I have a 25 month old girl who is significantly delayed in speech. She can say about 5 words but that is about it. She seems to understand some but not all of what we say. She will sometimes point to objects in a book if you ask her to, more likely she will point to something and want you to name it. She doesn't answer yes or no questions. She does point, gesture and grunt to let you know what she wants and will often bring things to me or take my hand and bring me to things if she wants something. She is our 3rd child and is very motor driven - likes to climb, run, jump and is very independent. She is loves to hug and cuddle and I believe makes good eye contact. She has recently started lining up her toys or other items. With the exception of lining things up she seems to play appropriately - feeds a doll, stacks blocks, loves to look at books. She began speech therapy and after 5 sessions the speech therapist said she thinks she has characteristics of autism because she lines things up and seems to have a fixation with the buckle on the chair (she likes to snap it shut herself). She also said that sometimes she doesn't make eye contact with the therapist, but we have been going less than a month so this person and process are very new to her. When I asked for an example of eye contact issues she said that when my little girl is waiting for her to blow bubbles she looks at the bubbles, not at her. She was assessed by early intervention (psychologist, speech therapist, and occupational therapist) and her pediatrician for autism and no one had any concerns. The speech therapist said she should be evaluated by a neuropsychologist. This is a very expensive assessment. Given the fact that she has been evaluated a couple of times do you think this is necessary? I am so frustrated, I have been trying to get her speech help for so long and have jumped through so many hoops. Does this assessment sound necessary to you? Does this sound like autism?
I absolutely would not recommend an evaluation by a neuropsychologist -she is too young and there are not tests for this age that would be useful. The evaluation that would shed light on your daughter's status is the sort that would be conducted by a developmental pediatrician. The speech therapist's observations do not indicate a condition along the Pervasive Developmental Spectrum..
my son was also significantly behind in speech, and he too had a sort of mini-obsession with lining objects up. everywhere we went he lined up toys, and rocks, and silverware...and we too placed him in an early intervention speech therapy program. his therapist came once every two weeks for and hour. i didnt think it did him much good despite the praise he was getting from the therapist. when she up and quit without any notice we were left wondering what to do with our son now? the answer came in the form of a friend suggesting we place him in daycare a few days a week to give him more social interaction with other children his own age. and while i wont say daycare was a miracle, it sure did help him out so much more than 2 hours a month with a speech therapist. being around other children who were able to express the things they wanted or thought about help him to learn those things too. he still lines things up in a very orderly fashion, but he is now able to speak his mind. maybe you should give daycare a shot.
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