Ok, SO.. I have 4 children ages 6,5,2,and almost 18 months. Im wondering if my youngest has autism or some form of a learning dissability. Ive got a decent amount of experience, ya know being mommy, so id like to think im not just trying to make issues for myself. So when she was about 12 months, she would keep the biggest smile, and constantly hit. Which is not unnormal for a healthy 1 year old, but what started to make me wonder was her mismatched emotions. Like if she got hurt she would smile and clap, instead of cry and frown. Another thing that worried me was at the age of 12mths she constantly said mama & dada ALL the time, but by 15 mths its like it dissappeared from her vocabulary as with other words such as baba and so on. When she plays, i watch her, and it seems like she plays in a different way than all my other kids did as babies growing up. Shes very particular, seems as tho shed rather clean than play sometimes. She also bobs her head alot front to back and side to side... when shes just sitting there. Also, when she was younger, and even now, in order for me to feed her, i had to preoccupy her with something.. ANYTHING other than the fact that she was eating. She NEVER would give me eye contact while feeding her, which i hated! She also seems to stare blankly ALOT. Almost as if shes looking right through me as if im not even there. I use to wonder about her shoving food in her ears, but ive recently read that was normal. She also walks on her tip toes which ive read is normal also. Im just worried about my babygirl. She also has a very distinct fear of water.which could just be toddlerism. There are just some things i cant ignore, and i know are out of the norm. This is only a few of the things i can think of right now. Please... ANYONE any feedback. I just dont want to present it to the doctor, as if im trying to self diagnose her, or just being silly. I would love to have anyone tell me at least their professional opinion.
Thanks- Concerned mom
It's important that you present your concerns to your child's pediatrician. I always suggest that people write down a list of the behaviors of concern ahead of time, so that they don't forget anything important. I'd also try to keep these straightforward and to the point. So, your list might start with items such as this:
1. Was saying several words at age 12 months, but at 15 months, speech disappeared.
2. Does not make eye contact.
3. Engages in repetitive, non-functional behaviors, such as rocking her head back and forth.
4. Toe walking.
Once you complete the list, speak candidly to the pediatrician. If he or she simply dismisses your concerns, I'd ask if your child can be evaluated by someone who specializes in evaluating/diagnosing young children with autism spectrum disorders. I certainly cannot tell you whether your child may have autism simply from reading a brief paragraph. However, if your child does have a diagnosed condition such as autism, early intervention is critical, and the most effective interventions involve the use of applied behavior analysis. You can look to see if there are any Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) in your area who specialize in the treatment of very young children with autism at www.bacb.com. Best of luck.
You have a lot of experience as a mom, and I believe your concerns are valid. Reading through them, many are a real concern. Toe walking, staring, not seeming to look at you, clapping when hurt, etc., I believe your instincts are spot on.
On the other hand, we're all variations on the mean. She may very well turn out great, with really striking talents.
Don't ignore your intuition, though. Have her evaluated by an occupational therapist, and see where that leads. Kids like her can be the most wonderful blessings - very gifted.
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