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Possible ASD in 2 year old - assistance please

(14 Posts)
rachndan Wed 06-Dec-17 10:42:05

Hi,

Our DD2 is currently being assessed for ASD. She is just about to turn 2 so still very young.

She had grommets fitted about 6 months ago as she had glue ear so she probably “lost out” on about 8 months of her development due to the glue ear.

It is her communication that is the issue, she only babbles a couple of words possibly saying BABY MUMMA and her own name. But she doesnt immitate any words not even the ones she says. She doesnt immiate any actions such as clapping. She hasnt ever waved or pointed, she tends to grunt at things she wants.

She is a happy girl and goes to nursery and plays with DD1 who is 6 but is also extremely independant and very happy to be on her own.

She is very fussy with food and its hard to get her to eat much and also never sits still unless restrained ie car seat, high chair etc. She would never just sit nicely and read a book or watch TV not unless having a bottle.

She is a scatterer, so has no interest in any one toy just all toys for about 10 seconds a toy before moving on to the next.

We are unable to go anywhere such as restaurants as she doesnt eat much and doesnt sit still the food does entertain her.

Its quite exhausting and waiting for the referal to SALT and Portage.

Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions as how to settle her down (she doesnt have meltdowns) but more generally to just not run around everywhere like a whirlwind. If a room was tidy before she came in it, it would be destroyed by the time she left.

We are hoping she will just develop over the next 6+ months but she is so different in nearly every way to DD1 when she was a similar age.

Any advice from parents in a similar boat or been through this before?

If she has ASD then she has, we just are longing for the communication - to hear her voice and to be able to talk to her (i appreciate she is still fairly young).

Thank you.

rachndan Wed 06-Dec-17 10:47:23

Also just want to add she does feed herself or make any attempt to either. When we try the spoon etc just gets thrown on the floor as she can take it or leave it.

LivingInTheSeventies Wed 06-Dec-17 10:53:59

She sounds very similar to my ds at that age.
If I could go back in time I would have taken him to an occupational therapist as soon as I was concerned.
Ours was amazing and I felt improvement after the first session! Wish we hadn’t waited until he was 4.
We also started speech therapy at 2. I’m not sure that was necessary, at that age just talking and modeling etc is probably as good but I was very concerned (my ds had the same ear issue- but had more challenging behaviours and I thought it may be related to not being able to verbally communicate).

victoire1208 Wed 06-Dec-17 11:08:26

Nothing is jumping out at me as concerning OP. The speech delay can be explained by the glue ear and the rest points to a full on kid. Behaviorally and socially she sounds fine and very much like my DD2 whose speech has only just taken off at 2.5. Most kids I know bugger about in cafes! But I'm also a great believer in maternal instinct so a professional opinion might be good for your peace of mind.

jellycat1 Wed 06-Dec-17 11:08:31

Honestly - to me she sounds entirely normal for that age, with the exception of perhaps the lack of words which could be explained by the glue ear. I wouldn't be in a hurry to label her. I hope the professionals will help anyway.

LivingInTheSeventies Wed 06-Dec-17 11:18:29

Oh yes, sorry, reading the other replies I realize I have totally projected in my reply!

BUT I do believe that parents can sense something’s not right and peace of mind is important.

PandasRock Wed 06-Dec-17 11:28:09

If you are concerned, listen to,your gut.

Communication-wise, look up PECS - if you can get onto a course, then do. It's a picture communication system, and could help you/your dd.

Also look at things like makaton signing - Singing Hands DVDs are excellent for this, and were the only thing which held my dd's attention at that age.

What things does she like? It may not be standard 'toy' things - dd2 liked nothing more than emptying the cutlery drawer and lining it all up when she was 2 grin, whereas dd1 at that age wanted me to sing to her all day, or read rhyming books (gruffalo, hairy maClary etc). It was a long slog getting either of them interested in 'playing'. She may need your heavy involvement to begin to understand and enjoy toys - hand over hand teaching, of necessary - e.g., dd1 started to like shape sorters, but she couldn't manipulate the shapes herself, so we sat and she pointed to each shape, I named it and asked where it should go, she pointed to the hole she wanted me to try, and I tried to do it - a very long winded way of playing with a shape sorter, but eventually she was able to do most of it herself.

ObscuredbyFog Wed 06-Dec-17 11:51:48

Autism is not a mental health issue, you'll get much better advice on the SN board from loads of mums who have been where you are right now smile
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/special_needs_chat

Autism is not a label, suitcases have labels. Autism is a medical diagnosis, if a child has it, they have it. A diagnosis can help immensely to have strategies put into place for learning, without one school can be a big problem.

rachndan Wed 06-Dec-17 12:41:29

Thanks everyone. We are 50/50 some days we think she is progressing just slowly and other days we think there is something not “right”.

