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Just a typical 2 year old, or perhaps something more (Autistic spectrum?)?

(15 Posts)
ABitWorried Sat 29-Jan-05 17:06:41

We have 2 DSs - 5 and 2.5.

DS1 seemed to be rather ahead of his peers in 'intellectual' development aspects (speaking, reading, numbers etc) but not in physical things.

DS2 is a completely different child (but then, why shouldn't he be... he IS a different child )

However DS2 does seem to have some extreme behaviours which sometimes after reading stuff on Mumsnet makes me wonder if I should be at all worried. So, for example:
- spends ages lining up cars/ trains in lines/ spaces
- gets upset if someone upsets his pre-defined 'order' of things
- gets very irritated by labels in clothes - e.g. pulls at label on lower edge of his T shirts/ pyjamas, and HATES labels on the back of his neck
- has an almighty tantrum about any item of new or different clothing - refuses to wear it for the first time, we literally have to force it on him and endure the screaming/ tears. After he's worn it for a day he's fine.

On the positive side, he otherwise appears pretty similar to his peers:
- has friends
- is happy/ cheeky/ sociable

Am I worrying about nothing?

Blossomhill Sat 29-Jan-05 17:29:56

A bit worried, I copied and pasted this from the national autistic society:-

What should health professionals look out for when parents express concerns?

The RED FLAGS for autism

Communication concern

Does not respond to his/her name

Cannot tell me what s/he wants

Language is delayed

Doesn't follow directions

Appears deaf at times

Seems to hear sometimes but not at others

Doesn't point or wave goodbye

Used to say a few words, but now doesn't

Social concerns

Doesn't smile socially

Seems to prefer to play alone

Gets things for him/herself

Is very independent

Does things 'early'

Has poor eye contact

Is in his/her own world

Tunes us out

Is not interested in other children

Behavioural concerns


Is hyperactive/unco-operative/oppositional

Doesn't know how to play with toys

Gets stuck on things regularly

Toe walks

Has unusual attachments to toys

Lines things up

Is oversensitive to certain textures or sounds

Has odd movement patterns

Absolute indications for immediate further evaluation

No babbling by 12 months

No gesturing (pointing, waving, bye-bye, etc) by 12 months

No single words by 16 months

No two-word spontaneous (not just echolalic) phrases by 24 months

ANY loss of ANY language or social skills at ANY age

Socci Sat 29-Jan-05 17:42:57

Message withdrawn

dinosaur Sat 29-Jan-05 17:43:46

I think there have been threads before which made it clear that lots and lots and lots of preschoolers line things up - and quite a few children with an ASD never have - so I don't think lining things up, in the absence of lots of other red flags, is anything to worry about.

I don't think I would be too worried about the other things either - not if he has friends and is sociable. Those are really key at this stage. When my DS1 was aged two he got very upset if anyone tried to join in his (highly repetitive) play, and certainly didn't have "friends".

JaysMum Sun 30-Jan-05 01:23:43

ABW....from what you have mentioned if i were you I would be looking at Dyspraxia or SID..Sensory Integration Dysfunction.
The happy, cheeky, sociable side is not normally there in a child presenting with ASD....but what you have said about the clothing just really struck a chord with me and makes me feel that if you looked at Dyspraxia/SID then maybe you'd find some answers....good luck.

coppertop Sun 30-Jan-05 13:00:35

I agree with Socci. The communication (or lack thereof) aspects are more relevant to ASD than lining things up, routines etc. My ds2 is a little younger than your ds (2 next week) and has a preliminary diagnosis of autism. For me personally the thing that makes him most different from his peers is his limited communication skills. It has taken about 6 months or so to get him interested in pointing at things but he still doesn't point at what he wants. If I can't guess what he wants then he becomes absolutely furious. He has some single words but his language development is all over the place. He can copy someone else's words perfectly (including their accent) but when he uses words spontaneously most of the consonants are missing, eg "eee-uh" means 'seagull'.

Ds2 has a problem with wearing clothes. He tolerates them well outside the house and doesn't make a big fuss about getting dressed but the second we get home he absolutely has to undress himself.

Ds1 (4.5yrs) is autistic and, as dinosaur says, has never been interested in lining things up. Ds2 used to line things up a lot but this was always done in a set pattern. It was the patterns that ds2 used that made me stop and stare rather than the fact that he lined things up IYSWIM.

