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Is it Autism?
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Is it Autism?

I take care of a boy(since he was 12mon) who is now 27 months old. He is only 2 days younger than my son. I have noticed for quite some time now, that the boy is quite far behind for his age. A mild form of Autism does seem to cross my mind each day(as it does with my husband and my Mother whom have both been around him quite a bit), as he will not make eye contact. If he has done something wrong, I will get down to his level to tell him what he did wrong, and he will look everywhere else except look at me. He does not understand when I try to tell him not to do something. He just goes to do it again (not out of spite). Time outs are hopeless as he has no idea why he's in time out, and will unknowingly go back to do the same thing once he's out, as though it wasn't wrong. He does not seem to hear well at all. I will call his name many times before he will look towards where I am. He has poor balance. Especially when he tries to run. He runs "funny" and will trip over any thing. His vocabulary at 27 mon is next to nothing. The odd thing he has said for a while now, such as "Hi" "Bye" which he will repeat over and over! He does not have any 2 word sentences at all, and when he is here, all we ever hear is his own language that has been with him since he started at 1yr. He will play with toys, but has repetetive behaviour, such as moving a noisy part of a toy up and down over and over again until we cannot take it any more and tell him to stop. Even if we have the microwave on for example, he will watch it the entire time that it is on, where as our son and the other child could care less that it is on. The one and only ting that he knows-which completely shocks us is that he can count to 10. I do this regularly along with many other things with the kids, but he has picked that up. We also think he has picked it up because his Mother yells at his sibling and will count. He is also affectionate. This is why I believe that he could be a child will just a mild form? I don't know what to do, because it is a daily battle to get through the day as he seems to be getting worse for having to tell him not to do this or that, but still cannot seem to understand hardly any thing I say. It even took him until he was about 18 months old just to hold a spoon, to try and feed himself. To this day he still holds it/feeds himself poorly. The mom who doesn't have any other little ones to compare him to thinks he is right on track for his age. She is known for "stretching" the truth, and even tried to tell me the other day that she thinks he can read!?? He can't even talk or listen or understand when he is here. Any advise on what you think about his signs? Or what I should do?


This discussion is related to Symptoms of Autism in a two year old.
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535822_tn?1389452880
Its up to his mom if she wants to seek advice about her child, so really look after him or let him go if its too much. If you have told her about your concerns and she doesn't think its a problem its out of your hands .I think children have different rates of growth they are not all the same,I don't believe most are autistic ,it wouldn't hurt  for her to get his hearing checked out if he's not responding to his name , does she also have the same problem where he doesn't respond to her speaking his name ?
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi.  I agree with Margy that your first step is to talk to his mom.  

What is hard about kids is that they all develop at different paces.  That is why many things aren't diagnosed until a child is a little older-------  such a wide range of normal.

Autism---------  will usually have some kind of speech component to it.  Even high functioning autism has speech red flags.  How does this child articulate?

I'd like you to google sensory integration disorder and see what you think.  Some of what you describe such as his tripping (the two things brought to my attention as red flags for sensory integration disorder which my son was diagnosed with were speech/articulation issues and tripping) can fall under sensory issues.  Motor planning is part of the sensory/nervous system and if a child even has a mild issue-------------  the ability to do some things ---------- sometimes gross movement and often fine motor becomes challenging.  
Another part of sensory can involve auditory processing.  My son has issues with this as well.  He hears (have had his hearing checked)-----------  but it takes a bit longer to process it (make sense of it).  Yes, even his name.  He also can hear things all at one volume.  This means that my calling his name is as loud as the radio, the other child in the room, his own breathing----------  so he misses it.  This is common with sensory kids.  We work on his nervous system as a whole and then he is able to process better and the ability to inhibit other things so he can hear me works better.  Think of the brain as having lots of little gates in it.  Most people have these gates that hold back what needs to be held back so a child can hear you or focus on doing a task, etc.  Only one gate is open at a time-------  but in a sensory child--------- many gates open at once.  It is chaotic and harder for a child to hear you or to focus on something or to remember a rule, etc.  

Sensory is treatable and my son is proof that a child can really overcome a lot of obstacles.  So google it and see what you think.  Then you can do some things while he is with you that might help him.  Good for all kids so you boy could do them as well.  

In the mean time, get this boy out and about.  He should be at a park every single day running, climbing, sliding, swinging, jumping, rolling, etc.  It will regulate that nervous system and help him function/cope better.  good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
I find that the Mother will most likely not do any thing about it-as far as hearing goes, as I had even asked her about one month ago, if he has ever had his vision checked as he is always tripping over things even the same thing again and again. She said thank you for bringing it to her attention that children should have their vision checked and that she would get him done a.s.a.p but so far she has not. I have now come to think that with him not listening very well, that perhaps it is his ears, and could also be the cause of why he falls so much. I have run a daycare for many years, and I do realize children develop at their own rates, but with this child I just feel that my gut is telling me that something is there. I was just looking for some advice on the situation, as I know I have heard many times that the sooner a child is diagnosed the better it is for the child. But I would never want to scare the Mom that it could be something, with the chance I might be wrong. Thank you for your post:)
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973741_tn?1342346373
One other thing I wanted to mention---------- if you are in the states---------  early intervention is provided for by law.  All kids can be evaluated for developmental issues upon parent/doctor request and then services provided on a scale related to income.  There is the birth to 3 program that this little boy would fall into.  After that------ 3 to 5, early intervention takes place through preschool programs at the local public school system.  Again, this is a law that it must be provided.  FYI for the child's mom.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Oh, and balance can be part of the proprioceptive system---------- again, the sensory system.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you very much, I will look into it. With his speech, it is very minimal. I do take the children out everyday, even our own backyard is like a playground. It is just hard when you are a provider, and notice things that sometimes parents don't see, as they have nothing to go by in terms of development.
Thank you for your post:)
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Avatar_f_tn
Your description of this child reminds me of our nephew.  He was diagnosed with PDD-NOS which is a high-functioning form of autism.  If autism is the issue, early intervention is the key.  

By the way, having autism does not mean a low IQ - our nephew could/can memorize unbelievably, could count very early in life, put puzzles together as a toddler, and read at an early age.  Unfortunately, he did not comprehend what he read or understood the significance of numbers (as an adult he still struggles with these concepts).  Our nephew also did not respond to his name until he was four or five years old - he just did not "realize" his name.  He also echo-talked for about a year before he understood "how" to answer a question or carry on a conversation (probably about five or six years of age).  He still does not "understand" jokes or puns - his world is black and white/right and wrong.  

I like to think of PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified) as not being able to "connect the dots".  But, this does not mean this child cannot have a good life - our nephew (with a lot of early help and intervention graduated from high school, a one-year college course and today holds down a repetitive, but relatively high-paying job.  He is a responsible citizen and happy with his life.  Hope this helps ....
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you very much for your post:)

I will do some research on each person's posts.

Thanks for your help everyone:)
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