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opinions on DS's behaviour/development? autism?

(19 Posts)
GlitteryFluff Thu 17-Dec-15 22:38:01

This may be long. Sorry.
Also not sure what's relevant so putting it all down. Basically would you say he's showing signs of autism?

DS is 16 months.
He only learned to clap at 15 months.
He can't point. He can't wave.
He doesn't follow my point, just looks at my finger.
No words. Just babbles repetitively or babababababababa or dadadadadadada. At around 7 months he babbled M sounds, (managed to record a perfect Mama) but doesn't anymore.
He spins in circles a lot.
He looks out the corner of his eyes a lot.
He stares at his palms a lot.
He wiggles his fingers in front of his eyes a lot.
Stares at lights.
Likes light switches/plug socket switches.
Not interested in other kids.
Doesn't involve anyone in play ie give us a toy, show us a toy etc.
Doesn't ask for help with something by giving it to us.
Doesn't try to get me to play or get attention from me.
Will play / do his own thing for hours.
Doesn't communicate with me by grabbing/grunting (uh-uh-uh sounds). Just literally cries/moans til I work it out (like a baby, milk, food, nappy, sleepy, teething etc)
Won't be spoon fed, doesn't feed himself with a spoon. (Used to let me feed him yoghurt, weetabix, mash etc)
Doesn't like certain textures (certain food/fabrics).
Diet limited to any bread, fruit, Cheerios, shredded wheat, sweetcorn, cucumber, tomato, crackers, cheese, ham, chip/waffle type potato, rice, fish fingers (no mash, new potatoes, roast potatoes, no pasta, no other veg/salad, no other meat, no other fish). I still dish it up for him in the hopes he'll one day scoff it. He used to eat more things.
Still wakes several times a night, usually for milk/water. (Try water first, sometimes falls for it.)
He's walking (started around 12months) but trips and falls lots, loses balance etc.

Would you say he is showing signs of Autism?

GlitteryFluff Thu 17-Dec-15 22:49:21

Or something else? I've googled a few things and autism seems to pop up but no idea if there are other things it could be that present similarly?

BlueSmarties76 Thu 17-Dec-15 22:49:41

I think from how you've written the post that you know it does.

You've described sensory issues, repetitive actions, social difficulties, possible delayed speech. If he was older I'd say yes, definite warning signs, but he is only 16 months, so I don't think you should worry too much yet as there is still time for him to improve. But if you're going to use the NHS to try to get a diagnosis I'd start ASAP as it can take ages.


GlitteryFluff Thu 17-Dec-15 22:55:21

Thank you.
We've started already.
I saw gp/HV, they referred to paediatrician and for hearing test (Hearing is fine.) whilst waiting they told me go to a salt drop in clinic which we did and they said he's delayed in some ways but didn't think it was autism. Saw paediatrician who has referred us for proper salt sessions and blood tests to check for any genetic issues(?) and wants to see us back in 6 months. That's where we are now. (Paed appointment was only last week). Paed didn't say what he thought it could be but just that he wants to see him again before age 2. So I'm going crazy wondering what they think it is because nobody is really saying anything. And I'm meant to just patiently wait for letters to arrive. sad

typetytypetypes Thu 17-Dec-15 23:11:21


I know it's hard but try not to worry and just enjoy your boy and his development, however it presents, in its own way. I was having concerns mainly about speech when DS1 was a similar age, but internet searches kept pointing to autism. He started SALT at 25mo after going to a drop in at 22mo, it took us a while to figure out where to go and who to see.

At 2y8mo he received a provisional diagnosis of autism, after having had 3 blocks of speech therapy, 3 paed visits with observations (child psych, play specialist etc), a few hearing tests, some sort of development assessment... the works. He is 3yo and had a load of appointments for Jan to confirm diagnosis.

