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Mums of children with ASD; what did you see at 14 months?

(18 Posts)
Butterby Sat 09-May-15 22:41:44

Hello, My DS is 14 months and has hypermobility, low muscle tone and some sensory difficulties. All are being addressed through OT, Physio etc

However, at 14 months we have no waving, pointing, clapping or copying of actions. He had some sounds and two words and realised this week they had gone. He does not respond to his name and we were told this week they would like him to have a hearing test. I know this will come back normal as he can hear fine.

Play wise he loves listening to Us read him books and he recognises his favourite stories without the book present. But other than that he likes to move things back and forwards and his baby walker is usually flipped upside down so he can sit and spin the wheels. If he is sat in his pram or car seat without any toys he will turn his hands backward and forwards looking at them. He has never made eye contact during feeding (he is breastfed) but will make eye contact at other times. He is very happy and smiley.

I know some of these things are markers for ASD but I wasn't sure if they could be usual for 14 months too? I would be interested to know what other mums of children with ASD saw in their LO's at that age?

I know the professionals involved with his care think I am a little paranoid about this and brush over it when I mention differences I see.

Thanks for reading x

Branleuse Sat 09-May-15 22:58:24

i can remember with ds2 he would grind teeth, hand twist, and not respond to his name, but he did do clapping and the other stuff. I think with ds1 at thar age there were mega tantrums all bloody day, and flapping/ jumping, but he wasn't diagnosed and was pfb, so i didnt know that they were markers of anything

Butterby Sat 09-May-15 23:13:13

DS is my PFB too and only have a nephew to compare him too. Said nephew came to play other day and used the baby walkers for their exact purpose which made me think, oh perhaps flipping them over to spin the wheels isn't usual!

bedelia Sat 09-May-15 23:29:11

At 14 months, I wasn't particularly worried about DS2. He was a little later walking than his older siblings (just started waking before he was 15 months old, whereas his siblings walked much earlier), though I did have a niggle that he was "different" - TBH I felt a little smug as he could count and was obsessed with books. But like your son, he didn't point or wave, not until he was almost three (and he still rarely waves!); rarely responded to his name. And the wheels thing - YY! He'd tip over his buggy at the drop of a hat to spin the wheels =)

He's now 3.6 and has been referred for assessment as we suspect he may be on the spectrum. Though I honestly thought he was just quirky until he started nursery just before his third birthday when his teachers mentioned some developmental differences between him and his peers.

But here's the thing - you have a happy healthy boy who is only 14 months old. He's already under paediatrics, and I'm sure if the professionals suspect there's more going on than he's already been diagnosed with, they'll intervene early on to ensure he has the best outcomes smile

Between 16 and 30 months of age (usually around the 2 year check, I think), he'll probably have the M-Chat screening test (I think this is usually done as a very quick questionnaire by HV). Here's a link so you can check it out for yourself: This will help assess the likelihood of ASD and lead on to intervention/diagnosis if needed. There's still plenty of time for DS to begin doing the things you might expect of him at this age, or that the hearing test may raise other concerns. In the meantime, just enjoy your beautiful little man and rest assured that you're doing the best to make sure he has a great start in life smile

Butterby Sun 10-May-15 08:38:43

Thanks the M Chat is really useful. It has helped me decide to ask to move the focus of his Portage and play therapy to social communication rather than just physical skills.

It may all just be general developmental delay rather than autism specific but I am keen to put as much in before 2 as possible due to brain plasticity and all that.

Thanks again.

chocnomorechoc Sun 10-May-15 08:45:37

No waving, no pointing, no words, no nodding/shaking head, did not seem to understand anything, ignoring her name, crying and clingy all day long. Repetitive spinning of certain rattle toys (no play skills really). Not walking yet.
Otherwise a smiley cuddly toddler.

DuploTakingOver Sun 10-May-15 08:57:50

DC1 - not walking, not waving, very little babbling and no words, no pointing, no pretend play, started stimming, sensory issues with noise
DC2 - had just started walking, no waving, no pointing, no pretend play, did not respond to name, no interest in toys, obsessive chewing

(Both have ASD)

Butterby Sun 10-May-15 17:27:32

Pretty much describes my DS. It's not totally surprising he has some traits as we have adults on both sides of the family with ASD.

Mrsbobdylan Sun 10-May-15 22:08:36

I definitely knew something wasn't 'right' with ds2 by 14 months. He didn't point or babble and I could have handed him to a stranger in the street and he wouldn't have batted an eyelid. He didn't ask anything of me, no eye contact, joint attention and wouldn't allow me to comfort him when he fell.

The starkest difference between my NT ds1 and ds3 and ASD ds2 is that he just didn't play with toys at all. In fact, his first interest was a magnetic name badge from my work and a pair of batteries.

He goes to a sn school now and rather fantastically for me, will sometimes tell me he loves me and let me sit close to him which is something I never thought I'd

I'd say trust your instincts and keep a note of behaviours that you don't feel are 'within range' so that if you do decide to persue a diagnosis at some point, you have some good examples to give.

zzzzz Sun 10-May-15 22:14:53

14 month olds are wildly different from each other. The hand flipping, wheel spinning, lack of pointing, clapping, and particularly the regression (loss of words) etc would make me consider àutism.

