I am concerned that my 2 1/2 year old nephew may have an autism spectrum disorder or another developmental disorder. This will probably be very long, but please hang on until the end! To start, I myself have Asperger’s Syndrome, and I’ve noticed some autistic traits in my nephew from the time he was 1 year old. When he is seated, whether in his high chair or in a stroller, he will rock back and forth. He tends to flap his hands a lot and puts his hands up to his face and shakes them very quickly, as if they’re trembling or vibrating, when he gets excited. I think that this may be stemming. He used to hit himself in the face when he would throw a tantrum, but I haven’t seen him do that in months. Speaking of tantrums, he throws them all of the time, even more than the average 2 year old, trust me. From the time he was 5 months old he never liked being held by me, but he did his mother. When I was left to babysit him, he would scream and cry for hours on end no matter what I did to comfort him, but he apparently did not do this with his mother. The most concerning thing I’ve noticed is his speech. I’ve read that the average amount of words that a 2 year old speaks is 200-300, but I have not personally heard my nephew speak more than 20 different words. I am over at my sister’s house constantly, so I see him very often. I have never heard him put 2 words together. A couple months ago his pediatrician had a speech therapist come to evaluate him, and I was absolutely floored to hear that he passed. Apparently he knew about 1/3 of the flash cards that the speech therapist showed him. This makes me believe that he actually knows more words than we think, but he just won’t say them. Regardless of how hard me or his mother try, we cannot get him to say any other words! I’m not doubting the speech therapist, but I’m still quite concerned about his speech. He doesn’t even seem to know his own name. He had also had a hearing test around the same time that the speech therapist evaluated him, and he passed it. His receptive language is pretty good. He understands simple commands like “throw that in the trash, “get me your cup”, “pick that up for me”, “plug in the vacuum cleaner”. However he doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of cause and effect. He will throw his ball down the street, scream and cry because he thinks he’s lost it, me or his mother will go find it for him and give it back to him, and then he will immediately throw his ball back down the street and continue the cycle. No matter how many times we tell him “don’t throw your ball down the street or it will roll away”, he just doesn’t seem to get it. It’s like this with a lot of his things. He seems to really value them but will randomly throw them down the street or off the deck, cry about it, and then when he gets his item back he will go and do it again. Some of the things I have noticed to seem to point to him not being autistic is that he likes to socialize with other children, he makes eye contact, he plays with his toy cars the correct way (doesn’t roll the wheels), and he smiles and laughs. As someone who is autistic, I realize that every case of autism is different, and that others may not share the exact same symptoms I have. I am really leaning towards the side that my nephew does have an ASD, and I’ve talked about it with my sister but she seemed to dismiss it. Should I have another more serious talk about it with her and recommend a place I found that screens young children for autism to her? My Asperger’s was initially recognized when I was 14, and I know early intervention can make a huge difference. If it does turn out that he has autism, I just want him to get along in life better than I am.