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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi<br><br>
my ds is about 20 months. He knows tons of words.... (easily well over a 1000 now) and he does say 5 word senetences (wood train grandpa made me. train track behind wall.). he also knows all his colors and although he doesn't count, he does understand the concept of 1 and 2 and 3.<br><br>
He seems different from other kids.... when he talks he tends to be quite loud and his intonation is different from other kids.... he doesn't really make questioning sounds either that i can think of... he doesn't use words like "that" unless he is copying a phrase he has heard before.<br><br>
Also he memorizes phrases from books and does a lot of echolalia.... sometimes he will just randomly shout them out and i wonder if his longer senetences are really just phrases he has memorized.<br><br>
he also will spend HOURS sitting still playing with trucks or trains. He likes to line up the trucks like he does with his train but i don't know if it is the kind of lining up that is referred to as a symptom of ASD. Sometimes he does line up his blocks too. He loves to touch the wheels of cars and talk about the wheels of cars but he also likes to talk about the smokestack/exhaust pipe, the whistle and the coupling gear. He also calls himself "you" (points to himself saying "you, you, you") when he wants something that we are talking about or reading about but just a couple months ago he used to say "me, me, me" when he wanted something.<br><br>
On the other hand, he does a LOT of imaginative play. He makes his stuffed animals walk and feeds his dolls water and food. He tips up his tricycle and pretends the front wheel is a drum on the cement truck. He says his cars, trucks and trains are "going bye, bye". He says "hi" to the farmer on the milk carton. he pretends the pancake is a sailboat sailing through maple syrup and talks about the wind blowing the sails. he is extremely outgoing and is very friendly and social with new people. He goes up to kids and says "hi" "hi" and they usually ignore him while he persists in attempting to socialize....<br><br>
It just seems like other kids his age who also have large vocabs and are forming senetences talk differently.... their words are less distinct... their senetences more flowing or something....<br><br>
just curious if all this is personality trait/temperment issue or could be a sign or autism spectrum disorder...<br><br>
thanks so much!
 

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He's really really young yet...and if he is on the spectrum sounds like the higher functioning end...give it time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I see why you are concerned. I think you could determine at this age--well, someone qualified and familiar with high functioning autism at younger ages could. But just reading your description it is really hard to tell.<br>
Some kids just like to line things up. Part of learning language is echolalia but not to the extent that some (not all) spectrum kids do it. You would differentiate if he comes up with unique statements (forget the sentences, just two word phrases or even single words) related to the situation. Switching pronouns can be normal at this age too. My spectrum son has good imagination and is even more social with strangers than his twin--which actually makes him atypical in autism. However, he doesn't get cues and so his interactions are off--like you mentioned he would just persist if someone was obviously uninterested. The attention to detail in a toy like the wheels or smokestack can certainly be a spectrum sign as can a good memory but they aren't exclusive to spectrum--just little signs.<br>
Does he respond to his name (look at you when you say his name) most of the time? How does he do non-verbally? Does he point things out to you to show you? Does he wave unprompted? Shake his head? How often does he point things out to you or draw your attention to something to share the moment or discovery with you?<br>
My feeling here is that something in your gut/mommy instinct is concerned and that is a big deal. What I would do in your place given what you described and your concerns is maybe start floor time on your own. Low expense/self taught and if he turns out to be spectrum you've already intervened. If it turns out he is fine nothing lost at all--it's a good way to parent/play with your child. I had my son evaluated at 24 months and was told he wasn't spectrum. I now know they were only looking for autism, not the range of spectrum/pdd-nos/higher functioning. Actually, I think the evaluator was just awful with unobvious cases. He told me that my son did high five so he couldn't be spectrum but there were plenty of signs at that point--my son was starting to do repetitive play then for sure. He was diagnosed as pdd-nos first at 27 months I believe and then again formally for insurance purposes at about 29 months maybe. Those evaluators (and two since then....we're nuts here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: or rather my family is) could have determined my son was spectrum at 20 months certainly. But my point is that the type of evaluator and whether that person is comfortable assessing a higher functioning child at a young age matters. So that is why I say if you've got concern go ahead and take action--it can't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He definately creates 2 and 3 word senetences that are unique and appropriate to the situation. He almost always nods his head for yes. He still does quite a few signs and frequently invents his own signs (is that gesturing..?). I can't always get his attention when i use his name but i can sometimes or if i really need too. He does draw my attention to things he has discovered or accomplishments he is excited about.... (for instance he just got my attention to show me the work he had done on his train track.)<br><br>
So do these things mean i don't have to worry about it??
 

