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I have three children and my oldest has HFA (High-Functioning Autism). This is different from Aspergers in that she has delayed language, which most Aspie's do not. She will be 7 next month and she was diagnosed when she was 5, much older than most.

Autism is a spectrum disorder - no two children are alike and symptoms vary greatly. I, too, had a doctor (whom I loved) who dismissed my early concerns as each child developing at a different rate. In my gut, I knew something was amiss, but I was a first time mom and I trusted my doctor to be the wisdom. Boy, I wish I had listened to my instincts - we mamas have them for a reason! Even when she was being evaluated by Psychologists and Neurologists, my pediatrician still insisted that she does not "look" like she has autism. He is no longer caring for our children.

My daughter NEVER did any type of imaginary play. She had a baby doll that she clung to (still has it), but she just carried around - did not take care of the doll, or feed it things, or pretend with it. I have a two year old girl who plays tea party EVERY day, and I never "taught" her to do it, she just simply did. My ASD daughter played with cars and blocks and pattern toys, only she lined them up or stacked them or organized them. She also didn't speak well. She repeated things - like a parrot. She stared - through you. She was unresponsive to her name, she didn't sleep, she would tantrum and hit herself, she would rock on her stomach. She would hide under tables, she would hold her ears, she would feel no pain, she would laugh when people cried. Oh, there is so much more. BUT, this didn't happen all at once, it was gradual. I was in denial, I think.

Anyway, none of my story matters other than: TRUST YOURSELF. If you feel there is a problem, have him evaluated. Early intervention is key. And, without seeing a doctor, there are lots of things you can do to see if there are other components. See if any foods exacerbate his behaviors, have a blood draw to see if he has any nutritional deficiencies, engage him in things to see if he responds.

Big, big {{hugs}} to you. I hope you get some answers. If you have any questions, I am an open book and awareness never hurt anyone. :)
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