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Do these count as examples of 'imitation' in toddlers?

(41 Posts)
mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 17:56:28

My DS is 21 months (5.5 week premature) hasn't started talking yet (no hearing issues), although recently repeated 2-3 words. Loads of babbling though, sometime's he comes up to me or his dad and babbles with facial expression like he's actually telling us something in his own language!

Initially I was quite scared he might be ASD but he doesn't have any telling signs yet, apart from speech delay and he also doesn't point. BUT he is able to follow a point and actively seeks us to play with his ball so his joint attention is okay too. Good eye contact too. Doesn't have any stims or obsessions. Plays with toys fairly normally, loves throwing things around so pretty typical toddler behaviour in that sense.

As for imitation, he copies things like clapping, sticking tongue out, making some sounds, clicking his tongue, stamping feet.

Do those sound like good things?

He is already being seen by Paed and referred to SALT and will be evaluated by SENCO next week at his nursery too.

We're in this 'wait and see' period and it's just so stressful...

mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 17:58:55

Oh and he sleeps like a dream, sleeps through by self settling and takes a good 2-3 hour afternoon nap too.

Has no issues with being outside his normal routine and loves going out and about, crowded places don't bother him, loud sounds don't bother him. The hoover fascinates him and he follows me around when I hoover.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 27-Dec-16 18:00:31

Folllowing a point and yes imitating those things are all positive signs (my autistic boy had to be taught all those, painstakingly, over a few years). Good luck

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 19:17:32

I'm not really clear what you're asking. DS has ASD and is severely language disordered and sounds quite similar (though he had more words). The only way to tell is to be assessed but eye contact and friendliness are only difficult for some children with ASD.

mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 19:30:27

I've been reading a lot and many times I've read that being able to follow a point and 'imitating' are good signs that a child is not ASD? So I've listed some examples to see if they count? My son imitates us when we do all of those.

mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 19:31:32

He copies things like:

clapping, sticking tongue out, making some sounds, clicking his tongue, stamping feet.

hazeyjane Tue 27-Dec-16 19:36:01

Are there other other concerns that led to SALT and paed referrals, as he sounds like he is doing great to me!

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 19:40:31

Mine could follow a point, copy drum beats, actions, words etc. He couldn't point for ages and was always friendly and enjoyed being with us etc. The stereotype introvert is just that and while obviously their must be quite a few people with ASD like that certainly it isn't all of them. Ds is unlikely to live independently but can now talk and read and all sorts of things (he's 11).

mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 19:41:27

Hazeyjane no it was just delayed communication; he was assessed about 3 months ago when he was only 17 months actual but his HV said we could start the early intervention process just in case. He has come a long way since then but the lack of actual words and lack of pointing is my only concern now. Since then I've read that premies can generally take much longer to catch up so it could be that?
He is definitely developing just at a slower rate.

He used to not answer to his name much before but now he almost always does. That's what prompted the hearing test and it was all fine.

His social engagement has come on so much since then and now I really just can't see any of the big signs of ASD in him (before I was pretty worried).

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 19:42:27

DS had and has a very restricted diet, his language was massively behind, but was a lovely cuddle of a boy.

mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 19:48:31

Zzzz so when did you first notice that he wasn't following the normal development? Did your son babble?

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 19:48:45

Have you done an MCHAT? I think you can do it on line.

mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 19:52:47

Also I know that ASD is an entire spectrum but isn't it possible he could just have a speech disorder? What elements did your son have besides speech delay that made him ASD?

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 19:54:03

Ds had delayed and disordered language development rather than speech (so he had lots of words but couldn't put them together easily). I knew
He was different very early on, at your stage put that down to not understanding language, and the ASD dx took over decade.

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 19:55:15

Can I ask why you would prefer your boy to have SLI than ASD?

mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 19:55:23

Sorry for all the questions btw, I'm new to all this and trying to figure it all out. Thank you for sharing.

mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 19:56:32

I don't have any preference but obviously would like him to just be neurotypical. But I do want the correct diagnoses, whatever that might be.

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 19:57:05

Nb I'm not sure it really matters and am not trying to be critical at all.

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 20:00:10

Lots of non-neurotypical children grow up to have happy and satisfying lives with high flying careers and happy marriages.
I would always think of ds as having both a language disorder and ASD. For him the language deficit has been far more debilitating.

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 20:03:42

My understanding is that SLI is more often seen in conjuncture with learning disability and lower IQ while ASD covers individual with all abilities. (Nb outcomes are not dependent on initial delay or presentation as far as I know).

PolterGoose Tue 27-Dec-16 20:07:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mscongeniality Tue 27-Dec-16 20:11:44

PolterGoose you're right but 3 months ago his communication was not good at all which is why he was referred but has come a long way since then and that's why I wanted some opinions on his progress smile

He can get all his needs met just without actual words and engages and plays with us but also with other family and friends.

It's really confusing - I've heard from lots of moms of late bloomers so he could just be one of them. Also being a premie must have an impact too?

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 20:40:05

Does he behave typically for a 20 month old?

zzzzz Tue 27-Dec-16 20:40:54

Has being prem impacted any other areas of development?

catwoman0815 Tue 27-Dec-16 20:45:05

I think at that age it is difficult to tell, hopefully the paed will be able to give you some assurance.

clapping, sticking tongue out, making some sounds, clicking his tongue, stamping feet

my DC1 was able to do immitate / do these at 20/21 months but she still has a dx of ASD and severe learning diffs. She had more words than your DS at that age but didn't use them to communicate. At that age, the only two things stood really out for us: lack of understanding of language and with hindsight also play skills (a lot of repetitive play, lots of throwing things around - DC2's (NT) play was in a total different league but I only understood that with hindsight.

DC1 though struggles with following a point (and still does at 8).

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