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Symptoms of Autism in a two year old

I am concerned my 26 month old daughter is displaying signs of autism and/or OCD and need an expert opinion.  Her pediatrician has recommended she be evaluated, but I can't find anyone/anywhere to take her.  We live in Northeastern CT. Her chief symptom is verbal listing/reciting (i.e. "cup, bowl, dog, mama, daddy, etc.)She does it particularly when she is idle or upset, as if it were a coping mechanism. Sometimes it is as if she communicates with lists. She will express something, like see a yellow duck on TV and say "yellow duck" and then recite a list of animals and/or colors over and over again.  They are usually themed.
Other symptoms are that she sometimes walks around the house on her toes, flaps her hands occasionally when excited or frustrated and frequently ignores us when we speak to her as if she didn't hear us.  She is an extremely tempermental and picky eater, she won't even entertain the thought of eating new food no matter how hungry she is and eats only a fraction of the things she used to readily eat. She is very particular about certain routines, like having the blankets covering her feet in a certain direction during bedtime routine. I would say she is flexible on a macro scale, but rigid on a micro scale. For instance, she handle it in stride when we moved last year but I wouldn't dare try to give her anything but a frozen waffle as soon as she gets up in the morning (she won't even eat it toasted usually -she wants it frozen, otherwise she screams.)
HOWEVER, she is clearly smart and can think abstractly and communicates her needs.  She has a large vocabulary and uses three words sentences with increased frequency. She is very, very affectionate and bonds well with people.  She is a bold and brave child, with little fear.  She apparently has an advanced sense of rhythm.
As an infant she was evaluated for seizures, but her EEG and MRI were negative.  She was very right side dominant in her movements starting from about 4 months of age.  More worrisome, her eyes would roll upwards and to the left and she would shake her head reflexively towards the left.  She would even do this in the middle of taking a bite of food.  She would do it repeatedly over a period of days and then maybe not again for several weeks.  She hasn't done it since she learned to walk.
She was born at 33 weeks when my water broke suddenly and with no explanation.  Her heart rate dropped during delivery and she was delivered with vacuum extraction weighing 5lbs, 13oz.  Her breathing was assisted with CPAP for 4 hours and she spent one uneventful week in the NICU at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT. Other history includes severe reflux and milk allergy as an infant which has since resolved.
She is not in daycare, she stays at home with me and her 6 month old sister.  She has limited exposure to other children her age.
10 Responses
242606 tn?1243786248
Nothing you describe would lead me to think your daughter displays any condition along the Pervasive Developmental Disorder spectrum, including Autism. Releative to her gait, have you had her evaluated by a pediatric orthopedist? It is important to determine if her bone structure and connecting tissues are developing in a normal fashion. Relative to the other behaviors, while they may be indicative of some anxiety, they appear much more to be developmentally-related. Adhering to particular routines, structures, preferences is not at all unusual in a child of two, and I expect you are going to see more adaptability and flexibility as she grows and develops.
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It is very simple I think, milk allergy has never resolved completely. May be she has negative blood tests, but you know there is something called type IV allergy which means that she might react with T cells to the allergen. It is possible that she has constipation, or at times diarrea or pain in the abdomen. Help her by eliminating casein, lactose, galactose, lactalboumine and milk protein from her diet. Anyway you can search in the Internet where you will see that consaltants on Autism suggest elimination diet for the patients, of milk products and gluten.
Avatar universal
Hello.  I am the parent of a 5 1/2 year old PDD-NOS girl, as well as a  service provider.  I would suggest you call your local County - Department of Health, Early Intervention program.  Early Intervention (EI) is a Federally Mandated, State Funded, County Managed Program.  What Early Intervention will do is (this is how it happens in NY anyway):
1. Talk to you to determine your concerns
2. Send to your home an Intake Service Coordinator (sign some paperwork about allowing them to test, etc.).  
3. Set up a Core Evaluation with an agency of your choosing
4.  The core will most likely include a speech language pathologist (because of your "repeatitive use of language concern"), occupational therapist (because of your "limited eating/texture" concern as well as other sensory concerns "the blanket")and possibly they will bring a physical therapist...or after the initial assessment will recommend a supplemental evaluation by the PT.
5.  As soon as they finish the eval, they will give you their recommendations.  They will advise if you should go to a developmental pediatrician or not, and what services she qualifies for.

It is good that she is using language and is affectionate.  If she makes good, consistent eye contact and turns to her name, then you are in good shape.....I'm not saying you are totally clear, I can't say that....but I can say, at 2 my daughter had zero words, couldn't maintain eye-contact EVER, and didn't turn to her name EVER.  She had perhaps 5 percent understanding of language.  I stood behind her clapping, calling her, and she didn't even flinch....I thought she was deaf, and I'm an audiologist (professional pediatric ear chick).

Many children use repeatitive movements/songs/words as a self-calming mechanism.  Especially when they are just learning about the rules, etc of language...they will practice a lot.  Catagories are especially important as they order their surroundings.

Your intuition is very important....so, call EI.  It may be nothing...but don't wait to find that out.  It's only an eval...it isn't major surgery or anything.  And it will give you good piece of mind if it is nothing, or if it is something that needs watching, they can do it now.  Also, perhaps read about Sensory Integration (Dysfunction).  I don't know how much of the tactile stuff you listed, but that is pretty interesting also.  You may find she fits into some of those categories.  The Occupational Therapist will be testing for Sensory differences.

Hope this helps.
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I have a 2 and have year old, she doesnt speak any sentances. She can say little words but not much. She has a very bad temper and hits out on me if i cant understand what she wants. We had her ears tested and at one stage she had glue ear. My daughter can not consentrate for no longer than 2 minutes. She gets angry if we dont keep things in a routine. Everything has to be done at the same time everyday, otherwise she hits me or bites me as she doesnt understand. If we are stopped by someone in the streets she cant stand still she has to stamp her feet. She wont let me cuddle or kiss her. She has to be in a clean room her toys have to be just right otherwise she will re arange them. She goes into her own world like a day dream, when we call her name she doesnt reply and acts like she didnt hear. I want to know if she
is austic? Can someone help me
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A related discussion, is she autistic? was started.
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