Autism Community
Autism, Shyness, or someting else?
About This Community:

This forum is for questions and support regarding ADHD, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Blindness, Bullying, Causes of Autism, Autism Therapies, Clinical Depression, Deafness, Dyslexia, Isolation, Mental Retardation, Social Alienation.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Autism, Shyness, or someting else?

I am a SAM with my first child (a boy) who is 32 months old.  I have a few questions.  I was never worried about my son until he was about 18 months old and started parroting me when I asked him questions.  He did have a lot of single words and combined 2 or more by the time he was 2 or even before.  That lead me to reading about echolalia and autism.  I soon became obsessed with the subject.  Now I hawk my son and freak out if he does anything remotely autistic in nature.  The immediate echolalia subsided before 30 months although the last month or so he will parrot things being said in a conversation every once in awhile.  Also he will continue to say sentences over and over until you acknowledge what he is saying or answer the question.  He talks a lot of the time and is also a walking narration.  He will tell me what he is doing while he is doing it or shortly there after.  He seems to ask questions ALL the time even to things he knows the answers to and the questions don't always seem to be directed to anyone in particular.  He is sensitive to sunlight,  Hates koosh balls or anything resembling it, and dislikes toys that move or talk and will tell me "don't push the button".  He is not potty trained, never tried to get out of his crib and the only clothing he removed were his socks before I taught him how to dress and undress.  He does a lot for himself now and has some real independent streaks where he say "I'm a gonna do it".  He lines up toys (mainly cars) a few times a day but never the same way or order.  He has no rituals or strict adherences.  He is very smart but I don't find him really affectionate either (much like my husband).  He will take hugs and kisses but does not give them out too often.  Also how do I know the eye contact he is making is enough?  He has stayed home with me and has limited social interactions for the last 3 years... mainly just my husband and I.  
Related Discussions
10 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
TO GIVE YOU BETTER INFORMATION IS TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH PUBLIC SCHOOL SEPCIALIST OR AN AUTISM SPECIALIST.  THEY MAYBE ABLE TO GIVE YOU BETTER INFORMATION.  YOU CAN GO TO THE NEAREST MENTAL HEALTH CENTER FOR MORE INFORMATION...BUT IF IT IS TOO EMBARASSING FOR YOU AT THE MOMENT YOU CAN ALWAYS CALL AND ASK WHO IS QUALIFIED TO MAKE A DIAGNOSIS AND ASK FOR THE NECESSARY PAPERWORK TO FILL OUT.....THEY ARE ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP PEOPLE...THEN THEY WILL GIVE YOU MORE INFORMATION....HOPE THIS HELPS..... WWW.AUTISMSPEAKS.ORG AND www.autism-society.org
Blank
325405_tn?1262293778
You could ask his pediatrician if you have concerns.  The school system, in the U.S., can do a developmental assessment which is free.  They can assess where his language is at (receptive -- ability to understand what is said to him -- and spoken) and how is social communication is.  They would also be able to assess if he has sensory processing issues.  

Early intervention is pretty key with any learning disabilities if you have concerns about the echolalia and speech.  Also early intervention is great for sensory processing issues.  If he's sensitive to touch, taste, hearing, etc.

There are a lot of possibilities other than autism, including no issues at all.  Many people have some autistic traits without being autistic. Some people can have a sensory processing disorder without autism.  Echolalia is a sign of speech problems as well as autism, so don't go assuming it's autism.  Though checking into if there are issues is important.  

Hang in there... and keep asking questions.  And if you have concerns about your sons social development, find some play groups with other stay-at-home  moms.  If you don't have a car, I realize that could be problematic, but still possible.  

If you live in the U.S., I know of several moms groups.  One is MOPS.  Another is Mothers and More.  You could google the groups and find their web pages and then see if they have a group meeting near your town.

