your son has signs of being on the autism spectrum and I know that's probably not what you want reassurance wise. But autism is not the end of the world. The sooner you see and accept it the sooner you can get past the emotions connected to that and move on to the good stuff. There are lots of things you can do to help your son that are respectful and helpful. So while I'm not going to say don't worry I would say it's ok.<br><br>
Had you come on and asked what are the main red flags for autism at 18 months I would have said:<br>
1. lack of responding to his name consistently<br>
2. lack of pointing to direct your attention and/or use of other non-verbal communication (shaking head yes/no, waving good-bye, shrugging shoulders, etc.).<br>
3. lack of imitation<br>
4. lack of pretend play<br><br>
A child could be doing some of these and still be on the spectrum (my son was) but these are the flags. Your son has many of them.<br><br><a href="http://www.autismweb.com/signs.htm" target="_blank">http://www.autismweb.com/signs.htm</a> Some autism signs in list format.<br><a href="http://www.bbbautism.com/diagnostics_psychobabble.htm" target="_blank">http://www.bbbautism.com/diagnostics_psychobabble.htm</a> Sort of a real language explanation of what it looks like to meet the diagnostic criteria for autism.<br><a href="http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html" target="_blank">http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html</a> Assessment--sort of a could it be/should I consider autism sort of thing<br><br>
So given what you wrote I would sort of act "as if" it is autism in making choices for my child until and unless you decide to have him evaluated at some point. Don't make choices you woudln't make if you were to find out he later wasn't on the spectrum but make choices that benefit him in what you see now. For example, we decided floortime would benefit my "might be spectrum" son and started that long before we finally had him assessed. We did early intervention too and I do suggest you look into that. Spectrum kids can talk on time or start talking at 2 or 3 or 4 or be non-verbal or anything between. In my mind there is no reason to wait to seek help in that area if your child needs it no matter when his daddy talked. If it turns out he's just on his own timetable he just got an extra adult to care about him and play with him in therapy. Nothing lost. If he indeed needs the extra help though and you wait another 1.5 years you might wish at that point you had made a different choice. <a href="http://www.hanen.org/web/Home/HanenPrograms/MoreThanWords/tabid/78/Default.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.hanen.org/web/Home/HanenP...8/Default.aspx</a> This might also be a good resource for you in helping him learn to communicate in an effective way.<br>
From a developmental perspective kids are adept at using non-verbal communication long before they are verbal. So I personally would start at that point in communication with him rather than focus exclusively on getting words. Use a lot of exaggerated non-verbal communication with him. If the program above and/or EI doesn't help in that area there are programs you can use later to work on that should you want to do so.<br>
There are lots of resources for work on sensory integration too should he need that.<br>
It will be ok.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,270 Posts
I'll just second everything sbgrace said, and add that even if he talks in full sentences at age 3 like his dad, he can't communicate NOW. So speech therapy would help him learn to communicate so that he doesn't continue to be frustrated/upset/whiny for the next 1.5 years until he talks. Speech therapy isn't just about talking. They can teach lots of non-verbal prelinguistic skills like eye contact, pointing, hand leading, miming, demonstrating, requesting help, showing things to an adult, and gestures. This will make you and your son's life much easier together in the day.<br><br>
And then if it turns out that he does have an underlying communication disorder or issue, you are addressing it sooner than later, which studies clearly show makes a huge difference to communication development.<br><br>
An EI assessment will also allow him to qualify for any other types of intervention that he might benefit from, such as Occupational Therapy, preschool, in-home therapy, parent training, respite care, etc. You don't have to do all of the services they offer, but they will be available to you if he qualifies. And doing them all now is much better than waiting. And if after 6 months of EI, he's doing fine, you can fade them out and stop. It's not like you have to do it forever, or that he's going to be in special education for the rest of his school days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
When ds1 was that age, life was pretty difficult. Not to say that it isn't now but we have the tools to deal with it now. I strongly encourage you to call EI and have them evaluate him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I am sorry but so far as I know, Autism Spectrum is the only nonphysical reason for gaze-avoidance. Lack of pointing as well. I am sorry, I know you were hoping against hope there might be something else but I'm pretty sure there is nothing else to explain it.<br><br>
As said, however, it isn't the end of the world and it isn't even the end of your dreams and hopes for your child. Speech therapy is a must. Keep doing ASL - eventually it will "stick". My 15 yr old Autistic son and my 13 year old Aspergers son both had speech therapy and it was fantastic experience for us all. Getting a diagnosis can sometimes make you feel better; when you know more of what you're dealing with you can start to work on getting the help you need. Remember, Autism is a spectrum disorder, there's no "rules" as to how it manifests really. There are so many awesome things about havin an ASD child too. (the things I've learned about zombies and dinosaurs and game technology and string theory...) and most of all (I wish someone had told ME this) ASD children aren't necessarily anti-social. My 15yr old is as loving and affectionate as any neurotypical child and my 13 yr old is as social as any neurotypical child. They are "different" in how they express these aspects but they are there nonetheless. Before speech therapy I wondered if my Autistic son would EVER speak and now at age 15 I sometimes wonder if he would ever shut up!
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top