What is occupational therapy?

She isnt really into anything at all? Other than lots of toys and scattering them everywhere. She does prefer noisy light up toys. She also enjoys emptying a basket full of ball-pool balls and putting them back again.

She has a habit of throwing everything she isnt interested in behind her. Something the nursery arent too happy about.

With regards signing etc she doesnt sit still long enough to look at anything. An example is The Lion Guard, as soon as theme tune comes on she rushes to the sofa and watches intently then as soon as it finishes and the actually programme starts shes off. She could watch and listen to the theme tune numerous times.

TieGrr Wed 06-Dec-17 12:48:44

She sounds like my DD who has ASD and is sensory-seeking.
She loves anything she can fiddle with and hold and be tactile with. When she was younger, she could literally sit for an hour removing magnets from a fridge door and putting them back on again.

DD is older now but I've found the best things to keep her attention and keep her playing for a while are things like painting, kinetic sand and playdough - where she's getting constant sensory feedback from touching them. We also got a beanbag for her to sit on which she seems more comfortable in.

Things like a trampoline can be good as well but DD only has access to one at school at the moment.

LivingInTheSeventies Wed 06-Dec-17 13:14:42

Occupational therapy for my ds has been about finding what sensory input he’s getting or needing and using some examples others have listed to get the input he needs or calm him when he’s “heightened”.

Some random examples are bouncing, swinging, being squashed, wearing weights/carrying heavy items, deep rubbing, kinetic sand, ear protectors, sunglasses, fidget toys etc.

Ours also had great strategies for introducing play skills (teaching him how to play) and communication skills.

I found it fascinating (I’m not an OT by the way!)

PandasRock Wed 06-Dec-17 13:26:27

Ok, that's a good few things to work with smile

Do you think it's the balls she likes, or the emptying/refilling? If it's the balls, then work with them - do it with her, help her fill different bags/baskets. Name the colours, pair up colours and see if she can too, ask her to find a colour (and then find it with her). Start by having all the balls yourself, and rolling one across to her for her to put in the ball pool - make a game of it. See if you can get her to roll one to you to put in the ball pool. Start tiny, and work from there. Work from the basis she doesn't understand you at all, so when you ask her to find a colour, don't get disheartened if she doesn't, help her find it - take her hand, find it, and say eg 'here it is, here's the red one'. We did a similar thing wilh balls to help dd1 understand turn taking games, and she still likes playing ball games even now, and was fab at playing them with dd2 and ds.

If it's the action of emptying/refilling, then you can do the above, but with lots of different things grin

I totally get the not sitting still. Dd1 didn't (and still doesn't). But you say she is interested in the tune - does she like any others? Sitting still for a couple of minutes while the tune is on is a good basis. My dd1 learned so much through songs - perfect length for a short attention span, but we could teach her bits of vocabulary using them (e.g. Having toy stars around while singing twinkle twinkle, and eventually she linked the word to the object)

She might like nursery rhyme songs, they are short, easy to remember and have nice repetitive easy actions.

When dd1 was about 2.5, her favourite thing ever was to listen to a tape of various nursery rhymes/songs, but she wouldn't sit still to do so. Her portage worker lent us a switch adapted tape player, and so dd1 had to sit and use the touch switch to make the tape play if she wanted to listen to the songs (she would otherwise just rush up and down, and dd2 was just a baby so in danger of being trodden on - I used the switch adapted player when I needed to be able to put dd2 down safely for a couple of minutes).

These are things which may not work overnight, but slowly, slowly, it may be possible to use her interests to work on different skills.

The scattering could be a habit. You could try moving all toys away so they can't be scattered, and just having one or two for her to focus on (starting with favourites).

Occupational therapy is a therapy to help,with motor and sensory skills/issues. It is unlikely, ime, that you'll get any on the NHS unless there are severe issues, it it could be worth trying to find a private therapist if you can afford to. Having a good OT assessment can be very valuable in terms of knowing sensory likes and dislikes, types of activities etc.

rachndan Wed 06-Dec-17 13:33:49

She likes to do the magnets on the fridge but not for more than about 5 mins. She does like Mickey Mouse about the only thing on TV she likes.

I think she would just throw playdoh.

rachndan Wed 06-Dec-17 17:47:48

PandasRock thank you for the very detailed post.

I think we will try removing a few of the toys so there arent that many and spend more time playing with the balls as you suggest.

I will also see how she reacts to nursery rhymes and other things.

Thank you.

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