Rapid head Growth(11 Posts)
Hi all- an old thread discussed this a few years ago but just looking for anyone going through this or has. My baby 7 months has experienced a rapid head growth from 25th percentile at 10 weeks to mid 80's as 7 months and I am concerned because whenever you type it into the internet it says it happens in children who go on to develop autism. It is now spoiling the time I spend with my boy because I feel like the future has been ruined. We see the Paediatrican in 10 day about another matter but has anyone experienced this rapid shift in head growth and gone on to have a typically developing child or have they become autistic? Xx
I don't think that head growth and autism thing is particularly true, if that helps.
It's never used as part of a diagnostic process, as far as I'm aware.
I've also just googled it (out of curiosity) and there's a lot of links saying that there's no evidence for it.
So, try not to worry!
I got sent to see the paediatrician when DS was 7 weeks old as his head was large. The GP measured him as 99th%ile after I explained I wa a bit concerned about the shape of his head. Like you, I googled to death and everything suggested autism as a possible cause.
The hospital appointment involved a scan of his head (using something like a Doppler, not scary for the baby) to check there was a gap between his brain and his skull.
The doctor measured his head 3 times to get an average and he was actually 91st%ile. The GP had measured once and wrongly. The doctor showed me how it was meant to be done, and showed me three additional times, coming up with the same measurement exactly each time. At 91st%ile, it wouldn't have needed a referral, especially as he's tall for his age.
We're going back in six months time just to be measured again as a check, but no cause for concern.
I'm not saying this will be true for you, but I would really have appreciated a story like mine at the time. It might be nothing. It might be a bad measurement. It's certainly not worth feeling like time with your child is ruined.
I hope this helps.
Thanks ladies- when I reread my message I realised it sounded awful- it don't mean if you have an autistic child your future is ruined I just meant the time spent worrying about it! It is not that he has a large head it is the rapid growth but that is good you could find some evidence that it doesn't necessarily mean autism, you need to have some hope rather than it being a done deal! X
I think I could have been clearerin my post and therefore more reassuring:
I've been involved in the process of diagnosing autism for 8 years and never once has rapid head growth come up. It's not a case of "some evidence that doesn't necessarily mean autism"- it's not a criteria used in any of the services I've had any contact with, and when I looked in to it for more info after reading your post, there was nothing robust I could see to suggest it is a relevant issue. Even if there are one or two scientific studies which show a relationship, it doesn't conclusively mean anything.
Talk to your paediatrician to find out if there are any issues you need to consider with rapid head growth but absolutely don't fixate on autism. Google is not always your friend in these cases.
Thanks plimsolls- I understand what you are saying, sometimes I wish that the internet had never been invented. It can take the joy out of parenting!
I have a child who has a head circumference way above the top gentile. He has a lot of other problems but he shows no sign of autism. My other child who does have autism has a very average size head.
I can't give any reassuring advice. However my 9 month old's head was off the scale small at birth. He had various extra tests. I was a bit surprised as he was wearing the same hats as my older two wore at that age. And was a bit suspicious because the tape measure wasn't straight and was quite high up. Then at his 8 week check his head was exactly 25th percentile, matching his length and weight. The GP (who had been a paediatrician before retraining) thought this pointed to him being measured wrong at birth. She re-checked him at 16 weeks and he remained on 25th percentile. He was born on 1st September and measured the following day by a junior dr, who may well have been very new to her job (they start new doctors in August).
Since you're seeing a pediatrician so soon, then just bring it up then. Pediatricians are really great about checking out all your worries - they really care, and also they recognise that everything can be linked.
I think the main worry with the head being disproportionately large is hydrocephalus, which is where fluid builds up in the skull. It's a serious condition, which needs to be treated as soon as possible. BUT 80th percentile probably isn't high enough for that to be a concern. You don't say where he is for weight and length: if he is 80th for everything, then it would seem less worrying
I know a little boy who had hydrocephalus as a baby, and his head measurement was right off the chart. He had some treatment (a shunt for a while), and it has all resolved itself fine. It did take a while for it to be diagnosed though (which could have had serious consequences, but luckily didn't): as usual, if you have concerns keep pushing for answers.
Is your head big? What about DH's? Mine is enormous...DD2 has the same trait and also had to wear older kid's hats as a toddler. SHe's fine.
His weight and length are about 25th percentile.
No my head is absolutely tiny and my partners is just a normal size.
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