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Are these signs of autism?
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Are these signs of autism?

My 20 month old boy is a fast crawler,he stands up with help, walks around the furniture and climbs on the couches. Every time I try to encourage him to stand up by himself he does it for one or two seconds then pulls his body on me.I always encourage him to walk by putting a pencil and a paper on the table (he likes drawing) and hold his hands to let him reach them,he walks for a while but i think this is not good enough.
He also has a speech delay. He says (mama,dada,papa), he recently starts to say eye, teeth,one, two and some of the alphabets and he says toto for circle.He like to watch TV (Barney, baby Einstein...), interacts and dances with them a lot and he mostly likes songs that I sing to him.He recognizes the animals but he points to objects with my finger (sometimes he uses his own finger). He shares plays with me and the others and he likes to laugh out loud. When I ask him to give me something he doesn't response unless I ask for something that interests him like pictures of animals. And when I call his name he doesn't answer most of the time, he keeps playing with his toys or watching TV.
I took him to a specialist and he said that he had signs of autism. I want to know if these are really signs of autism.
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The speech delay and the fact that your son does not respond, at times, to his name are red flags for autism.  As for the rest ...  I'm assuming the specialist had more than these two behaviours which are alerts for suggesting autism.  But your posting really does not include enough information "for" or "against" autism.  Perhaps someone else on this site will have a better insight ....
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Hi.  Well, I guess I should not refute a specialist that you've seen.  Of course, you must take into consideration what they have said.  I'm suspecting you do not live in the states.  Here we have early intervention programs for our kids.  The first program that your son would be in now is the birth to age 3 group.  These kids have a coordinator that evaluates them and then starts to set up services that a child would need to move forward developmentally.  It is provided for free based on income.  Do you live in the states?  IF so, please ask your doctor to refer you to the program as it is very helpful.  If you do not live in the states, I would begin to make arrangements for early intervention on your own.  It is amazing the things they can do to help our kids.  Amazing!!  My own son has a developmental delay and we've worked hard at helping him conquer his challenges.  He's now 7 and doing really well.

Now, to be honest------------  what you've written here does not sound like autism.  Most kids with autism have significant social delays.  Making eye contact is the one many refer to.  But giving and receiving affection is another.  Many describe kids with autism as being in their own world.  You describe a child that is interacting.  He's only 20 months so this will reveal itself more as time goes on.

I would say from your description here that your son sounds like he has some motor developmental issues.  This would account for his inability to walk (although some kids are indeed late walkers) as well as speech issues.  That he likes to draw (kind of unusual for a 20 month old) throws me off.  Usually if a child has gross motor issues (thinks like walking or catching a ball), they have fine motor issues and avoid things like holding a pencil.  So, much to examine there.  He could have motor planning issues which are part of the sensory system.  My son has motor planning issues.  Motor planning is how the brain and nervous system organizes itself and communicates to muscles needed to accomplish something.  This goes from everything to walking to chewing to speaking.  And . . .it is further involved in speech because it is how the brain organizes thought.  If someone asks you a question, for example, your nervous system/brain has to take those words and make sense of them.  Then it has to organize a response.  Then it has to send the message of what to say to the mouth.  Then the muscles in the mouth have to get the signal on how to move to make the proper sounds.  So, motor planning is essential to speech.  It may be why your son does not always point to things or seem to understand what you say.

Does your son have difficulty chewing things like meat?  If you give him a command such as get your pencil, will he try to follow through?  Does he seem to understand you?

Another thing they often talk about with kids that have issues walking and such is low muscle tone.  Has anyone said this to you?

Specialists that would evaluate your son here in the states would be a speech therapist.  They would give you exercises to do and help with those mouth muscles.  A physical therapist would help with things like low muscle tone and walking.  An occupational therapist would help with motor planning and things sensory related.  

I'd do some mouth games with him.  Turn on some music and make silly funny faces.  Then stop the music abruptly and freeze.  This strengthens the facial muscles.  Stick the tongue out and pull it in fast. Run his tonge around the edge of his lips. (you do it in front of him and then have him do it).  Move the tongue from side to side.  Even if it is hard at first, just keep doing it.  Blowing bubbles is a good mouth exercise.  You can also take cotton balls and a straw cut in half and have a race across the table blowing them.  Then suck things through a straw that are thicker---------  a smoothie that is thick is good or a milkshake.   Speak slowly and make eye contact when yo speak with him.  Let him see how you place your mouth to make the sounds.  I liked a cd called "speechercize" but didn't use it until my son was 3.  It is all exercises for the mouth.  But a speech therapist can help you the best with this.  My son had trouble chewing and speech therapists and occupational therapists can help with that as well.

So, I can't say for sure what is going on with your son.  You've seen a specialist that says possible autism.  I'm just a mom on the internet so I don't want to discount that.  I'd take any steps that they've recommended.  I will say that I don't hear autism in your post though.  Your son may need some extra help.  Now you just need to research what you can do to provide that for him.

Again, my son is doing great----------  and all kids are unique and different and develop at their own rate.  Helping them along a bit is a good thing.  Keep in touch with how it goes.  Good luck
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