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Lining up cars normal?(5 Posts)
My DS is 17 months old and likes to line up his cars, buses, trains. Anything with wheels. If one of them falls off whatever surface it's on then all hell breaks loose. He also likes to lie down and examine the wheels with his head almost touching the floor.
Is it normal behaviour? I've been worried about autism since I was told at 28 weeks pregnant there was a tiny risk of it because of the anti-depressants I was on (Citalopram). I was upset to hear this since I would have stopped them at the very beginning had I known.
wow, that is the first time I have ever heard of a link between antidepressants and autism! I really doubt that is the case! (I have been in the field for many years!)
The observed behaviour can be typical, lining up objects is a milestone at 18M, however it can also sometimes be linked to autism if done obsessively (would be classified as repetitive behavior, visual stimming while looking at the wheels at ground level, etc). However, autism is a social communication disorder (not a 'lining up cars' disorder) and if present there will be many other reliable signs at 17M, so things like not pointing to share enjoyment (like a plane in the sky), weak social referencing, not seeking praise, weak eye contact for communicative purposes (eye contact is not about the amount of time he looks at your eyes, a split second is enough if done for communicative purposes, e.g. a toddler just staring at your eyes at length for no reason is not good eye contact), etc.
What do you mean by visual stimming?
He's very social, points to things to get our attention, turns round and smiles at us if something happens on the tv he likes, loves playing with other kids. No problem with eye contact. Knows and says a lot of words. It's just with the doctor saying that to me that makes me just worry over every little sign. Plus the fact he gets very upset if his cars roll off the sofa or aren't doing what he wants them to do, or if we try to join in and change whatever it is he is meticulously doing - he gets very frustrated and screams.
He sounds completely normal to me based on what you're saying. I had similar worries about my son at that age due to lining up cars and being obsessed with wheels. I remember going to the zoo one day and all he wanted to do was spin the wheels on his buggy rather than look at the animals. Does he also play with other toys? Whilst it's something children with autism may do I think it's also very common at that age.
@sadlycindy : Visual stimming uses a person's sense of sight to do things which might look odd but feel nice to them (and hence do them repetitively). It may include repetitive behaviors such as: staring or gazing at objects such at like spinning wheels, ceiling fans, lights looking at objects from different angles (like at eye level), etc. All these things typical children will also do, and in isolation are totally typical. Your DS sounds completely normal in social communication so these behaviors are not concerning (ps. for completeness, being social and social communication are very different, i.e. children with autism can and are very social but struggle with social communication).