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To worry about my 17 month old and autism

(24 Posts)
Archie1982 Sat 06-Jun-20 22:23:10

My 17 month old doesn’t respond to his name. He’s an incredibly fussy eater (but he does have allergies) and he has about 8 words. The 8 words are at a push, and most sound more like dada, but do have different meanings. His babble is really just dadadada. He doesn’t nod for yes/no.

His social interaction is good. As is his role play - he feeds his teddies, makes pretend cups of tea etc. He points (but did this late). He pulls you over to play with him. He laughs and plays peekaboo and can point to several body parts if you ask him. If I say to get his shoes, he finds them and brings them to me and sits on my lap to put them on. He gives me a kiss (but not always when I ask...just spontaneously). He does the actions to if you’re happy and you know it.

He doesn’t attempt to mimic words I say, but he has been mimicking the sound of the hairdryer since I dried my hair yesterday (while holding it and pretending to dry my hair).

I am being told he’s fine...but I have pushed it forward with the health visitor. He’s now on a waiting list for a hearing check.

OP’s posts: |
Boulshired Sat 06-Jun-20 22:36:22

The only thing I can say is many techniques used for ASD are beneficial for many young children. PECS and routine boards are helpful for improving language and repetition whilst keeping focused. He is young but if you feel something is not right then pursue but thing change quickly at this age.

AllTheCakes Sat 06-Jun-20 22:37:50

He sounds completely normal and much like my DS the same age.

Waveysnail Sat 06-Jun-20 22:38:11

All my children have/had speech delay and it was flagged at the age of 2 at the two year check. Do they still do this?

Archie1989 Sat 06-Jun-20 22:42:13

Thank you all. I had read this article which stated “ Most of the children who failed to respond to their names at 12 months of age had autism, general developmental delays, behavioral problems ”

That left me concerned...along with the extreme fussy eating. I think being on lockdown has made it difficult to see his peers and what others think. He’s physically always been quite advanced...he runs with a decent speed! Walked at ten months. Climbs all the time.

rabbitheadlights Sat 06-Jun-20 22:46:05

My ds will be 2 in 3 weeks and is suspected asd, gdd and confirmed spd. He is non verbal as in no words at all, he can't communicate his wants or needs, he doesn't interact not respond to his name infact he is very much in his own world. Games like peekaboo overwhelm him completely and he has major meltdowns, he doesn't play with toys as they are intended he often just turns them over in his hands as if inspecting them. I don't know how broad the spectrum is as this is the begging of the diagnostic process for us but if you are concerned then it can't hurt to push it

Awkes Sat 06-Jun-20 22:49:42

Can’t say I have the experience with children but I work with adults with learning difficulties. Many of them are on the spectrum. I wouldn’t say your child sounds autistic if that’s any comfort. Sounds more a speech and language issue to me

Archie1989 Sat 06-Jun-20 22:52:36

Thank @rabbitheadlights sending you best wishes through this. I hope the support is out there and you don’t have to wait too long to get it.

Can I ask what spd and gdd is?

The HV said that we can always cancel the hearing check...but it’s good to get the ball rolling. Two of his cousins needed speech therapy - but I don’t think for asd

Puddlelane123 Sat 06-Jun-20 22:52:46

Sounds entirely normal developmentally to me OP, with lots of very reassuring features there and the building blocks for verbal communication in place.

Enjoy those kisses and this lovely age.

Plumpi Sat 06-Jun-20 22:57:02

He sounds like he's doing well for his age. He also sounds cute!

Pebblexox Sat 06-Jun-20 22:57:13

Hi op!
My dd is currently 17 months and we also have concerns. However hers are different to your sons.
-lack of response to names
-lack of understanding, doesn't understand commands.
-her only speech is mamma, but there is no functionality to it.
-she has an obsession with spinning wheels
-she walks around shaking her head, for no reason.
-no appropriate play, role play etc.

Your son sounds pretty nt, however if you have concerns follow up with your health visitor. I always find it better to cover all bases than leave things and feel more anxious.

rabbitheadlights Sat 06-Jun-20 22:59:48

Sorry @archie1989 gdd is global development delay and spd is sensory processing disorder. Ironically for all of ds's challenges he is the happiest child, from what I know (which is very limited) a hearing test may be a good idea as it has fairly big impact on speech and language development my ds has glue ear which is known to coincide with spd apparently. I'm fairly sure your ds is just doing things in his own time, I have a few children they have all done things at different times but with ds it was very very obvious early on that things were different.

