Just wanted to vent about ignorant people...
I just want to share a frustrating conversation I recently had with a friend of my husband. He was at our home visiting my husband the other night and he heard me tell my husband that my 2 1/2 year old son's speech therapist recommended a complete developmental evaluation on him. My 5-yr. old is high-functioning, and my youngest son's speech therapist has noticed a few traits in him that are similar to those in my 5-yr. old. (For example, some compulsive actions - he gets really focused on doing one thing and it's hard to redirect him, and he shows above average rote memory skills such as saying his ABCs, knowing his colors, and being able to count to 15, but he doesn't show the cognitive skills at the same level.) The therapist doesn't think that he is autistic, but these behaviors kind of send up a red flag and we need to deal with them now. Anyway, back to the ignorant friend...he told me that I was just being paranoid about our youngest son because of our oldest one being autistic and that there's nothing wrong with the youngest. He said that our little boy knows a lot more that his son did at 2 1/2 and that we're wasting our time worrying about it and having him evaluated. He was going on and on like he was an expert on child development. Oh, I just wanted to smack him! I had to bite my tongue to keep from letting him have it - I actually did snap at him a little and tell him that we're our son's parents and we're the ones that live with him every day and that we know our son better than he does. I do not think we're being paranoid - we've seen some behaviors that have us a little concerned and I think that the best thing we can do for our son is to start correcting those behaviors now.
Another reason I'm sharing this is that the speech therapist's observations of our youngest son was kind of a wake-up call for us. Until now we had been comparing our youngest to his older brother, and we knew that he was far more aware and social than his older brother was at the same age. So we didn't see any reason to be concerned - we felt that he was developing normally. What we failed to do was to compare him to other, normally developing 2 year olds - had we done that we would have realized that he is behind in some areas, such as receptive and expressive language and being able to follow directions. So my advice to those of you with younger siblings of your autistic children is to not get stuck in a rut of only comparing the younger ones to their autistic siblings like we have been.
Sorry for such a long post, but I really needed to vent!