Ds2 is actually quite sociable in his own way. He can, however, 'switch off' very quickly. I have some footage of him on our video camera where he is lining up some circles and then throwing them. This game goes on for a while and is very repetitive. The odd thing about it IMO is that the whole time he is playing I am standing less than a foot away from him holding a camera and not once does he even acknowledge that I am there.

Davros Sun 30-Jan-05 18:14:43

Just a quick hijack. Coppertop, we have the same clothes off at home issue. We have instigated something we call "play clothes" which are BIG pyjamas that are kept in a basket downstairs and DS has to put those on to hang around the house. At the moment I am getting them for him but the target is to be able to say "get your play clothes" and he will go to the basket and get them. I can understand why he wants to take his clothes off when he gets home, we all like to get out of our work/all day clothes, but he needs to put something else on! He is a growing 9 year old boy with a little sister and one day he will be a teenager then an adult and can't go around in the nude! He also seems to have quite sensitive skin although labels don't generally bother him. Hope this helps.

Blossomhill Sun 30-Jan-05 19:29:07

Another hijack here. Funny you should mention labels as dd has recently started to complain about them if they are of a particular scratchy texture. Have to say I cut mine out if they irritate me too!

Chocol8 Sun 30-Jan-05 20:29:05

Ds, refuses to wear jeans or trousers with metal studs that will touch his skin. I keep a roll of Hypal tape handy so I can cover them over and the backs of buttons. Also, he refuses to wear jackets and cardies with metal zips and wears them very "street" - off the shoulder, which looks quite strange.

He has a dx of ADHD/AS and when he was very small, used to make amazing patterns with his cars and building blocks etc. I used to climb on a chair to take an arial photo it was so precise.

Today at lunchtime he started lining up his chips in order of size - which worried me a bit as he has never done this before.

The difference is ABitWorried, as others have pointed out, my ds has no friends and although he is very friendly, he cannot integrate with his peers, though is very good at talking at them about trains (which he has a vast knowledge of).

It maybe an idea to make notes and keep a diary/calendar of the things you notice so that if it is still worrying you later you can take it to the consultant and show him/her? x

Saker Mon 31-Jan-05 09:37:04

My NT ds1 makes a big fuss about labels and I usually have to cut them out. My (also NT!!)dh can also be quite fussy about what fabric he wears etc. Ds2 who may be dyspraxic and won't tolerate things like hats doesn't seem to notice labels at all. So not sure that that in itself is particularly significant. As everyone is saying it is the overall picture that is important. With ds2 I felt from very early on he was different and his development was different to other children. He is sociable and interacts a lot within the family, but has no friends because he isn't very good at playing and organising his actions.

pabla Mon 31-Jan-05 10:33:13

ABW, like the others have said, these things are very common traits in children of this age. I have seem all these traits in either my son or other kids of a similar age, none of whom have special needs. I often remove labels from the neck of my own clothes!

ABitWorried Mon 31-Jan-05 13:21:32

Thanks everyone - I think perhaps I am over-worrying, but as someone suggested I may just keep a diary over the course of the next month to see if there are any patterns, or more things that I realise that cause me concern.

Just in the last 2 days we have also had extreme reactions to:

- me drawing the curtains this morning
- a new top with a hood, which was slightly higher up on his neck than a T shirt
- screaming fit until we let him watch the 'mini chase' (from the Italian Job film) for about the 5th time yesterday [grin?]

But as you say, some of these are typical 2 year old "I'm not in control" tantrum subjects too?

Blossomhill Mon 31-Jan-05 14:39:49

People must think that I am a stuck record on here, but.... have you spoken to your hv. I am sure just a chat or even a home visit may put your mind at rest

coppertop Mon 31-Jan-05 19:12:12

The diary sounds like a really good idea. It may help you to see if there is a pattern to the tantrums/meltdowns. If there is a problem it will also be a good record of what is happening on a daily basis.

Davros - That sounds like a good technique. I hadn't thought ahead to ds2 still stripping off when he's older. Today was the first day that our portage worker had ever seen ds2 in clothes so I suppose miracles can happen.

On a slightly more embarrassing note I was videoing ds2 yesterday so that I can take some evidence with me to the CDU about what he's like at home. All was going well until ds1 piped up in a loud voice "You're taking pictures of <ds2> with no trousers on again!" It made me sound like a right perve! I should add that ds2 did at least have a nappy on.

happymerryberries Mon 31-Jan-05 19:17:20

Blossomhill, you are not alone about the labels, I hate the damn things and they irritate the hell out of me

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