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Can toddlers with autism be social?
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Can toddlers with autism be social?

I am on the wait list to have my 2 year old daughter evaluated by a developmental pediatrician.  Our state's 0 to 3 program wanted me to have her screened for autism because of what they think are red flags, like very late talking, not understanding speech, some social communication problems with children her age (though I think that is more to do with the fact that a lot of them keep bugging her on why she doesn't talk back to them and making fun of her when she flaps her arms), limited eye contact, doesn't respond to her own name, sensory issues, arm flapping when she gets excited, hand wringing, and toe walking.  She however, I think, is social among children younger than her or children older and among adults.  A lot of times she likes to be the center of attention. One of her latest games is follow the leader.  She loves to be the leader and have everyone follow her in what she does.  She also loves parties if she knows all the people there.  She also likes to be hugged and when she is in the mood, she likes to be held or carried.  She also gives me and her daddy kisses and hugs without us asking for them.  She does look people she knows in the eyes, but it is limited.  

In the meantime, she's going through therapy four times per week, for speech, social, and sensory issues.  I just don't want her to get misdiagnosed.  Like, if she's autistic, they might diagnose her with something else, or if she has something else, what if they diagnose her with autism?  I guess if there's doubt, you get a second opinion.  Just wondering if anyone else is autistic who is social or if anyone reading this has children who are autistic and social.  

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Avatar_n_tn
Yes they can be very social...just sometimes have problems with social cues.
Alot of kids on the spectrum want friends very much.
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Avatar_n_tn
what does social cues mean?im new to this also
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Avatar_n_tn
Subtle things like body language,facial expressions, things like that
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Avatar_n_tn
Another thing might be if  there are a group of children playing they may just barge in on them without asking, or sometimes they will copy other kids alot this is a way they try and play or try to get kids to play with them.
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Do you know if symptoms can get worse or develop new symptoms as your toddler gets older?  I guess if they get new symptoms, you change their therapy to incorporate it?  I'm also concerned because at 18 months she had a few issues, but at 25 months, the issues have grown, like now she has sensory issues which she did not have at 18 months.  The sensory issues kind of started appearing around 22 months or so.  She hasn't really regressed much (she lost the approximate 5 words or so she spoke and no longer says mama or dada anymore but she really didn't have a large vocabulary ever), but she hasn't progressed any either.  She never did respond to her name or point to anything, so she didn't lose that skill, she just never acquired it.  So wondering, since she's social now, will that change too, like the sensory issues that are now developing?  I really hope she does not have autism, because I know for her, she loves to be the center of attention.  Would hate to see her have difficulty doing that if it makes her so happy. Guess will have to accept changes if they come.

Other thing I'm wondering about is most kids who have PDD/autism/language delays are boys.  Maybe girls have slightly different symptoms and personalities?  I mean, boys and girls are different, men and women are different.  So, if I have a girl, would her symptoms be a little different?  She desperately wants to communicate.  And she hugs and kisses and wants cuddles.  But, I think women and girls like and want to communicate more than boys and men.  And grown women are more in to cuddling than men are even as adults.  So, maybe that will help her out a little that she's female with the social aspect?  I just want her to be happy and she is so expressive with emotions, whether she's really happy (laughs) or really sad (cries or whines) or angry (throws a tantrum).  She just can't express them with words.  Other thing she's good at is multitasking.  She occasionally will play with 2 or 3 toys at the same time.  So, that also makes me wonder if she has something other than PDD/autism because I thought kids with PDD couldn' tmultitask, that they focused intensely on one thing.  She does focus intently on one thing a lot too, but sometimes she likes to do more than one thing. But, then again, women are better at multitasking than men are... I don't know.  The whole thing is just so confusing.  ANd I hate waiting for assessments and diagnosis.  At least her therapy has started.  Have to wait for the developmental pediatrician visit which is many months from now.  Am hoping by then she will be able to speak a little more.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sometimes girls have symptoms worse than boys..I dont know why.
Sometimes the sensory stuff will get worse before it gets better. Mabye try starting her on a gluten/dairy free diet..see  if that doesnt make a difference.
There are alot of misconcpetions abut kids on the spectrum one being affection. Alot of kids on the spectrum will show affection. Boys and Girls...Girls will sometimes fo overboard and hug EVERYBODY. They will also paly with lots of stuff. The ? is is she using her imagination at an age appropriate level? How does she play with the toys?
Some things you should DEFINITLEY start on now. Take her finger and show her how to point. Example She wants soem juice..take her finger point to the juice and say "juice"
Start labeling EVERYTHING all the time
You can start showing her sign language (hand over hand) Americansignlanguage.com
You can start putting pictures up (this is called PECS) of things she wants ...show her how to take the picture and give it to you if she wants soemthing..eventually with all of this the words will come.
I would suggest some good reads
The out of sync child
Louder than Words
Floor time buy Stanley Greenspan
Children with Starving Brains
The langauge will come..it will just take alot of  work
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