DamnYankee Sat 06-Jun-20 23:09:11

Glad they are starting with the hearing test.
I've known three students who were flagged by other educators for possible ASD or communication disorders that were all down to hearing! It was a game changer!
Two of the three had had chronic ear infections.
Initially, they were behind on speech, but have since caught up!

PicaK Sun 07-Jun-20 00:02:29

Always go with your gut. It can take a long time to be seen. There's no harm in doing things that will help an autistic child to an NT child but tremendous lost opportunity in not doing anything for a non NT child.

Archie1989 Sun 07-Jun-20 08:41:19

@DamnYankee crikey - that’s interesting! When the HV said about a hearing test, I dismissed it, so it’s good to know. My little one has bashed his ear in the past, but it’s always coincided with teething....but maybe I’ve misread his signals. It will be interesting to see

Archie1989 Sun 07-Jun-20 08:42:50

@Plumpi thank you. He is super cute...I’m totally biased :D

Archie1989 Sun 07-Jun-20 08:44:44

@rabbitheadlights I’ll read up more about gdd and spd - thanks. His lovely that your boy is such a happy little one too smile

orangejuicer Sun 07-Jun-20 08:49:15

Sounds like my 18mo tbh.

Isadora2007 Sun 07-Jun-20 08:50:46

I would just say trust your instinct and keep checking it out. As others have said, perhaps read up on strategies used with young children on the spectrum as these won’t harm a NT child (neurotypical- nicer word than “normal” 😊) but will help if he turns out to have autism.
FWIW people here won’t likely be able to tell one way or another. Many children with ASD can play imaginatively and speak and communicate etc. It’s the motivation behind their interactions that may differ- or their understanding of things. So it’s difficult for people to get things from just descriptions... and the range of abilities is so vast at this stage for NT and children with ASD. But I would say many people who lose children have a diagnosis of ASD often say they wish they’d trusted their instincts or “knew” somehow... so don’t be fobbed off. And ask for a referral to dietetics for his eating as well.

Archie1989 Sun 07-Jun-20 09:40:09

@isadora2007 that sounds like a good plan. He definitely could use more focus on and my husband are both working from home with no childcare during lockdown, so maybe we’ve neglected that side and focussed to much on play without learning in it.

I’ll definitely make sure I’m not fobbed off. My HV has been quite good...I think my husband will be the challenge

crusheddaffodils Sun 07-Jun-20 09:43:05

I would say the only thing of concern is not responding to his name. Everything else sounds positive and typical, so keep an eye on things (as if you wouldn't! smile), but I wouldn't stress too much. The hearing test is a good idea though.

Pawsin Sun 07-Jun-20 09:58:32

I work in early years, and he sounds like a typical 17 month old! The only thing that would flag up would be not responding to his name. Does he not look up at all, if calling his name loudly several times? If not, does he look up/respond if other words are said to him? I think the hearing check will be beneficial in giving you answers, I've known several children that have gone undiagnosed with glue ear for sometime, which has impacted on their listening/speech.

17mo language development can be so varied, and professionals tend to not entertain the idea that they're "behind" until at least 2. So I wouldn't be concerned so much over that aspect, as you'll probably find it'll come on all of a sudden. Obviously I'm saying this all on your one paragraph so do take with a pinch of salt, you know your child best after all!

Archie1989 Sun 07-Jun-20 10:34:53

Thank you @Pawsin. You can be right next to him and say his name 10/20 times and he won’t respond - it’s like you’re not saying anything. My husband can say “mummy” and he’ll come running for me though. My gut is that his hearing is ok...we’ll see.

He is very sociable though. He will call dada and wave. He waves at everyone we pass in the street.....and he just spent ages at the window waving at cars going by.

The other thing - he does line up toys with wheels....but he’ll happily play with lots of other toys too. He just seems to like cars a lot!

rabbitheadlights Sun 07-Jun-20 16:16:42

I wouldn't worry about "learning" in the traditional sense OP at this age they learn through play

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