4 year old can't answer questions or conversational, autistic?

(6 Posts)
Ryanbrit81 Wed 26-Jul-17 15:02:12

Our 4 year old son has been assessed for developmental delays for over a year and they have still yet to make a diagnosis. I guess because a he does so many things as "normal". Loves role play, very imaginative, extremely affectionate and loving.

He tries playing with his peers although as he cant converse sometimes the other kids look at him a little strange because of the babbling. He has plenty of words and starting to put 2 - 4 word sentences but can't answer simple questions like "what did you do at school today?" "what is your favourite TV show" etc even though he knows the answers.

He has some fine motor & sensory issues but aside from that if it wasn't for the the lack of conversation you wouldn't think he was any different.

The paeds, psychologist, speech therapists and OT's don't tend to think he is autistic but we believe he may be on the spectrum.

All we want is to do the best for him regardless. Has anyone else had a similar experience who can advise?

OP’s posts: |
PeoniesGinandBags Thu 27-Jul-17 16:13:38

No advice I'm afraid but I have a friend who DC has a speech delay. Interestingly she said that she had it too when she was younger. The DC concerned doesn't appear to be on the spectrum and given the family history the SLT has said that it'll just develop at a different rate.

I suppose with autism it is the whole spectrum idea and it might be tricky to diagnose at such a young age? Perhaps when he/she starts school there'll be some more information to go on based on how they interact with different/new people, deal with the change in environment etc?

MGF1 Mon 18-Nov-19 08:58:44

Hi Ryanbrit81

I know this post is 2 years old but I wonder how your son is doing now. Mine is exactly the same and has just turned 4. He doesn’t have usual Autistic characteristics and is exactly like you described your son. they think he might be on the spectrum. I just wondered how your son is progressing now? Thank you so much.

AladdinMum Mon 18-Nov-19 09:56:05

If the only concern is his speech then it is unlikely to be autism, autism is not a language disorder.

MGF1 Mon 18-Nov-19 10:46:56

It’s not just the speech. He doesn’t answer our questions. Even simple questions.

AladdinMum Tue 19-Nov-19 10:02:30

@MGF1 You said that your child is like the one from the original poster, so he has just started to put 2 - 4 word sentences together which is a very significant speech delay in a 4 year old (2.5 year olds are expected to do that). Does he answer yes/no questions? or if you give him a choice? like "you do want the apple of the banana"? I wouldn't have expected him to able to answer anything more complicated than that if he is lacking the vocabulary. Before a child can answer open ended questions he will need literally thousands of words and start putting together complex sentence structure (multiple pronouns, adverbs, tenses, etc) through spontaneous speech. A typical 4 year old would be speaking in sentences, over 10+ word sentences and have the ability to narrate in order to answer more open ended questions which your son does not seem to have yet. If it is autism there will be many many signs by 4 years old, many more reliable signs than a lack of speech or ability to answer questions.

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