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Is my Child Autistic
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Is my Child Autistic

I have a son who is 14 months and going to be 15 months in a week. I am very worried that he might be autistic. My worrie started when he was just 1 year old. He is developing normally is some ways ( he imitates, he cuddles, he clapps , waves goodbye, plays with others ect.). I am still worried about some of his behaviors that indicate autism. He constantly flapps his hand, he has started walking on his toes a few weeks ago, he doesn't point at objects, he also spins around a lot, and doesn't follow my finger when i point at an object ( he will just look at my arm), and the most worrisome to me is that he seldomely responds to his name, and he is always extremely excited when he sees people, even strangers. The problem with that is he tries to draw everyones attendtion to him. He laughs very loud at those people and jumps around. This happens all the time. He is always exited and seldomely sad.
I haven't seen a dr. about this but I am planning to. I just want to know ahead of his next appointment so that i can ask his dr. about this.
I just want to also point out that he is reaching all of his milestones normally, but i am also worried about speech. He can say "thank you" ( he pronounced it as " kaku") when i give him something; he can say mama, wow, and bye. those are all that he says right now.
Please help ! should i be concerned or not?
Thnx in advance.
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325405_tn?1262293778
I think most pediatricians start screening for autism at the 18 month checkup and then again at the 24 month checkup.  Some pediatricians do not screen for autism until the 24 month checkup.  I wonder if some don't at all... but you could ask and request them to.  Just keep talking to the pediatrician about all your concerns and do not let the doctor dismiss them as needless worry.  That isn't to say it sounds like your son has autism... it just sounds like he has some issues that would make you want to stay on top of him reaching developmental milestones.  Early intervention can do amazing things!  And sometimes kids have global developmental delay or sensory processing disorder or something else entirely.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your respondse. That helped a lot.
Can I ask one more thing though? Do you know if children without autism may also have such behavoirs as my son?
Once again thank you.
-hajakay
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325405_tn?1262293778
My sister worried that her son (my nephew) had autistic tendencies when he was around 18 months of age.  He flapped his arms and hated certain textures on his hands or feet.  He stopped flapping his arms and he still has some problems with some textures, like slimy things or going barefoot on grass or walking in sand.  But that's about it.  Some kids just have sensory differences.  I think my nephew is a little bit on the OCD tendency side, but not too badly.  My sister has a bit more OCD tendencies... especially where the cleaning factor comes in... she is someone who has 3 kids (about to have a 4th so she's pregnant) who are 1, 3, and 4.... and yet she still vacuums every single day, mops her kitchen floor every day, dusts every day, and runs her house with a strict schedule that usually does not vary much.  Sensory issues and some autistic like behaviors also tend to run with kids and adults who have ADD or OCD or sometimes just nothing at all or stuff they grow out of.  You really need to keep on top of the doctor and address the concerns that you have as they come up.  And I wouldn't worry too much.  Kids pick up on worrying and it stresses them out.  

Sounds like you have a happy little 1 year old guy there.  Enjoy him!  Kids grow up so quickly... Every step is such a treasure to watch.  
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325405_tn?1262293778
Oh, forgot to add... if his language is coming in slowly -- try out baby sign language.  It really alleviates frustrations that kids have.  I started doing baby sign language with my daughter at 18 months or so, before I knew she had a language delay.  By the time she was 2, she couldn't speak or understand what you spoke, even her name... but if you signed to her something, she knew what you told her.  There are so many books and videos out there, I'm sure you could find some at your local library... or the bookstore.  If you don't want to buy a book, you could do what I do and sit down with it and read it in the store (sorry Barnes and Noble for using your chairs in that capacity).
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Avatar_n_tn
ok my son is 4 years old whee are still waiting to find out if he is autistic the difference be tween the problems written  in the first sender hear is that my son had a huge difficult time excepting me his own mother i felt regected by my own son and i still do to day from the day he was born i was never able to comfort his cries he was very distant and still is he is and always e has bin one to hurt him self and not even realize it hurts he was walking on his toes scene he could walk he started out with good mooter skills but when he hit 18 month all came to a holt he still cant talk sentences he goes to enny one at enny time he is very antisocial with kids but very social with strangers and adults he dos int like t get dirty and despises water and hugs he loves evry one to look at him and he will do enny thing to turn heads he is so sensitive he breaks out with enny type of sop and he is sensitive to noise and taste and smells he has a problem i just don't know what yet he dose have autistic tendency's he will play with his fingers all day and put things in order he needs a strict schedule other wise he is hard to handle he is anemic and he dos int sleep much at all he will lie in bed for hours just staring into space if you have enny answers for me or enny thing to help please let me know i beg im at my last string i cant connect to my son! doctors are not fast and im on a big waiting list if enny of these symptom are present in your child go  to see a doctor asap to see if there is a problem don't wait  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks guys. I really do apretiate your response. I will try to teach him some sign language. I am starting to think that he just has some sensory issues, because I have started to point more often and he is starting to loook! which is very exciting. He has not given up on his other habits though. He still does all the other things. I just can't wait for his next appointment, so I can express all those concerns I have. In the main time I hope he doesn't pick up on other autistic behaviors. I am keeping close eye on him.
I wish you all good luck with your kids.
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325405_tn?1262293778
hajakay,
If he has just sensory issues, you could ask the pediatrician about therapy.  The pediatrician probably wouldn't refer him for anything until he was after age 2 unless it was some pretty severe sensory issues... Occupational therapists can do wonderful things with sensory integration therapy.  30 years ago they didn't offer that stuff.  I have sensory processing problems which I knew I always had sensitivies to things and felt like not many people understood me.  To see my daughter go through therapy at a young age and start to overcome some of the things that I had problems with as a child (and continue to have problems with as an adult)... well, I found a therapist who works with adults.  The thing is that as a small child, your brain is still forming.  Sensory integration therapy works wonderfully on small children and also on older children.  As you pass 30 (i'm in my late 30s), it gets harder to change your brain processing.  I tried the same techniques my daughter uses for months with no change with myself (brush therapy and joint-compression).  Saw an occupational therapist who works with both adults and children and she recommended some things and said that I can see some minimal changes even as an adult...