Blank
973741_tn?1342346373
Hi, it is so hard being a parent, isn't it.  We worry ourselves sick about these kids and you sound like a great mom.  I too am a stay at home mom.  My oldest son is now 5 and when he was your sons age, I didn't really have concerns.  I was so excited to be a mom (it took us forever!) that I did many things for him without even thinking about it but because I enjoyed it all so much.  I had a second child 15 months after my first which kept us less social with other kids as well in the early years.  When I first was told there was a problem was when my son was about your sons age.  In preschool where he attended one half day a week, a wonderful teacher spotted some things that she was concerned about.  We had him evaluated twice and it turns out that he has sensory integration disorder.  You describe some things that could be sensory related.  Not wanting to touch certain things could be what they call tactile defensiveness.  My son had this and would flip out when he had to wash his hands especially at preschool.  (By the way, that was the first thing to go away when we started occupational therapy!)  I didn't think my son was very affectionate at that age either and realized later that was part of his sensory.  Two issues ----  touching was bugging him (he is a mixed bag, loves to run into you and be squeezed--- on his terms but will shrug you off if you initiate it----  again, he is now very affectionate and asks for back scratches and hugs all the time) and that I think he had trouble making the kiss lips due to some motor issues.  His articulation was amiss but we had his speech tested and that was the only problem.  What you describe with your son sounds like difficulty with what the above poster mentioned, recripcal and expressive speech.  Your son is still a few months too young for the school system evaluation (I believe that in the US that starts at 3 full years) but would qualify for the early childhood intervention programs run by your state and city.  A school system, pediatrician, or occupational therapy office can point you in the right direction.  They are often called head start, help me grow, etc.  It is a good place to start because they eval for free and help you understand what is available for early intervention.  He may be autistic but sounds like he relates to you.  As far as socializing, we started off slow.  I helped my son learn to play and modeled how to interact to help him.  We practiced taking turns, saying nice things, actually asking someone to play.  Then we hit the parks and play areas.  Almost always there was another kid there who would play.  It started slowly and roughly as he learned to be social.  (Most kids don't have to be taught this, it comes naturally . . .although all can benefit from some help in this area).  Now he makes friends wherever we go.  He has issues with social cues so I'm still that mom watching closely on the outskirts (I envy the other moms who sit and relax!)  Anyway, I don't know if I've been at all helpful.  But I can't say enough about early intervention.  I  had to "get over" myself and mourned the loss of my beautiful boy not being perfect but after that----  I realized I loved him so much just as he is.  You'll make it through.  I wish you the best of luck.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
He can follow directions and tell me what he wants.  He puts together 3-5 word sentences and can answer most questions at this point.  He knows all his body parts and can point to them, can identify objects in his books and environment.  He knows and recognizes colors and shapes. Can count to 10 and say the ABC'c and identify most letters even out of order.  He is very smart.  His reactions to stimuli are mild at most, no severe reactions, you can just tell he doesn't like it or is hesitant at best.  I am having his eye sight tested to check his sensitivity to sunlight.  If he has sunglasses on he is good to go.  
He starts preschool next week.  I am going to see how he does socially.  He seems to like other kids and will play side by side with them.  
I am also going to bring up his sensory issues at his next Ped. visit.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
He can follow directions and tell me what he wants.  He puts together 3-5 word sentences and can answer most questions at this point.  He knows all his body parts and can point to them, can identify objects in his books and environment.  He knows and recognizes colors and shapes. Can count to 10 and say the ABC'c and identify most letters even out of order.  He is very smart.  His reactions to stimuli are mild at most, no severe reactions, you can just tell he doesn't like it or is hesitant at best.  I am having his eye sight tested to check his sensitivity to sunlight.  If he has sunglasses on he is good to go.  
He starts preschool next week.  I am going to see how he does socially.  He seems to like other kids and will play side by side with them.  
I am also going to bring up his sensory issues at his next Ped. visit.
Blank
973741_tn?1342346373
I think you are really a smart mom to be looking for answers for your child!  It isn't always easy or pleasent to do.  But when we have that voice in our heads that says something is wrong, it is hard to quiet it.  I wanted to tell you too that in your original post you remarked that you don't like it when he does anything that looks autistic looking.  I was like that as well when I was first trying to figure out what was going on with my son.  For example, he spins.  We call it dancing as we usually put music and he finds his area and spins around (and once in a while there must be music in his head because he'll just start spinning around . . .)----  I wouldn't let him do it for awhile.  I'd stop him right away because I thought that meant there must be a problem.  Well, it turns out that my son with sensory integration disorder has trouble with his "vestibular system" which involves movement and he was trying to make himself feel better.  I was stopping something that his brain craved to help his delay.  Now we go to the park and do tire swings and it gets it out of his system . . .but my point is, I can relate to what you are saying.  It is hard trying to figure out if something is wrong and adjusting to it if there is.  Parents who haven't been through it can't understand the feeling.  Your son may be fine but I'm glad you are going to talk to your ped. about these things.  Good luck and let me know how it goes.  Preschool will be a big indicator for us.  That was where we fell apart until occupational therapy and some small classroom modifications really helped.  Again, best wishes to you and your little guy!
Blank
973741_tn?1342346373
Oh, one last thing.  A good test for a child his age is the block test.  You take some blocks and build something and ask him to build the same thing.  A good thing to build is a stair structure (3 blocks on bottom, 2 on top of that, and 1 on top of that in a stair type pattern).  At a few months older than your son, this was a test they gave my son.  It doesn't really mean anything to you, but it will help him use his motor plannning skills.  When he is 3, this test means a little more.  Just a thought.
Blank
973741_tn?1342346373
Okay, I'm getting annoying now, I know.  I was trying to think of things I did when I was trying to see how my son did vs where other kids did things and another thing to do is stack blocks up and see how many he can do before they topple.  I think the higher the number the better----  like 6 or 7 or 8 at that age.  I felt better trying to do little things like this with my son during the process in which I didn't know exactly what was going on.  So I was just thinking of what you could do easily with him . . .
Blank
325405_tn?1262293778
Some children with autism or PDD can stack at an earlier age.  My daughter was stacking probably 10 blocks high before age 2 (both small as well as large sized).  By 2 1/2 it was getting a lot higher.  Stacking kind of goes in line with the lining up.  You're just doing it vertically.  Although my daughter is wonderfully at stacking which shows motor planning, she on the other hand was running into everything and had bruises all over her legs (she's gotten a lot better with therapy).  Her oral motor planning was also delayed and so were some of her motor skills.  Stacking is a good skill for kids to have though.  It definitely develops their spatial relations.  