You need to be as calm as possible though, because àutism too comes in such a huge range of presentations.

This gives an idea of what àutism can look like

spaghettisue Mon 11-May-15 09:49:52

Thank you zzzzz for posting the video. It was really interesting.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 11-May-15 22:35:02

spinning wheels, watching the pushchair wheels.
looking at the patterns of light on the floor
hatred of my singing/anyone singing. (mine is understandable but dd is good at singing)
waving things in a repetitive movement

My Ds2 was just how you decribe yours..hypotonic, 14m he could sit but not crawl and walking was a long way off.

He was entirely placid. I could leave him with anyone and he just didn't mind.
He didn't smile til he was nearly one, didn't seek eye contact (looked past us) but was quite cheerful. He liked to line up crayons and press his face to the tv to look at the pixels! (I tried that.. made me feel sick)

He was labelled as developmentally delayed until he was 8!! Then formally added ASD to his diagnosis. He remained happy, indiscriminately friendly, eventually spoke.. has no idea of personal space and at nearly 18 still believes in Santa, went to special school.

BUT he's a world away from the 'in his own bubble' baby that just didn't notice the world. Now he talks nonstop..(mostly about his obsessions) and is a lovely young man within his limitations. I knew he was autistic from the word go and was frankly terrified.

BUT..he is the centre of our world, his three older siblings are now a medical student, a learning disability nurse, and a support worker for adults with LD!.. I joined the online SpecialkidsintheUk forum.. we ALL still camp for a week every year with a huge group of friends and DS2 has made our lives brilliant in an odd way. So don't be scared.. Trust your instincts but don't be scared.

AgnesDiPesto Tue 12-May-15 07:39:21

I didn't have any concerns at 14 months - around 2 he started pushing other children away, his language slowed down, he then lost words. He had pointed, clapped etc but stopped.

He loved books and learning songs by rote. He still sang even when he stopped speaking to people.

He was a bit late to crawl. Late to walk - around 15 months. No hyper mobility etc he just didn't practice motor skills in same way and we had to break things down into small steps. Very placid and 'easy'. Looking back from 1.5 he was more interested in things esp anything electronic rather than people. By 2 he was reading and writing, counting etc.

Really good evidence ABA based interventions esp started before age 2 effective. Look at Early Start Denver Model for e.g.

Nothing you do with social communication therapy etc is harmful so there is no reason not to do it. Better to give a child therapy they didn't need than not give it.

If you can find someone to give you some ABA training or use videos / books / youtube etc its quite easy to do it yourself with a very young child. ABA not commonly offered by statutory services in UK so generally have to get trained yourself - not many people in UK used to doing ABA with very young children. Lots of research shows ABA more effective than portage for autism. Look at Facebook page ABA4ALL for charities that provide ABA funding. is a good SLT website and has for e.g. list of games / toys that help with social-communication

Maybe try and get a back facing pushchair - I got a cheap one off ebay to try and engage him more when out and about.

You may need to use rewards / hold things or put them out of reach to 'tempt' communication e.g.

Heres a video of ABA communication 'temptations' used with an older child here

Butterby Tue 12-May-15 16:31:18

Thanks everyone. I did ABA when I was a student but with older children so I know what Autism looks like in older children just stumped when it comes to under 2's.

I was really thinking about digging out my old ABA books and starting with some of the early imitation programmes from there. I definitely am going to so now. As you say Agnes no harm in doing it.

TheFirstOfHerName Tue 12-May-15 16:38:23

At 14 months, DS2 was being investigated for motor delay. His development was set back after a series of viral illnesses at around 12m, so he was diagnosed with post-viral fatigue. The sensory issues were already present but not causing concern.

Diagnosis of ASD didn't come until after his 9th birthday. Now aged 13, he still has mildly delayed motor skills.

AgnesDiPesto Tue 12-May-15 18:48:05

Ah well you're ahead of the game. I agree its hard to know what to do for a 14 month old without being shown.

This charity may be worth contacting for advice. The founder, Ruth, posts on here sometimes and I spoke to her when we were trying to decide what to do and she gave me a lot of time without charging anything just chatting things through. I think its one of few services for under 2's in UK

You can get curriculum books etc on Early Denver, PRT etc - theres probably lots new ones since I last looked which might have more focus on 1 year olds but perhaps someone like Ruth can give you pointers? Some ABA providers have dvds etc.

imitation was what we started with + a box of reinforcers like light up spinning tops etc. He started using his words again within days of being 'rewarded'

If you know what you are looking for you can find lots ABA videos on youtube.

Butterby Tue 12-May-15 19:21:59

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look. I suspect the majority of ABA / vb providers are more geared up for 3 plus.

I read a research article recently which intervened with high risk children for ASD at 18 months and it had great results. I now can't find it anywhere!

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