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Worried Son Has Autism - Any Advice?
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Worried Son Has Autism - Any Advice?

Hello everyone. I’m new to this forum and I thank you for reading my post. Here’s my situation…

I’m the proud father of a wonderful 20 month old Son. In last couple of months I’ve begun to worry about the following behaviors I see in him:

--Does not talk much other than saying GAH, which seems to me everything, and UH OH, which he uses when he drops something or finds doors open that should be closed. He doesn’t really say anything else, and he doesn’t really try to say much else (like babbling), either. He does laugh and scream when playing, just no words…
--He sometimes flaps his arms and hands, but this is mostly when he gets excited about something.
--He walks on his tip toes sometimes (but most of the time he walks normally).    
--He doesn’t wave goodbye.
--He’s not an extremely lovable boy. If you lay next to him in bed and you happen to block his view of the TV, he will try to move you away.
--He throws tantrums if he does not get his own way.

I know all of those things above seem to be possible symptoms of autism… but here are the things he does that make me think that he probably doesn’t have autism:

--He points to objects and looks at us and grunts to get our attention on the object he is pointing at. The object could be the fridge when he wants more milk, or the TV when he wants to watch cartoons – he basically points, grunts then looks at us to get him whatever he wants.
--We can get his attention and point to object within the room and he will look at what we’re point at. He even looks in the direction where we are looking without pointing.
--We can ask him to feed or give a drink to his stuffed animals, and he will do it. He will also pretend to be talking on the cell phone (holding it up to his ear and grunting instead of talking).
--He understands spoken language very well. He has no problem completing two-step tasks when we ask him to. For example, we can say something like “go get the paper off the floor and throw it into the garbage in the kitchen” and he will do it without any problems.
--He also plays very well with other children – he loves being around children – he even throws a tantrum when they leave.
--His eye contact is good (when he wants it to be).


Obviously, the biggest worry is the lack of speech at 20 months, but as you can see there are other things that he does that may warrant a worry as well. However, when we look at some of the questionnaires that list the major red flags for determining autism, he seems to pass those tests with the abilities I have listed that suggest he doesn’t have autism.

I would greatly appreciate anyone else’s thoughts on this – especially those with experience with autism. Do you think my Son could have Autism?

Thank you!

Michael
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Avatar_n_tn
I forgot to add that my Son can also point to object in a book without any trouble. We have a book with about 50 or so pictures of animals in it and we can ask him, for example, to show us the cow, and he will point it out. He can point out all 50 animals.

Hopefully that's another sign he doesn't have autism...

Michael
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Avatar_n_tn
couple things. my son said one word at nine months and nothing for at least a year later.  i just watched his xmas video at 1.5 and he really was saying nothing.  his speech 'popped' if you will after his second bday.  it just sprang forward at a certain point.  im not sure at 2 i'd be that worried.
we are going through evals for our son at 3.3 and it is not autism but something much milder (if anything), either sensory trouble or PDD (if those are even real). He has no trouble with eye contact but also like your son i would not say he is highly affectionate.   i have no basis for saying this other than that ive been reading a ton about it and im a former reporter and used to work on these stories a lot but i would not think your child has autism from what you say. if it's anything, i would bet it's a much milder issue from what im hearing. also consistent toe walking should be checked but i have a nephew who did it for a loong time and he just grew out of it.    good luck!
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167426_tn?1254089835
Pointing is an important key to language development. Children who point at objects in the first year and who use symbolic gestures at 13 months are likely to have completely normal language, even if they are late bloomers.

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Avatar_n_tn
I would like to tell you at first that my english is not good, its not my first languje but I would try telling you that  I have a daugther that at 2 1/2 years old had trouble to play proper wtih other children but She was very social, She used to flap hands but not constantly, She had a huge vocabulary but She not able to  make  even short sentences and She also had ecolalia, She used to repet what we asked her, and also her receptive and expresive langujae was not right but her age, My languaje is spanish and my husband english, She did not call me mama at that age, She was very lovely girl  but when she used to get trantun I did not pay any attencion and She stopped doing it. For her pediatrician everything was fine but for us something was not rigth  after visiting  3 specialists in autism my daugther was diagnoticated was PDD NOS, 3 expert specialists were not sure if She was o not in the diagnostic but they said  it was better to diagnostic her  to be proactive and be sure thta She would get the rigth terapys, so  My daugther used to point very well, make eyes contac but sometimes no, She was able to fallow one o  two simple step command, feed animal if we say to her to do it but She had other behavior and languaje problems that need help, I always treat my daugther like  tipical child not as special child and I always used to see how the terapist worked with her and i used to do the same at home with her al the time. As  She used to flap her hand I inmedatly use to stopped her saying hands down at the same time that I took her hands and put donw, always I did not mind if We were in a  public playroom, at home etc, and my daugther changed that behavior very quickly.Now my daugther is 4 1/2 years old and very tipical and  Specialist says that She has changed a lot and She is not in the diagnost any more The earlier the better because the brain is flexible to change special whe is not very severe problem. I hope that everything  will be fine with your soon but remenber the earlier the better look for help even if his pediatrician say that everything is perfect. I am sorry for my english.
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Avatar_f_tn
My brother is taking alot of medications for his congenital heart disease. Since birth he is an autistic child. He stopped taking his medications for 4 years and he is recovering from the autism from then on. He got sick recently and has a pulmonary hypertension and all his medications were resumed  and its when his autism is recurring again. He oftenly talks when he is alone as if he has its own world. Is autism a side effect of lanoxin - digoxin drug?
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325405_tn?1262293778
Make a visit to your pediatrician.  Even if your son doesn't have autism, if you have concerns you need to address them.  Every state has a 0 to 3 program, that is funded, and provides early intervention therapy that is subsidized.  It is not just for autistic children, it is for any children with any sort of developmental delays or disabilities, including if there is just a speech delay.  You can be referred by the pediatrician, or you can even contact this program in your state directly (the pediatrician's office should have the contact info or you can look on line using google).  Pointing and able to understand directions are good indicators of language developing, but that doesn't mean there is a problem with him not talking.  Stuff like apraxia or motor delays in the mouth that won't allow him to form words are reasons for delayed speech.  There are lots of reasons speech could be delayed, and autism and other things that might cause odd behaviors.  Definitely if he is not saying more in the next few months, I would get him scheduled to be assessed by the early intervention program if you haven't decided to do so sooner.  The earlier therapy starts, the more they can do faster.  And the early intervention program, after the assessment/evaluation is done, can advise you in what to do, like if you need to see a specialist, what type of specialist, if a hearing test needs to be done or a vision test, that sort of thing.  The therapists in the program I don't think are qualified to diagnose, but as they work with lots of children with special needs, they might be able to recognize warning signs and symptoms of various developmental delays and help you figure out what direction to take.