Throughout the whole process I didn't think autism, but did think delay of some sort. He is a gorgeous sweet funny intelligent boy, but he needs a little extra help taking care of himself, has some sensory issues mainly with noise/sounds, some repetitive actions, and needs alone time sometimes (in a nutshell!). He is developing wonderfully, just slightly differently from his peers. His early diagnosis means we should be able to support him in such a way that he will cope much better with things like starting school.

There are really helpful people on the SN boards, though I mainly lurk in SN Chat, it has been a real help to me! The fact that you have different appointments lined up is brilliant, but just take each one as they come,p. Even starting early and if you have good local provision, it can just take time as they might want to see him in different settings and at different times to get a good picture of how he is. flowers again as I know how crazy it can be and the worry and questions, but you will find a lot of support here, and whatever the outcome, whether there is a diagnosis of autism or anything else, lots of people have been through or going through it, and there is a lot out there to help smile DS1 recently started getting Portage home visits and he loves it, gets on really well with his home visitor, and she has given us so much useful information on local provision as well as things he might benefit from.

Sorry that was really long blush But it wasn't too long ago that I was in a similar position and panicking slightly! So I wanted to share that with you.

typetytypetypes Thu 17-Dec-15 23:12:42

*has a load of appointments for Jan, they haven't happened yet!

BlueSmarties76 Thu 17-Dec-15 23:16:52

Hm, I wonder if the genetic tests are to rule out stuff? There are a few genetic disorders which can make people present with symptoms like Autism. I'm only guessing though. I assume you've got got any known genetic issues or first cousin marriages in the family?

If I were you I'd push to see the Paed sooner than 6 months to get the ball rolling faster.

Well done for picking up this stuff early! :-)

Dinosaursdontgrowontrees Thu 17-Dec-15 23:17:09

My dd is 3 and we have been fighting for an autism diagnosis since she was 18months. We still have no official diagnosis although she is doing well at preschool and is having speech therapy.
From what you discribe your son does show some autistic traits I would say (but I'm totally not an expert)
I would bear in mind though he is still extremely young and he could still grow out of some of the unusual behaviour. The doctors are very unlikely to say they think it's autism yet as they want to wait to see how he progresses hence see you in 6months. Where I live (this maybe different in different areas?) they very rearly diagnose autism until 3years.
Sounds like you are doing the right things, great that you've managed to see a pead already!
I'm afraid from my experience it is a bit of a waiting game.

GlitteryFluff Fri 18-Dec-15 10:19:41

Thanks for your reply.
It seems you're in the throes of it right now. I hope you get the answer you want in Jan. I don't know if you're wanting a diagnosis of autism so at least you know what's going on or not? I feel like I want a diagnosis of something, not that that helps anything, I'd prefer he didn't have autism but if he doesn't then what's going on? Does that make sense? Sounds awful reading it back.
I see it's quite early for us to be getting help so am glad about that, and need to accept its going to take time.
How is everyday life? Is it difficult? I worry what the future will be like. I know there's a spectrum, so some lower end and some higher end. I worry that because I've picked up on it now that DS will be on the high end, whereas some people don't notice til much later, so that must be more mild?

GlitteryFluff Fri 18-Dec-15 10:20:12

That was to type.

GlitteryFluff Fri 18-Dec-15 10:24:18

Thanks blue. No genetic issues in the family. Nothing at all. I can't see anything coming back from it. But at least that can be ruled out, like hearing test.

Does anyone know how long it takes to start the salt sessions? Or how long til I get paperwork for blood tests? It's only been 10 days but I'm wondering how many months I wait before chasing (if it comes to that).

Thanks for replaying dinosaur. It seems we have a long wait. Can I ask what your everyday life is like?

BlueSmarties76 Fri 18-Dec-15 10:38:42

GlitteryFluff I will PM you (hope that's ok).

GlitteryFluff Fri 18-Dec-15 10:57:01

Of course. Thank you.

BlueSmarties76 Fri 18-Dec-15 11:08:39

Sent smile

GlitteryFluff Fri 18-Dec-15 11:47:13

Thanks blue, have read it, but need to get sorted for work and get DS to his nan's. Will reply later. Thanks so much thanks

DixieNormas Fri 18-Dec-15 11:54:16

he does sound just like ds4 at that age. he was diagnosed asd at 2.4 years. He is now just under 3 and doing really well, has just started talking, plays well now and his none verbal communication is quite good too.

