Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Expert Forum
Is my child autistic?
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Questions in the Autism & Asperger's Syndrome forum are answered by researchers at the New England Center for Children. Topics covered include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Antisocial Personality Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Autism, blindness, bullying, clinical depression, deafness, dyslexia, mental retardation, and social alienation.

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Is my child autistic?

I am wondering if my child is autistic or not. He is 20 months old and a very happy baby.  He loves to cuddle with me and he smiles when I smile at him. But he doesn't point at anything nor does he clap his hands.  He just started playing pic-a-boo about 2 weeks ago and he occasionally looks my way when his name is called.  After weeks of waiting he was finally seen at a child development cetnr that said come back when he is two because we cannot diagnose him until then.  I have just enrolled him in early intervention but I feel there is so much I may be able to do but cannot.  Should I see a neuropediatric doctor?  What other things should I try to pursue?  I feel like my hands are tied.  On a side note I just found out in the last week that he has negative ear pressure (ear glue) that can cause devlopmental problems as well.  Could tis be the ultimate cause of his behavior?  What resources should I utilize?
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I would suggest that you go try to identify a hospital in an urban area where they specialize in diagnosis of children who present developmental delays/autism. A comprehensive evaluation by a team of specialists will result in diagnostic information as well as treatment recommendations. You can then take these recommendations to your local early intervention program.

If your child does receive a diagnosis of autism, the most effective treatment for children with autism is early intensive behavioral intervention. This means that your son should receive 20 hours of direct teaching in language, social skills and self-help skills. Services can be provided by early intervention or private therapists in your area. You may want to look for behaviorally trained professionals to supervise a treatment program by checking www.bacb.com for a person in your area.
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just stopping by to send my sympathy towards your situation. my son is almost 18mos old and we've been wondering about autism as well. i really don’t have any suggestions since I’m new to this all, but his pediatrician did mention the hearing thing once (which is not a problem for my son), so as you mentioned that could have a lot to do with some problems your son is experiencing. Also, my son's dr mentioned that most times in autism the children aren't very emotional, etc. Which, from what you say you're son is a cuddle bug like mine (don't you love that?!) and smiles a lot. My son clapped his hands for a while, then stopped and wouldn't do it no matter what we did to try to get him to do it, then all of a sudden people were clapping on the radio and he started clapping! He also did this with high5's... he'd do it on command for a while, then decided he wouldn't do it anymore but sometimes decides to demand someone give him a high5. Also, you can yell my son's name a million time but he wont acknowledge you until he's good and ready... seems like he can't hear you or something, then all of a sudden I’ll get his attention...that i have heard is a good symptom of autism. I'd hang in there with going to a ton of specialists yet. Maybe your son is just a little later to develop with some stuff? (I know you probably hate hearing that, that's what everyone always tells me about my son and his speech). Children's behavior is so mysterious sometimes, I def know it can be stressful and worrisome. Sorry I don't have any advice, just letting you know I can relate to the worry something like this causes. Hang in there! And good luck!

Also, have you taken any of the "quizzes" for autism? I found this one online, which is actually very similar to the test my son's pediatrician uses at pt's 18mo & 24mo exams routinely..... the MCHAT.....the site is.....

questions to answer=   http://www2.gsu.edu/~psydlr/Diana_L._Robins,_Ph.D._files/M-CHAT_1.pdf

scoring=  http://www2.gsu.edu/~psydlr/Diana_L._Robins,_Ph.D._files/M-CHAT_score.pdf

and the advanced questionnaire= http://www2.gsu.edu/~psydlr/Diana_L._Robins,_Ph.D._files/M-CHATInterview.pdf
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Avatar_n_tn
My son does have autism and was diagnosed at 16 months of age. Don't wait until he's two. Get a second opinion from a pediatric neurologist. If your son does have autism, you are wasting valuable time by waiting. Early intervention is the key to helping these little ones. The most successful interventions happen before the age of three.
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Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
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