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    Old 02-09-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
    Navros's Avatar
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    Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy

    We are having speech delay and behavioral challenges with our 3.5 years old son. He is the youngest in the family with two sisters age 10 and 5. Both of our daughters started meaningful communication around 2.5 years of age. At home we have a bilingual environment and most of the time we communicate with him only in English.
    We started getting worried about his lack of speech when he was almost 3 years of age. One of his cousins has been diagnosed with Autism so we started to consult doctors and specialists to have an early assessment. During the last six months we consulted number of specialists including child psychologist, neurologists, and specialists at an Autism center. All of these specialists observed him and advised that our son is not Autistic.
    These assessments and the following behaviors we observed at home during the last six months lead us to rule out Autism.
    1) Enjoys playing with siblings. Strong friendship with one of her sisters. Defends her strongly in case of a conflict with elder sister.
    2) Enjoys playing hide and seek. Takes his turn by closing eyes and pretend counting.
    3) Smiles back when someone smiles towards him
    4) Eager to show new items or new experiences (face painting) to his mother
    5) Develops eye contact and maintain it for some time. Frequency of this behavior in variable
    6) Eats independently and very good at using the spoon
    7) Comfortable in shopping areas. No screaming. Independently runs around to explore
    8) Frequently hugs his mother, siblings and father
    In view of his speech delay, we started limited speech therapy when he started to go to a kindergarten at the age of 3 years and two months. He is now saying around 60 words with variable frequency and recently started to join few words such as “mama…….wake up…….down”.
    However, we are having challenges at his school where his behavior has become unbearable. The feedback we have received consistently is as follows
    1) Does not participate in any group activity such as story time and prefers to play alone
    2) Does not communicate and need teacher support to interact with other children.
    3) Has interest in limited objects such as cars and plays with them for a long time.
    4) Does not follow class routine
    5) Does not understand instructions such as “stand beside someone”
    6) Shows intense tantrums when asked to stop his preferred activity and start something else that he does not like.
    7) Needs to build up his concentration
    8) Does not share playing objects. Becomes aggressive (hit, push) when other children need the same toy
    9) Loves to climb up on objects and does not follow instructions of stopping unsafe activities.
    At home, sometimes he is very stubborn and does not follow instructions. He shows interest in certain preferred activities such as playing on iPad, watching cartoons on TV, climbing windows, playing with kitchen objects, imitating actions of favorite cartoon characters and playing with cars and bears. Often he does not respond to his name but follows simple instructions such as turn off the light, close the door, etc. However, if we ask him about something that he likes to do such as going outdoors; we get his immediate attention.
    We have observed important changes in his behavior when he turned 2 years. During the first 18 months he was a very quiet boy and started smiling late. Now he is very active and full of energy all the time. Between the age of 2 and 2.5, we repeatedly observed a very interesting behavior from him. While watching cartoons and kids movies he could not watch intense emotional scenes such as “nemo separated from his father and picked out of the sea” His reaction was to come out of the room and close the door and not allow anyone to enter the room until the scene was finished.
    Sorry for the long post but we are very keen to hear from others who might have similar experience or suggestions on how to address this challenge.
    Many thanks

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    Old 05-17-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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    Re: Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy

    Hi Navros.
    My name is Paola and we live in Canada.
    My son is virtually a copy/paste from yours. I am so puzzled and that´s why I came to this board... looking for answers.
    Canada has a great medical system but sometimes the delays are TERRIBLE. So here we are... waiting 15 long months to get him evaluated for possible PDD/Autism.
    We have submitted all the paperwork to the hospital and we are waiting (crossing my fingers to have an eval by the end of 2013).

    So naturally, I am worried and trying my best to look for answers on my own.

    We speak 3 languages at home and at first we thought that was causing his speech delay.
    Sometimes it´s hard to avoid the languages because we speak Spanish with my husband (we´re from Argentina) and we watch TV in English, but since we live in "French Canada", he is spoken to in French all day long at daycare and elsewhere.
    So we try to stick to French but sometimes it´s hard to stick to one.

    He´s been getting speech therapy and zootherapy (therapy with animals) since last December and we´ve seen a lot of improvement.
    He didn´t repeat anything we said or wanted him to say before. Since therapy started, he started WANTING to repeat and he´s been using words more and more, but just 1 or known phrases for the moment

    He is VERY loving. Loves to cuddle and kiss. He´ll kiss pretty much anyone if you ask him to (unless it´s an unknown male... he doesn´t like men very much but loves women, lol)
    And he loves to play with his baby brother (who is 11 months old).

    But his eye contact is hit or miss. He´ll avoid looking at you if he doesn´t want to acknowledge you´re reprimanding him or doesn´t want to do what you want him to do.
    But when he wants you to pay attention, he´ll go as far as grabbing your face for you to look at him (I´ve tried ignoring him to see his reaction).

    We had him evaluated for his hearing because at times we thought he might be deaf, since he never repeated after us or pretended not to hear us when calling him (he pretty much ignores us if he is not interested in doing what we ask).

