Hi I have a 25 month old happy boy. I am meeting with pediatrician and speech therapist shortly, but in the meanwhile I am worrying a great deal about him.
My boy has always been a picky eater (unlike his older two brothers who are not ASD). Up to 18 months he hit all of his milestones. But he began to slowly cut items that he would eat (I homemade healthy foods for him), until yogurt and peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and breastmilk were left. He goes on food strikes if I don't give him what he wants. Because he is now measuring at the 15th percentile for weight and 50th for height, I have added pediasure to his diet. He is very difficult to feed and refuses all other food, sometimes only taking yogurt with hidden fruits.
My second major concern is my boy does not speak. He used to say a word or two, but I am not sure he ever understood the meaning of these words. I cannot specifically say it is a regression, more of a non-progression. He is an avid babbler and seems he is on the verge of speaking...but still, no words. His brothers were late bloomers and began talking around 22 months, (admittedly only a few words) but NOW these older two are racing ahead in all social and academic areas. But this little guy, he doesn't say one coherent word yet.
The thing that throws me off with autism, asd, and potentially sensory processing disorder, are the following facts:
My boy is extremely happy, makes perfect eye contact, and is affectionate. He initiates play. He brings us balls and toys and shows us what they do. He is a hugely interactive, he has adorable laugh attacks and loves back and forth play in anything: rolling balls, throwing balls, etc. I think he plays pretend? He sweeps the floor and puts on glasses on his head, and brushes his teeth. He knows how to play with toys correctly. I have yet to see any lining up of toys, repititive behavior, or any concern for routine. He loves his three hour nap (time of putting him down doesn't matter). He has never been a fussy baby. Zero temper tantrums (unless you cajole him to try a food he hates, which is anything that isn't sweet. Then he cries and pushes you away, but mildly. He basically won't open his mouth and squeeze his eyes shut willing you away). Zero self-soothing behaviors, mild flapping of arms when he is excited (which both his brothers do when they are excited). No rocking, stimming, etc. He sometimes covers his ears in anticipation of a loud explosion on his favourite television show, or when I put on a blow drier, but he is most always grinning when he does this.
He is the happiest and most go-lucky of all my boys. This kids laughs for days. He even gave the last doctor I saw a highfive on prompt. If I seem upset I feel like he understands. He comes, gazes into my eyes and softly caresses my face. But he doesn't understand language or commands. He will come if you call him, and run to Dad or Mom when they come home, and run to hug his brothers when they come home. He plays at playgrounds, climbs things (not recklessly) and I think he knows how to play with other kids. In any case he likes to be around other kids. If his brothers are watching minecraft, he is with them. If they are playing Lego, he sits on the center of the table and pretends to do as they are.
But he can't understand a simple command like "go get me the ball". Unless you are holding the ball right in front of him. And yes, he has had his hearing checked. He knows who Mom and Dad are, and will check to make sure we are near and miss us when we are gone.
I know we are getting specialists to look at him. But sometimes I wonder if we are barking up the wrong tree with asd? I don't know enough about it, and I know it is a spectrum. It seems play and social he is doing very well. I can't nail down a single obsessive behavior. However, his only method of communicationating his needs is he pushes us towards the thing. Or he will open his arms to ask for "uppies". Or if I do "Wheels on the Bus" he makes me do the actions by manipulating my hands with a huge smile on his face.
Does any one have any idea at all what could be wrong with my little guy?