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Can signs of autism be seen in an 11 month old?

(30 Posts)
MorningTime Thu 05-Dec-13 13:28:57


I have a few little worries about my 11 month DS & I am wondering whether it is worth mentioning them to the health visitor or if this is just 'normal' behaviour for some babies. I'd appreciate opinions as my DH thinks I am worrying about nothing.

We have three other children, one is DS's twin. He is actually very easy to look after & good natured. He sleeps a lot, rarely cries & entertains himself easily.

My main worries are:

- he seems obsessed with opening & closing doors (big doors, doors on small toys, door on small kitchen etc). He will do this for long periods of time & seems annoyed if I move him away from the door.

- he laughs for no apparent reason. I know this sounds a strange thing to complain about but it just strikes me as odd! He has started laughing while opening & closing his doors. Sometimes he just starts laughing randomly. In the back of the car, lying in bed, just suddenly laughing loudly to himself. Everyone else says "he's such a happy baby" but when I see him sitting laughing at a door, I do feel worried.

- he doesn't seem very keen on me sad. He will look at me if I sit in front of him & call his name & he does laugh when he sees me when he wakes from his nap. I can also make him laugh by tickling him. But other than that, he just isn't that interested. If we are in the same room, his twin sister (it is hard not to compare them) will follow me around, try & get involved in her siblings games and generally love watching & being involved. DS just sits in the corner with his door, smiling to himself as he opens & shuts again & again. If the other three are doing something together, DS doesn't even notice. If it isn't the door he is playing with it will be something like a toy car, with him moving it back and forth repeatedly.

Aren't all babies supposed to be sociable & want to interact with other people? DH just says that DS is "laid back". Sometimes I will specifically try to give DS 'one to one' time (as I feel guilty about being busy with the others) but when I pick him up he just squirms to get back down to his door or the other object he is playing with. I might just be worrying because his sister is so much more social, and so were my other DC's at the same age.

He has just started crawling and he does babble. It's hard to explain what it is that makes me worry about autism but I think it is the lack of 'connection' I feel. It's not that I don't love him, it's just that I feel that it's hard to get to know him in a way.

There's probably not much the health visitor can say anyway, is there? Apart from keeping an eye on his milestones.

DigestivesAndPhiladelphia Tue 21-Jan-14 19:38:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MorningTime Tue 21-Jan-14 19:39:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bialystockandbloom Tue 21-Jan-14 21:59:11

Yes I agree with the others here, the signs can be seen at this age, but usually only with hindsight. I had inklings with ds around this age, but buried my head in the sand for far, far, far too long. At 1yr he would very rarely respond to his name being called, didn't point, didn't respond to the most basic of back-and-forth communication (eg rolling a ball to him, he would just sit and look blank), loved watching the washing machine, loved spinning things. All of which could be explained away as "others do that" but as someone said, it's the extent to which they're doing this, and the quality of their interactions and behaviour which is a real red flag.

Trust your instincts - you are being very brave imo for facing this as a possibility (far more so than I was), so if you can, don't let GP/HV fob you off. Ask for a referral to developmental paediatrician - it's likely to be a longish wait in any case, so by the time an appointment comes either he will have caught up in development (in which case, great), or not, in which case great that you have started the ball rolling so early.

In the meantime have a look around at interventions you can be doing - Floortime, DIR, ABA, play therapy, Hanen books all worth a look.

Wishing you all the best, it's a really hard time.

MorningTime Fri 31-Jan-14 13:49:40


Just wanted to quicky reply to say I have read all your posts and that they have been really helpful. Sorry I don't have time to reply individually at the moment (it is nap time so I am going to grab some lunch before they wake!)

DS saw a Heath vistor, then a different one (the one we saw after the twins were born) came to do a check. DS scored well in most areas, but scored about 5 months behind for his language and vision. He is being referred to have his sight & hearing tested and to see the peadiatrician.

The HV visitor was optimistic that she can't see signs of anything major and that she said that he does make some eye contact. She did see though that he doesn't know/respond to his name at all & he also doesn't imitate anything I do. She has suggested putting aside one-to-one time everyday to work on response to his name, imitation, nursery rhymes etc.

I am going to focus on these things (will look at your suggestions bialystock) for now and try to distract myself from worrying more - not easy to do though! - as at least the referrals are in place. The HV seemed to think the apt night actually come through quite soon.

Thank you again to everyone for responding. I looked at the first.signs videos and found those interesting. There is one little boy in the videos that seems quite similar to DS in the eat he bags behaves. That prompted me to push a bit for the referral to the peadiatrician, although, of course, I am hoping that he will progress so much that I won't need the appointment when it comes through.


MorningTime Fri 31-Jan-14 13:51:30

Seems similar in the way he behaves (no idea where the 'eat he bags' came from!)

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