Advanced search

Autism worry 17 months failed MChat

(26 Posts)
Confusedaboutvouchers Mon 21-Aug-17 12:43:23

Being concerned about 17 months old speech lead me to do n MChat test. DS comes up as high or just risk depending on how I interpret the question.
I am so upset and stressed and have a GP appointment today.

DS doesn't point or bring me things if I ask or just to share. He also rubs his head on walls and spins arround a lot but not in an obsessive way. He is affectionate and will come for a cuddle if I put my arms out.
He will play on his own but does smile if I join him. Will giggle if I tickle him or make a funny noise. Doesn't copy though. No imaginative play but that feels a bit early.
I must be honest and say I've been far less proactive with him than my other child thinking that development would come in time. He seemed content so I let him get on with it.
So stressed, go from thinking he's just a bit behind to thinking it's obvious that he has some form of ASD.
I am based in London & will pay for private support if necessary if anyone has any recommendations.

OP’s posts: |
MrsOverTheRoad Mon 21-Aug-17 14:27:13

Ask the GP to see a developmental peadiatrician. Don't be fobbed off with "let's wait and see" because if he IS on the spectrum then the earlier he has intervention, the better.

For now, stay calm as possible....whatever happens, he is still your same lovely DS. He might be and he might not be on the spectrum...but there's LOADS more understanding about it today and a wide variety of help.

Pansiesandredrosesandmarigolds Mon 21-Aug-17 18:23:53

The Mchat is meant for kids 18-24 months though.

wintertravel1980 Mon 21-Aug-17 19:43:24

This is a blog maintained by the mother of a boy diagnosed with autism.

Here is the post on potential red flags:

Here is the post on early intervention which generally makes things miles better:

There is a high chance your son will be absolutely fine but it may be useful to read about the experience of another mother (just in case).

Confusedaboutvouchers Tue 22-Aug-17 08:59:03

Thank you. GP has done referral for hearing test and paediatric assessment. Hearing test should be fairly quick but didn't know how long assessment would take.

The information I found suggested MChat is appropriate from 16 months?

I am feeling guilty that I've not interacted with him enough and been complacent. I'm now reading Small Talk by Nicola Laffrey and there is so much I haven't done. I'm confused about the whole pointing thing. Her book says that it's important that you point so that the child understands its purpose and that you can encourage or even teach it. Things I've read here suggest it's inate.

I was at the park yesterday and for the first time really observed other children. All ages seemed more switched on. DS just wanted to walk arround all the time with seemingly no purpose. I did notice him watching other children a bit. He's in nursery 3 days a week so I will ask them for some feedback.

A bit confused as to what I can do at home re speech & communication. As he is behind do I do exercises aimed at a younger age? I would guess so. I am someone who likes structure & a plan so tell me to do an hour of something and I will make sure it's done. That doesn't mean I won't do other stuff too but if there's a minimum I'll do it.

OP’s posts: |
Confusedaboutvouchers Tue 22-Aug-17 09:08:11

I'm now wondering about his birth which was EMC due to placental abruption and whether this deprived him of something. Annoyed I believed NCT an doula that it was ok to go beyond 40 weeks when I was over 40.

OP’s posts: |
mscongeniality Tue 22-Aug-17 12:16:58

OP stay calm.

I have been through hell the past year wondering the same about my son. Suffered such bad anxiety I had to start ADs. Was absolutely convinced he was ASD. Had him privately assessed by SALT, Occupationa Therapist, and one of the best private developmental paeds in London. All said he's not.

My concerns started around 18 months and now he is 28 months. What a difference! He has come along a lot and speech is coming aong. Still on single words but is using them to communicate more and more. My DS was a late term premie so I think he's just a late bloomer but I have friends whose full term children are taking ages with speech as well but are otherwise NT.

Please don't worry just yet, give it some time. My DS would have failed MCHAT at that age too but he passed it around 24-26 months easily.

HandbagFan Tue 22-Aug-17 13:21:37

I would second the previous poster in that at this age kids change every day and not to be too worried. DS is now 18m and so different from 17m old or 16m old. He was a late walker and is now confident after just six weeks from his first step. He goes and fetches something from the other room, answers simple questions, feeds his toys, does little dances...none of this was possible six weeks ago. They change really quickly and all develop at different speeds.

Get him checked out and I'm not saying there's nothing wrong, but theres a strong chance everything is just fine.

