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Old 06-06-2009, 03:27 PM   #1
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Help! Are these early signs?

My son is now almost 16 mos. old.

I had a friend of mine watch my little one a few weeks ago. She had her son a few weeks early (6 to be exact). The doc. recommended she starts seeing an OT and speech therapist and her son is now doing great. Well, the therapists looked at my LO and though that he was behind in a few areas. I mean he doesn't make the eye contact all the time and especially at close distance, doesn't talk much and he is not as advanced as he should be for walking for as long as he has.

We've been so terrified of Autisim and had an altered vaccine schedule because we have had to deal with one in our immediate family (husbands second cousin). It's always been in the back of our minds but this evaluaton from 2 different therapists has us really worried.

We had an evaluation by a Speech Therapist thru a program called birth-to-three and he is definitely behind in speech. This is only the beginning and we will have to have a few others to figure out where the delay is. He communicates extremely well non verbally. He will go get his shoes if you ask "Do you wanna go outside" or goes to his bedroom door after poopy for a diaper change when asked "Do you have potty in your pants". He will point (not with his index finger but with his hand) to things he wants but refuses to say the words.

So the things that worry us are the eye contact which is on and off....He will look at you and has recently started babbling back and forth and will make the eye contact for a really long time but then if I sit him down face to face to tell him No or just to tell him something he sometimes won't look at me.

He occasionally (but not obsessively) flaps hands from the wrist when he wants to hear music and as part of his dance moves. My husband did that in the beginning to show him to dance and move his arms so we're not sure if we taught him that or not. He also does it in anticpation of playing with his balls as if he is bouncing it. However; he starts the wrist flapping long before he reaches the ball.

Lastly, the speech.

He is very social and goes up to people he doesn't know. Loves to play peekaboo, smiles all the time, loves to play chase. Isn't afraid of other kids or adults.

He started walking around 11 months and has been on the move since.

I am trying to give ya guys as much information but if you have specific questions, please let me know. I have done research online but not sure if he truly falls in the specturm because he is not that way all the time.

Any help or advice given is greatly appreciated...

My question is are symptoms something that come and go? meaning one day they might have it and gone for days/weeks? Or do these things look like it's normal excitement but as they get older get worse. Also, do kids with Autisim NEVER make eye contact?

 
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:41 PM   #2
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

IMO, at your sons' age it is too soon to tell. He is very young , and IF there is going to be Autism, it may show up at a later time, with many more behaviors seen , that cannot possibly be ignored.
I do know that in a baby, head banging is a early behaviroal sign, as well as rocking, or walking on toes.
Autism is a spectrum disorder. Meaning that there are different degrees of this developmental disability. early infantile autism , is what you are refering to . This can show up at a very yong age, however even with that, it stil will not be diagnosed until there are more behaviors and at a later age, I'd say at least 2 1/5, 3 yrs old. The more severe the autism is the more behaviral indications there will be.
Right now, I would concentrate on enjoing your baby's developmental milestones, and not to fear for his future . The best thing I would reccomend you doing is to learn about child develoment, and milestones every baby/child reaches at a certain stage of development.
Baby boys, or boys in general can be slower at deveoping speech. Especially if the baby is frst born. what helps in this area is to read to him, and show him picture books, helping him name the pictures, plus showing him simple everday things, then telling him the name. Such as, apple, and naming a toy for him.
The wrist flapping could have been picked up easily from the parent, because he rolled modeled the behavior.
Eye contact, not even a NT child has 100% eye contact all the time. He may not be paying attention, distracted, and plus words are not as important to him right now. This is why you need to use more visual cues and prompts and then add words to help your baby understand. Eye contact will become better once baby is interested, and understands that words have meaning.
I have a son who is on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed at the age of 3. He is now nearly 16yrs old.

Last edited by mscat40; 06-06-2009 at 05:45 PM.

 
Old 06-06-2009, 06:29 PM   #3
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mscat

I forgot to mention that he occassionally walks on his toes as well.