Well, long story short -- if your child has sensory processing issues... get him therapy as a child.  If there was stuff like that available 35 years ago, my mom probably would have taken advantage of it (evidently I was a difficult child who wouldn't let anyone touch my hair, head, hands, or feet and absolutely hated bathing so much I would scream so loudly one of the neighbors thought my parents were child abusers... not to mention that my mom just gave up on combing my hair ever -- I still rarely do it as an adult).  Sensory processing also can affect how a person interacts with others socially... if you are having difficulties processing your environment, you can miss out on social cues or even what people are saying if there are too many things going on to process.

14 months is young... sounds like you're going to have to play the waiting game.

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325405_tn?1262293778
selina,
Where do you live?  Are you in the U.S.?  If you are in the U.S. is your son getting therapy through the school system?  After the birth to 3 program, kids qualify for the developmental preschools or developmental therapy (speech, occupational, physcial therapies) through the school system (sometimes therapy in districts is done outside of schools).  

Your son definitely sounds like he has autism.  Are the doctors advising any therapy?  You wouldn't need a diagnosis to get therapy, though a diagnosis would be helpful.  if you have therapists, do the therapists use sensory integration therapy?  Does your son use PECS?  Sign language?  Have you found any local autism support groups that can help you out?  Have any doctors recommended ABA therapy?  I suppose for ABA, you would  need a diagnosis since it usually is not covered by insurance, though many states will cover it once you have a diagnosis.  Some states have a waiting period to get the state to fund the ABA.  With my daughter, we did not go the ABA route since she does not have behavioral issues and responds well to sensory integration therapy.

I am told that autism affects all children differently.  The specialist felt my daughter has PDD-NOS which is a milder form of autism.  For her the language issues and the ritualistic behaviors are very hard for her.  She also has sensory issues, but she is lucky in that she craves touch instead of avoids it.  WHich makes her a huggy little girl who is trying to get backrubs from every single person, strangers included.  Sometimes I worry that if I don't keep my eye on her, someone will end up abducting her and I'm not sure if she would scream or say anything.  I keep a very close eye on her and do not let her out of my sight and usually within 10 feet, even at playgrounds.  We're working on learning about differences between strangers and family and friends.  She is just not getting it, though.  Everyone is a friend to her.

Sometimes I question the PDD diagnosis, but the school system also did their own autism screening ... but they explained that autism is either a complete lack of or a notable difference in social interaction... my daughter is social but there is a quite notable difference in how she is social.  Other kids are starting to pick up that she is a bit quirky.  Some do not want to play with her because of that.  As she gets older I am sure there will be a lot more kids noticing the little differences.  It sounds like your son has some bigger differences... I hope that he is able to make friends and that he doesn't go through worse than what my daughter is starting to at this point.  It's going to be a rough ride for him and for you, it sounds like.  I hope the docs can find a diagnosis for him and that you can get him into early intervention.

There are so many different extremes on the "spectrum" that sometimes I do not understand how it can be the same diagnosis.  Some people with autism will never speak.  Or with aspergers, there is no delay in language or any problem with language but they have social communication problems.  And then the PDD-NOS category.  Even within the categories, every person with autism has different issues that they have.

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Avatar_f_tn
Despite a lot of common misconceptions you absolutely do not have to wait to talk to your doctor about autism. My son's pediatrician got us into the early intervention program when my son was 14 months old. He was not diagnosed with autism until he was 21 months old but still got to begin therapies at 14 months. I'm not saying I think your son is autistic as there are other less severe developmental delays with common symptoms. No matter what your pediatrician's take on it is, you as the mother absolutely have the right to request an evaluation with a pediatric neurologist. And truthfully the sooner the better. You get the most help with developmental delays before the child turns 3 and the best times to work with such a child is before they turn 5 when their brains can soak up the most information. Even if you are over worrying wouldn't you rather know and stop wondering? That's why we pursued the diagnosis so early even though everyone kept telling us our son was fine and we were right, he was autistic. He went through his roughest patch between 1 1/2 yrs old and 2 1/2 yrs old. If we had waited to find out he wouldn't have received nearly as much help and he's doing so well now. ABA therapy is really for severely autistic children. It's very strict and rigid and stressing on the child. It's of course well worth the results but speech therapy, occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy, and play groups are usually the first route to go. Also my son had trouble remembering the signs but did really well with picture labels. You can google board maker pictures and download and print them for free. We used pics of all different kinds of foods, faces with different emotions, toys and books, etc. He learned the words by us constantly showing him the picture, the real object, and saying the word strong and clear repeatedly. And before he learned to speak, he got some relief from all the frustration of non-communication by bringing us pictures of what he wanted to eat, or watch or play with. And he loved it that we knew what he meant. I strongly suggest you pursue an evaluation as soon as you can and I wish you all the best. The worst that could happen is also the best-you were worried over nothing!
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