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AIBU to ask if anyone had concerns about their toddler’s development that turned out to be unfounded?

(27 Posts)
MrsMcKeon Thu 02-Feb-17 09:47:39

DS is 21 months and I have a few concerns about his development, mostly around the difficulty I experience in engaging with him as he often completely ignores me; and doesn’t seem to register things like changes in my tone of voice at all. He also hates hugs and kisses and will wriggle away from them.

I’m in the very early stages of pregnancy again right now and after a couple of early miscarriages, I am very worried about that, so possibly my concerns are more caused by my general anxiety levels than anything else.

I have been looking on the SN forum and reading experiences from people who had concerns about their children that were proven to be accurate. But it has occurred to be that people who had concerns about their children that proved to be unfounded are unlikely to be posting on the SN forum, so I thought I would ask here if anyone had concerns and it later turned out there was nothing to worry about?

JaxingJump Thu 02-Feb-17 09:59:21

I'd say you'd be hard pushed to find a parent who hasn't worried about their little ones development at one point or to some extent, and the majority of the time it turns out to be unfounded. Toddlers rage, and reject and repeat stuff by nature, so I remember being concerned about autism etc. a few times. 21months is very young to make any judgements. My first was not affectionate at all, especially at this age. But they are busy and defiant at 21months. I'm afraid I can't tell you anything about your child but in answer to your OP, yes I worried and now I think it was completely unfounded.

Areyoufree Thu 02-Feb-17 10:06:05

My son had daily meltdowns from before he was one to about 6 months ago (he's now 3). Usually centered around food (he hates certain textures), although would also occur if he was woken from his sleep. He would also have night terrors at least once a night. Once in a meltdown, nothing can get him out - he just screams and flails around, sometimes hitting his head against the floor or wall, usually for about 45 minutes or so. He seems to have grown out of them now, and I have no other concerns.

whatsthecomingoverthehill Thu 02-Feb-17 10:06:15

My son didn't talk until he was nearly 3 and he's doing absolutely fine in reception now.

CigarsofthePharoahs Thu 02-Feb-17 10:16:26

My toddler had similar problems areyoufree meltdowns every single day after waking from a nap. Nothing I could do, he wouldn't let me touch him and they'd typically last about an hour. I filmed part of one on my phone as no-one believed how bad they were. He was quite late starting to talk - only had a handful of words at 2 and no sign of putting them together. My mind jumped straight to autism. We had a session with a speech therapist that made a massive difference and the meltdowns just randomly stopped one day. Don't know why. He is nearly 3 and now is ahead of the game with talking, though he does tantrum like a pro. Working on potty training now. <shudder>

CigarsofthePharoahs Thu 02-Feb-17 10:16:26

My toddler had similar problems areyoufree meltdowns every single day after waking from a nap. Nothing I could do, he wouldn't let me touch him and they'd typically last about an hour. I filmed part of one on my phone as no-one believed how bad they were. He was quite late starting to talk - only had a handful of words at 2 and no sign of putting them together. My mind jumped straight to autism. We had a session with a speech therapist that made a massive difference and the meltdowns just randomly stopped one day. Don't know why. He is nearly 3 and now is ahead of the game with talking, though he does tantrum like a pro. Working on potty training now. <shudder>

Areyoufree Thu 02-Feb-17 10:42:18

@CigarsofthePharoahs That's really interesting! People never believe me when I say how bad his 'moments' were either. Although, the people who witnessed one never forget it! It was always quite amusing watching someone who thought they were good with kids, and that all he needed was a 'firm hand' try and calm him down. Ah potty training. My daughter trained before she was two, so I thought I had this down. My son is not interested. At all. Going to keep trying gently, and then probably really go for it over summer (procrastination is my friend). Good luck!

