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Very Worried 15 month old DS has ASD

(12 Posts)
Hedger Tue 04-Mar-14 16:04:44


I am so worried about about 15 month old DS and was hoping for some advice. For the last three months or so I have begun to think he may have ASD. He has always slept well, ate well, crawled and walked at the right times, etc. but the things that worry me are as follows:

- He doesn't have much eye contact. He will look at us from time to time but not as much as other babies his age. He does smile and laugh but perhaps not as much as other babies his age.

- He babbles a lot (and has done for a long time) but no words at all.

- He doesn't seem to follow instructions like other babies his age. For example, at his baby classes he doesn't follow any of the movements (clapping hands, etc). We can get him to play with toys and can teach him how they work (putting things in slots, etc) but we really have to spend time showing him and he won't consistently do it.

- He doesn't seem that interested in things. For example, we took him to the zoo the other day and he just wasn't that interested in the animals. He seems like he's daydreaming a lot of the time.

- He doesn't really interact with other people. Again, at his baby classes, he ignores the other babies and adults and wants to be off doing his own thing away from the others most of the time.

- He doesn't point at all, show us anything or seek to get our attention.

- He waved goodbye for the first time the other day but only after a lot of coaxing.

- He loves swinging doors and spinning things.

- He only responds to his name some of the time. Often he ignores us.

I watched a video yesterday of babies his age comparing ASD behaviours with normal behaviours and that's when it really hit home. We just started employing a nanny a few days ago and she says she can see the same lack of interest and communication.

I am just so upset I keep bursting into tears and I don't know what to do with myself - I feel like my world is crashing down around me. I am going to the GP tomorrow to ask for a referral but what I suppose I am looking for is (a) reassurance (has anyone's child's had similar traits but overcame them with time?) (b) advice as to autism experts in London (we are prepared to go private to get early treatment) and also any support groups or helplines for just someone to chat to as I really am struggling with this.

Thanks so much in advance.

moosemama Wed 05-Mar-14 12:15:38

Didn't want to read and run, espeically as you sound like you are in need of a shoulder, some ((hugs)) and a nice strong brew.

I'm not going to say whether or not I think your concerns could be justified, because I firmly believe that Mums know best and if you feel there is cause for concern then your GP should listen, take you seriously and refer you on to someone more specialist. Preferably a developmental paediatrician.

I don't live in London, so can't help with local specialists, but if you need to chat and just need someone to talk to you're in the right place.

Do post on the Goose and Carrot thread and introduce yourself there. It's a weekly chat thread, that's renewed every Friday night and is where lost of the MNSNers go to vent/rant/commiserate/celebrate/congratulate.

My ds1 has ASD and I missed a lot of the signs when he was very young - so if your ds does have ASD (and it might not be that, it could be any number of things and may be nothing at all) you are way ahead of me in terms of accessing help and support for him.

Post back and let us know how you got on at the GPs.

SallyBear Wed 05-Mar-14 12:34:00

Hedger. My first thing to do is to check his hearing. If he has a hearing impairment, then the behaviours can be very similar to ASD.

The other thing is to find your local Portage group, and self refer. They are play specialists who come in weekly and help you work through milestones, development issues and are also immensely helpful if there are indeed developmental/behaviour issues when getting extra assistance.

Please go to the Goose and Carrot and meet some other parents.

Goose and carrot

youarewinning Wed 05-Mar-14 17:19:09

Another who didn't want to read and ignore and also who thinks mothers instinct is amazing so a GP trip is definitely worthwhile.

It's great you'll do everything for early intervention - it does count for a lot.

Hedger Wed 05-Mar-14 18:34:44


Thanks for all your messages - it really helps.

I took DS to the GP today and she has referred to a community paediatrician. I was pleased we got the referral, my heart is just breaking about all of this. It is so sad that he is so detached from me - he doesn't seem to need or want me at all. When I look at other babies gazing lovingly at their mothers and communicating with them it really breaks my heart. I have no idea at all how I am going to get through this. Will go to the Goose and Carrot thread though - thanks for that.

We're also going to see a private GP tomorrow to see if we can get an earlier referral. I was wondering if anyone had any opinions as to the best kind of treatment I could get him involved with?

Thanks again.

moosemama Wed 05-Mar-14 18:48:05

You will get through it, because we are here to support you. flowers

Glad you got a referral. Can't help with private recommendations, but hope someone more informed will be along soon.