I guess what I am trying to avoid is the beginning of a new symptom or a regression because I am ignoring these signs or waiting it out til he is 2 1/2 or 3. I know that diet is important in some cases and if it helps I would like to know even now so I can begin to change those and see if his speech improves. The other things aren't even noticable to anyone else. As a matter of fact, I had to point it out to the speech therapist when she came to give me his report.

I have taken some online questionaires and he got a 40% on it, 100% being that the child is definitelyon the autisim spectrum.

The progream that I have contacted can provide therapy. They also have a child Psycologist who is the only person that can give the diagnosis but I have no idea how long it takes. I contacted a group (the only one in 100 mile radius) and they told me they won't even see him until he is 2 and they don't have any appointments for another 6 mos.

I really don't wanna self diagnose and change everything he loves to find out he just does some funny moves and started talking later.

BTW, he is a first and other than the 2 times a week he goes for 30-45 minute classes, he doesn't really interact with too many other kids. My husband and I moved to this area when I was pregnant with him and don't really know too many people.

 
Old 06-07-2009, 12:06 AM   #4
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

Hi - it's really hard to tell anything definite at such a young age but I think you're absolutely right in looking into the early intervention, esp in the area of speech. It certainly cannot hurt and may just be the impetus he requires to begin to develop language. Again, he is very young.

I would continue with the classes - at 16 months, babies do not really interact, more parallel play than anything else. But it's still great for him to be around and in a fun social setting with other babies.

When you get the evals, I think the speech therapy would be a good thing to get started with. They will also give you ideas of what you can do at home.

From what you've described, honestly, my gut feeling is that he doesn't have autism but instead some kind of language delay which speech therapy can be so helpful for him. The eye contact at 16 months is pretty inconsistent for any child this young so it's hard to say anything definite there. If he does fall on the autism spectrum, he's probably very mild as he seems social, uses gestures to communicate and doesn't get upset around people making noises or social settings where there are louder noises, from what you're describing.

The wrist flapping can be a sign, but I think at 16 months, may not mean too much. OTOH I have seen typical 3 year old hand flap when excited about dancing or something fun they are playing.

You seem on exactly the right track in seeking the right resources for him. Keep us posted.

Last edited by Mira11; 06-07-2009 at 12:09 AM.

 
Old 06-07-2009, 05:44 AM   #5
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

Thank you very much ladies. I am hoping that the speech therapy will help. I feel we are a little to blame for his delay. My husband and I tried to read to him and when he showed disinterst in the books by taking them away and throwing them or simply not sitting still we decided to hold off thinking he will outgrow it. He probably watched more TV than he should have which is my fault. I used it so I can get things done around the house and time for a few hours straight. These 2 things I know probably contributed to it...but I have been reading to him every day throughout the day. He doesn't like to be read to when he is ready to go nap or go to bed so I read as many books as I can during the day. As for TV, I completely cut it out in the beginning and now I let him watch maybe 30 minutes a day.

Again, thanks so much for your feedback. It's good to know we're headed in the right direction. I will definitely let you guys know how his evaluation goes with the OT and DS. He will have his final evaluation with all 3 specialists on the 23rd and they will say if he needs to the psycologist.

 
Old 06-07-2009, 07:37 PM   #6
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

