My son who is 21 months displays many signs of autism. His senses are heightened. He licks and smells people/objects, covers his ears often when out in public and constantly rubs his nose with the corner of his blanket. He will seek out a corner of his blanket every time to rub his nose. He babbeled from 6-9 months and them completely stopped until about 18 months. He does not say 1 word and screams constantly as if he is trying to communicate. He is constantly on the go bouncing from one object to another and must climb on everything. He flapps his hands and extends his arms while tightening his fists when excited. He is unable to point to communicate his needs, but does understand some words such as "splash splash" and will run for the bathtub. It is a guessing game to determine if he wants food, something to drink or is a shirt is bothering him. He just sits and screams a high pitched tone. He is very emotional if he sees another baby or cartoon character cry. He will begin to cry and become very upset. When he does this his face turns very blotchy with bright red patches. His peditrician seems to think that he is just delayed in his speech and communication, but I see a major difference between him and kids his age.
I want to trust my peditrician but have a feeling that something is just not right. I am not sure where to go or how to begin to get them to the right people for an acurate diagnosis. I want to help my children reach their full potentials but it is hard when I don't know what I am dealing with. Any suggestions?
The symptoms described by you do point towards autistic spectrum. There are certain characteristic features you should look for. Does he like repetitive tapping on the table, floor, with some object in his hand? If he is given an object which makes sound, does he hold it near his ears and play the sound again and again?
One more feature to look for. If he falls and hurts himself, does he look up to you or come to you? Does he communicate that he is hurt?
Autistic disorders are classified under Pervasive developmental disorders. The symptoms vary in a spectrum. Some kids have more of autism; some are more towards childhood disintegrative disorder. I suggest you read about childhood disintegrative disorder and see if the symptoms match your son's.
Has he been assessed by a psychiatrist? A child psychiatrist is preferred.
Thank you for your insight. He does not tap on the table or floor. He does rub his nose with his blanket for comfort. He does communicate that he is hurt by crying but only when it was something major. For example, he climbed out of his crib for the first time a few days ago and fell. He cried, but immediatly sought his blanket and began to rub his nose. It took him a minute to allow me to hold him after it happened.
I am trying to work around the system or referrals since his peditrician does not think that there is an issue. I am in the process of a spech evaluation and will look into adding a psychiatrist. His total lack of speech and wants communication are what worry me. He seems to have off days where he will not eat a certain food such as mash potatoes which he loves. As soon as they touch his lips/mouth he gags and throws up. I never know what he will eat or what he wants when he is screaming. It's almost like having an infant again and trial and error process of elimanation.
Thank you again for your time and I will read up on childhood disintegrative disorder!
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