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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Community
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Avatar universal

My 2 year old son doesn't talk or understand instructions

we are a desperate parent of a 2 year old boy who doesn't talk. A child who isn't good at understanding instructions, and have many issues. He doesn't have behavioral problems and seems happy. He is easy to manage and travel. He met his developmental milestones, turning, crawling, pulling up all on time. He started walking at 12 months. When he was 11 months, used to say "mama", not really calling me, but he used to say it.

But when he reached 14-15 months, he no longer said "mama". He wont even say "yes" or "no". It is also difficult to get his attention. Most of the times we call his name, he wouldn't look. He looks us in the eye, understands emotions, understands when we are happy or upset, he laughs a lot and plays like a normal child but doesn't talk and doesn't seem to understand some simple commands like sit or stand. However, if he we say "come on lets go", he will bring his shoes. I know many normal children will show Autistic behaviors but the key thing for us is that he doesn't talk and is showing some Autistic traits at the same time.

When he was 12 months, I started noticing that he didn't gesture at all. No pointing, no bye, nothing. Also he had difficulty with pincer movement and we used to train him with goldfish which he love to eat. To get things and get our attention he whines and cries.He spins wheels, especially of the toy cars and likes to spin things a lot. Anything on the floor, he likes to spin. But he isn't obsessed with it. He doesn't lines up stuff. We talked to our pediatrician and he said that he is little delayed but he is progressing. At 18 months we took him for evaluation and they scored him on the low side of the communication, language category etc. So a speech therapist started coming to our home and in 6 months he didn't make much progress. She tried to teach him signs for "more", "give me" etc but he is not interested.

After 6 months into therapy they evaluated him and the result was inconclusive. There comments were
1) He is very social, interested in others and have very excellent eye contact. He smiles a lot and keep eye contact.
2) He clearly understand things and may be low in expressive side.
3) He is not playing in a matured way. Examples are he is not interested in pretend play or throw rings of a stack instead of stacking it. They also commented that he is just reaching two years. So we cant force him too much.

So they decided that another therapist who will come to home to help him for functional play.

He seems progressing but little. Now he got the pincer movement and can pick up things with his fingers. Recently I started showing pictures and repeating words. The  words he tried to say are baby, ice, apple and star.  Though not perfect, he is saying them when we show the pictures or hand him ice cubes and apples. About a week back he started stacking the rings of the stacking toys instead of throwing it. He will bring my cell phone and put it on my palm or lap for me to start music. He is very involved with us, want to be with me when I cam cooking, want to see whats in the pan etc.

He love music. He will listen to music for long time so peacefully. He has good memory and concentration. If we hum the tunes or beats he like, he immediately run to us and ask (by babbling) to repeat it. He can imitate but its taking time. I showed him "wheels on the bus" action and after few times he is showing it. But no other gestures. recently when we say tiger or lion or he started making the "grrrrr" sound. So he is picking up, but not as much as he should.

I dont thing he has a hearing problem as he hear even very small sounds. We started taking him to MyGym where I see other kids of his age behave in a much more matured way. I see him just running aimlessly or struggling to do things other kids do. Its breaking my heart... :(

Any advice? we are worried sick.
3 Responses
20828776 tn?1526279550
Autism is a lifelong neurological and developmental disorder that affects early in childhood and affects daily functioning. Autism spectrum disorder, characterized by wide variation in challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, nonverbal communication and strengths possessed by each person with autism. The causes of ASD are not known. Research suggests combinations of genetic and environmental influences both play the important roles.

Symptoms:-

1. Unusual or inappropriate body language, gestures, and facial expressions
2. Lack of interest in other people or in sharing interests or achievements
3. Resistance to being touched
4. Difficulty or failure to make friends with children the same age.
5. Unusual in social interaction; comes across as aloof and detached; prefers to be alone.

This type of spectrum can also be known as “classic” autism. It refers to problems with social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. This is the most severe form of autism and also the most common. They do not like being touched by others, perform restricted or repetitive behaviors, experience sensory overload, and may have issues communicating.

Symptoms:- Failure to communicate, not meet eye contact, constant pitch level while talking, not responding to their name and repetition of particular behaviors.
2 Comments
Autism is a lifelong neurological and developmental disorder that affects early in childhood and affects daily functioning. Autism spectrum disorder, characterized by wide variation in challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, nonverbal communication and strengths possessed by each person with autism. The causes of ASD are not known. Research suggests combinations of genetic and environmental influences both play the important roles.

Symptoms:-

1. Unusual or inappropriate body language, gestures, and facial expressions
2. Lack of interest in other people or in sharing interests or achievements
3. Resistance to being touched
4. Difficulty or failure to make friends with children the same age.
5.  Unusual in social interaction; comes across as aloof and detached; prefers to be alone.

This type of spectrum can also be known as “classic” autism. It refers to problems with social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. This is the most severe form of autism and also the most common. They do not like being touched by others, perform restricted or repetitive behaviors, experience sensory overload, and may have issues communicating.

Symptoms:- Failure to communicate, not meet eye contact, constant pitch level while talking, not responding to their name and repetition of particular behaviors.
thank you so much for ur reply.. we dont have any ASD person in our families from both sides, which makes genetic link not that high. not sure about the environmental one , as we used to keep our toddler for hours in front of the TV since he was 3 months old, till last month when he became 20 months old. the GP nurse visited us a few times n went to see him in the nursery, she mentioned that he looks normal , hugged her and play with his toys with her, she doubted ASD but could not confirm or gave us a clear answer. his eye contact got better since the last 3 months, since he was 17 months, but still we dont have a good communication with him, he says one or 2 words only; the main issue we have is comprehension as he doesnt look like he understands us or our orders, he understands only NO commands, he knows his name and responds to us most of the time . He doesnt show receptive behaviour, like spinning or flapping with his hands, but he is fussy when it comes to food , as he doesnt eat everything we give him. Doc asked us to see Speech Therapist , who can help, but we dont know if that really helps, especially that his comprehension is not good at all . we are really lost and very sad, we dont really know what to do .. any help or suggestion would save him and us :(
Avatar universal
Sounds like my son concerning  the speech delay . My son too used to say mama and stoped when he turned 9 months to say only ma...
My son too was in front of the tv since very young age. But I stoped the tv and all electronic toys and he is playing a lot better: pretend play making food, serving food, eating food, and with playmobiles too. My son too likes to run, jump, play with balls and throw things when he is in free play...
But my son understand somewhat and can follow simple 2 step instructions. I had to teach him that, and it took times. For exemple if I want him to give me the ball, I said give the ball to mama and point at the ball, make him take the ball and give it to me by doing the gesture with him. Then, we do it again, asked him the same question without  gesture this time,  and he eventually get it after some days of repetition. Same for close the door, push your chair, give me a hug, take your shoes and try to put them on, etc...  He eventually get it. But he is still late, as he should understand more difficult instructions like put it on,under, in, out... He didn't get that yet... so be patient and repeat everyday the same instructions until he gets it. Start simple like come on, sit, clap your hands etc... Then go more and more complex.

Other than that,  I can't give you a diagnosis,  I'm just a mom with a similar situation.
Avatar universal
Hi all
Thanks for ur replies , my son is 25 months now, we completely stopped the TV and all the electronics , he is much better now regarding eye contact and play pretending, we are applying a program that mainly talks about the TV and the electronics, we take him out for a walk every day for 2 hours, but we still have the verbal problems where he doesn’t say an understandable word.. I would keep the post updated. Hope he does better soon.
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