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Early signs for autism?

(40 Posts)
Paribus Wed 28-Sep-11 22:47:55

I started a thread a while ago about my daughter's dyspraxia/speech and language disorder and got so many helpful advices and words if encouragement so decided to ask you all about early signs for autism.
Could you please tell me how your DC were as babies? We have a newborn DS and I am starting to be concerned about him- I know, my DD's dx (or rather lack of it) plays some part in my anxiety, but I would so appreciate your input.

bialystockandbloom Wed 28-Sep-11 23:00:57

Sorry you've got these concerns.

I don't know about other posters here, but I really did not notice anything to worry me about ds (asd) until he was a toddler. I have seen people post that now, with hindsight, they can look back and see signs in babyhood, but honestly I think it would be very, very, very hard to spot in a newborn.

When ds was around 12-18 months I started to notice a few odd behaviours (loved spinning things, did a funny crab walk) and some limited interaction (rarely came to give me things like toddlers do, seemed a bit in his own world at times). It was only when he was over 2yo that I knew (deep down), and then he was over 3yo when dx.

What is it that worries you?

The first signs website is very useful, but again this wouldn't refer to newborn babies.

Paribus Wed 28-Sep-11 23:21:28

Bialystockandbloom, thank you. I read this site some time ago, you are right, it doesn't give much info on newborns sad(.

insanityscratching Wed 28-Sep-11 23:28:59

I knew something was wrong from ds's earliest days tbh. He used to cry all the time wouldn't be comforted but would self soothe in a rocking chair. He used to scratch the pram top. He used to look for lights instead of faces. He never appeared to recognise us there were no special smiles. If I went out and came back he never acknowledged me. He didn't smile much and never babbled.
BUT dd was a typical baby did everything you'd expect but still got an autism dx at two after regressing suddenly at 12 months so I don't think you can predict tbh.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 28-Sep-11 23:29:58

There was nothing about my DS2 with ASD that I can remember, even in retrospect, until he was up and moving. Then, he was very active and busy, but didn't play with toys appropriately, prefered to tip them out of the box over his head and obsessed with doors and switches. But, then, many NT toddlers do that sort of thing. As a small baby, he hit the milestones for everything except babbling, including smiling. Sorry, no help.

I watched DS3 like a hawk, but again, nothing to spot until he was 15 months or so and he's just 'a bit quirky,' so far (he's 9.) DS3 was obsessed with numbers, his first 20 words included 1 -10, and the teletubbies, as in grouping the 4 teletubby colours at every opportunity.

Paribus Thu 29-Sep-11 07:28:58

Insanityscratching, thank you. You can't predict, you are right.
Ellenjaneisnotyname, thank you. 

graciousenid Thu 29-Sep-11 09:06:56

I'm with Bialystock there was nothing to suggest my ds was anything other than nt as a baby, even with hindsight. He was utterly typical, met his milestones early but not excessively so, totally delightful baby. It was between 18 months & 2 that I began to worry about his language development & he seemed 'babyish' compared to dd1 (put it down to being a boy hmm ) and between 2 & 2.5 - when he failed to respond to the interventions we were using for language & them lost some skills - that I went onto high alert. We'd started early intervention before he was diagnosed (when he was three).

ds has two younger siblings - 3mo ds2 is at v. high risk so is already set to see paed at 18 months - the MCHAT is a useful screening test, dd2 passed it at 15 months & that helped a bit with my anxiety (it was obvious she was developing differently to ds1 at 18 months).

lisad123 Thu 29-Sep-11 09:17:47

both mine have dx of autism, but while i knew something was wrong both were soo very different at baby age.

DD1 would scream for hours, I couldnt leave her with anyone, she hated cuddles from anyone apart from me. All i remember is the screaming sad She was late sitting, never crawled, and very late walking. She had amazing speech, was hard to potty train and refused most foods.
DD2 was a dream baby in many ways. She very rarely cried, would push off me while breastfeeding so her body was as far from me as possible, hated being picked up, again late milestones, late speech (which she lost about age 2), could leave her with anyone (and still can, she has little attachment to people).

As others have said the signs become more clear as they hit 18 months onwards.

IndigoBell Thu 29-Sep-11 09:29:39

Paribus - what signs have you noticed?  And how old is your baby?

Anecdotally, from reading this board, I think a lot of babies were either too placid / quiet / sleepy or too demanding / constant crying / never sleeping.......

Mine was placid.  Slept a lot.

ArthurPewty Thu 29-Sep-11 09:30:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArthurPewty Thu 29-Sep-11 09:32:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Paribus Thu 29-Sep-11 10:22:55

Graciousenid, thank you. Did you ask your paed about early intervention like they do in the States? I asked mine but no one seems to be doing it here.

Lisad123, thank you. About your DD2 being a dream baby- what do you mean by that? Did she have good eye contact,smile, coo?