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Well, many spectrum kids aren't echolaic so that isn't a rule out. Showing you things is a great sign--he's involving you in his world. Not responding to his name consistently is a huge red flag though. As far as gestures the things you are mentioning are great things becuase he obviously gets communication and even for the sake of sharing with you. Terrific. Gesture wise they are generally meaning things like pointing stuff out to you and waving. The nodding is I think a good sign!<br><br>
When I went to our second evaluation (first dx) I had typed out a list of reasons why I didn't think my son was on the spectrum. Eye contact, imagination, showing/sharing stuff with us, pointing, and on and on. Then I had some concerns--not responding to his name consistently/nearly always like his twin, some repititive interest play, nothing big in my mind. She said what exactly on your list makes you think he can't be spectrum??? Ok, honestly I was devastated, but the point is that there is no one thing that rules out or in spectrum.<br><br>
So in regards to your son I just don't know. The not responding consistently to his name along with some of what you mentioned I think warrants keeping an eye on it at least. But your son is doing some really nice joint attention and communcation things that would be atypical but can exist in a spectrum child as my son shows.<br><br>
For a while though I was concerned about my son's twin. He had some little things at that age--he was lining stuff up and was super bossy/controlling about routine. He grew out of it and I know more now and I see that he was never spectrum but it can be hard to tell when you are new to the world and your son is clearly doing some really nice interactive stuff. I wish I could tell you one way or the other. I just can't. But I can tell you that given what you said he would be mildly affected and not typical in presentation.<br><br>
Your mommy gut is important here--what do you think? How concerned are you? I think that matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi<br><br>
Thanks for the feedback. Yesterday we were at my mom's and he spent pretty much all day playing with trucks driving them along invented 'roads" or tracks (ie the back of the couch, an armrest, etc.) When we were outside he liked to walk along the edge of the retaining wall...which he does alot. He did stop the truck play a little bit to show us how he does somersaults.<br><br>
He definately doesn't respond when i call his name immediately. I have to call it 3 or 4 times before he responds if he is doing something fascinating. He does point to things he is interested in. He talks while playing with his toys but honestly it is mostly to himself. I just think his behavior is pretty unusual for most 20 month olds (hours of driving the trucks around).<br><br>
Everyone (DH, mom, grandma) is saying i am crazy, that he is so social, etc but while i love him to death and think he is brilliant i don't think he's normal.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>karre</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9074978"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">He definately doesn't respond when i call his name immediately. I have to call it 3 or 4 times before he responds if he is doing something fascinating. He does point to things he is interested in. He talks while playing with his toys but honestly it is mostly to himself. I just think his behavior is pretty unusual for most 20 month olds (hours of driving the trucks around).</div>
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Have you had his hearing checked? The intonation thing makes me wonder.<br><br>
What happens if you go over to him and touch him on his shoulder while you say his name? While not responding to his name is a red flag, it could be that he's just hyperfocused.<br><br>
Out son has had major, major play obsessions since he was about the same age (and his vocab wasn't as extensive as your son's). We spent a year or two playing garbage truck driver. He would spend hours doing the same game as well. We then went through a firetruck phase, and are now into a bus phase. Though I will say that the older he gets the more 'flexible' his play gets.<br><br>
He's 6 now, and while not completely "typical" in that he has sensory processing disorder, he's not on the autism spectrum. I've toyed with autism spectrum diagnoses, he's just not got enough of the characteristics. I've read the books on asperger syndrome and ds just didn't fit. So, while we're within shouting distance of the autism spectrum, I've quit worrying about it. If it is a true spectrum, then there will be children like my son who have some of the characteristics, but not enough to be considered on the spectrum.<br><br>
Since your son so verbal, and socially engaged, I guess I wouldn't worry for now. He's too young for you to judge whether he has trouble with social play with other children, as most children do not engage in true play with each other until over 3 (and even 3 year olds are a bit iffy in this direction). If you still feel that in a year he's not improving, he's still lining things up, his intonation is still weird, he's not responding to his name and he doesn't seem to be learning new social things, then you can have him checked out.
 

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I agree with Lynn's post. I have struggled, like Lynn, to better understand my own son's needs and differences. Just when I *think* I have ruled out Aspergers, I still question it. And my son is SEVEN years old. And, he has had a complete neuropsych evaluation, the results of which did not mention a spectrum disorder at all. Nonetheless, he possesses even more attributes that could place him on the spectrum than does your very young son. At this age, some of those quirks look a little different. He memorizes and repeats <i>everything</i>; however, he always says it in a relevant context. He still ignores me at least 75% of the time when I call his name, but I have learned that most of that is either his own willfull opposition or a time when he is hyperfocused, as a pp mentioned. Organizes things compulsively. Saves compulsively. All of these things definitely could be personality. In my opinion, even if they are an indication of Aspergers, it is <i>still</i> his personality. How would I separate the two? And, really, since he is functioning rather easily without intervention in his school and home environments, why would I need to?
 
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