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looking at signs, developmental issues

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Old 04-02-2012, 08:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2
hoping360 HB User
looking at signs, developmental issues

Hi all,

My 17 mo DD is coming up on her 18 month checkup and I know we're going to be asked developmental questions. I answered the questions myself and she fails, but somewhat borderline. That said, I do get a gut sense that things are not quite right, and at very least she's got some developmental delays that are concerning. That said, there are some positives as well. I've tried to list a bunch of these positives and negatives, and I'm curious about how these sound to other folks who are familiar with ASD and how they relate to their own child. I'm not as concerned about the label as getting the proper help for DD, as early as possible!


Comes to us with arms up to signal desire to get picked up. Always
Brings objects to me for interest-sake or sharing (e.g. flute, book, etc.). Often
Brings objects to me for assistance (e.g. food in a container). Always
Laughs at, runs after other children (e.g. cousins). Always
Understands and follows some simple commands. Often
Looks at things I point at (along with some verbal queues). Often
Likes playing peek-a-boo or similar games. Always
Imitates us in various ways (i.e. verbal or facial, etc.). Often
Makes an effort to verbalize (i.e. babble) and does so “conversantly” with us at least some times. Always
Climbs stairs, walks, runs. Always
Initiates physical contact with other people, other than requests to be picked up (e.g. hugs, etc.). Sometimes
“Accepts” affection initiated by others (e.g. as opposed to say squirming away). Often
Has tantrums that cannot be consoled easily (i.e. within 2-3 minutes). Rarely
Apparent understanding of others’ emotions (e.g. excitement, anger). Often
Plays with toys in what might seem considered “normal” ways (rarely fiddles, no licking or mouthing). Often
Learns from others in how things work or operate for play without a lot of repetition (e.g. imitates). Often
In floor-play with her, takes an interest in what I’m playing with and can generate floor-time in which it seems like we’re “playing together”. Always
A general feeling that eye contact is “good” and “appropriate”. Often
Shows interest in things going on around her. Often
Sensitive to change in routine. Rarely
Gets fixated on things, must have the object or activity or gets mad. Rarely
Fear of strangers / strange situations, but adjusts in short time. Often
Shows excitement at certain things including presence of people (e.g. coming home and greeting someone, songs she likes, etc.). Often
Understands words “mommy” and “daddy” (as in, will go to or look at the correct person). Often
Understands some other words (as in, say “cat” or even the cat’s name and she’ll look in the correct place). Often
Exhibits one or more clear “obsessions” (stacking, lining up things, etc.). Never
Participates in sense-of-self activities (e.g. asks to wear her hair-band). Often
A general sense that she seems “happy” (removing the occasional upsets). Always
Can say or gesture “no” (e.g. shakes head) in appropriate contexts. Often
Appears to play “pretend” – specifically what might be considered “affection” for stuffed toys (e.g. hugging). Always
Appears to play “pretend” – specifically using props (e.g. pouring tea, pretend food, etc.). Rarely
Understands when she’s being told “no” and may respond with verbalization/grunts/defiance/etc. Often
Speaks at a level that is generally considered “age appropriate”. Never
Says “mommy” and “daddy”. Never (perhaps Rarely, need to see if “daddy” is going to “stick”)
Can say or gesture “yes” in appropriate contexts. Never
Can wave “hi” and/or “bye”. Never
Can verbalize “hi” and/or “bye”. Never
Can clap on request. Sometimes
Appears to be making an effort sometimes to say real words (e.g. “cat” may come out as “cawww”). Sometimes
Walks on toes. Sometimes
Flaps arms. Sometimes
Shrugs shoulders or otherwise seems to exhibit some form of tick. Sometimes
Plays with tags on any/all toys. Often
Points at things she’s interested in with her index finger and glances at me/us as part of the exchange. Never
Points at things we name with index finger (e.g. body parts and/or pictures in books). Rarely
Has issues with swallowing food that’s not either pureed or is unfamiliar. Always

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Old 04-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: looking at signs, developmental issues

Your toddler seems to me like she is doing really developmentally. Their are more normal behaviors that she can do then not. It does seem like she should be able to be more verbal, and use more words , at her age. However, sometimes if this is the first born child the parents will do the talking more for her, and if she has not been around other toddlers her age this could slow down her speech development. Most of what you described is very typical and normal behaviors for her age and development.
She enjoys social contact
She lifts her arms up tp be picked up
she brings objects to you
she imitates her parents
she accepts affection
shows interests in things around her
has small temper tantrums which are common in toddlers
has understanding of other peoples emotions
plays with toys normally
all those behaviors are very normal and she is right at where she needs to be developmentally
walking on toes or hand flapping sometimes is not too much to worry about because she is not doing it all the time , some babies or toddlers do this out of excitement only, but if she were doing this all the time or learned to walk on her toes while learning to walk is something completely different. The hand flapping once in a while not something to be too concerned with, but if she were doing it ALL the time for everything then that is something to be concerned with, or if she was rocking back and forth or head banging that is a concern. A lot of toddlers do not like having a toy taken away from them , so that should not be bothersome.
I do not think she exhibits any extreme behavioral characteristics that are found in very young autistic children or even on the autistic spectrum. Only clue you descibed is she is behind with speech and language. However , she understands what is said to her so that is a good sign.

Old 04-02-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2
hoping360 HB User
Re: looking at signs, developmental issues

thanks for replying - I'm trying to remain confident that she's just slightly delayed with language and I'm reading too much into the other things... I think we're going to enroll her in daycare 1-2 days a week where she can socialize more. (If there's some real problem, I suppose that might bring it out more too, to help confirm or deny.) Currently she's only babysat by her grandmother who speaks non-English, so could be some language confusion as well. Plus I'm spending a LOT of floor-time with her lately, working on things.

Old 04-02-2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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Re: looking at signs, developmental issues

If this helps I use to be a preschool teacher for 20+ years, plus have been around many small children and toddlers whose parents are Bi Lingual sometimes the child can get a little confused with the language , and either mix both languages together or learn to speak the dominate language spoken at home or what she has learne the most. this is not common at all. At her age she will have separation anxiety big time going to preschool at first. It will be really hard for her becaue she will not be sure if she will see mom or dad again, it is a scary experience for some toddlers. So be strong , otherwise their are mommy and me classes you might want to look into or something like Gymbree , where the parent gets to participate with the child while meetimg other children the same age and parents, just something to think about because you have some choices .

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