I feel that you are being a wonderful parent! Doing all the right things for your baby. Your baby may like picture books more, or the books that have sounds on them. Other books that I have seen are especially for toddlers. These are touch and feel books. your baby would enjoy more interactive books where he can participate. He would like that much better then just having to sit and Listen.
I was a preschool teacher for over 2o years, and also was director of the infant toddler program. The key to any very young toddler is to engage them, allow the child to take the lead. The the baby will have more interest. BTW, most toddlers are going to have very short attention spans. Toddlers are movers and shakers. They love using their tiny bodies to play, run and discover the world . Try getting some preschool/toddler music CD's let him dance, then at the same time if u really want him to have a blast, blow Bubbles for him.
When my son was a baby and had learned to walk, it was always toe walking. This did not change, or stop. To this day my son still does not walk with his feet flat down on the ground. My point is that, some of these more obvious behaviors do not come and go. They are there, at the early age. As the child grows older, then the behaviors will change, or start to wax and wane. OR, the child picks up new autistic like behaviors.
Between the ages of 3- 10 it has been my experience that these are the roughest yrs . The more severely affected the child is the harder it is .
my son is verbal, and he has very narrow interests. Names of actors, dates of when they are born, movies and dates they are made> he repeats what he says constantly. Has a problems socially, still loves to spin in circles, and flaps his hands when excited> He is cognitively delayed, as well. His rote memory skills are through the roof. e does not ever forget, which makes him dwel on things for a lenghty time period. He is is a SDC class for kids like him, and always has been in these type of placements. He is a high functioning autistic boy, nearly 16yrs old .
When first behaviorial signs started happening , i overlooked them. I did not want to accept that something was wrong with my child. His daycare provider told me, because she had a son who was autistic too. I still was in denial> But, one of her teachers for her own son talked to me, told me my kid was autistic. That made me very angry! But, it also helped me take him in to be evaluated.

 
Old 06-09-2009, 06:46 AM   #7
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mira11 View Post
Hi - it's really hard to tell anything definite at such a young age but I think you're absolutely right in looking into the early intervention, esp in the area of speech. It certainly cannot hurt and may just be the impetus he requires to begin to develop language. Again, he is very young.

I would continue with the classes - at 16 months, babies do not really interact, more parallel play than anything else. But it's still great for him to be around and in a fun social setting with other babies.

When you get the evals, I think the speech therapy would be a good thing to get started with. They will also give you ideas of what you can do at home.

From what you've described, honestly, my gut feeling is that he doesn't have autism but instead some kind of language delay which speech therapy can be so helpful for him. The eye contact at 16 months is pretty inconsistent for any child this young so it's hard to say anything definite there. If he does fall on the autism spectrum, he's probably very mild as he seems social, uses gestures to communicate and doesn't get upset around people making noises or social settings where there are louder noises, from what you're describing.

The wrist flapping can be a sign, but I think at 16 months, may not mean too much. OTOH I have seen typical 3 year old hand flap when excited about dancing or something fun they are playing.

You seem on exactly the right track in seeking the right resources for him. Keep us posted.

Elbryn: The first of our twin boys was during his first years uninterested in playing with other children, even with his twin brother. They are now 17 years old and twin boy No 1 goes to ordinary class at high school (science with maths and computer) but twin No 2 still belong to a smaller class where it will take one year extra (except for maths, computers and some other specially preferred subjects at his school).

As they were small they did not like too look into other peoples eyes. They did not point finger to something that was special. They slept some anxiously. They were difficult to learn eating something different. Easily upset when somebody critisized them.

Insted of using the word "NO !" you should kindly tell what you are doing or are intending to do - in advance
so that the child is prepared to what is going to happen...

Did not smile or react on names
Did not play with any other people
Felt little sympathy with someone crying
Did not point finger
Did not want to try news to eat
Was fixed with little figures as Mickey Mouse to hold
Were sensitive if somebody say "NO" or "DON'T...": it is better to tell the child what is going on, how to do it or prepare what will happen...
Slept anxiously during several years
Walked on tip-toes during some period
Hit himself in his face sometimes when not understanding or getting angry or disappointed
Could have pebbles in shoe without expressing feel of pain
Did not complain when it was too cold to be outdoors
Diarrhea and need of diapers during first years
(e g 4 times each day during first 4 years)
Did not care about looks or clothes
Did not want to eat mixed food etc
Got better mood after eating well, such as e g fresh fish oil/salmon, essential oils, enough proteins, minerals and vitamins

Last edited by elbryn; 06-09-2009 at 09:56 AM.

 
Old 06-10-2009, 08:26 AM   #8
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

Update...