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Avatar_n_tn
Mochael if you want my opinion, your son may have a mild form of autism. The reason I say this because I have a son that is two and sounds just like your son! He doesn't talk, but babbles alot! He will throw tantrums when he doesnt get his way and flaps his hands when he is excited. On the other hand he is very intelligent. He will throw things away when we tell him to, he will give us a diaper when he needs to be changed and will point to my eyes, nose, or mouth when I ask them where they are. He will also grab a diaper and head upstairs when I tell him its time for a bath. He is affectionate for the most part, but will not let us lay with him..he will push us away and play with his toys or color, or just watch t.v. I have struggled with thoughts of there being something wrong with him. And there are severe types of autism and mild forms of it. Mild forms from what I have read are very treatable. My son goes to the doctor next week and I am going to tell his doctor everything and see what he has to say. I think you should take your son to the doctor and tell him everything you are worried about. I just know as a parent if you have any concerns at all, do not avoid them, get them checked out. The sooner the better! Good luck!
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365714_tn?1292202708
Mild forms of autism are not treatable. There is no "cure", but there are ways to work and adapt. I'm one who has "mild" autism.  To be honest the whole idea of trying to cure autism sends me mixed emotions. For severely autistic people, it may be helpful, but to alleviate it completely is like trying to remove a rather unique and amazing part of society.  Autism has its mixed curses and blessings. We may be familiar with some of the bad things, but there are good things too.  We have to take the good with the bad, capitalize on the good, and see if we can make the best out of the bad and make the bad easier to cope.

With mild autism, I think what you may be meaning by "treatment" is our long ongoing process trying to adapt and adjust to a society of people who may seem very different. I'm continually trying to learn what is appropriate to say in what situation, how to act and behave...etc... It takes a lot of confusion, misunderstandings and embarrassment, but that's life. That’s the life of an autistic person living in a non-autistic world.  

At the same time I believe I pay more attention to details and develop my ability to visualize, create characters, draw and write. I probably wouldn't have done so well with these had I not been autistic.

I’m meaning to say, if your child is autistic, it isn’t the end of the world. It shouldn’t be considered the worst thing that’s happened so far.  Instead, try to think of it as a part of what makes you child special and unique. Work with the challenges you and your child will face, but also make sure to enjoy the blessings as well. It isn’t an easy life, but it isn’t all bad.
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Avatar_n_tn
I haven't read all of the responses so if this is redundant, forgive me. I know you're worried, but I don't think you should be. I think you SHOULD take your son to a pediatric developmental expert. My son is now almost two and just started really talking. Your child sounds a lot like mine, who was diagnosed with apraxia of speech by an autism expert at UVA. It pisses me off that society has labeled any child that is not "advanced" early enough as possible autistic. I think you'll son will be fine.
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401219_tn?1205883081
Hi,
My best advice would be to go to your local school district and ask for an evaluation to determine whether or not your child has a disability.  The people who need to evaluate your son would be a psychologist and a speech therapist.  Typically, when you get a referrall for a speech evaluation, you also get a referral for a hearing evaluation, just to rule out any hearing issues.  With those two professionals involved, you should be able to get useful information.  All of this varies by state.  What state are you from?  Info. and access to services differs.
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367831_tn?1284262544
Good advice!  Also note that school districts are mandated by FEDERAL LAW to perform these evaluations in 90 days after receiving a written refferal.  Some states have good outreach programs while others need usas  parents to "help" ensure their compliance with federal law.
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367831_tn?1284262544
I agree with  Angela77.  Yes each state has their own implentation of federal education laws.  However there are federal mandates in place to ensure every child is identified and receives services.  The word I want to stress is FEDERAL LAW.  Some states have  good outreach programs and other states may not be as pro-active.  
  
In the USA, every state is mandated to have a "child find" program in every school district.  This is a program to test and screen children with special needs.  This program is available from birth.  States tend to make it a birth to 3 focus.

Get in touch with the scool district office special ed division and ask for a child find eval.  If they can't help u, then put it in writing and address to the district spec ed admin and cc it to the superintendent.  Note in your letter the specific concerns you have and be sure to mention an evaluation MUST be done in 90 days by a multi disciplinary team of persons with extensive training and experience in these areas of your concern in accordance with the federal Individuals with DisAbilities Education Act (IDEA).  At 20 months, Part C of the law is the apllicable part.

If he can point out pictures, it shows he has interperetive language but not necessarily expressive language.  He seems to have social skills, eye contact, lack of reciporcal response (not waving goodbye), pretend play is present,
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