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Old 05-11-2011, 01:56 AM   #1
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I am very worried and need help...

Hi everyone

First of all thank you every one for posting you experiences.
My son is 2.4 yrs old. He has been a late bloomer from the start, late to sit, walk and talk. His current vocab is 50-60 words. He has great facial contact and emotions. He even greets and smiles at strangers.
He tries to communicate but cannot form sentences. Instead he screams when he wants something or drags us to the place. He understands us when we point at things and give me a small task.
At park he likes to swing and occasional slides. He doesn't engage with active play with kids of his age.

His obsession was spinning wheels which has relatively decreased and his new obsession is fast moving truck, bus and trains.
He stop and stares at traffic when he sees a bus / truck. He evens knows the direction to our closest train station. Every day when we step out for park he wants to go to the train station to see the trains passing by.He uses the word choo choo to communicate this.
Recently he has started the visual stim where he rolls his eyes to the side and watch table edges/ fences.

He is not big into puzzles, loves to watch his fav cartoon on tv and read books.
When we our outside the only way to keep him occupied is to show him videos on iphone. If he is idle at home he would lay down on the floor on watch the wheels of his car/truck.

Are these classic signs of PDD? I am so worried about his future and having sleepless nights.
I have thousands of questions popping in my head as to what steps do I need to take? Will the visual stim decrease or get worse over time? Should I encourage him to watch train every day? should I change his diet?

I have approached EI for speech evaluation but reading through the post here these appear to symptoms of PDD.

Please, I need your help here as I am constantly worried about this.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.

 
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
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Re: I am very worried and need help...

Hi there,
First of all I think that your child has a lot of above average skills. Even though he is only 2 1/5 he already is fascinated and perserves on favorite things , which are trains> He does have some words but very limitied , at least he does have some speech. When he can't express himself he gets outraged and needs an outlet, so screaming seems to work for him right now.
I have a son who does have autism and developmental delays, he is 17yrs old now. Looking back at his younger years He did line toys up , and was into the thomas trains. Usually a child on the autistic spectrum is not interested in
the
toy, but a part of the toy, which wheel spinning would be a common thing to do. My son would put a toy right up close to his face, and eyes. He also would line up his bathrub toys and drop them in the bathub one at a time, and flap his arms , very excited. He also was a toe walker. I believe that is the way he learned to walk was on his toes, this is a neurolgical sign of autism , he still does this and the back of his shoes never touches the ground. Other stemming behaviors that might emerge at a young age is hand flapping, flipping fingers cloes to the eyes, jumping up and down consistently, spinning around in circles. Which he still does.
Did your child ever lose any language skills? Stop talking alltogether? Or has his language skills been consistent to very few words?
My son had echolia at 3yrs old, he would only repeat words . last few words he heard somebody would say. His speeech became functional by the time he was 5.
I encourage you to have your son be evaluated by a developmental Ped, Or a Neurolgist. You could try a child psycholigist too. If you live in the USA we have Regional Centers that have speiclaized DR's to do evaulations . For free of cost.
You could also call your local school district and have him evaualted in one of their programs . for early intervention services. This is very importatant because a lot of behaviors can be stopped or reveresed at a young age. And the child is taught new behaviors that are apropiate.
Your child could benifit from speech therapy , and when he begans to talk more, he screaming will probably stop, once he can talk more.
I think it is a really great sign that your boy is social , and likes being around people, and shows a lot of facial emotion. This is a hard thing for a autistic child to be able to do without being taught.
Nevertheless, he could still be on the spectrum somewhere, but time is on your sign. If you notice him picking up on other behaviors , like the hand flapping , that would be a clue. Sometimes children on the spectrum like to rock back and forth even as a small toddler. Rocking back and forth in his crib or toddler bed.
Those are just some behaviors that would be typical in a young autistic child , or on the spectrum. As he becomes older it will become clearer as to what is going on.

 
Old 05-11-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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Re: I am very worried and need help...

Hi there
Thanks for your response, it was very informative. I have signed up for EI and the speech therapy will start in coming weeks. I am still concerned about his obsession to watch trucks and trains. Although he does enjoy other toys occasionally but his favorite is pushing cars / trucks lying down and his fixated on the wheels. He is doing this only few minutes a day and I am concerned if it will increases overtime. If I hide all the wheel toys then he is somehow forced to play with other toys and he doesn't seem to crave for it. Am I doing the right thing by hiding his favorite toys? Should I try to stop his visual stimming of walking along the edges with eyes rolled to the side?
I did check with my PED about his visual stimming and he had no idea. As per you suggestion I think I i should setup an appointment with a neurologist.

 
Old 05-11-2011, 08:24 PM   #4
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Re: I am very worried and need help...

