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To ask parents of autistic children...?

(177 Posts)
AlmostAWife Sun 16-Nov-14 14:12:58

*Name changed for this
When did you start to think they might be on the spectrum, and why?
What were your signs?

Thank you

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 14:15:35

It is nicer to say Children with Autism smile

Why do you ask? Have you got concerns about your own child or are you writing about it?

TidyDancer Sun 16-Nov-14 14:17:46

My DCs are not autistic but my godson is. He was diagnosed 12 years ago and I remember the first sign was a very sudden speech regression. He went from having a fairly good vocabulary for his age to virtually nothing.

Fudgalisious Sun 16-Nov-14 14:18:00

I first noticed she had traits at around 8/9 months old (sorting blocks into colours and not liking people or changes in routine). Didn't really think she had it then though. By the time she was 3 I knew there was something not quite right and that she needed help/I needed help in helping her to control her temper and emotions. It was around about then that I got a referral to the autism team and started reading up on girls with autism that I was like 'gosh it describes her to a tee'. She got a diagnosis at aged 6.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 16-Nov-14 14:19:24

2 diagnosed with Aspergers when she was 8

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sun 16-Nov-14 14:20:53

Maybe from about the age of 4 possibly, although, they still wont give her a proper diagnosis.

stillenacht1 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:23:24

Dxd at 28 months. I knew around 10/11 months. No shared experiences, no turning to his name, obsessively seeking out spinning things (wheels on buggy- would look down at them, car wheels, washing machine)

stillenacht1 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:24:49

No language- just screaming until 3hmm(it was an awful time). Grabbed my hand and threw it at what he wanted- no pointing (he didn't point until he was 7)

HansKristoffAnnaSven Sun 16-Nov-14 14:26:24

She was 6. She has high functioning autism so met all her milestones. She's our first child so we were inexperienced and although she's always been very difficult we didn't think there was anything wrong as such. She doesn't present typically (as many girls don't). We kind of adapted our life to suit her without even realising really. Her year 2 teacher raised concerns with us and asked us to get her assessed.

stillenacht1 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:27:05

At 3 first word
At 4 about 20 words
At 5 about 50 words
At 6 about 100 words
At 7 two words together. More echolalia.
At 8 3 words together
At 9-11 a little more confident on three words together- some use of pronouns (not usually correct)

SauvignonBlanche Sun 16-Nov-14 14:27:21

I first suspected it at 2.5yrs, going to play group (just once - that was enough) made me seek help.

He was diagnosed at 10.

waitingforgodot Sun 16-Nov-14 14:31:51

Loss of speech at about 18 months. No joint attention and compared to his peers, couldn't have cared less about being in the company of others. Diagnosed at 4 with classic autism.
Out of curiosity chippinginautumnlover why do you think its nicer to say "children with autism"?

Triooooooooooo Sun 16-Nov-14 14:32:02

With ds I just knew, I knew from day one there was something. Not Autism but I always knew there was something a little different. It was just a case if waiting until he was old enough for the drs to do something.

As for signs, he wss very placid, it wss almost like he didnt belong here. He would tap toys on the floor for hours, almost like in a trance and was slow to develop, he was a happy, smiley boy tho.

He was first seen by the profs at around a year due to his physical development and the word Autism was first mentioned at around 18months.
We have a ridiculously close bond now, I pick up on minute signals that tell me he isnt coping which wouldn't even occur to most people.

With dd it was missed, she spoke late and the odd social behaviour was put down to quirks, her overall development in other ways was fine. She was diagnosed aged 5. In fact she and ds were diagnosed officially within days of each other.

AlmostAWife Sun 16-Nov-14 14:33:59

I'm asking because I wonder about my 2 year old DD, but I also know that a lot of her behaviour can be attributed to just being two...
She is obsessive, she is prone to temper (of course this could be simple tantrums) she hates changes in routine. She doesn't need much sleep it seems. She won't make a mess. She won't play with her toys as they are then not 'put away' She obsessed with being tidy (but so am I to a degree so she may simply get that from me, it just seems extreme)
Her speech is okay, maybe not very clear, but definitely understandable. She uses a good range of words. She will only use a new word however once she KNOWS she is using it correctly.
She holds eye contact (which was a big sign my brother had autism from a young age, he cannot even now, look you in the eyes.)
She likes to be strapped in, or confined. If you cuddle her she insists you do it really tightly.
At the moment, she seems to like to both hit and be hit, she will smack my arm, then try to make me smack her back (other than smacking her hand away from the cooker once she wasn't smacked) or she will kick me and try to make me kick her back (when I don't do it she tries to lift my hand/foot etc to do it herself, or she will just smack herself)

I don't wish to insult anyone, especially if my concerns are for nothing, I don't want people to think I'm trying to find an excuse, but I am trying to see if any other peoples experiences are similar, all the blurb I am reading is so conflicting and confusing because all children are different, and that obviously goes for children with autism too, so I know that one 'sign' for one child will be different in another.
i.e my brother who has autism, is extremely different in most ways to my friends daughter who also has autism IYSWIM
I'm struggling sometimes to believe that her behaviour is just toddler like, especially as her older siblings were nothing like she is. (Again, I know all children are different)

I'm kind of at the end of my tether and I'm just trying to work out if it's something that could need investigating, or whether it's simple toddler tantrum type behaviour and I just need to wait it out.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:34:04

At 10 weeks I got a bit worried as she wasn't smiling.

