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DS showing early signs of autism?

(9 Posts)
LouiseNM Wed 09-Nov-16 15:35:25

Hi all, I am hoping to gain some insight as to whether I should be quite worried about my DS, 12 months, and what I should do to help him. I am worried that he is displaying some signs of autism and I am very aware of the importance of early intervention. These are the things that worry me:
-He does not point at things, either to request or share.
-He does not clap or wave, although he will give a half-hearted high five (but sometimes it seems like he is actually annoyed and trying to push your hand away rather than high five).
-He does not want me to read him books, but prefers to look through them and flip pages by himself. He will occasionally allow me to read a few pages at a time, and will touch the parts (with index finger, as though pointing but not really) that I touch.
-He loves to take things in and out of containers and can do this repeatedly for quite some time.
-He does not show me toys or objects or bring me things to share.

Here are the things that seem okay:
-He babbles a lot (no "real" words though) and will imitate noises back and forth.
-He loves his older brother and will laugh at his antics, engage with him warmly and crawl around in little chasing games with him.
-He follows my pointing and looks at things with me when I point them out to him.
-He seems interested in other small children when we are out and about. I have not yet tried a toddler group with him so not sure how he would do.
-He is very attached to me and has appropriate stranger anxiety, looks to me when unsure about something/someone, etc.
-He sometimes copies actions with toys, like banging a drum, clanging blocks together, patting on a table, etc.
-His eye contact seems normal.
-He started answering to his name at an early age. However, as I said above, it seems like lately, if he is busy, he will not respond unless I call him several times or raise my voice. Other times he responds right away, so I would say this is inconsistent.
-I have not detected an sensory issues as of yet - he is not overly sensitive to noises, textures, etc.
-He seems to understand basic words and will look for the appropriate thing (brother's name, dog's name, Dada, etc.).
-He does check in with me sometimes when playing, or when he is impressed with himself (like making a song start on his music table) and will check to see that I'm watching and smile.
-He is happy to see me when I return from being away and will speed over to me for cuddles.

Motor skills are average but not advanced. He is not yet walking and was on the later end to sit, crawl properly, etc. though he pulled up right at 9 months.

Does this sound like ASD? I am particularly concerned with the lack of pointing and showing, as I know those are particularly important. I want to do everything I can to help him, but right now I feel overwhelmed and just beside myself. Please help.

FrayedHem Wed 09-Nov-16 18:50:44

He does have some good skills there, and pointing is usually expected by 18 months, so 12 months is still within range for not doing that yet. That said, I would be a little concerned about the lack of gestures all together (clapping, waving and pointing) but he also engages well with you from what you say. Is he happy for you to join in with him when he is putting things in and out?
TBH, as you are worried, I think you should find out about Speech and Language Therapy in your area, you should be able to either attend a drop-in clinic or self-refer either online or by phone/post. I wouldn't be surprised if they say wait and see nearer the 18 month mark, but waiting times can be long so it's always better to make an appointment and cancel if not needed, than to wait til dead on 18 months then start getting referrals.

Is his babble varied and tuneful? My 2 DC who have communication difficulties had quite monotone/restricted babble compared to my 2 DC who didn't have those issues.

Have a look at the talking point website www.talkingpoint.org.uk/, it's got an ages and stages and I think they also have a helpline where you can get some advice.

LouiseNM Thu 10-Nov-16 03:45:06

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. He does does have varied babble that is beginning to sound more speech-like, and he will reply with a babble that sounds a bit like "yeah" often when you ask him a question (like, "is your sandwich good?"). I did try joining in with him a bit today when I noticed him taking things in and out, and he was happy to have me join and altered what he was doing as I did - that is, I took two of the cups he was placing up and down on a shelf and banged them together, which made him smile and then he did it too. I tried putting the objects on my head, etc. which he found very funny. When he does things like this (putting things in and out of a box or up and down on/off a table), he is actually pretty easily distracted from it, but it does seem like something he enjoys doing.

The book thing is upsetting me because I would love to just sit with him and have a cuddle and read a book, but he is so insistent on flipping through them on his own terms.

The total lack of gestures is worrying. It's hard to understand why he won't clap, as he will mimic me "clapping" two objects together, but not when I'm not holding anything! I know it is early still for pointing, but I am very anxious about that. I do hope to see it emerge soon. He does reach to be picked up and pull up on my legs/look up at me when he wants to be carried, not sure if that really counts as a gesture. And will push things away when he is not interested.

I panic about the gestures, but then it's hard to feel too worried when I watch him do things like he did during his last meal, banging his cup and kicking and crazily trying to attract everyone's attention and get a laugh. Every time someone would laugh at him or bang their cup in response, he would squeal with delight and do it again. He is definitely seeking out social interaction, but I guess where I'm not sure if something is amiss is during his play, and not being sure if he's really sharing things with me, IYSWIM. He is only just 12 months, so perhaps a little time is needed, but I do think I will find out about Speech and Language Therapy in case there is a problem.

gatorgolf Thu 10-Nov-16 06:17:38

My child was exactly the same with books. It wasn't it was perhaps 2.5 to 3 years that he would let me read him a story. That said my ds is now being assessed for asd (thread is on Sen board so more likely to get comments from ppl with interest in Sen) but I don't think the book thing was an indicator

FrayedHem Thu 10-Nov-16 09:35:15

Have you had the 12 month HV check? I'm speaking beyond my experience, but perhaps he absence of gestures is more to do with motor skills? I would say arms up to be picked up would count as a social communication gesture.

My DS3 was the same as gatorgolf and he's under assessment. The book thing was only noted as evidence towards his difficulties with adult-led activities/attention and understanding, and by itself wouldn't be noteworthy at 12 months.

It's really good he enjoys you joining in his play and I think you're doing all you can to help him develop further. He is still very young and I wouldn't be urging you to get SALT/Paediatric/audiology referrals asap, but I would never dismiss parent concern as sometimes it's the sum total rather than the individual parts IYKWIM.

gatorgolf Thu 10-Nov-16 09:45:15

From mine and comments made by frayed hem, both our children are being assessed for asd but please don't let that in itself worry you. This post is on the Sen board, if it was on another board you would probably get lots of people with NT children saying 'my child did that'

zzzzz Thu 10-Nov-16 09:57:23

The ONLY thing that would worry me is that you are worried because Mums "feelings" are often right. Autism is a big leap though.

Ilovefffffffridays Fri 11-Nov-16 10:21:32

My middle dc has cp so I am on the Sen board.
have a ds who will be 14months at the end of this month. At 12 months he didn't wave, point or clap. He now does all three probably started just before 13months. Give him time frame given for pointing is 18months.

LadyDowagerHatt Fri 11-Nov-16 10:22:44

I was worried about my son at around 12 months as he wasn't clapping or waving. I remember reading a lot about ASD as when I googled 'not waving or clapping' ASD references came up. He is now 6 years old and most definitely NT and extremely chatty and sociable. The one thing he does have is hypermobility in his fingers, it was noticed when he started school and he struggled physically with the writing. I wonder whether that effected his skills in these areas also as even when he did start waving it was a flapping of the hand back and forward from the wrist rather than a proper wave if that makes sense.

So whilst it is true that if you as a mum have a concern it is of note, it is not always what you think.

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