Oblomov17 Thu 02-Feb-17 10:42:56

I've yet to meet anyone who wasn't concerned about something. Many things seem big at the time, but aren't that big with hindsight, or get a bit better and don't affect THAT much.
Ds2 had a bad tongue tie at birth, had a bit of a lisp at 5, but is totally fine now.
Ds1, was very difficult. I ended up getting a diagnosis for AS. Even at the time, I told the Paed I wasn't entirely sure. Now I'm even less sure. Although he is a bit still, but not as bad as before. I often doubt myself now.

allowlsthinkalot Thu 02-Feb-17 10:45:51

I have both experiences.

I was convinced my son had Aspergers and others said no, he engages with you and has good eye contact. He does indeed have Aspergers. I knew he was on the spectrum when he was a toddler.

However, my daughter was always tripping over her feet. I was convinced she had motor difficulties. She's seven and brought home her gymnastics medal last night.

My other daughter didn't speak until she was 2. I was concerned. She's four now and never shuts up.

Oblomov17 Thu 02-Feb-17 10:48:18

My advice to anyone would be to privately note things down, with a date , and their age, so that you can look back on it, if necessary.
Better still, a video, on your phone is evidence.Then, if you do ever need it, if you need to start the GP, Paed referral thing for a diagnosis of autism say, then atleast you are ahead of the game. And if you don't need it, great, no one needs to know how completely over anxious you were !! grin

MyDSMakeMeGreyButTheyreFab Thu 02-Feb-17 10:52:17

Our two year old:

Had regular meltdowns
Didn't like 'messy' food
Walked on tip toes a lot
Severe speech delay
Hated hugs and kisses-cried when I kissed him once
Avoided eye contact
Had difficulty socialising

He's 5now and the Headteacher told me this morning he is a "model pupil"-he has completely changed and although he isn't exceeding in all areas he's trying his bloody hardest and is coming on leaps and bounds.

He cuddles now
He has a lovely circle of friends
He talks to strangers

He still doesn't like 'messy food' too much-he's a chocolate, chips and chicken boy (where our other two boys eat everything)

Dc do change and develop. However- I would always trust your instinct and if you feel he may need extra support then go to the gp and ask for a referral.

Our ds was under the paediatrician and had slt since he was two and only recently discharged. He was diagnosed with a language disorder-I thought he was on the autistic spectrum.

MrsMcKeon Thu 02-Feb-17 11:03:29

Thank you so much for all the responses; they are very reassuring. I am still unsure how I will proceed but I am going to start recording any concerns in a notebook so I will have good records if I need them in future.

yongnian Thu 02-Feb-17 11:03:48

I've both experiences - with DD1 my concerns were eventually proved correct - high-functioning autism, developmental coordination disorder plus one or two other things. Being my eldest child however, I really had nothing to compare things to and delayed asking for help as I really wasn't sure. She also presented without a speech delay and 'masking' in public, so basically it was only me and DH that could see the major issues she had, which made ourselves doubt whether we were just getting it wrong.
With DD2 I was obviously a bit more hyper vigilant. I noticed she had a speech delay but by the time she had a SALT assessment she had caught up, so there was nothing further needed there. I also noticed she was exceptionally hyper mobile and this was confirmed by paediatrician and OT, though it's the benign type. She does have shoe inserts to help.
I think she has a few ASD traits also (genetically more likely to anyway as sibling diagnosed) but will just be keeping an eye on these to see how things pan out. Again, I might just be being a bit hyper-aware and it will depend on how much it starts affecting her daily life as she gets older as to whether I ask for assessment.
I think the main thing is, to voice your concerns and get things explored by those who are in a position to confirm or not. Generally speaking Paediatrician's, CAMHS workers, OTs, SALT etc are not keen to make a diagnosis where there isn't one. And the waiting lists are generally long, so if you do have concerns, it might be good to get in the queue as soon as you can.
Good luck, I know it's hard - I did the lengthy assessment for her diagnosis the week before giving birth to DD2 and it was all a bit too much really.