    IDK, something with him is "off". I just don´t know if it´s Autism or PDD as the children´s therapist we saw suggested.

    He suddenly became afraid of the stairs... but he will go down normally if he´s excited to see what´s going on downstairs. Kinda like if he thinks about it, it makes him scared, but if he doesn´t think, he won´t have a problem.

    Could anyone help?

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    Old 06-09-2013, 07:35 PM   #3
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    Re: Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy


    When reading your post, it reminds me of my son in many ways. He just turned four years old and he has limited speech and language. He was recently recommended speech and language therapy along with Occupational therapy. Most days it is a struggle with him because he gets frustrated very easily, does not cooperate, unless its an activity he likes, does not transition well from one activity to another, etc. He craves attention and likes to be very social but his classmates don't understand his speech, yet that does not stop him from playing. He likes to play with cars like most boys, and has almost a fascination with lights. (any lights, such as flashlights which he has a good collection of) Autism was ruled out. He is also very loving and does not like it when he sees others are upset or sad. It affects him more than most children, I think. I know that there is a speech/language issue but there is something else and I don't know what it is. We speak to him and its as if he is not there a lot of the time. I sometimes wonder if he comprehends what we tell him. He has a very short attention span and tends to be hyper. He also is very fearful of things most would not expect. Like bouncy places for children, water shoots, certain noises. He is not the adventurous type. He also bites his fingers when he is anxious, upset, or excited. He will begin the therapies next month and I really hope that they help because I don't know what else to do to help him. He gets in these tangents and repeats over and over whatever it is that he wants and he is very demanding. Its so difficult to communicate with him because he does not grasp what we say to him. I hope your son is doing well and is progressing since your last post. Please keep us updated.

    Old 06-13-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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    Re: Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy

    Hello there, your situation sounds a lot like mine (sorta). Only it's not my own child. I babysit him during the week and have two of my own ages 2 and 6. When I first started babysitting it was really hard to handle all the kids together. The boy I babysit is also 3.5, you can understand him and he talks a lot, the problem is he only repeats everything. Like if you ask him a question he will just repeat the last word you say. So he will talk to you as long as you don't say anything really cause then its just the repeating.
    Also he isn't potty trained yet at all and has no willingness to learn to potty train. Do any of yall have that issue? I don't know if his parents have had him tested, but I'm pretty sure they haven't. He is an extremely picky eater and most days won't eat anything, when I address this to the parents they merely shrug it off and say "oh he never eats".
    As the previous poster put he doesn't grasp what I am saying. Most of the times I have to make a really loud noise to even get him out of the "zone" He blanks out a lot and you could even stand in front of him talking and he won't even know your there. I put him in time out for things like hitting (he really likes to hit with hard toys ) and he will cry and if I try to talk to him he slams his hands over his eyes and refuses to look at me, which is fine, I will still try to talk to him and if I say "we don't hit, if you hit it hurts, we can't hit here" and he'll just smile and repeat "no hit no hit" but it just goes in one ear out the other.
    it seems that all the kiddos have something in common but a lot of yall are saying that autism has been ruled out. Wonder what we can do to help these little guys out

    Old 07-22-2013, 09:47 PM   #5
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    Re: Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy

    I feel like so much of this could have been written about my son.

    My son is just over 2.5 and falls in the 1% for expressive language. We've been working with a therapist, SLP, and OT for about a year now (the SLP & OT are relatively new additions to the team) and very little progress has been made.

    Our OT thinks that he has sensory processing issues (hyposensitivity), but all his therapists seem to think it could go either way with an autism diagnose. I will be pursuing testing soon.

    -He's very affectionate... loves to give hugs and kisses and loves nothing more than mom & dad's full attention.
    -He makes eye contact, but not a lot (but I'm the same way).
    -Energetic, always on the go (hyosensitive).
    -If he sees someone get hurt or something sad happen in a movie, he seems to empathize, but he doesn't have much interest in socializing with other kids. He plays with a few cousins (my SIL watches him while we work), but would much prefer to play with us or by himself.
    -His hearing is fine, but he acts as though he doesnt hear us most of the time. It often takes us calling his name numerous times or basically yelling, before he turns his attention to us.
    -He's incredibly smart, determined (stubborn)... a problem solver, but will throw huge tantrums when we try to get him to do anything he isn't 100% interested in.
    -He can't stand to have certain doors shut/open. He's very particular and will go around opening or closing doors until it's to his liking.
    -When he does something wrong, we try to sit down with him and explain things simply, but he will refuse to look at us, hiding his face & scrunching his eyes shut
    -He's an extremely picky eater. We offer him everything we eat, but he blows raspberries at us and turns his head away.
    -Can rarely if ever sit still. Even when he's laying on the sofa watching a cartoon, he's constantly wiggling/jumping.
    -He picked up a few signs & words at an earlier age, but only used them very briefly (less than week, typically) before dropping them & refusing to use them again.
    -He'll be 3 in November and he's never said 'Mom'. Thew few words he does have are very difficult to understand. There are only a few words he says consistently: Doggy= dawee, night night = eye eye, Bye Bye= die die.
    -He just started signing 'open' & 'want', on top of 'please' and the very occasional 'milk'.
    -He understands what we say most of the time & can follow directions, but can't use words appropriately. He babbles all the time and it sounds like he's having a conversation of his own that nobody else can understand.

