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I am a mum to a DS2 now aged 3 and ¾ years. He has been doing really well developmentally over the last 2 years but he was a bit slow to get going. Although he seems to be doing everything thats age appropriate and has been since 18 months I find myself fretting continuously about autism amongst other things. I work fulltime with no access to the internet at home but when I come into work in the morning and sometimes check the special needs section of Mumsnet I always get in a panic as I recognise something that could be a symptom of autism. By the time Monday morning comes after a weekend with him I am completely confident that he is perfectly normal and that I was a fool for even considering such a thing. However can I ask all the experts out there what they think?
Didnt point until about 18 months and for a while I think it may have been with his whole hand until about 20 months, when he started to use his index finger. No problem with following a point or joint attention and pointed and points to objects that he wants
At about 2.5 years developed a dislike of loud noises like a siren or a loud horn. Still has it a bit. Doesnt or didnt have tantrums or anything. He just says Whats that noise or I don’t like that loud sound/noise and covers his ears sometimes. He sometimes anticipates a loud noise and covers his ears.However DS1 also does this a bit
He likes Thomas the tank. Was really into it for a while and puts his 4 troublesome trucks on the track attached to Thomas , watching them and talking about them . Plays out scenes from his video where Thomas falls in the mud and uses play dough sometimes to create the mud. Likes to have 4 . Not as into them in the last few weeks. Got the track for Xmas so the novelty has worn off.
He flapped his hands for a while about a year ago for a few months but no longer does it anymore
Used to like looking at the TV very close. However he is longsighted and again I notice he isnt doing it much anymore
Never repeated questions back to me or anyone else but an odd time repeats a word at the end of a sentence. Did this more a year ago and now much less. I feel hes only processing the word or trying out a complicated word
Took a while to start playing directly with other children . He knows all the children in the nursery school and is very friendly to them, i.e saying hello and goodbye , but I would say that he played alongside them pretty much until recently. He always joined in play with DS1, eg DS1 would say Come on outside and lets go on our bikes and DS2 would compy. However he is now initiating play a lot more.
The good things
He speaks well, up to 12 words in sentances, his grammer is age appropriate , ie past tenses, pronouns, plurals etc.
He is very sociable , loves talking to everyone he meets.In fact many people comment on how friendly he is.
He is a very good eater.
Has known all his colours for over a year. He knows his shapes, numbers and recently his letters
Can do 15 piece jigsaws, although this is a recent development. Was not that into them until recently
Understoods 3 part commands, such as Pick your car and your fork up. Put the fork in the sink and the car in the box
Can read peoples body language , like happy , sad etc
Has imaginative play and its developing more all the time. Hes big into food and enjoys pretending to cook and bake etc as well as pretending to be a policeman, driver etc
He loves nursery school and joins in with the other children with singing etc
He knows loads of nursery rhymes
Can count to 25
Answers questions, such as What if and What do you do when you are hungry etc
Asks and answers lots of Why questions
I know he is doing what he should be doing but as I said, I see one or 2 symptoms and I go beserk. I only strayed into the “Special needs” section by mistake one day! Sorry for the lengthy message and thanks for reading.
Should have mentioned that I did the PDD test that someone suggested a while ago and his score was really low. However I keep thinking, well maybe I should not have said no to that one as maybe he did do it once or twice!
It sounds as though he's doing really well. From what you've posted here I would say that autism is unlikely - although obviously I'm not an expert.
My ds1 is 4.8yrs and has had a lot of help with his pretend play skills. Even now he would find it difficult/impossible to pretend to be a policeman etc without someone directing him. Even then it would be very stilted IYSWIM. He sometimes pretends to be spiderman shooting out webs from his wrists but that's about the extent of his spontaneous pretend play atm.
Your ds' language skills also sound very good. Ds1's general language is fairly good now after a late start but he still finds it hard to use pronouns, phrase questions etc. If someone asks him "How are you?" he will answer "I am four." If he wants to know old someone is he will ask "How old you are?"
I think playing alongside others until about 3ish is pretty normal too. It's only as they get to about 3+ that they play with others generally IIRC.
Being able to follow a point etc sounds very good too. Ds1 still sometimes finds this difficult although he is mostly okay. Ds2 had to be taught how to do this and still gets it wrong a lot of the time.
Ds1 also still needs instructions to be broken down for him. If I wanted him to put his coat on, fetch his bag and open the door I would have to remind him at each stage that he now had to fetch his bag, open the door etc. Ds2 is still only 2 but can't yet even follow a one-step instruction most of the time.
If you are still worried then obviously speak to someone about your concerns but from what you've posted I would say that it's unlikely that he is autistic. HTH.
He sounds fine to me....maybe just a few sensory problems...loud noises...but many little ones have probs with loud noises.
If you are really concerned why dont you have a chat with your GP.
thanks coppertop and jayzmummy.
Jayzmummy, I am sorry for all the hassle you are having at the moment with the system. you must be driven around the bend.
Any other thoughts on my question from other resident experts (such as Jimjams ?? would be greatly appreciated
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