Possible Autism in 2-year old

(26 Posts)
confusedofengland Mon 30-Sep-13 19:25:15

DS2 is 2.5. He has a 'fairly significant' speech delay, for which he had an assessment in August & has had 3 weekly sessions so far. His final session is next week (he missed the first one as he had a D&V bug).

Today, the SALT asked me if I had heard of the autism spectrum, as there were a couple of things regarding DS that made her think he might be on it.

Firstly, it can be (around 10-20% of the time) difficult to get his attention if he is engrossed in something (playing or if he has noticed eg a clock ticking). He also has a short attention span, he will play a game such as wooden peg puzzle for up to 10 minutes at a time.

Secondly, she said his play skills are delayed. She said he doesn't do enough pretend play such as giving dolly a drink. However, yesterday he put dolly in the swing & pushed her & in the session today he was putting play people down a slide. Over the weeks since his assessment he has also happily done lots of things with dolly, with my encouragement, which SALT said was good confused

She had previously said that his eye contact was not great but she now says that it seems largely OK.

I have read up about autism in toddlers, and have the following observations about him, which I think may or may not point to autism in his case. I have also done the MCHAT test & he scored at low risk of autism because of not talking, everything else was OK:

- He didn't point until just after 2 for demands (used outstretched hand from around 18 months), and until about 2.3 for observation eg seeing an aeroplane & wanting to tell me about it. He now points non-stop, usually with accompanying noises (eg a-a for quack-quack if he sees a duck) grin
- He likes to open & close doors a lot. If we enter a room, he has to close the door behind us. He likes to play with doors on toy cars etc for about a minute before brumming them along the floor.
- He didn't self-feed until around 18 months (finger foods & spoon foods), but now does both as proficiently as any other child his age.

- He has never had any problems with sleeping (slept 11-12 hours plus 1-2 hour nap from around 3 months)
- He has never had any problems eating - he eats anything & everything, all different shapes, textures, tastes etc
- Aside from the usual 'terrible twos' tantrums, which last anything up to 5 minutes & which he can usually be easily distracted from, he has never had anything I would describe as a meltdown.
- He loves to play with other DC & adults alike, nursery have said he plays alongside the other DC, as they would expect for his age.
- He has no problem with a change in routine, loves staying away for the night, going away etc.
-He has empathy - I was crying yesterday (pg & hormonal blush) & he came to sit on my lap & smile at me, trying to make me smile.
- He copies what other people do, especially his big brother.
- He is not sensitive to any loud noises etc & is willing to try all sorts of new activities that his brother, 2 years older & v cautious, will not do eg go on bouncy castle.

It also may or may not be of relevance that he was lateish to crawl (12 months 1 week) & to walk (17.5 months), but when he mastered them, he did so very quickly, unlike DS1 who did these things earlier, but took a while to get the hang of them. SALT did mention this in her assessment & also today & say that he may just be a child who takes his time to do things.

The conclusion of today's SALT appointment was that as he is to have a hearing test in November (2 previous tests found glue ear), to start an extra nursery session this week (taking him from 2 mornings to one full day & one morning) & as his big brother has now started school full-time & I am able to do a lot more where DS2 has 100% of my attention, she will see him for a further assessment in December, and another block of sessions in January. She said he has made more progress than most DC she sees in just 1 assessment & 3 sessions & this was encouraging. She also said she didn't know either way about autism, but wanted to mention it in case. This led me to think that he may be borderline (if it is possible to be such a thing) or have a mild form of autism if at all.

I also feel like I'm constantly comparing him to DS1, who is very bright - has been talking since 18 months, sentences at 2, reading since 3, is given work ahead of his age range (Reception year). And more to the point, I feel like others are too, which is not really fair on either of them sad

Anyway, sorry this is such as long post, it feels like there's a lot to get my head around. I don't know what or how to think or feel & so would really appreciate any experiences or opinions or advice. Thanks smile

confusedofengland Thu 10-Oct-13 10:40:03

Thanks Shoewhore I do find it frustrating that they have seen fluid in his ears on 2 separate occasions - one in the height of summer so not just due to cold etc - and will not do anything about it. They won't even talk to me about levels of hearing. I am aware that this may not be the whole picture, but even if it isn't, it can't be helping! I had a cold recently & blocked ears & it was very frustrating & I had to get people to repeat things a lot, so I imagine he feels like this a lot of the time sad

I am glad you DS is doing well now, lovely to hear of success stories smile

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