    Etc etc etc. I don't know if an autism diagnosis is what it is, but there is definitely something off that none of us have been able to put a finger on.

    Old 08-13-2013, 08:51 PM   #6
    Joson thomas
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    Re: Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy

    We are facing the same problem which Navros Son has. My Son is 3.5 year old with two sisters, 13 and 10 year old.

    It will be helpful to get a expert advice.

    Old 09-07-2013, 12:01 AM   #7
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    Re: Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy

    Well I just stumbled upon this looking for something else.
    Navros kid is almost a copy paste of my kid.

    My son was told to us as NOT autistic by 5 evaluation till 3.5 years
    which included pediatrician psychologist school district etc.
    6th evaluation diagnosed him to be autistic.

    I am no expert. But after seeing my son.
    this is my theory; Autism is a spectrum disorder Its not yes or no.
    All kids are different. My kid has a good eye contact, knows his abc
    can count recognize colors, solve puzzles everything he does which a normal 3 years old can do.
    However in school he didnt talk to anyone prefers to play alone.
    At home He can talk. but doesn't do conversation.

    So till a child can do meaningful conversation I think don't let your guard down.(Asperger this criteria also doesnt apply)
    In Autism early detection and treatment is the key.
    We think we lost 1 year of treatment.

    Just my opinion( I may be wrong) Looks like Navros kid had mild autism/PDD-NOS

    Old 12-04-2013, 06:56 AM   #8
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    Re: Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy

    Hi everyone,

    Just to give you guys an update, my son was evaluated for Autism in October and received an ASD (autistic spectrum disorder) diagnosis.

    We are not 100% in agreement with the way the evaluation was performed (they only saw him 3 times of 1 hr each time and in a hospital room with 8 people he didn´t know... how would you expect any child to react to that??).
    So we´ve decided to go for a second opinion but not right away.

    He´s made a TREMENDOUS improvement in these past few months since we put him in a big daycare center. He´s speaking more and more (making short phrases now), he´s fully potty trained (day and night), he is now able to share and play with other kids.

    The report of the evaluation the hospital did (we live in Canada, so to be able to access any therapies we need to get an official eval at the hospital) said they couldn´t perform a full OT, speech or intelligence test because he didn´t want to collaborate (shocker, lol).

    But even if we will ask for a second opinion and we don´t believe it´s necessarily the best diagnosis, I wanted to give you an update for you to know that you might go through the same.

    Feel free to contact me if you want more details/info.

    Old 12-17-2013, 09:09 PM   #9
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    Re: Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy

    wow!these characteristics sound similar to my 4yr old son!!It's nice to finally relate to other parents that are going through that same issues with their child. I've done everything from early intervention, to OT and Speech therapy and we've practically seen every local specialist to get some answers. They all say he doesn't have Autism and he just has anxiety and apraxia..there are too many red flags that go off in mine as well as some of his caretakers heads though. We are really trying to connect the dots..
    -He's been told that he has low tone muscle activity and delayed motor skills by his OT
    -He has an eye that crosses and we think that's another muscle related issue
    -He's not a good sleeper, he thrashes, grinds his teeth and cries out with night terrors
    -He's always made good eye contact so i think that may through dr.s off
    -He's an only child, but is very social and tries to relate to other kids. I think he baffles them with his roaring and babbling sounds though
    -Ive been told by teachers that he doesn't transition well throws fits or now hits/kick and gets distracted,but i can't tell if that's him being stubborn for not wanting to do something he told to or another neuro issue
    -He's speech delayed, he's always babbled, but now tries to sound out words and says vowel sounding words, oh, wow, uh oh, oh etc., he signs as well
    -He makes funny body movements, sings in his own lang in a rythmic pattern and struts..i can't tell if that's from all the music we play at our house or its a red flag
    -Hits/kicks and is quick to get angry, when he doesnt get his way (might just be typical 4yr old behavior, not sure)
    -He eats most of what we give him, has his dislikes and likes
    -plays with toys as they are meant to be played, sometimes he bashes them

    I feel that getting a diagnosis will help guide us toward the proper help and funds we need to get him caught up with his peers, so he doesn't continue on the negative behavior path. Did you guys eventually get the help you sought out for?

    Last edited by erikalyn79; 12-17-2013 at 09:34 PM. Reason: added info

    Old 12-17-2013, 09:37 PM   #10
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    Re: Speech Delay and Behavioral issues with 3.5 years old boy

    These evaluators need to go to his social settings etc.,imo..I don't understand how they can just judge your son's behavior in one type of setting with 8 strangers..My child is extremely different at home and at school or a friends house..

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