Speaking 3 to 5 word sentences before age 3 sounds like he is on track for spoken language.  My daughter is probably a year older than your son since she will be 4 in the fall.  She is only now just starting to speak in 3 to 4 word sentences after two years of speech therapy in both the birth to 3 program and then in the school system and private speech therapy over the summer (insurance covering summer thankfully).  Receptive language being behind (ability to understand and process what others say to you) can indicate a sensory processing disorder since I think the language and auditory processing falls under sensory processing.

Asking questions is also a good sign.  Your son is communicating with you.  My daughter still has yet to ask a question.  Even if she wants something, you have to prod her to talk.  She still grunts, whines, and sometimes just helps herself instead of having to communicate.  We ask her what she wants and try to put up barriers to get her to talk.  Sometimes we play the waiting game and act stupid and eventually she might ask us for something.  It can sometimes take 5 minutes.  She doesn't really ask questions, though... it's more like I want milk please.  She doesn't even ask others their names even though we've been trying to work on that.  She won't ask what is something.  

Echolalia can also indicate speech issues and receptive issues, but it is also step 1 for kids to learn language.  Some kids need to repeat back in order to learn language.  I guess when it becomes  a real issue is when kids will only repeat back what you say.  My daughter is learning language with echolalia, but when she was 2, probably up to close to age 3, that was the ONLY thing she would do.  And she could only do 1 word at a time.  

Anyways, it is good that you have a lot of concerns.  And you should follow up with the birth to 3 program in your state for a free assessment (if you are in the US).  The birth to 3 program (every state has its own name for it) will transition your child to the school system when they turn 3.  That does not mean they have to go to a developmental preschool.  It just means that if your child has delays in speech or needs occupational or physical therapy, they have to provide it in some  way, which can mean either in a classroom setting or offering one on one therapy.  Also addressing concerns with your pediatrician and if there are enough concerns seeing a specialist is important.  Sometimes in order for your state to provide therapy, they need to have some sort  of assessment or referral from a doctor.  

The occupational therapy is great for helping with sensory processing issues.  My daughter has definitely benefited.  Even if you start your child later with sensory integration therapy, it can help.  Even as a teen, it can help, though it takes longer to take effect the older you get because your brain starts getting wired a certain way.  I have sensory processing issues which I have had since a child (and yes, they do impact how I live my every day life even as an adult).  I tried OT privately and when you are an adult it is really hard to rewire your brain.  I'm  in my late 30s and I think at this point, it's just too late for me for great effectiveness.  But even with like swimming (swimming is great OT because water surrounds you all over and applies even pressure and when you get some movement going in water it's even better)... well I have seen some marginal improvement in some things that I am usually over sensitive too.  My brain is also a lot more organized.  I also notice that it helps my daughter be calmer and her thoughts more collected.  

Uh, wanted to babble on more ideas... hope I wasn't too confusing and too discoherent.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for elaborating on some of your experiences.  This is really hard for me.  My son seems to be on track with many if not all his developmental milestones.  I have realized that he does seem to make adequate eye contact with me.  I had an acquaintance over yesterday and he looked her in the eyes, showed her toys, talked to her, etc.  I don't think echolalia was something he ever did exclusively.  He is definitely miles ahead of where he was a year ago.  He can put together sentences and seems to formulate ideas.  For instance: my husband bought a bike and he asked his dad "can we ride bikes together?" and the asked, "don't you want a bike too mommy" which I told him I didn't and he continued to ask me the same question over and over.  He just couldn't get that I didn't want one too.  Generally he repeats a statement or question to me like "there's a star on here" until I answer him and then he stops.  Sometimes he just repeats phrases while playing.  It is hard for me to decipher wether or not he is just practicing his language out loud or wether I have a problem here.  Many people have told me it is normal for kids to repeat, that is how they learn.  Then my question is when should I be concerned.  Many people who have met my son think that he is either ahead verbally or speaks very well.  I know that all children develop differently and at their own speed, I just don't know where he falls and how much his temperament and lack of social surrounding is compounding the other concerns I have.
A lot of concerns come from my inability to decipher information on the internet.  It is so cut and dry and leaves a lot to be interpreted which is the problem I'm having.
Regardless I will likely seek out an eval after my husband returns home.  He says that he doesn't see anything wrong with him, but I need to sleep at night.
By the way.  what are the major difference between your child and a typically developing child?  I hope that is not too invasive.

Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Autism Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
Top Children's Development Answerers
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Sandman2
San Pedro, CA
1006035_tn?1391310794
Blank
skepticalpeach
MN
803938_tn?1403751853
Blank
Ecologic
Planet Earth