Confusedaboutvouchers Tue 22-Aug-17 13:31:26

Thank you all for responding.
I've been told I can self refer for speech therapy so will do that later today.

I am calm with a 'what will be will be' attitude one minute and in tears the next. Trying to hide it a bit from DS7 but I had to take her to the Dr's appointment and warned her that I might get upset so she knows there's a problem. Even she's said maybe I just need to spend less time on chores.

Struggling at the moment not to look at whether everything he does suggests autism or not.

Macongeniality who did you see for your assessment?

OP’s posts: |
mscongeniality Tue 22-Aug-17 13:44:59

My son started pointing 2-3 months ago and now uses it to communicate all the time, and points to show me things he sees like birds/cats/cars/etc.

I know they say that pointing should happen by 18 months but I think that is an average milestone, and some children can be on the later end as well.

Feel free to PM me and I can give you the information for the specialist we took him to.

How is he otherwise? Is he engaged? How does he let you know he's hungry? My son used to come to me and start whining, and then he would look at me and look at whatever he wanted, and then one day he just started pointing.

pastapasta Tue 22-Aug-17 20:03:14

Hi OP. Just wanted to offer a hand hold as I'm in the same boat.

DS is 19 months and has only been walking for a month. He doesn't point or speak. He babbles but does not have any 'words'. He loves spinning wheels and other things. No imaginative play.

There are lots of positives associated with his development; he is extremely sociable. He will play games with me (chase, peekaboo). He eats well.

I have spoken to the HV who basically said wait until he's two years before referring. It's shit. And I know comparison is the thief of joy but compared to his peers I am worried about him.


pastapasta Tue 22-Aug-17 20:03:44

Oh and he also failed the MChat with a score of 8 or 9.

Confusedaboutvouchers Wed 23-Aug-17 21:02:54

pastapasta sorry you're going through something similar. Have you spoken to your GP rather than the HV? They may take a different view.
I rang our local children's centre & it was them who told me I could self refer for speech therapy.

I usually know DS is hungry because he starts whining and it's a process of elimination really plus it's around certain times of day. He has started sitting down when I hold out some food to him. He knows that's part of the deal before I give it to him.

Generally I would say he's sociable, affectionate to me at least, interested in his sister, smiley but a bit passive.

He copied me doing some raspberries earlier.

I spoke to nursery and will meet them on Friday. They had also done an assessment recently and knew he wasn't meeting his communication milestones.

mscongeniality I will try and pm you re specialists.

OP’s posts: |
Confusedaboutvouchers Thu 21-Dec-17 20:05:24

I just wanted to update as I found it useful when other people did so when I was searching for other threads.

DS is now 21 months and this week his paediatrician put him on the communication pathway which is the start of the process to an autism diagnosis.

Since I originally posted DS has been seeing an independent speech therapist and we had a private paediatric assessment. DS, who was 18 months at the time, was found to have the communication skills of an 8 month old & social skills of a 12 month old. Fortunately the Paediatrician I saw privately was also the same one I was referred to on the NHS so she knew his history before the appointment. It meant I wasn’t starting at the beginning and I trusted her.

DS is making progress and will now communicate when he wants something by bringing it to me, occasionally points whe he wants something & possibly points to things of interest but I’m not sure if he’s just copying me (he doesn’t check back to see if I’m looking). He understands some verbal commands and is beginning to copy more words. I would say that he only had about 5-6 consistent words though. A couple of weeks ago he had grommets inserted for glue ear which will help but I don’t think it’s the whole reason why social communication is delayed.

Anyway I think my experience so far means I would always advise people to go with their instinct if they’re worried and to push for an assessment. Even without a diagnosis DS should get some OT & perhaps some additional help in nursery.

If DS is autistic I don’t really know what that means for the future. I am glad though that we are acessing support early.

OP’s posts: |
Imaginosity Thu 21-Dec-17 20:59:57

My son has autism - he is 8 now and has a very happy life and is doing very well at school and improving all the time. He wants to be a scientist when he grows up. The reason he is doing well is because he got help when he was diagnosed as well as understanding from his school.

It can seem very scary when your child is small and you suspect something is up with them. The internet is full of doom and gloom about it. There are things my son can't do as a result of autism - like sports but we just focus on what he can do. The best thing is to follow your son's lead and not try to force a square peg into a round hole.

EssexMummy123456 Thu 21-Dec-17 21:11:39

Imaginosity please can i ask what extra help your son got when he was diagnosed that you felt made a difference in terms of his development? Was it for example, weekly speech therapy? or are you in the states where you get early intervention with both ABA and speech therapy?

