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5 year old and autism
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5 year old and autism

My mother called me the other night wondering if my son has autism.  By everything I'm reading I don't think so but I thought I would post the question and see what you thought.  Her reasons for questioning are below:

1. When he was a toddler, he loved to put everything in a line.
2. Since learning how to snap his fingers, he is constantly snapping.
3. Her cousin had autism.

As far as any other signs, I don't see them.  He is a very expressive, fun little boy.  He makes friends at school pretty easily, adapts to change with no more trouble than any other 5 year old. He does hate to lose but I don't think that's anything to be concerned with - he just has to learn that one.  He does not shy away any more than the other boys his age from hugs and kisses.  He's a very caring child.  He has selective hearing but I don't think it's to an "abnormal" degree - he's just being a child in my eyes.

Thank you for your time.
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Avatar_n_tn
If you have concerns you may want to ask your child's pediatrician about this. I am not a medical doctor but I do work with preschool children with autism.

Children with autism prefer solitary play, have repetitve behaviors (spinning, rocking, high pitched sounds, snapping fingers, etc.), narrow interests, throw tantrums, limited eye contact, delayed social skills, limited or restricted play schemes (not much "new" pretend play), fixate on TV/movie characters, don't let others particpate in their activities, strict adherence to routines, sensory difficulties (it is like some sensory information actually "hurts": socks too tight, limited foods they will eat, etc.), things have to be placed a certain way (shoes put on a certain way, line up toys, toys put in certain spots, etc.), have difficulty sharing, often are echolalic (repeat exactly what you say but it isn't real communication), memorize letters numbers at an early age, learning is largely rote in nature but has no attached meaning (abstract concepts are difficult, often answer "because" when asked why questions such as "Why do we wear clothes?") scripted information (songs, lines from movies, etc.) but it is not used in a functional way or in context, and lack joint attention (example they point at something and look at you to see if you see it too) or does not adjust gaze to look at objects others are looking at.

Early intervention is key so I would urge you to see your doctor if you have concerns.
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Hi, I am a retired pediatrician with more than 10 years experience working in a developmental clinic specializing in "autism."  Your description of your son suggests NOTHING of autism.  Good social skills, empathy, ease with changing surroundings, selective hearing - he seems like a very wonderful 5 year old.

The trait of liking things "orderly" is common in people, but is usually quite exaggerated in kids with autism.  Not only do they line up their toys, but the need to keep them lined up disrupts their life and their family's life.  Maybe he will have some mild obsessive tendencies, or be very neat.  These are quite acceptable traits as long as they are not disruptive to one's mental health, development, and social life.

Moms of young kids all will tell you that there are times when repetitive behaviors drive them bonkers!  His finger-snapping may be annoying, but as long as he can suppress it appropriately for a while, it wouldn't worry me.  It is a form of self-stimulation, but, in all honestly, everyone self-stim's to some extent or another.  The question is, does it disrupt his life and can he stop it when it is socially inappropriate?  Some people (adults included) tap, hum, twist locks of hair, twiddle, on and on....

I was, and still am, a persistent rocker. I rock at home, I rocked in school (sometimes), I rocked while studying in med school and I rock prior to going to sleep.  I have been told that it looks quite pathologic.  Oh, well...  It has been suggested that I am an "autistic in the closet."  lol.

Unless there are other things that you are worried about and have not mentioned, I would advise you to just continue enjoying your son.  If you remain worried the advice above is good.

Quix
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Avatar_f_tn
I volunteer in my daughter's headstart class, I have noticed certain behaivors in a boy that reminds me of my little brother (he is a high functioning autistic teen).  With the great difference in our ages, and locations I am not around him a lot and wasn't when he was young.  I talked to my daughter's teacher, and she said she thought there might be something to what I was saying, but is not familiar with autism, is there any type of checklist or something of sorts that I could give to her so that she might be able to help the boy's mother find more information (so far the mother doesn't "see" anything wrong with him, to be concerned enought to talk to his pediatrician.  He is 5 years old......
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi.

A friend of mine has done some research on autism, and has suggested that my 5 year old boy may have slight autistic tendancies. He is very shy and doesnt make friends easily, although can be very noisy at home. he is always walking around the house making high pitched fire engine noises (this happens at random times). He didnt walk till he was 19 months and has very sensative feet. His socks have to be perfectly aligned, and when he gets a drop of water or liquid on his clothes, he has to change. He seems to me to be very clever (at the top of the class for most subjects) and has an amazing memory. He loves computer games and also really enjoys watching sci-fi such as stargate and dr who (however so do mum and dad). His speech is slightly delayed for his age, but this could be because of the gromits he had at age 2. He doesnt like loud noises, and cries when his 2 year old brother screams. He is overly sensative in general, and quite often enjoys his own company, although he also enjoys playing with other children.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, I have a 5 year brother who I think is autistic but the mom doesnt want to accept it and is taking too long to take him to get an evaluation.
When he is in his environment, he behaves good. However, he only likes to eat yogurt, fries, fish stick, chips, and cookies. His mother gives him lots of milk because he doesn't like to eat anything else. He doesn't like to try any new foods. He asked me once for cake and when I served it he screamed when I was going to give it to him in the mouth, but I asked him if he liked it, and he said yes. But then he would just seat there and not eat it. When I would call his name to ask him something, I had to call his name 3 or more times for him to pay attention to me. The weekend he stayed with me, I had some people coming over, and he started acting all crazy. He started being very loud, jumping on the sofa like crazy and touching the dog, and then he would go back to the sofa again and jump and touch the dog again. He did this lots of times. Also, he started holding me like hugging me, but I was talking to the guests and trying to give them something and I had to tell him in several occasions with a kiss to please let go that I was busy. He never had this type of behavior until new people came to the house. I remember when he was younger he did the same thing to me in a party, and he wouldn't want to listen when told not to do something.
I am really concerned because he is my brother and I can't make the mother do anything. He is supposed to start school on August, is this something that the school will notice and make her evaluate the kid. My brother was recently kicked from the daycare because the teachers said he had a problem concentrating and told the mother to go and evaluate the child. However, she has not done it.
Please any advice will be appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
my friend need much help to tale care of the 7 year boy who speech less autism and adhd live in Chicago is there community can help my friend for advice She have to put this child in place where he can be properly taken care because my friend is getting old and going into her own health problem.
please advice ***@****
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a 10 year old boy with autism and a healthy little girl. I have spent 8+ years surrounded by children with autism within groups. There is nothing you indicated that would suggest autism. Loads of kids line their toys up, it's very common- as a matter of fact, my friends son did that when he was young and he is not in any way autistic. If you had other concerns I'd be the first to say hurry and get an evaluation, but in this case, I think you are reaching. If he has good eye contact, doesn't speak in a monotone, no hand-flapping, on par with peers academically- I think you are ahead of the game.
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