MrsMcKeon Thu 02-Feb-17 12:15:58

Thanks Yongnian, I'm also finding it difficult that, having only one child, I have nothing to compare him to.

yongnian Thu 02-Feb-17 14:22:20

It is hard, nothing to compare to and fear of being seen as an over-anxious mum, was what I felt. (Also had never had my own similar difficulties supported which didn't help)
And in retrospect, since having DD2 there are many things that she does/doesn't do that I realise now DD1 never did/did. And I was pretty baffled from a young age with her, but I still missed a lot of markers.
I'm aware this doesn't sound reassuring...but really, just want to encourage you that it's ok to trust your instincts and get things checked out, even if things turn out to be totally neurotypical. No healthcare professional will criticise you for that, and ultimately they are ones who are best placed to know.
Good luck, and with your pregnancy.

TheNoodlesIncident Thu 02-Feb-17 14:51:43

Is he due to have his two-year check soon? (If they still do this...) If he is, it's the ideal time to mention anything that concerns you as they do ask about your child's development and whether you are satisfied with it.

If they don't still do these checks, you can always make an appointment with your GP/health visitors to discuss it anyway, and maybe your fears can be put to rest.

CheerfulMuddler Thu 02-Feb-17 15:01:22

I think all parents worries about something or other. Particularly with first borns.

TheSnowFairy Thu 02-Feb-17 15:58:05

I thought DS2 was colour blind (didn't know them long after everyone else and it's a family trait).

He's now 12 and knows them all grin

DoraDunn Thu 02-Feb-17 16:08:46

I worried about DS1&2 but they are fine. I told myself I wouldn't worry about ds3 but I was fairly sure early on that he was on the spectrum and he does indeed have autism.

My concerns were:
-he couldn't/wouldn't breastfeed
-He had no interest in the baby gym whereas his older brothers had been bathing away by 10wks
-he didn't turn to look at me when I spoke or entered the room.
-he didn't seek comfort from me. In fact, he didn't like cuddles at all really and didn't relax into me when picked up the way the others did
-he didn't ever try and share his rice cakes with me like his siblings were going by about 10mths.
-I looked out for pointing (a developmental biggie) from 9mths. Most children point furiously by 12-14mths. He was still not pointing at 18mths which made me sure.
-there was no showing or sharing with me by 18mths either. His brothers and subsequently his sister were all holding stuff up to show me by then or before.

DoraDunn Thu 02-Feb-17 16:10:32

Sorry, posted too soon. It was clear as day to me because I'd had two older children who had developed normally. I'd worried about them, as you do, but they were unfounded and just the usual stuff. Ds3 was different.

DoraDunn Thu 02-Feb-17 16:11:40

That should be batting away at baby gym

BalloonSlayer Thu 02-Feb-17 16:12:38

All my DCs had speech delay. DD was the worst - no words at all at 2 years old. Both older ones speak completely normally now and are very good verbally, v articulate with good vocabularies. Youngest 9 a bit lispy and babyish sounding but so were the others at this age. Speech therapist said it was just something funny about my DCs and didn't bother with DC3.

BalloonSlayer Thu 02-Feb-17 16:15:17

Oh by the way, when he has his 2 year check . . . they keep asking questions till they get 5 noes - "so can he do x?", "can he do y?" So you will always finish with saying no to the last few questions. For years I thought "oh no, DC had its 2 year check and couldn't do the last 5 things they are supposed to do at 2!" But it's not like that. They work out what they can do and work out a developmental age from that.

DoraDunn Thu 02-Feb-17 16:21:21

In terms of autism, it's not lack of speech that's a concern it's lack of functional communication. I'm always amazed at how many people worry about autism based purely on lack of speech and also how many people are shocked at a late diagnosis and say autism never crossed their mind as their child was talking in sentences before 2.

MrsMcKeon Thu 02-Feb-17 16:27:50

Thanks for that list Dora, it's very informative. DS had trouble breastfeeding too, feeding generally actually, but we put that down to a tongue tie.

He has tried to feed me for a long time, which is a good sign I guess.

He has only just started to bring me his toys to show them to me.

And he has pointed for quite a few months now but I honestly can't remember when he started, definitely before 18 months though.

Yongnian, can I ask what you noticed/didn't notice in you children?

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