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18mo - bit worried

(21 Posts)
Janoschi Tue 06-Nov-12 01:21:26


I'm probably worried about nothing but feel I need to ask for advice on my lovely little 18mo DD's behaviour....

She's sociable - ie she loves smiling and waving at strangers. She also points at things a lot.


She doesn't recognise her own name, or that she even has a name.
She doesn't know our names either (Mama and Papa)
She doesn't know the names of anyone actually.

She's been obsessed with lights and ceiling fans since day 1. She also has an obsession with eyes. She loves buses, cars, bikes and emergency vehicles. These amount to most of her vocabulary.

Her favourite toys are rocking, swinging, spinning or bouncy toys. She climbs stairs repeatedly. She has no fear of deep water (wades straight in up to her neck). No fear of heights (climbed to the top of a 10ft stepladder). High pain threshold (falls over and skins her knees but doesn't cry). Very independent (can play for an hour alone and has done since 3-4 months).

Uses toys in an odd way (eg: refuses to sit on a ride-on toy, instead she pushes it). Loves balls, toy cars and her rocking horse. No interest in cuddly animals or dolls. No interest in shape-sorters. Never had a favourite toy, nor a comfort blanket or dummy. Loves hand-puppets but knows how they work and tries to do it herself (no magic of animal coming to life).

Has appalling sleeping habits - has only slept more than 5hrs twice in her life. Usually wakes screaming 3 times a night, often more. Writhes in pain, seems to have bad stomach pain / gas but is almost inconsolable at times. This has been since birth.

She can hear a bus or ambulance coming from miles away but often acts deaf. I find it impossible to get her attention or to show her things by pointing at them. She's never startled by loud noises - was unaware of the fireworks this evening though we were surrounded by what sounded like gunfire (50yds from park display). Can follow instructions such as 'put the ball in the box'.

Is obsessed with things. Lately she has to pick up every bloody leaf in the park and give it to me. I can't distract her into doing something else and she screams if I remove her. Before that it was picking up an empty milk-bottle and putting it down repeatedly.

I'm at a loss. She scored 11 on the M-CHAT test which said she was flagging up autistic traits.

What do you all think? Is she within normal range or should I get in touch with my HV? Any advice gratefully taken!

armedtotheteeth Tue 06-Nov-12 01:36:29

Most of what you're describing sounds pretty normal to me, although some things (such as not recognising her own name) are a bit unusual.

Having said that, if your instincts are telling you something is not right then I think you should follow it up.

Do you think her hearing is ok?

armedtotheteeth Tue 06-Nov-12 01:38:49

Oh and is she in childcare at all? What do other people / your dp think?

chocjunkie Tue 06-Nov-12 06:02:54

You seem to be concerned and the MChat flagged some things up so yes I think i would discuss it with the HV or GP.
A lot of points in you post sound normal some things less so. It could be something, it might be nothing.

How is she communucating with you? How is she telling you that she e.g. want a certain toy or a drink?

ArthurPewty Tue 06-Nov-12 07:17:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArthurPewty Tue 06-Nov-12 07:18:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SallyBear Tue 06-Nov-12 07:21:34

I would get her hearing tested. She may have passed her newborn screening test, but she could have developed glue ear since then. Then I would speak to the gp about the tummy pain. Did she suffer from reflux when little, could she have allergies to certain foods? The sleep, I would see if a chiropractor might help? It's worth looking into.
If you can see if you can self refer to your local Portage services. HV will have the number. They will come out and talk to you about your concerns regarding her play. They would also be able to help monitor her progress as well as suggesting what other professionals that would need to become involved - SALT, OT etc.


Janoschi Tue 06-Nov-12 14:34:59

She had to have her newborn test done twice as she failed the first one. We've had worries on and off about deafness but she can hear us ask her to put a ball in a box or to give XX the toy etc. And she can comprehend the instruction. But she phases out very easily.

I wasn't really aware of this until last week when my BIL and family stayed with us. They took her to a museum with their little boy and they said it was impossible to attract her attention. She just kept plodding around and never looked around when her name was called. They couldn't show her anything, she went around doing her own thing. I'd just assumed babies and toddlers did that but they said no, and this is the reason I'm here now, to ask if BIL & SIL are right. They have a big circle of friends with kids and we don't have any, so DD for us is an island. She's normal to us because there's no-one to compare with.

She also didn't react to the fireworks last night, and we were surrounded by what sounded like gunfire for several hours. She never even looked up. By contrast, the dog was cowering under the bed. Talking it through with DH this morning, we both realised we'd never seen DD scared.