I guess i never really knew the importance of pointing to show you things that they wanted. I worked with him the last week or so and now when I give him choices, he points at what he wants. I guess that's a good sign and might change the result of his tests. Eye contact is also improving where unless he is tired he will glance at you when you are talking to him and if it's something that is very interesting his eye contacts last a lot longer.

Thanks again for everyone who shared their thoughts and opinions with me.

 
Old 06-10-2009, 11:56 PM   #9
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

One of the earliest signs of autism that seems to have some predictive value is turning to name. Does your child turn to you when you call his name? Has he had a hearing test?

 
Old 06-11-2009, 06:25 AM   #10
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

My twin sons started reacting when calling their names when they were about 5 years old, I think. Before that they did not care. Now they are 17 years old and go to high school, going very well. Twin No 1 got rid of his diagnosis about a year ago. The second twin boy partially goes to a smaller class but is at the school full time at 8-2.30 PM usually and he has got good grades too.

I think your sons "autism" will disappear as he shows so little signs of it. Give healthy food and maybe supplements as I described a little about the other day...

Boys learn walking before talking because that is their interest, I think. So the talking comes later(what girls and women prefer to do first). Boys are buzy moving on physically, I suppose...

Best regards
"elbryn"

Last edited by elbryn; 06-15-2009 at 10:49 AM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 06-11-2009, 07:00 AM   #11
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elbryn View Post
Elbryn wrote: Both of our twin boys were during their first years uninterested in playing with other children nor people, not even with the twin brother. They are now 17 years old and twin boy No 1 goes to ordinary classes at high school (science with maths and computer). But twin No 2 still belongs to a smaller class where it will take one year extra (except for maths, computers and some other specially liked subjects at his school). Halftime he is in ordinary classes.

As they were small they did not like to look into other peoples eyes. They did not point index finger nor show/wave with their hand to anything, not even to what was specially interesting.

They slept some anxiously. They were difficult to learn eating something new. They easily went upset when somebody critisized them.

Insted of our using the word "NO !" or "DON'T" you should kindly explain what you are doing or going to do - in advance, so that the child is prepared to what is going to happen...

Did not smile or react on any names
Did not play with any other people
Felt little sympathy with someone crying
Did not point index finger
Did not want to try news to eat
Was fixed with little figures as Mickey Mouse to hold
Slept anxiously during several years
Walked on toes during some earlier period
Hit himself in his face sometimes when not understanding or getting angry or disappointed
Could have pebbles in shoe without expressing feel of pain
Did not complain when it was too cold to be outdoors
Diarrhea and need of diapers during first years
(e g 4 times each day during first 4 years)
Did not care about looks or clothes
Did not want to eat mixed food etc
Got in better mood after eating well, such as e g fresh fish oil/salmon, essential oils, enough proteins, minerals and vitamins

Last edited by elbryn; 06-15-2009 at 10:47 AM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 06-11-2009, 04:10 PM   #12
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

I think it's different for many kids,as some get to each developmental milestones normally then at a certain stage suddenly start to regress.Others are slow in reaching the developmental milestones from the start.With my child he was a bit slow right from the start and when i now look back,i guess the signs were all there.Difficult to wean,started walking late,my child wasn't a fussy baby,he rarely cried has a baby and speech & language delay,detached and my son is still non-verbal.

 
Old 06-12-2009, 08:44 AM   #13
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Re: Help! Are these early signs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elbryn View Post
My twin sons started reacting to calling their names when they were about 5 years old. (Before that they never mind). Now they are 17 years old and go to high school, doing very well. Twin No 1 did about a year ago get rid of his diagnosis autism. The 2nd twin boy partially still goes to a smaller class but is at the school full time, usually at 8-2.30 PM and he got good grades too, especially in math, computer.
I think your assumed "autism" will disappear as your son show so little signs of it. You give healthy food and maybe supplements as I described a little about the other day...

Boys learn walking before talking because that is their interest, I think. So the talking comes later (girls and women prefer to talk first). Boys like better moving on physically, I suppose...

Best regards
"elbryn"

Last edited by elbryn; 06-15-2009 at 10:46 AM. Reason: language

 
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