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I'm so scared about autism - please help.

(60 Posts)
chillyigloo Mon 02-Jul-07 13:58:11

My daughter is 7 months old.

She doesn't make eye contact at all when being held or up close with anyone, however from a few feet away will make good eye contact and smile at anyone.

Also, she doesn't respond to voices at all. I know her hearing is ok but I can call her name over and over without any reaction from her.

I'm so scared about autism that I'm making myself ill. I know it's too soon to get any sort of diagnosis, but does anyone have experience with these traits and their child has gone on to be either autistic or not. Either way I'd like to hear about it.

Thanks in anticipation,
A very tearful Mummy!

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 02-Jul-07 14:02:52

Do 7 month old babies respond to their names? Mine doesn't seem to be - have just tried it.

chillyigloo Mon 02-Jul-07 14:06:22

It's not just her name she ignores, it's any voice noise. To get her attention I have to make daft noises like slurping!

The reason I mentioned the name thing is that the other 6 babies of the same age who I see regularly (NCT group) all respond to their mums speaking their names by turning towards them...

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 02-Jul-07 14:07:49

Just a thought - if you post this on the Special Needs topic it might be seen sooner by people who are expert in this area.
MN has lots of people who know a lot about it.

coppertop Mon 02-Jul-07 14:09:05

7 months is very young to be responding to her name. I have 2 boys with autism and a girl who isn't autistic. IIRC dd didn't start responding to her name until around 12mths or so.

beansontoast Mon 02-Jul-07 14:09:19

oh sweets...its horrible being so scared..my heart goes out to you it really does...

is there any way that you and your dd enjoy each others company...eg cuddles,tickles?...that you can focus on, to stop your fear escalating?

beansontoast Mon 02-Jul-07 14:11:43

are you able to soothe her with your voice?...ie does she calm if you talk softly or sweetly when she is crying?

this isnt diagnostic, but it might show soem sensitivity to your voice or to you as her carer

coppertop Mon 02-Jul-07 14:13:19

With noise I found that my 2 boys didn't react to loud noises but would turn their heads for very quiet sounds. They both have very sensitive hearing so at that age they would block out all noise.

chopster Mon 02-Jul-07 14:15:11

7 months is far too early to be worrying. Her behaviour sounds completely normal. My dt2 still won't make eye contact or respond to his name, but that is because he is far too busy and important to pay attention to the mere likes of me! Please try to enjoy her.
FWIW my ds1 does have sn, which we don't yet know the full extent of. I knew from early on because he was totally unresponsive to me and everyone else. He is now 5, still not completely diagnosed, and unlikely to be for at least another year. There really is no point in worrying that early on, far better jsut to have fun and enjoy them.

chillyigloo Mon 02-Jul-07 14:16:30

I can calm her when she's upset, but it's generally by holding her and rocking her whilst singing songs (like moon river!) rather than just talking to her.

I hate being so worried ... it consumes me completely.

controlfreaky2 Mon 02-Jul-07 14:20:24

do you think that you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder (quite common in postnatal months!) and that your anxiety has lighted / focused on this..... do you think you might benefit from talking to gp / hv about your feelings and think about finding ways to manage your feelings..... bringing up children is a scary business. change (like having a baby) is difficult too. good luck.

chillyigloo Mon 02-Jul-07 14:23:50

Controlfreaky2, I DO think I'm over sensitive to it and very anxious, but my husband does agree with me that her behaviour is a little strange compred to her peers. He though, tends to think it's probably just her and not a sign of a disorder.

I hope he's right but I'm not convinced (obviously!).

bambi06 Mon 02-Jul-07 14:24:54

my ds started to show signs of autism young but then call it mothers instinct and prior knowledge of autism but he started to show problems with eating from about 8/9 months old ..he would nt eat sloppy food and only dry finger foods, flatly refused food without even trying and would scream if the wrong food was put on his plate and to this day he ahs a severely restricted diet of his own choosing!!and by 12 months had become obsessed with cleaning and tidying up[he still is].he was forever with the hoover or dustpan and brush and if we were out and he was in a shopping trolley he would spot anything that was on the floor and had fallen off a shelf an would point and shout so that i would pick it up before being able to pass it!! he always had good eye contact and would respond to my voice but would often sit and play on his own a lot and if i tried to read him a story on my lap he would want to get down and crawl off to his book corner and sit there for ages looking at books on his own..he didnt want my intervention.
he is diagnosed with asd , but luckily mild if you can have a mild diagnosis and is doing well in mainstream and academically very bright..he`s nearly 8..
it is early for anyone to diagnose yet so just keep an eye and talk to a health professioanl if concerned...

bobsmum Mon 02-Jul-07 14:25:54

Chilly - your dd's behaviour really does sound fine. One of the reasons that the old "distraction' hearing test was removed at the 8 months check was because babies of this age are so easily distracted.

Did your dd get a newborn hearing screening? Take her to your GP and s/he could check out her ears - bunged up ears are quite common in babies - mine were terrible with wax! TMI - sorry!

