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<p>I'm just wondering how I can help my sis n law who is getting her son evaluated for his speech delays. We have talked about it a lot, my dd was in speech therapy for stuttering.  I think it is more with her son though,  I told her that I am concerned about a few of his other behaviors (I take care of him sometimes and have pretty extensive experience with kids).  When we talked about it I sort of told her but tried not to alarm her. When she called EI the person she talked to also seemed concerned and said they really need to see him.  She always chalked up his behavior to being quirky or a little behind but it seems that as he gets older it's looking a little bit more like ASD or something similar.  I know that I have been observing things for quite a while but didn't really say anything until she brought up his speech, which we had discussed before.  I don't know for sure if I am way off base but watching the videos on some of the autism sites (I sent her links too) and readings I think she should prepare for anything.</p>
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<p>Here is what I have brought up and/or discussed with her (she asks me about this stuff):</p>
<p>His speech, he is about 28 mos and really only says about 5 words regularly unless someone sits there and tells him to say it over and over.  He just started saying mama to his mom and has been saying dada for a little while, he doesn't string words together unless someone says it first.  It seems like he is usually prompted to talk if that makes sense and up until recently he just sort of made noises with his mouth shut.</p>
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<p>-severe food aversions, he seems to only eat mushy food.  He does like one type of chicken nuggets and some cheese, but his grandma feeds him baby cereal every day.  He absolutely refuses to try anything new.</p>
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<p>-spinning...he used to spin a lot and I couldn't stop him from doing it, he would spin and laugh, it was cute but borderline dangerous since he loved to do it next to a wall or table.  </p>
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<p><span>-running in circles...he now runs in circles more and the other day he was doing it while sort of flapping his ears</span></p>
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<p><span>-hand flapping...she says he does it only when tired but I see him (just in the last few days) do it a lot when he's excited or upset, he also rubs things when he's upset, I've seen him with his blanky (which he likes to have most the time along with his pacifier)</span></p>
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<p>-he does line things up, but I've seen so many kids do this that it doesn't seem like much of a sign...he's not overly obsessive about it...he does like to focus on small things for long periods of time and will completely zone out on the tv if there is something he likes on.  He also likes stacking cups.  (we have a bunch of paper cups all the kids stack and play with) One time when he was probably 20 mos he stacked all of them in groups of 3, two on bottom, one on top which I thought was pretty smart!</p>
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<p>-he will not respond to his name, this is not all the time though, sometimes he does but it's not like you can often get him to do something...like if I say his name and ask him to get up or away from something he just laughs or seemingly ignores me.  I would say that when he is at my house he responds to his name 20% of the time.</p>
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<p>He's really good at puzzles and I have seen drawing he has done that I thought seemed pretty advanced.  He also counts to twelve it's just hard to understand him.  He is affectionate at times and with those he trusts.  He does make eye contact but it's not usually for a very long time.  He's a very, very sweet little kid he just seems behind or less understanding than his twin sister, if that makes any sense. I just wanted to put these out there for some possible input.  I know that none of these alone really mean much but I think collectively they may.  He is a twin and his sister seems much, much older than him. </p>
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<p>I'm concerned for him but I also want to be supportive in a realistic way.  I feel like she is so scared of the diagnosis that she said she may be in denial, but I also know and respect that she knows him best.  I want to be able to support her without making it sound like I am trying to convince her he's on the spectrum but also not playing it down either.  She respects my opinion and I want to be fair. I do have to say that his dad has always thought something was "off" with him, so it's not just me talking to her about it.  I just keep telling her that no matter what they tell her that he's still him, he's not a label, she will just have more tools to understand him and help him if he needs it, but nobody wants to see their kid struggle.  He really is just the cutest, sweetest kid and that isn't going to change because of a diagnosis, right?</p>
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<p>Is there something I should be doing differently?  Should I try to calm her fears and tell her it's probably nothing or is it better to be straight-forward about what I see even if I'm not a doctor?</p>
 

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<p>This is a hard one, I sense your concern and I can tell you are coming from the right place. The thing is, until she is willing to make the first step there isn't anything more you can do. You are already planting the seeds and giving her input when she asks. My best friend has a son whose development I question. I have a special needs baby a year younger than her son. Her needs are and were obvious from birth, as she had a brain injury. There was no wondering if something was wrong. In some ways that is easier, as we are often pleasantly surprised that things have turned out better than expected as opposed to being floored that something went wrong. KWIM? I have planted a few seeds with my friend as well, and I answer her questions when she comes to be. But you don't want to hammer on it. It has to be the Mom's decision otherwise you can jeopardize your relationship with them, as well as scare the mom off from seeking help. </p>
 

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<p>I was going to suggest EI but then I reread and saw that she had already called. I'd let her know that he would age out of EI at 3yo, so if she is interested in an evaluation she should do it soon. Between the EI eval and her dh concerns, she'll get there.</p>
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<div>I just keep telling her that no matter what they tell her that he's still him, he's not a label, she will just have more tools to understand him and help him if he needs it, but nobody wants to see their kid struggle.</div>
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<p>True!</p>
 
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