My son has been attending speech therapy for 4 weeks now. He is 2 years old with a vocabulary of 4 words (mama, no, good, whoa).
When I took him in for the speech assessment, the Speech Therapist said she thought that the speech delay was a result of months of low hearing due to ear infections. Tubes went in on Dec. 12, 2006. He started walking 2 days later (he was 15 months), due to being in a state of vertigo due to uneven ear fluid. He has since had 2 hearing screens that tested normal.
Last visit the Speech Therapist noticed him playing with my hair (it's his comfort object, has been since 10 months old). She brought up a possible 'sensory issue'. He plays with my hair when he is sleepy or tired.
He has since been tested for a Sensory Disorder, and does not have one.
I wonder if he needs to see a developmental pediatrician to be tested for autism. The sheer volume of information on the Internet is daunting, and I believe that I am confusing myself more concerning what is / is not symptomatic.
Here are some basic facts related to his development:
-4 word vocabulary at 2 years with no apparent physical issues
-Parallel plays with other children. Will engage in activities such as rolling balls back and forth, but at daycare he prefers to look at his books and play independently.
-Good eye contact
-Motor skills on par with 36 month old
-Does like to play independently about 40%-50%the time at home ('reading' books, playing with cars and Little People, etc.)
-Seems entranced by Pixar (computer animated) films when he sees them on television.
-Likes to show us what he wants (brings cup when thirsty, points to fridge when wants snack, waits by door to go outside)
-Very loving, especially with Mommy & Daddy, loves to kiss and lay with us on the couch in the evenings
-Uses my hair as a comfort object
-Thumb-sucker (started at 7 months with first tooth, sucked left thumb from 7-16 months, right thumb from 16 months to present)
-Babbles incessantly, nearly all the consonant sounds, most vowel sounds
-Points. Also, he will follow my eye direction when I point to something.
-Sometimes gets frustrated when he tries to say a word and can't (after we ask him to say something)
-Mimics adults and children-->'Talks' on the phone (uses my cell phone), uses the broom to try and sweep the kitchen, etc
-I have no idea if this is important: My son is a moderate asthmatic, uses an inhaler twice a day, has been asthmatic since 4 months old. He has had numerous sinus infections, colds, stuffy head as a result.
-Started walking at 15 months (we were told due to uneven ear fluid)
-Head circumference has consistently measured in the 99% (my head is also in the 96% for adults). I understand that this is called Familial Megalocephaly, and that it can be related to speech delays. However, my Pediatrician has never brought this up and our Speech Therapist believes that there is no coorelation.
-Expressive language of 16 months, Receptive language of 18 months
-Smiles and laughs at other children, adults, and dogs
-Has no repetitive behaviors that I have noted, and does not engage in lining up objects
-Has no sensory issues that I have noted (with objects or with food), with the exception of using my hair as a comfort object
-Sometimes will not respond to his name when called (30-40% of the time). This occurs when he is engaged in something else (book, toy).
Basically, I'm not sure if he is simply delayed in speech, or could be on the autism spectrum, or PDD.
Time will tell, for him. From your description, I think you can totally take Autism off the table as a possibility. The hallmarks of autism are social stiffness, lack of apparent emotion, lack of personal connection, etc. From your description, he has warm and loving interactions with both parents, and also smiles at other children, adults and dogs. He sounds socially comfortable and happy. "Parallel play" is normal for a 2 year old, this is what you should expect from him at 2. Google search "parallel play developmental milestones". He's on track.
I think using your hair as a comfort object is totally normal.
His motor skills are well above average, that's a good thing. Some kids advance physically and not verbally, and vice versa. He's ahead physically.
Mimmicking adults and children is a positive thing - I don't know if you were listing that as a positive, it's a positive. It shows he wants to be like other people, and he's watchful, and smart enough to catch on. You want to see a child immitate your behaviors - sometime's it's embarrassing how well they mimmick you! The picture of a father mowing the lawn followed by a two year pushing a toy mower is class, and typical. This is a good thing.
He does seem to have difficulty with verbally expressing himself, and has kind of turned to "charades" to get his point across.
He's only two - he's really not that far behind. We're all approximations on the mean. I understand this is your child, and you are worried, but he seems on track for a lot of things.
On the other hand, not everyone is above average intelligence. It's not autism, or PDD, it's just that it takes some people a little longer to develop than others.
You won't know for several years. As it is, he sounds like a very delightful enjoyable child - try to enjoy him and not worry so much!
heres a long shot. my daughter had troubles talking, sucking on a bottle, has asthma. Turned out her adnoids were too big and she couldn't breath out of her nose. We had those out and her tonsils and she is a totally different child.
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