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Is 6 weeks too young to detect/suspect SN? Just my paranoia?!

(12 Posts)
SarahD73 Mon 22-Aug-11 12:17:36

Hi all - I'm probably just being a paranoid first time mother, but DS is 6 weeks old and DH keeps pointing out that DS won't look at us or seem to react to our voices at all. He does track things (toys) with his eyes so I'm sure there's no eyesight issue, and his hearing seems fine too (reacts to other noise etc.). When he's awake and looking around, if you hold him close to your face and try to get him to look into your eyes he just keeps looking up or to the sides, with only a really brief glimpse directly into your face sometimes, even though we're doing lots of talking/cooing/laughing/smiling at him.

My DH's uncle (mother's brother) is either autistic or aspergers - he's in his late 70's and has never been formally diagnosed but shows all the classic symptoms of it. I'm absolutely paranoid that DS may have it too as I've read it's hereditary. Does anyone have any advice please? Is DS just taking a bit longer to catch up to the rest of the babies in my NCT group as by this stage they were all doing lots of interacting with their parents, or should I be getting this investigated further even though he's still so young? The poor thing has already had so many problems (fractured skull due to very traumatic birth, undiagnosed tongue tie which is only being fixed tomorrow) and I can't bear the thought of him having yet more to deal with. Thanks for any advice/help/reassurance you can give.

colditz Mon 22-Aug-11 12:18:45

Take himto the doctor. That fracturedskull combined with lack of responses would be worrying me.

SarahD73 Mon 22-Aug-11 12:22:55

He has a weekly appointment with the GP to get his head measured and she keeps telling me everything seems fine but I haven't mentioned the lack of eye contact to her yet.

BlueArmyGirl Mon 22-Aug-11 12:25:53

Try not to worry - easier said than done!!! smile

Speak to your HV about your concerns.

I assume his newborn hearing screen was fine? Nevertheless might be worth asking for referral to audiology just to check - just because a child can hear one type/range of sound doesn't mean they can hear another. Similarly vision seems to be ok but might be worth asking for this to be checked too, just to be sure.

As far as the ASD goes, it's way too early.

SarahD73 Mon 22-Aug-11 12:34:29

Thanks - luckily we're having a visit from the HV on Wednesday so I'll discuss it with her then.

IndigoBell Mon 22-Aug-11 12:45:09

Does your GP do a 6 week dev check up?

If so, I'd definitely mention all this stuff then......

zzzzz Mon 22-Aug-11 13:15:03

I find that health visitors on the whole are out of their depth when it comes to this sort of thing. I had a gut feeling about ds at a couple of weeks and given your description of his history, I think you are right to be concerned.
My concerns would not be so much asd related, more general damage. Certainly there are no people I know who have asd diagnosis before their child was a toddler.

If it was me I would take him to the GP and express my concerns, if only because if the problem persists then you are already on record as having concerns. My GP is fabulous and she certainly has always said to me, if Dad is worried I am alert, if Mum is worried I am more so and if Granny is worried as well alarm bells are ringing. Could you ask your Mum/MIL's feel about it?
A child who is tongue tied is also quite often difficult to feed etc... so once that is dealt with then perhaps with better nutrition you will see a burst of interaction.

Try not to panic. I remember the early days with ds so well, the dark of the night terror for him, and for us, and for what life would be. He is yours, you are his, whatever his problems you will find a way to make it ok. Do not let anyone make you feel like a fussy first time Mum. The vast majority of people with a disabled child have no previous experience of disability, and all oldest children were only are as qualified as anyone in your ds.

This is a good place for information and support. I hope the tongue op went well. You sound like a very sensible Mum.....waht a lot to cope with so early.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Aug-11 13:23:31

The earliest asd can be diagnosed is at least past a year, and more like 2 years in this country. It affects around 1 in 80 and the causes are unknown (and likely to be a variety).

The best thing you can do is flag things up as and when you notice them and be determined to not get fibbed off when you have true concerns.

BabeRuthless Mon 22-Aug-11 16:23:48

I agree with zzzz about bypassing your HV. She'd probably only tell you to go your gp anyway. My son has ASD & when I spoke to her about concerns over his speech she told me to put things he wanted out of his reach so he'd be forced to ask for them.

Talk to your gp, being open & having a good relationship with them is vital. I'm sure it'll all be fine, do update us though smile

I knew there was something 'wrong' from just a few weeks old.. and when DS's 6 week check was done (at 8 weeks!) the lack of tracking/smiling etc and general floppiness lack of response was picked up and we were quickly referred to the Paeds, so it is definitely worth flagging up your concerns now.. if there IS a problem, the sooner seen the better.

It turned out my son had a visual maturational delay.. he stared at lights an shiny things but not faces and didn't smile. That did eventually resolve (took a long time) and while yes he has ASD (not diagnosed for a lonnnnng time) he became a smiley happy loving little boy (not so little now..he's 14!) and the panic 'how will I cope' receded as we just did..and he showed us the waysmile

Definitely trust your own judgement and don't be put off by anyone who says you are over anxious. It may be nothing at all, and given his history he may well need more time... but checking it out is importantsmile

Davros Mon 22-Aug-11 16:49:07

DS was dx ASD at 2 but that was not "early", we had waited 9 months for that appointment and had very clear reasons to be going down that route. Once we understood what was happening we could see it right back to day 1. I have also seen many, many babies over the years and have picked out, at a few weeks old, one who had ASD and to me it was obvious. Of course, by then, I knew what to look for.
I think, given his history, you should follow up and not be fobbed off, state your reasons as you have done here which is very clear. You may be wrong and then there is no harm done or it may be something like visual maturity. Don't bother with HV, waste of time imo.
Good luck, you are being a good mum.

SarahD73 Mon 22-Aug-11 19:20:15

Thank you everyone - it's very scary hearing your stories of your own experiences but I'm really hopeful that he's just a little behind his peers and that having the tongue tie sorted tomorrow will make him happier in general as the pain won't be bothering him anymore. I'll keep you updated...

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