Or was it extra help at nursery / pre-school?

Imaginosity Thu 21-Dec-17 21:35:49


My son was diagnosed at age 5. I only started suspecting something was up at age 4 when I noticed he wasn't really connecting with the other children in his nursery. If I could travel back in time to when he was a baby I would probably immediately spot the signs of autism but he was my first baby and it never crossed my mind that his behaviour was not entirely standard. I wasn't reallt aware of things like autism back then.

I had a terrible feeling when he was diagnosed that I had missed a vital window for early intervention and that he was now doomed to live with his difficulties because of my failure to spot the autism sooner. As it turned out it made no difference to him - but obviously the sooner you spot something the sooner your son will have that understanding and support.

My son had occupational therapy to help with gross and fine motor skills as well as physio to help with very weak core strength. These difficulties are linked to his autism. We didn't have a lot of sessions of these - the OT and physio mainly showed me some daily exercises to do - and we would go back for review every few months.

He had a small amount of speech therapy as his pronunciation was not clear.

The biggest help was that he gets understanding from his school. We are in Ireland so he has a special needs assistant to help him with organisation and to take him out for movement breaks. She doesn't need to be with him full time as he is managing better by himself all the time - and his OT thinks he will not always require this one-to-one help.

He also gets one-to-one time with a resource teacher everyday to work on motor skills and social skills - so we don't need to get private therapies which is great.

He is doing very well with all the schoolwork - he's not a genius or anything but the teachers describe him as very clever.

The one thing he struggles with is making close connections with other children - so he is friends with lots of the children in his class but would not be as close to them as they are to each other. It doesn't bother him though as he has so much interests which he gets totally absorbed in and he really lives in the moment and never worries about the past or the future (I wish I was a bit more like that!).

EssexMummy123456 Thu 21-Dec-17 21:56:26

Thanks Imaginosity - it sounds like having the one 2 one support at school has been hugely helpful, may i ask how big your sons class is at school?

I'm not the OP but perhaps in a similar or maybe worse situation with my 2.5 year old, our Paediatrician has sent the local education authority official notice that he has special needs, the LEA expect his nursery to give him extra help and if he still fails to make progress they will provide a specialist pre-school teacher or funding for a one 2 one.

Also in my area every single primary school has a class size of 30, so i am wondering that, even with one-one support would 30 not be overwhelming.

Witchend Thu 21-Dec-17 22:31:04

My ds has bad glue ear. I was told that glue ear often mimics autism. At your ds' age my ds did show definite signs.
He's now 10yo and definitely not, although slightly quirky, they're more unusual interests rather than anything else.

Imaginosity Thu 21-Dec-17 23:51:57

There are about 30 in my son's class.

EssexMummy123456 Fri 22-Dec-17 00:07:50

Thank-you Imaginosity :-)

Confusedaboutvouchers Fri 22-Dec-17 00:18:06

Imaginosity - thanks for response. It is good to hear a positive story. I am worried about the future & how DS will cope long term.

Witchend - I take your point about glue ear. There is another thread going at the moment about positive stories about grommets which I have been following but I don’t think it applies to DS. I can see no reason why he hardly looks at me when he’s playing & never brings me things. He has some joint attention but it feels limited. For example if I’m looking at him and I then look away he never follows my gaze. He never has and yet I know my DD, who also suffers from glue ear, did do this as a baby. I would love glue ear to be the full explanation but I don’t think it is in this case.

OP’s posts: |
EssexMummy123456 Fri 22-Dec-17 09:03:34

Confused - have you looked into ABA, we have looked into PRT and VB, if you read the blog linked to above you will see that its standard early intervention in the US, much harder to get funded here but possible to do yourself or pay for privately, there is a mumsnetter who runs a campaign to make it more widely available in the UK.

Confusedaboutvouchers Fri 22-Dec-17 10:16:28

Essex - thanks. Yes I have looked a bit at ABA & meant to speak to the paediatrician about it. I’m concerned about the cost and the practicalities of attending a school or course. Even 15 hours would be difficult to manage as I have an older child at school. There is even an ABA unit attached to a school (which sort of gives away which area I live in) and I will probably call them in the new year just to see how we would go about applying for a place when DS is old enough.

Are you considering/started it for your son?

OP’s posts: |
Confusedaboutvouchers Fri 22-Dec-17 10:19:07

Sorry I see you’ve looked into it. Have you started it?

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in