Hedger Wed 05-Mar-14 18:57:07

Thanks Moosemama.

How old is your DS now and how is he doing?

One thing that makes it worse is that I have just become pregnant again and I am terrified about this baby being affected the same way.

SallyBear Wed 05-Mar-14 19:24:40

Hedger, do the Portage. It really helps. If language looks delayed then do Hanen 'More than words'. Your Speech and language service will give you details. You may well be right about autism, but it's still worth getting his hearing properly checked. I'd see an audiologist, which the GP will refer you to. Autism isn't the end of the world, he's still your lovely boy. He will just see the world a little differently than the rest, and it will be amazing seeing it through his eyes. Two of my boys have Autism, with one being deaf too.

Hedger Wed 05-Mar-14 19:55:20


Thank you. Unfortunately there is no Portage in my local authority so we are going to have to find other solutions but we will definitely get More Than Words.

I think the reason I feel so sad is that he just doesn't show me any affection at all and I feel like he doesn't love me.

SallyBear Wed 05-Mar-14 20:01:47

No he does love you. He will just show it in other unexpected ways. My DS gives kisses and the odd hug. It's taken many years to get him to become affectionate, but he is now.

moosemama Wed 05-Mar-14 21:07:10

My ds is 11 and doing very well. He's at a mainstream independent school and has a close group of friends. He is clever, funny, cheeky, interesting and affectionate in his own way and on his terms. If he offers you affection it's priceless because he doesn't share it with just anyone.

He was never cuddly as a baby either, I was only interesting while I was useful really. He was my pfb though and I didn't know any different. I was told by everyone that he was just an easy, undemanding baby and I suppose that's what I wanted to hear. I can remember being convinced at one point that he must love dh, but not me, as I convinced myself it was only me he didn't connect with. I cried at his hearing test, after he ignored the rattle and banging (it was very unscientific in those days) so the audiologist told me stand behind him and say something 'because babies always respond to their mum's voice' - he didn't. Still no-one even thought to consider whether or not there was a developmental issue.

I was regularly upset when he was never bothered who picked him up, when he was passed around by relatives at get togethers or if someone took him away from me or if I left the room like other babies were. That came back to bite me on the bum big time when several years later my dd turned out to be one of those babies that didn't want anyone but me and even Daddy or Grandma wouldn't do, even though she adored them while we were all together. hmm

As Sally said, he does love you - you're his mum. He just isn't wired to show it in the same way other children do. Ds does give hugs these days, but didn't when he was little. Once he learned that's what other people do he started to try it and discovered he liked it, it just never occurred to him before that that's the way people show affection to each other. smile

As for worrying about your new baby, please don't. No-one can predict the future but there is no reason to assume that just because one child has issues the same will be true of siblings. I'm not going to say it doesn't happen, but in our case I also have super cuddly NT ds2 who is 9 and my little chatterbox dd who is just 5 and also NT. I won't lie and say I've never sat over-analysing their behaviour and worried myself sick that they might be showing signs, because I think that's just human nature, but to be honest if one of them did turn out not to be NT, it wouldn't be the end of the world and we would help them find their path.

Ds1 is showing great promise for a career in computing, he leaves me standing with his understanding of programming and game design and the older he gets the more he learns about how to live in a largely NT world without getting himself into too many fixes.

He's hard work, but I wouldn't be without him for a second ... well maybe for the odd night out, but not more than that. wink

youarewinning Wed 05-Mar-14 21:38:25

I'd like to echo what moose says. Your DS does love you. I also was the envy of other parents what appeared to be a very easy passive baby who would be content just sitting on my lap rather than maul me for cuddles etc. my DS shows his love in great ways and yes take it when you get it - however I've also learnt to see it as real affection iyswim? So if DS shows affection etc it's because he truly means it rather than because he thinks it'll get him what he wants wink

My DS is also doing well in a mainstream school and heading towards some sort of path of computing with skills beyond even the comprehension of his teachers!

You do learn to see the world differently as you learn to understand your little boy. It also provides no end of fun as you unravel their amazing minds.

This evening after a school trip today (a big deal for DS) I suggested he thank his teacher for taking him and helping him. DS (9) says " thank for taking me Mr X, although you didn't really take me as it wasn't you driving" grin

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