Worried about 20m old's lack of social development

(12 Posts)
FlysInDreams Sun 14-Feb-16 22:10:59

We have 20m non-id DTDs. I am trying not to compare them, but it's hard not to. DTD1 is able to say a few words, but more importantly she understands simple requests (get your bottle, where are your socks etc?) but DTD2 seems not to understand anything. We went back for a follow-up to the 10m check at 18m, and the HV said she'd refer her (but apparently we may just be rejected!) and also requested that we get a Homestart volunteer so DTD2 can have more one-on-one time as DTD1 is definitely the dominant one.

I have started to worry about autism or similar as she has some of the signs, such as not meeting eyes, doesn't talk but makes repetitive sounds, likes to play on her own (though she sometimes plays with her sister), flaps her hands and dances on the spot when excited and not responding when her name is called (she had a hearing test a couple of months ago in case it was that was the problem).

I'd just like to hear from others as to whether their DCs were like this, and how they developed.

FlysInDreams Mon 15-Feb-16 07:17:50

Morning bump

FlysInDreams Mon 15-Feb-16 09:41:19

Anyone?

MoonriseKingdom Mon 15-Feb-16 18:25:20

Hi OP

Sorry you've not had any responses so far. I don't have any personal experience but thought I'd bump it for you.

The lack of understanding of any simple phrases sounds as if it needs further investigation. Receptive language is usually ahead of spoken language. Does she babble? Lack of any babbling can be a red flag for problems. I don't want to worry you but I would push for more assessment- maybe try your GP if health visitor unhelpful.

Hopefully someone with some personal experience will be along in a minute. flowers

BarbarianMum Mon 15-Feb-16 20:23:42

I think what you are describing would worry me too, esp the lack of understanding. In your position I would have you looked at the MCHAT questionnaire on line - this is like a basic screening questionnaire that can help pick up 'red flags' for ASD. it's meant for age 18mo but take a look anyway. Then write a list of all the things your dd does/doesn't do that are worrying you and go see your GP and ask for insist on a referral to a developmental pediatrician.

You could also repost on Special Needs - chat on here. Lots of people do if they are worried about their loved ones - your child doesn't need a diagnosis for you to post on there, and just because you post doesn't mean she needs one iyswim.

TheGreatSnafu Mon 15-Feb-16 20:27:40

Yes, do what Barbarianmum said.
Do the MChat print out results, note your concerns down on paper to give to your GP. You might find a developmental milestone chart to help you formulate all the milestones that are unmet or met after average age.

Do it asap, referrals take time. flowers

Myredcardigan Mon 15-Feb-16 20:50:16

Hi op, you are right to be concerned about lack of receptive language as that is far more indicative of an issue than expressive language.
-does she point? Both at things she wants and things she wants to show you. Most children are pointing by about 12/14mths.
-does she gesture with clapping and waving?
-does she indicate when she means yes and no even if she can't say it?

Have a look at the Mchat test. It isn't diagnostic but can indicate if things need further investigation. There is also a website called, I think, first signs which is very useful.

How is she physically? Does she favour one side over another? Did you notice if she had any form of head lag in the first year? Could she sit on time? Was her crawling symmetrical?

What is her diet like? Does she obsessively crave wheat or dairy produce?

Does she present with sensory issues? (difficult to see at her age as lots of toddlers present with sensory issues) Does she play appropriately with toys such as duplo, baby dolls or a tea set?

Sorry for all the questions. I don't mean to worry you but you need to consider all this and if things are amiss and she doesn't yet pass the MChat then you must take all this information, present it to your GP and ask for a referral to a paed.

susan198130 Mon 15-Feb-16 20:55:47

I don't really have much advice but I'm a twin and I know I was leagues ahead of my brother as a toddler. My mum said she strongly suspects I was the brains behind every bit of mischief we got up to but now I'd say he's the brains. He's definitely way more intelligent than me (not that I'd ever tell him that!).

I do have 2 sons of my own now. There's only a 15 month age gap so I am constantly asked if they are twins (there's quite a big size difference between them though!).

Anyway, my eldest was very slow on the speech. At his 2 year check, the health visitor wanted to refer him for speech therapy but I declined because I just felt he was too young, plus he wasn't well that day, was tired and I knew he spoke much better at home - although still not up to the level of some of my friends' children (in fact, all of my friends' children) who are the same age. But after that appointment, he just seemed to excel so much. His speech came along so much. Everyone noticed it and I didn't really do anything. It was just almost like an overnight thing. We never had any issues with eye contact though.