Indigobell, thank you. I am concerned about eye contact tbh. He does look at the faces/looks in the eye but not as often as I think is necessary if i'm making sense. He is 3 months, he was seen by 2paeds and one suggests he has visual maturation delay but I don't think he has it. He coos and smiles but it's the infrequent eye contact which scares me.

LeonieDelt, thank you. Could you pls remember why did you think he had ASD at three weeks? Any particular traits?

Again, thank you all so much. You are really so helpful.

lisad123 Thu 29-Sep-11 10:26:54

I meant, that she was a dream because she didnt cry, slept well (wish she still did), you could leave her with the toys she had and she would just sit, never demanded my attention, could leave her with anyone at all.
She did smile and coo, most children with autism do, I have rarely met a child with asd who doesnt make any sound.

IndigoBell Thu 29-Sep-11 10:30:58

Paribus - my DS stared at lights instead of faces at that age. They told me he was blind! Which turned out to be wrong.......

It's not that you don't any early intervention in this country - you don't get any intervention at any age.

However, I don't think even in the US they start doing interventions at 3 months, do they?

So, I guess you need to keep observing him, and decide what you will do when. sad

Spiraling Thu 29-Sep-11 10:36:21

ds was like leoniedelt esp breast feeding, so failed to thrive.
He was v. placid, never crying, good sleeper, yes a dream baby (would smile at you and eye contact) clearly like the feeding routine! found wind v. strange. v. giggly, still is as with hugging, loved being held. by 12m discovered the beauty of opening/closing doors, jigsaws and wheels. No talking, did not need to as grabbed your hand and guided you. Late and v. clumsy walker.

ArthurPewty Thu 29-Sep-11 10:39:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

graciousenid Thu 29-Sep-11 10:41:54

Paribus we started our own self funded early intervention programme (ABA) before ds was diagnosed. Paed/SALT/psychologist all agree that it is the best thing we can do but no NHS or LA do not offer it - some people on the board have managed to get the LA to fund their programmes (through the statementing process). ds still gets 12 hours a week of ABA. The only intervention we were offered was an hour of portage a week which was worse than inadequate - they took it away as soon as we started ABA anyway.

I started doing basic ABA stuff with dd2 (motor imitations/receptive instructions) when she was 12 months old & had also introduced signing by that point. I'll be doing the same with ds2 & if he doesn't pass the MCHAT we will start a formal programme by 18 months.

Paribus Thu 29-Sep-11 14:46:31

Lisad123, thank you. Did your DD2 have good eye contact as an infant?

IndigoBell, did your son not look at the faces at all? Did he follow across the room if you can remember? As far as early intervention goes- from what I know in the States they start at birth. They have a state funded programme called Early Intervention, it differs in each and every state, but they come to your house for free, do an assessment and then offer some therapy if needed.

Spiraling, thank you. Failure to thrive- you mean he wasn't gaining weight? Did you suspect anything when he was a baby?

LeonieDelt, thank you. Did your DD2 (so sorry for calling her DS previously, was nursing DS while typing, so made a few mistakes!) have good eye contact as an infant? Why did you suspect ASD at such an early stage? Anything else that worried you at that point apart from fussiness? Because of your DD1 dx?

Paribus Thu 29-Sep-11 14:48:29

Graciousenid, thank you. Who are you seeing as an ABA therapist if I may ask? When did you start?

lisad123 Thu 29-Sep-11 14:51:55

Dd2 eye contact was limited. She just give fleeting glances to those who know her well but none to new people

Paribus Thu 29-Sep-11 14:58:57

Lisad123, thank you. Did she smile when you were talking to her as infant? Sorry, I keep on asking very personal and intrusive questions, it's just those couple of weeks since our DD was assessed, I keep on looking at our DS and keep on worrying about him. I tried to search online ut there is next to none information about very small infants.

IndigoBell Thu 29-Sep-11 15:28:29

Paribus - DS did not look at people at all, he only looked at lights. I was told he was blind. Then later they changed his dx to 'undiagnosed'.

He was tested at St Guys where they put him in this special room with flashing lights, and he didn't look at them.

I think he did have vision problems which he grew out of - but maybe he didn't.

lisad123 Thu 29-Sep-11 15:53:20

yes she was a very smiley baby smile

we were told to prepared that dd1 was deaf shock i knew she wasnt, but its becausae they used distraction test to check her hearing! lol

raffle Thu 29-Sep-11 16:08:16

DS was about 9 months when I began to realise he had Autism. The first signs were: fascination with his hands (holding them up to look at them, wringing them over and over), not responding at all to my voice, and odd eye contact (like others have said, not looking at people's faces).

Sorry you are suffering this horrible stage, hope you get your answer either way soon.

lisad123 Thu 29-Sep-11 16:11:00

dd2 used to wring her hands, which I didnt know was also a sign of Retts!

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