We're seeing our family doctor on Monday to get a referral, but we have some concerns about our 32 month old daughter. Now, she is very affectionate - gives and receives hugs, kisses, has great empathy, and overall her eye contact is good (she has times where she will only look at you out of the corner of her eye). She has a GREAT vocabulary, though I think the pronunciation is a bit behind. However, the behaviours we're concerned about are:
- Resists being held or cuddled
- Distressed by diaper changes (often) - We potty trained her at almost 27 months, she did great for a few weeks and then just suddenly regressed and hasn't wanted anything to do with it since.
- Definite sensory issues: distressed when moved suddenly or whole body and/or head is tipped, distressed when moving in space (sometimes bothered by it, sometimes likes it), hates having her hair washed, HATES wet clothing, it has to come off immediately, sometimes gets really upset with her pjs and strips them off in the middle of the night, gets upset sometimes with bedding changes (as in she's had 45 minute meltdowns over it), hates having lotion on her
- Doesn't appear to respond to name or familiar voice (she sometimes seems to tune you out, ignore questions etc...)
- Does not seem to sense when diaper is wet
- Prefers to be without clothing. Can't stand when clothes get wet, she'll take them off immediately. Can get upset by clothing changes.
- Tantrums many times a day
- Distressed by dirty hands or face
- Doesn't seem to notice sounds others do (sometimes)
- has never liked anything restraining: car seat straps, high chair straps, safety belts in carts etc... Gets upset if car seat straps are tight.
- Still mouths things, likes to lick stuff, hold things in mouth, likes eats paper and other things she shouldn't, picks things up and carries them in her mouth. Grinds her teeth side to side.
- Very independent, doesn't like us to help her - gets very upset. Sometimes to the point of 30 minute meltdowns because we tried to help her get dressed/undressed/cut her food for her
- HATES to be looked at when she's upset/crying, absolutely will not make eye contact, will not seek comfort from us. Will hide, cover her face and scream, "Don't look at me!"
- Hard to distract
- High pain tolerance
- Little fear
- TV seems to soothe her, sometimes gets very upset when it's turned off
- Strong temper, will hit me, her brother, throw chairs down or throw things when mad.
- Very busy. Always into stuff. Very independent, to the point of dangerous at times: ex. grabbing steak knives to try and open a toy by herself, climbs anything. She won't even ask - she just goes and tries to do it herself.
- Pinches herself when mad
- Some stimming? Has a little flicking thing she does with her fingers.
- Normally plays by herself. Plays well with her brother, will seek us out for play sometimes and will play with other kids for a few minutes (especially if it's an active, running around game), but otherwise prefers to play by herself.
Is it possible she has a mild form of autism? My sister is severely autistic, and I have a cousin also on my maternal side that has HFA. Her brother has SPD.
Yes, it is definitely possible she has autism. My daughter is 6 and has autism. Many of the things you described are incredibly similar to her. One of the things that stand out to me is what you said about regression. That is a strong indicator of autism. I would definitely stress that point when you talk to her doctor. It is great that her speech is developing and that she has some eye contact.
Since she is having trouble with clothes (my daughter loves to run around naked), try only putting her in loose fitting clothes. No snaps or buttons on pants. My daughter lives in leggings and tunics or dresses.
My guess is that her independence is just a part of her personality. Children, even ones on the spectrum, develop their own personalities and all different from each other. Glad to hear you are getting an evaluation and are open to considering autism. Let us know what you find out.
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