I'm not sure about salt drop in sessions, I never went to any but we had a specialist asd salt come out to us when he was about 2.2 and she was brilliant and really helped with regards to us getting an early dx

DixieNormas Fri 18-Dec-15 11:56:59

we had the initial salt assessment within a few weeks and then waited 2 months for further sessions

DixieNormas Fri 18-Dec-15 11:58:37

oh and we are booked in for genetic tests after Christmas

typetytypetypes Fri 18-Dec-15 22:46:43

Glittery I'm not sure what I want (ha!), but I'm expecting a diagnosis of autism but perhaps something more to it as well. They have taken the process really gently to this point, so they had seen DS1 about 3 times before they started bringing the word autism into the conversation - obviously it is a shock to some people so they raise the concept gently. In his last assessment they felt confident enough to tell me they expect a diagnosis of autism, it is just a case of observing him in more contexts to give a more detailed diagnosis. I say that he is autistic as I think that's fairly certain at this stage.

The 'something more' is because he has coordination issues that aren't obvious at first but are obvious once you spend time with him, eg he is quite clumsy (tripping, falling over, bumping into walls) but most of all he struggles with coordination. Physically he has developed fine and has met all of his milestones, very capable, very athletic!, and has gross/fine motor skills, but if he has to draw or scribble, put shapes into a sorter, drag a piece of a puzzle on an app and put in place, he struggles a lot, he gets frustrated and asks you to do it for him.

I know the worry as I had that too for some time. But now I'm not worried. Life isn't difficult as such, just different. He is gorgeous, funny, very intelligent, and affectionate. We sit and watch films together and he will ask to be hugged, or play with my hair, we play chasing games and hiding games, he is a lot of fun. He is very observant and very good with mechanical things - which is amazing given his usual poor coordination - and has a great imagination, role plays looking after his teddy, loves fantasy and action. He loves having DS2 with him in the bath, they splash each other. He enjoys water play and story time, and playing with toy cars.

The differences? He is sensitive to noises, particularly acapella singing (ie no happy birthday song), he is overwhelmed in crowds so needs to be carried or in buggy in public, but best to go early when it's least busy, can't go on the Underground as he hates pretty much everything about it (escalators, tunnels, people too close to him, noise of train) which leads to meltdown. Sometimes he needs his own space, he will take himself away - sitting up higher on a cupboard in the living room for instance - and he won't want us or DS2 interfering with him. He has a routine that is not too strict but has to be largely followed otherwise he gets overwhelmed and upset. As he was our first we developed as parents with him so this was also just how we parent, rather than accommodating his autism as we knew no different, it is only now we know more about other families that we realise we do not have the same set up. Other examples are things like we can't take him shopping for more than a few minutes as he gets very irritable, so we get most stuff including groceries online, he can't walk with us in public as he has no real sense of danger and will run off for fun. Certain foods he gets very messy eating and will need to be washed up and new clothes so that adds time to a relatively simple task.

I'm sorry this is very long! I was trying to capture all different things. The key thing is we have to be quite organised and know to recognise when he is unsettled, but we are so used to that by now as that's just how it has always been. We don't take him to big events like weddings as it just won't work, too many people, too much noise, too long a day usually.

As for where on the spectrum, I don't know where DS1 is but spotting autism early on doesn't mean the autism is severe. DS1 we had concerns from 16-18mo, looking back there were signs earlier than that, so far professionals involved with him consider him to show typical signs of autism but to also be very well developed, not just physically but personally/intellectually, so I guess that likelihood is he would be considered 'high functioning' if that is the term. Plenty of autistic adults are out in the world of work and socialising every day, it doesn't mean definitely one thing or another and there are autistic MNers who share their experiences as well.

flowers If there's a next time I'll attempt to be concise... blush

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