My youngest though, completely different. He is now 27.5 months old and knew his alphabet in order by 18 months, he also could tell you every letter if you pointed to it. He can count to 15 which is the same as my 3 year old. He can easily say 7 word sentences. He is just leagues ahead with the language skills. But on the technical side of things, by 2, my now 3 year old knew how to put videos on the laptop through YouTube, whereas my youngest still doesn't know how to do that.

My youngest is so much more confident as well. You could easily stick him in a room full of strangers and he'll be more than happy if he's the centre of attention. But he can also be very boisterous, often shoves past other children if they are in his way (not in a malicious way, but he's just so impatient). My 3 year old in contrast is happy to blend into the background, never pushes or shoves children out of the way, will wait his turn.

They are just so different, it's hard to believe they are brothers. And I know it may sound harsh, but I often wish my 3 year old could be more like his brother as I just worry about my 3 year old being so shy. Life is much easier if you are confident in my opinion.

My eldest is now though being referred to a speech therapist by his nursery but not to do with his language skills, it's to do with his interaction with the other children - he doesn't interact with them at all, zones out, goes into his own world, that kind of thing. I have posted on here about that. He seems fine with other children when we are out, just not at nursery. His nursery have said that they aren't really worried about his language skills, more whether he understands what is being asked of him. I think he's just a very shy child and possibly a bit intimidated by the amount of people at nursery and the authority perhaps?

But anyway, as I said, I'm probably not much help but comparing my children, they are so very different and everyone develops at different stages. My eldest has always been on the later stage of hitting milestones. I'd just say try not to worry as your children are both still very young (I know that's way easier said than done, especially for someone like me who is a born worrier!) and just go with any help that is offered. Following my conversation last week with my son's nursery about their concerns, I gave my health visitor a call who said she'd see my son to see if she could see any red flags so that she could also refer him if necessary. But she was saying she has children that do have serious special needs who are being refused the help so she said she is having to lay it on thick to get them seen. It's just ridiculous that children who do need help aren't getting it!

Coffeemachine Mon 15-Feb-16 20:58:33

agree with PP. do the M-chat. print out the results and see GP and demand referral to paed. in most areas you can also.self refer to Salt (stress the lack of understanding and communication). don't let them fob you off.

FlysInDreams Mon 15-Feb-16 22:01:50

Thank you for the bump and the replies.

Apparently she has been referred, but it's all a bit vague (they may reject you, you should hear something within 18 weeks) and also when I spoke to the HV initially, I was not seriously thinking that autism was a possibility.

She does babble, sort of like singing to herself, and does like saying rorororo if I sing row, row, row your boat.

I don't think I've seen her point. If she sees something exciting she just kicks a lot and makes excited noises. She also giggles randomly, or so it seems. She occasionally claps or waves, but fairly half-heartedly. She will do things like come to me so I can take her downstairs to eat or for a walk, but she always looks like she's on automatic pilot. In the same way she sometimes bites me, but not in an angry way, but just because my shoulder was there, so why not!

I have done the MCHAT for her, and it comes out as high risk.

Physically, well she walked at 13 months, which seems pretty reasonable from what I can tell. She is still clumsy, but that may be just being a toddler; she runs about the room crashing into things, but this doesn't seem to really upset her. I don't recall any favouring of one side over the other.

Her playing usually involves throwing balls or play food into a container, putting shapes into shape sorter lid, she can be encouraged to build a tower from stacking cups, stroking the "touchy" bits in books (generally upside-down!). She sometimes plays with her sister, chasing games, but she gets upset if DTD1 closes doors when she wants them open etc.

Eating, she can use a spoon, but always tips it upside-down just before putting it into her mouth. Similarly, she turns beakers so that the straw etc is at the top. I don't think she has any specific food issues. She eats less than her sister as a rule, but not so much that I worry, and in fact has recently overtaken her in weight (she was already slightly taller).

Hmmm, that's got quite long! Thank you again for all the replies, and I will see what I can find out about the referral, and also put something on the SEN board.

Coffeemachine Tue 16-Feb-16 09:19:24

in any case self refer to Salt too and chase up the paed referral.

talk to HV regarding portage too.

have you had a hearing test recently?

FlysInDreams Sat 20-Feb-16 10:27:04

I'm chasing up the HV for the referral. She had a hearing test late last year, which was fine, though she wouldn't let them stick the things in her ears to check each one.

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