QUESTION: Our son is 2 years and 4 months old.
He has delayed motor development and lack of speech (no words at all, some sounds).
By age 2, we brought him to several doctos, including a pediatric
neurologist. The tests he ordered (EEG, MRI, blood analysis) were all OK.
Actually the EEG was not normal, but the doctor said it was okay because
the MRI did not show anything. This doctor told us that he has a functional
problem, and that we should check with an specialist if he has Asperger syndrome.
On the other side, a psychologist told us that she did not see signs of
autism. He started at motor and speech stimulation a couple of months
ago, and he has improved his motor skills, but still no speech.
We are going to bring him to specialists on Asperger, but the good ones
have long waiting lists, so in the meantime we would like to check in
Here are issues that we find worrying:
- does not talk
- does not eat solid food
- does not bring anything to his mouth
- he started to walk late, by 18 months. Never crawled.
- he started to climb small stairs by himself recently, when he was 26 months.
- when frustrated (quite often), hits his head with his hand
- teeth grinding (started recently)
- sometimes toe-walking (less of this lately)
- a lot of hand-flapping, especially when happy, some hand-clapping
On the other side, here are things that seem out of the Asperger spectrum:
- he understands everything (we have a biligual environment at home, English and Spanish)
- a lot of pointing to objects, persons, interacting with us
- smiles a lot
- enjoys playing with his brothers and his parents: hide and seek, ball, etc.
- enjoys going through books with us, pointing to the right objects when we ask
- he looks into our eyes when we interact with him
- seems very intelligent: by age 18 months he knew all the shapes; by age 2, we
discovered he already knew the numbers (we guess he learnt them by watching
'Dora the explorer' cartoons)
- he learnt colors (a rather abstract property of objects) in an afternoon. He knows
all the letters now, he likes to ask us about them and play pointing at the right
one when we ask.
- he enjoys watching cartoons of Dora the explorer and Little Einsteins since
he was very young
We asked the neurologist if this could be dyspraxia, but he thinks it is
Asperger. We are on the waiting list of a couple of specialits on Asperger,
but they warned us that we might be too young to get a diagnose.
- Do you think the above indicates Asperger?
- If not, any idea of what it could be?
- He is doing 2 hours/week of motor and speech stimulation. We also
do some of the excercises at home. Is this enough?
- We are tyring to somewhat force him to use his mouth, using small
pieces of chocolate, lollypops etc. But he rejects them all the time.
Should we keep doing this?
Your help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
You are doing the right things for your son. Even without a diagnosis, the therapies will help. I know people who have had their children diagnosed as young as 18 months, but with my daughter (she has Aspergers) they didn't give us an official diagnosis until she was 5. Your son sounds like he is probably on the autism spectrum, but that could mean many different things. His refusal to eat solids could be a sensory problem. The textures of certain foods bother people with sensory delays. I wouldn't force anything on him until you know the reason behind his refusal. Also, you might look into a preschool for children with learning problems. My daughter attended one that specialized in developmental delays and it helped a great deal. Good Luck.
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