But didn't really think anything until she was diagnosed at just before 3. She lost all her many words and started spinning around.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:36:12

Well she wasn't diagnosed then but the possibility was raised.

blackheartsgirl Sun 16-Nov-14 14:37:43

Ds from around 9 months. Disliked routine being disrupted. Would scream and scream uncontrollably for hours. Didn't walk until 18 months. Not interested in toys or playing but instead would try and line his cars up or take them apart. He struggled at playgroup, nursery and school but no one here had a clue what to do with him, he was referred but we were told it was us that was the problem and he was a normal little boy. That was after an hour assessment when he was 4. Diagnosed with ADHD at six then after a terrible time in high school he was finally diagnosed with Aspergers at 13.

AlmostAWife Sun 16-Nov-14 14:38:46

Speech regression, those of you that mentioned this, by that do you mean they just stopped talking?
DD has started crying/screaming at me rather than telling me what she wants, even though we both know perfectly well she can ask for what she needs/wants?

I've not mentioned my concerns to anyone in RL, mainly because I do believe a lot if this is easily marked down to her just being two, but we have had a rough few days with her recently, and it just makes me wonder all over again.
She is such a difficult child... but is she just difficult, or is there more to it. I don't know any more.

Lilicat1013 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:40:20

I have a four year old who is diagnosed as autistic and a 21 month toddler who I have starting the process for.

My older son I was more certain, there was almost no eye contact. He never pointed (still doesn't), he waved at one point but stopped, no shared attention, no interest in other children, hated changes in routine, no imaginary play, no speaking. He was so different from other children when we went to Stay and Play.

My little one is more engaged, has more eye contact. It lead me to think he wasn't at first. He even plays with his brother (my older son once used to him really took to having a baby around). However he has no speech, he doesn't point, has no shared attention, is obsessed by things that spin, he has no imaginary play and he is weird about things being done the right way.

It is hard to say in a list, there is just a something about them and I can see it. The official people take some convincing though, with my eldest I was told I was paranoid and now I am being told it is just a speech and language delay.

If it is any help to you my eldest attended a special needs nursery and has just started a special needs school. They are doing so well with him and he is so happy. He gets upset on days he can't go to school. He has made so much progress and achieved so much.

waitingforgodot Sun 16-Nov-14 14:40:23

Almostawife I would speak to your GP or Health Visitor and raise your concerns. They may just monitor but like you said, we all have kids who present very differently so we can't really comment on your little one.

BrucieTheShark Sun 16-Nov-14 14:42:02

He was a screaming, non-sleeping baby but it didn't occur to me that there was a real problem at that stage.

At about 18-20 months I knew deep down, but only about age 2 stopped properly with the denial thoughts.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:43:11

DD has hundreds of clear words and overnight started mispronouncing them and then lost them all within a week or so.

AlmostAWife Sun 16-Nov-14 14:43:27

She does flap her hands about a lot if she is angry/excited/scared.

Then on the 'good' things: She is very bright, she is very sociable with children and adults alike, she is helpful, she is caring, and she shares well...

I wonder about it all. I mean if not autism, could it be ADHD? Or another type of behavioural issue?
Or is she just a difficult child, a culture shock after my relatively well behaved other two. Am I over reacting.

The more I think about it, the more I go around in circles.
One day I think she is just a stroppy two year old, other days I think there could be an issue.
I feel ridiculous to be honest, to be so confused about something that could be nothing if you see what I mean?

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 16-Nov-14 14:43:57

I agree with waitingforgodot.

There are different presentations and not all autism involves regression.

QueenYnci Sun 16-Nov-14 14:44:16

I started having concerns about DS when he had no speech at 3 (although the HV wasn't concerned as he was perfectly alert apart from that) but he didn't meet any of his milestone before that either - there was no crawling stage, just straight to walking. It was also impossible to get him to use the potty (and we did try every method).

It was a relief when nursery brought up that they thought there was a problem and mentioned autism. Finally it wasn't just in my head anymore! Still was a struggle to convince the GP to refer him at only 3 but he was officially diagnosed at 4 when he'd just started reception. His statement of education took another 2 years to come through though.

I'm glad it was diagnosed early but it's so difficult to get people to take your concerns seriously when they're so young.

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