She's been on transatlantic flights, been baby-sat by total strangers (to her, not us!), taken on busy Undergrounds, shown big scary animals (shark tank, Highland cattle..), she went into a pitch dark (no light AT ALL) damp dungeon of a local old castle last week and even I found it spooky but she plodded around quite happily - loads of things like that and we've NEVER once seen her scared. She has had hardly any separation anxiety - just a couple of moments this past week, before that absolutely nothing.

I'd thought all of this was normal but now I'm wondering if there's actually something going on.

SallyBear Tue 06-Nov-12 16:08:50

Go and get a referral from your GP for an audiology appointment at the hospital. It sounds to me that she may well have a degree of hearing loss. Has she had many ear infections in the past? Best to get it checked out properly before you start worrying about any behavioural or developmental appointments.

MoelFammau Tue 06-Nov-12 16:54:31

DD has never had an ear infection so far. My DH has a childhood plagued with them, as did his brother. They both had glue-ear too. No idea if that's relevant though.

I phoned Yorkhill to check the GP has made an referral but apparently there is nothing on the system. She was supposed to have done it electronically last week (in regards to her on-going food intolerance/gastric issue) but she hasn't so it does seem a bit sloppy. Going to push the GP again tomorrow and add the audiology appointment.

Thank you all.

willowthecat Wed 07-Nov-12 10:29:13

I agree with above - the not responding to name does stand out as being a bit unusual at this whereas the other things need to be seen in context of the overall development of the child - such as how would she get your attention, does she readily share attention and interest with you ? How does she communicate her needs ?Verbally or Non verbally? Signing, pointing ? Dragging you ? A hearing test is essential in any event

willowthecat Wed 07-Nov-12 10:34:31

at this age - meant to say

MoelFammau Wed 07-Nov-12 11:33:00

Non-verbally generally. She says 'booboos' if she wants BF, but not always. Usually she points to the sofa where I feed her. Her method of telling us what she wants is to making grasping motions towards the object while grunting. Her words aren't for things she wants, they're things that interest her. She has no words for food and drink but a few along the lines of 'bus', 'bike' and 'car'. She can't say her name or ours (mama and papa).

Last night she looked round in her highchair when I called her name. Then DP called out 'squiggle' and she looked round at that as well. Not sure what that tells us!

I'm going to get her checked over.

willowthecat Wed 07-Nov-12 11:41:16

Don't know if you are in Glasgow - you mentioned Yorkhill - it can be a long drawn out process there to get any assessments done - and even longer to get answers so don't go expecting any clear directions or advice - the ever popular 'wait and see' hmm is a common response. If your concerns continue, you should look into self help strategies like the Hanen 'More Than Words' program which is great for children regardless of whether there is underlying issue or not

MoelFammau Wed 07-Nov-12 11:52:51

I did the 'tilt test' just now and she failed.... just rather confused.

MummytoMog Wed 07-Nov-12 12:22:51

It's quite possible to have a hearing loss and still pick up lots of sounds. A siren is at a completely different frequency to a human voice, so get onto that hearing test. She sounds quite advanced in some areas to me!

ArthurPewty Wed 07-Nov-12 14:00:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArthurPewty Wed 07-Nov-12 14:01:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoelFammau Wed 07-Nov-12 14:02:18

Do either of your DDs have ASD, Leonie?

ArthurPewty Wed 07-Nov-12 22:25:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoelFammau Thu 08-Nov-12 00:12:20

I think DH is unofficially. He certainly has traits, ie his voice has a strange modulation. He can't hear himself getting louder and he's quite monotonous, He also has VERY specific interests (the same two since early childhood) and takes a while to form friendships. And flies into rages over (in my view) trivial stuff... His sister also shows traits, again the voice thing (I thought she was deaf when I first met her).

DD though is so sociable. Loves people and pointing at new things... Loves the dog, birds, squirrels... buses, cars, bikes, emergency vehicles... Loves very spicy food such a chilli and curry.

But she rocks for 30+ minutes at a time on her rocking ladybird, stands in the room and spins round and round, and plays with blocks by picking them up and throwing them behind her repeatedly - also for 30+ minutes at a time. She can spend hours on the swings, slide and trampoline.

We've just had an evening watching her play on her own. She put socks on her hands and flapped them off, over and and over. Spun in circles. Rocked on the ladybird. Threw blocks around. Put the socks back on and off. Spun in circles again.... and so on. For well over an hour without any interest in us. She was laughing a lot though.

I guess I'm now watching for oddness. The nursery mentioned today that they found it hard to get her attention. That she was easily distracted by other things (though not children). Also that she found nursery a bit overwhelming, but she's only just started so I'd expect that.

I did the 'tilt test' with her twice and she failed both times. It's aimed at 8-10mo babies though and DD is 18mo so maybe that's a factor...?

I've asked the HV for a hearing test referral. Not sure what else to do.

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