Anyway, babies at this age look around them and see a tea bag and think - "Wow! That's new" or a crumb "Flippin eck that wasn't there yesterday!" or the remote control:"Is this for real??"

Your dd is making good eye contact and smiling at anyone - she sounds adorable

I don't make eye contact with people close up because it makes them look like a cyclops cos my eyes go all crossed .

When your daughter's close up to a face - she'll be doing her exploring, poking, pulling and plucking of eyelashes (nice); there's far too much to see and do to look at you IYSWIM

Any worries about autism (and everybody panics at some time, so don't worry about worrying) would be able to be seen at around 12 mths when babies start pointing at things or following your point.

At 7 months - she might love baby signing as a way of communicating with you. I did it with both my dcs and they were able to use half a dozen signs to ask for things or tell me things by about 9/10 mths.

That was a great encouragement to me, when I was desperate to know what they were thinking and whether or not they could understand me.

Keep posting - your concerns are all perfectly normal, but from the sounds of it, so is your dd

gess Mon 02-Jul-07 14:28:07

Why autism in particular? My youngest 2 were at very high risk of an autistic spectrum disorder (1 in 30 iirc, their brother is severely autistic), and tbh I just couldn't tell at 7 months. Despite watching them hawk like and despite knowing exactly the sorts of things to watch out for.

How's her gut/bowel movements/reactions to foods?

chillyigloo Mon 02-Jul-07 14:28:25

Bobsmum, your advice and kind words are lovely.

gess Mon 02-Jul-07 14:31:18

Bit early really, but I have written about pre-diagnosis and given a few links that are useful pre-diagnosis. Not much use before about 15 months though.

chillyigloo Mon 02-Jul-07 14:32:05

She's a fussy eater. She'l only eat a few very smooth foods and only if they're cold. Also, she can spot a vegetable hidden in an otherwise fruity puree from a mile off. So far, no veg has succesfully passed her lips, though I continue to try. I'm sure though, that she'd munch her way through an orchard of apples and pears.

I must admit, the fussy eating wouldn't bother me if it wasn't for the other things.

Eulalia Mon 02-Jul-07 14:32:35

Don't think any of mine have responded to their names at this age. ds1 does have autism. Sounds like she is OK if she is giving eye contact like you say. ds1 always looked like he was in a world of his own. Would stop worrying and just enjoy her.

Psychobabble Mon 02-Jul-07 14:34:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gess Mon 02-Jul-07 14:34:52

She's only been weaned recently though hasn't she? Typical foods that would cause a problem to an autistic child would be cows milk and gluten. Causing headbanging, diarrhoea, constipation, spacing out (although hard to tell with a 7 month old), plus eczema etc/

mojotalking Mon 02-Jul-07 14:36:39

Have you seen your HV or GP about your concerns? They can't make a diagnosis but they may be able to give you some useful support and guidance and, if you are still worried when your daughter has matured (in my area I think that the very earliest they offer a full assessment is aged four), then they should refer you to a consultant for a proper assessment.

Please try not to compare your daughter to others at your NCT group. The parameters for 'normal' development are really wide and it will only make you worry.

Good luck.

Mojo

gess Mon 02-Jul-07 14:38:51

Don't think eye contaqct is neither here nor there to be honest. Just spent 6 weeks videoing severely autistic kids, some of whom are geniuses at eye contact. DS1 never had a problem with eye contact.

Failure to orientate to name is an important symptom but not at 7 months. I;d pay attention to that after about 15-18 months, not before really.

gess Mon 02-Jul-07 14:44:06

They can assess for autism from around 18 months. You'll have a had time being referred before that, but if I had concerns about autism I wouldn't be waiting until 4. Ds1 was diagnosed at 3, but could easily have been diagnosed a year before. Earlier the better, but you won't get anywhere before 18 months.

I had a deal with my HV for both ds2 and ds3 that if they weren't pointing by 18 months she would refer us on. That helped me to stop micro-analysing everything. Not poining by 18 months is a reliable indicator that further examination is needed, it's something concrete, before then its pretty hard to carry out assessments.

If you're really worried buy Baby Talk mentioned here. It's fine to use with really young children, is aimed at normal development but is also ideal for children with SN, all the stuff they would do anyway if they did find a way of sussing out problems at such a young age.

Lots of young children are long sighted by the way which may explain smiling/eye contact from a distance.

iwouldgoouttonight Mon 02-Jul-07 14:44:13

I think its quite normal to worry about everything with a new baby - is there any reason you're worried about autism particularly, is there a history of it in your family? I worried about my DS not turning when I called his name (my HV did it when he was about 2 months old and he didn't turn and I was scared he couldn't hear - but now know that was far far to early to respond to people calling him!) He's just started doing it and he's 10 months now - I normally have to say his name a few times though - he tends to be more interested in a cup or a random piece of fluff!

Its difficult not to compare them to others but all babies develop differently - I worried about my DS not moving enough - all the babies in our baby group are crawling and some a walking, whereas he likes to just sit and play. I now think he's probably quite clever and realises that if he sits there long enough people will bring things to him!

Obviously speak to your doctor or HV just for your peace of mind but try not to worry too much - she sounds lovely.

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