Super-gifted or autistic?(2 Posts)
I am a dad of a 32-month-old girl and recently I am super stressed. She seems to be quite bright - she knows the entire alphabet (reads street signs - letter by letter, without joining words), shapes and colours, can count up to 50 in English, 20 in Polish and 10 in Portuguese, solves jigsaw puzzles up to 50 elements without any problem.
She does not speak much yet, she links maybe 2 to 3 words at the time, but prefers to point to the objects rather than to speak. She is rarely reacting to her own name (only when repeated couple of times) and, even though she can name some of her friends, we have never heard her knowingly saying her own name. We are visiting speech therapists for a while now and I am slightly freaking out as the word autism is being used more and more. We've been to a development pediatrician as well, but we were told it is not possible to give the diagnosis yet. (What that even means?)
So obviously I am reading all the articles on the topic, and obviously as with anything else in the internet, some are making me more optimistic and others are just making me crazy. It seems she has some of the other symptoms as well:
- She does line up toys (which apparently is a strong symptom), but then she plays with them pretending it is a train which seems to be atypical for autistic children.
- She's not that keen on playing with other children, but she is definitively aware of their existence and does interact with them when have no other choice (and she does have some friends she likes playing with).
- She likes to tell which way we are to go on a walks.
- She is quite a picky eater.
On the other hand, there is a set of typical autistic behaviours that she does not have:
- she is very cheerful little girl, enjoying surprises and routine changes
- she normally waves and shouts "hello" to everyone she knows.
- she learns new things very quickly from us and does imitate us a lot.
- she shouts for attention when she needs some - sometimes she can play alone for a long time, but usually she needs someone to play with
- she points to objects she's interested in, shows her paintings or grabs us to show us her building block tower
- she cuddles a lot
- she can follow simple commands and
- she has no trouble in taking turns when playing with us or with her nanny.
So I think my question is: did anyone here had similar experience? Have you notice some autism symptoms in your children to find out later that it was just a phase? If so, when did you stop worrying?
I'm no expert in the field but purely from what you've written I would not be overly worried. You say she doesn't speak much but if she knows shapes/ colours and can count to 50 that's 70 or so words in itself! My daughter is a little younger at 30 months but has only started to say her name in the last couple of months. She also links maximum 3 words together. Her health visitor wasn't in the slightest bit worried at her 27 month check and said she was well within the realms of normal.
However the paediatrician and therapists are the experts in their fields and will be able to see the whole picture by seeing your daughter in person rather than just a description.
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