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Am I over reacting regarding my son's development?(11 Posts)
I have a 4 year old child that was recently diagnosed with autism, she is non verbal and has poor social interaction skills.
My 16 month is babbling and has various sounds, he will play "clap hands" and " peek a boo" using my hands, he has very good hand coordination. He has excellent eye contact and is extremely affectionate , he comes up for hugs. He does not wave bye bye. He does hand flapping when he is watching his favorite cartoon and when he sees he is getting something to eat. He is engaging and will sit on the floor and play and read books, he does use my hand to push the cars etc on the floor.
He has been walking since 12/13 months and can climb stairs etc, he can sit on his tricycle and push backwards, he will go forward with help. Should I be concerned that he could have autism or am I over reacting?
These sound very much on track. With the excellent eye contact, you should not need to worry too much.
It must have been hard with your first born. But please fully enjoy the previous time with your 2nd.
He does have a very strong list of positives but as you are probably aware of, no one thing in your list can confirm or rule out autism. I would not worry about waving as it is a learned skill. The only things which could be classified as 'red flags' at the moment (specially if they carry on after 18M) are the hand flapping and the hand leading (him using your hand to push the cars, using your hands to clap, etc) as these behaviors tend to be stereotyped autism behaviors, however, all children will engage in these behaviors at some point but tend to grow out of them. Does he point to request items and to share interests (like a plane in the sky)? if not, then you really want to see that by 18M - there is a very strong correlation between not pointing to share interests by 18M and autism (not pointing demonstrates a big deficit in social communication and autism is a social communication disorder). I am sure you are aware of a lot of this having gone thought the diagnostic process with your daughter, but overall, and at the moment I don't think there is anything to worry about so enjoy your time with him
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@AladdinMum I didn't realise the hand leading during games were stereotyped autism behaviors. My daughter didn't do any of that. He will point if he wants something. My daughter was no way as near engaging with play. I understand it is a waiting game and no diagnosis path would be started until he is at least two. He has been referred for speech and language therapy but only because I have requested it, my public health nurse was no way concerned with his development but I suppose time will tell. Thank you for your reply
I totally understand why you are worried having an older child on the spectrum, but it really doesn't sound like there's any firm evidence in the youngest, other than your understandable anxiety.
@Babydevelopment yes, hand leading can be very normal in young children, specially when playing (as it becomes a game), it all really depends on the level of interaction with you. It only becomes concerning when they start using your hands as tools to solely meet their needs, i.e. they are not seeing you or engaging with you, they just see your hand as a tool. Normal hand leading would be for example a child taking your hand and dragging you to the door, and then letting go of your hand, point at the door knob and look at you (indicating their desire for you to open the door for them). Unhealthy hand leading would be the child taking your hand and dragging you to the door, putting your hand in the door knob, and pushing your hand down so to try to open the door with your hand (i.e. your hand is the tool to open the door), without any eye contact or interaction with you. Not all, but many children with autism (specially boys), would exhibit this type of unhealthy hand leading in many different situations in order to meet their needs because they unable to understand that you represent a source of help and that they could ask you for help (i.e. their social communication is impaired).
My DS almost 17 months doesn't clap hands and doesn't point at things either although when you put something in front of him he either refuses it or wants to grab it. What you mentioned by the hand flapping when he sees his favourite cartoon is something mine does as well. I keep on trying to get him to follow my hands when I point something and to socialise him more and trying to help him to start walking. Didn't want to read and run and I hope everything works out for you and your little ones
@AladdinMum thanks for that, have you experience of kids with autism, you seem to have a vast amount knowledge about it.
My 4 year old was diagnosed with autism and my 17 month old is the opposite to her in terms of eye contact and social skills. He looks to be played with and his eye contact is excellent, he will look at things that I point to and will follow objects. He is vocalising ka and seems to be constantly making new sounds. He isn’t always responding to his name which is a concern for me. I do think he is mimicking his older sister a little as when she spills something on the floor she will wipe it up. He started wiping the floor this evening with a cloth. He seems to be learning new skills such as feeding himself etc and no signs of regression. He does move his arms a lot but I know even typically developing children do this, all children will usually tip toe, flap hand and possibly rock back and forth.
An autism diagnosis is tough, I know that I am constantly on the look out for signs with my 17 month old, but only time will tell. Usually they won’t be seen until 2.5 years for a diagnosis path to commence.
@Babydevelopment1 it all sounds very positive, he shows excellent functional play (him wiping the floor) and seems to be picking up skills all the time. He points and follows a point which is extremely positive. I think it all sounds fine so far, but I can imagine you being on edge with him having an older sibling being diagnosed with autism (as it increases the chances of him having autism by 30-50%) however, so far, it all sounds very good and very normal All young children will hand flap, open/close hands, look at their hands, walk in their tip-toes, spin in circles, open/close doors, open/close drawers, flick switches on/off, etc. - it is all perfectly normal when it's in isolation. By the way, large studies have shown (multiple times) that, on average, normally developing children answer to their name about 50% of the time - so if you call him four times and he turns twice then he would have "good name response". But a word of caution, try not to over test him, if you call him for no reason too many times (i.e. just to test if he turns his head) he will very soon start to ignore you completely when you call him.
@Peaches2018 thanks for your reply, my wee one is being referred for a hearing test and speech and language therapy! He has started feeding himself although it is messy! I scribbled on a blackboard tonight and then gave him the chalk, he then scribbled. It’s so hard to know and as parents we do worry about their development!
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