Has your son had a eye exam before? You might want to check into this. I have not personally seen a child do this before, but I would exhaust all avenue's first.
When you do take his favorite toys away, what does he do? How does he react? Will he play with his other toys normally? Even children who are not on the spectrum will play with their favorite kinds of toys all the time until they tire of them. However, if your only wants to spin the tires around and that is all , then try takeing them away and see what he plays with, and hOW he plays. Lining up toys is a big one with children on the spectrum. And when you take a toy out of it's place the child becomes distressed. If it only a few times a day, and that's all , then their is not really much to worry about. Because in autis these children will perform the same behaviors for hours at a time if you allow them.
The most common visual stemming is either hand flapping, fingers close to face flipping them , or even full body arm flapping. Which my son did all of these at three-5 yr old. He still loves to spin around in circles and gets into trouble at school for it. He still will hand flap too , when very excited.
You could try and distract your son when he does the visual stemming , see if you can him to stop, or interest him with a new, fun toy ,or somthing like that.
Obsessions are very common in a autistic spectrum/PDD individual. I hate to tell you this , but what happens , is that one obsession may stop, only to be replaced by anther. I have learned that it is all part of the developmental delays, the narrow interests continue well into adulthood. However, I have also seen people who are severely delayed, with low IQ's also obsess too. A young man that we know who is in his 20's favorite thing in the world is Scooby Doo. Inteligence of a three yr old> So obsessions are not just limited to autism /or PDD.
What is true though, if a child is mildly autistic they do become easier to work with as they become older. They can understand more , and many are verbal. The non verbal autistic individual are the most chalenging and difficult to deal with.
my son is considered moderate to mildy autistic. But I just see him as my son. He does have a low IQ then people his age should have so he seems younger then he really is. He can do a lot of good things, is verbal and likes others.
The obsessions YES are very prominante , and he will repeat over and over again , to the point wher ewe need to cut him off. He has come a long way though, and can do things when he is taught how.

 
Old 05-15-2011, 04:58 AM   #5
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Re: I am very worried and need help...

Hi - Just to add: it's very good that your son will be starting speech therapy services soon. And it is also a very big plus that he is verbal and building on these verbal skills will be a way for him to feel less frustrated (and need to scream) about wanting to express himself. I think as time goes by and your son gets more and more therapies, you will have a much clearer idea of his issues.

I think that most 2.4 year old do not actively engage in play with other kids so I wouldn't give that much thought and the other issues may change a lot as he becomes more verbal and grows into his threes.

Is your son in any kind of toddler/pre-school setting? That may be something to consider but the teachers should be very kind and caring and sensitive to your son's needs.

 
Old 05-16-2011, 09:35 AM   #6
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Re: I am very worried and need help...

Thanks again. What is a good way to reduce visual stimming? I have read a lot about cod lever oil as a supplement to reduce visual stimmming. But, I have also read in some cases it increases visual stimming. Please share your experiences or helpful links on the same.

 
Old 05-16-2011, 03:56 PM   #7
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Re: I am very worried and need help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak99 View Post
Thanks again. What is a good way to reduce visual stimming? I have read a lot about cod lever oil as a supplement to reduce visual stimmming. But, I have also read in some cases it increases visual stimming. Please share your experiences or helpful links on the same.
I would use distraction , to reduce his visual stemming. Get him interested in a different activity. Call out his name, until you can get him to look at you. Then give him a toy to play with.
My son likes to spin in circles , I thought that he stopped doing it, but found out he has been doing it during PE. That is just anther stemming behavior . He also will laugh uncontrollable , and can't stop. The teacher has him stand outside the classroom because this behavior is so distracting. My son is 17 nearly 18 though. It is disheartning to know that my son has the stemming behaviors that he was doing at a very young age. But, sometimes this happens. I try to get my son's attention when he starts talking about his favorite interests, this is very chalenging, because it is the only things he will talk about , over and over again. I try distraction too. Sometimes it works sometimes it does not.
Anther thing I remember is that if you go up to him and touch him on the shoulder , this can bring your son out of the stemming , because now you have his attention , even if it is for a moment . My son has always had stemming issues , this started out when he was very young though, and he has improved. One DR. told me that the stemming would stop once he had speech skills. Well that was not true. my son is verbal , and he still stems. This is very hard for a child on the spectrum to stop stemming all together. Sometimes, you can get the child to stop one stemming behavior, only to realise that your child begans to do anther stem . Patience , and re direction. I think are the best ways to help your child.

 
Old 05-16-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
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Re: I am very worried and need help...

It's ok first calm down. Have you taked to our pediatrian? Do that first. Get him referred to apeditric neurologist or developmenatl specialist. They can diagnose. You will want a diagnoses to go to the school system with. It sounds to me like he has some autism traits. My son is 6 and does stims the eye thing it used to be wheels now it's movies/electronics. My son doesn't speak at all just noises so you already have one up on that. Calm down though. I know it's hard nd frutrating and worring but things will be what they are bt you have to get hi the help he needs now k Please ask e what yo need to have already been through it!

 
Old 06-08-2011, 07:07 AM   #9
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Re: I am very worried and need help...

My first question to you is: why are you worried about his future? What IF he had PDD? That does not change the person he is, it's a diagnose for some untypical things that we see in children. My son was diagnosed with PDD when he was 4 and I felt like you, up until I got to know my child better as he grew older. He was very smart from the beginning, knew the way to our favorite restaurant that we would go every Saturday and he was 2, loves puzzles and anything brain stimulated. He had a speech delay, and he had some social skills, he wouldn't socialize with many kids. God knows he's past so many of those things now, getting more and more social in school with the help of counseling in 1st grade, and speech therapy has helped him a lot in understanding/cognitive skills. I am so proud of him each and everyday, he's only in 1st grade but can read at 4th grade level. So, if I was you, I wouldn't worry. I would go get an evaluation first, does your school district offer those at no charge to you? Then see a specialist. Your child seems a bit like mine, he's above average in some things, and not so average in some others, but this is one diagnose that's been said that kids "grow" out of. It's a matter of time, and support.

Good luck to you & your family!

 
Old 06-08-2011, 07:10 AM   #10
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Re: I am very worried and need help...

Developmental Specialist is who you need to see, not Neurological Specialist. You need to get a referral from his Dr whether you choose to do it in your school district (which offers pre-school services) or private. We went both ways, and got the same answer! So money doesn't always mean you get the BEST one

 
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