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Autism? I don't know but I worry all the time

(33 Posts)
DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 14:58:08

DS is 21 months. still very young I know but I worry constantly that he may be autistic. he has some of the symptoms i guess but some of his other characteristics would imply otherwise:

1. isn't talking at all yet!
2. obsessed with and spins wheels on toys, points at car tyres and squeals.
3. spins round and round
4. very loud
5. watches the telly really close
6. not fussed with me or dw when we come home at the end of the day.

but he also...

1. is very clingy and hates when you put him down or even leave the room. he also reaches out to us with open arms wanting to be picked up.
2. points at things he wants
3. has a good sense of humour when it comes to pee-bo or silly sounds
4. doesn't seem to line things up and though he spins wheels on cars he also play with them properly as well.

I don't know i just worry and though everyone says it's ok he's not talking yet I just don't buy it. everyone else's kids seem to be talking by this age. At least a few words even!

Gobbledigook Thu 14-Apr-05 15:00:24

I think he sounds fine actually!

When ds2 was 21 months he didn't really have much to say either - he came on very quickly though from around 24-25 months.

I think if your ds points to things he wants that's positive and that's what you are looking for rather than speech first.

I don't think you need to worry!

Lonelymum Thu 14-Apr-05 15:01:30

Can't answer all your points but my ds1 didn't say a word until he was 2.2 (although he did understand things said to him) and has always been fascinated by mechanical things. Now nearly 9, he isn't very good at expressing himself but he is a whizz at model making and Maths - just like his father.

Re the speaking, ask yourself, does he mainly understand what you say to him? I was told that was far more important an indicator than the lack of speech.

Gobbledigook Thu 14-Apr-05 15:01:59

What's the lining up thing? DS1 always used to line things up around 18m - 2.5 yrs - he was obsessed with it and also sorted things into colours (like lego bricks) - he's not autistic though, just anal maybe

Oh, and all kids sit right up to the tele!

DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 15:02:15

i know, i know but i just do . i posted a similar thread when he was 17 months (i think) with concerns over his speech and everyone told me everything is ok but now we're 4 months down the road and the worrying is starting to set in again.

DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 15:04:12

he certainly seems to understand what we say to him. though of course he thinks 'no' means give a cheeky smile and do it anyway whilst looking at us for our reaction!

motherinferior Thu 14-Apr-05 15:07:27

DC, I think the element of 'reaction' is crucial. Does he babble, and/or have a grip on communication even though he's not actually speaking 'words'?

My dd2 is right up to the telly if she can be, btw, and has only recently started saying recognisable words.

DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 15:10:53

he babbles constantly and never shuts up!

it's mostly da da, ma ma (but not necessarily directed at us), ba ba, wa wa, die die, na na loads of squealing and loads of low pitched groaning.

he communicates well as in he'll point at the light, then approach the light switch and try to reach for it. obviously he can't reach so he'll come and seek help from us. he'll drop something (something he shouldn't have!) in the bath and come running to get me to get it out. is this all good??

motherinferior Thu 14-Apr-05 15:12:30

Yes. I'm sure one of the autism experts will come along to help more on this, but from what I recall (wrote a piece on it ages ago, for JakB in fact, small world and all that) it's very significant. It certainly cheered me up when DD2 wasn't saying anything much.

Still have the piece lurking around on my computer if you want a copy.

DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 15:18:45

yes please MI.

what about silly play? The most recent one is i'll line up a bunch of toys and then set his electric car to ram into them at great speed knocking them all down. He laughs hysterically at this and starts setting them up himself and starting the car off at them. do you think you would see this kind of reaction in an autistic child?

motherinferior Thu 14-Apr-05 15:20:46

I honestly don't know - don't know whether it counts as imaginative play or not. CAT me for the piece, but I'm also sure more expert MNers will be along anon!

RnB Thu 14-Apr-05 15:24:08

Message withdrawn

Jimjams Thu 14-Apr-05 15:29:04

Actually I think an ewasier way to tell is

do you come back from family days out in tears?
have you been banned from music groups/ tumble tots/something similar?
Put him in a group- eg story telling at the libt sure same as the other kids).

Not all toungue in cheek- I knew my friend's SIL was having problems with her son- although in many ways he seemed fine- wasn't sure until she saiid that every family outing ended up with her in the front seat in tears. Nursery was a nightmare- every meeting ended up with her in tears. Then I knew something was up- been there done that- anyway he's (a high functioning) AS/ADHD - not yet dxed- but being watched. He's very able, but althugh his problems are "mild" in the scheme of things she still has an absolute nightmare on trips/ with him in school/group stuff etc.

DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 15:31:19

what rigid routines would he have at 21mths? He plays with all his toys but is especially taken with trains and cars. he likes books very much and picks them up and brings them to us to read (of course he loses interest in them a few pages in).

i'll say 'go get my slippers' LOL and he'll do it! I'll get his shoes to go outside and he'll coming running to me to put them on because he loves being out doors and throws huge tantrums when you try to bring him back in.

RnB Thu 14-Apr-05 15:31:24

Message withdrawn

DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 15:34:26

that's a big problem you see. he has very little interaction with other kids so it's very hard to gauge his interaction. DW is a SAHM. She takes him to soft play and out to parks etc but he's never been in a playgroup or a nursery. days out are ok except that he's a 'bolter' but i don't think that's anything to do with development. you can call his name though whilst he's legging it away from you and he'll not even look back.

DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 15:38:01

he attacked a kid the other day at the park. he was crossing a narrow bridge and the other little boy around the same age was approaching from the other side and ds squealed at the top of his lungs and ran at the kid hitting him in the face.

he also will not sit on any toy tractors, trikes, cars etc but is obsessed with pushing them around and pointing at the wheels.

RnB Thu 14-Apr-05 15:39:27

Message withdrawn

DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 15:44:47

thanks RnB. He'll eat almost anything but he likes it mashed up and you have to busy him with something like a car or a book or just pots and pans or something.

ok, so the pointing is a good one. he does this alot and has done from a very early age.

I know what you're saying. Everyone says, it'll be fine which is comforting to a certain degree but i was looking for someone like you to come forward and say the things you've just said. thanks.

Jimjams Thu 14-Apr-05 15:52:47

You're right actually rnb- at 21 months ds1 was very good- and very normal. I think pointing at things of interest is a pretty big thing to be doing- that was the only sign really at 21 months that anything was amiss (the only other thing was that although he liked being around children if one appproached him directly and tried tom interact he'd blank them- it would be as if they didn't exist. Always responded well to adults though. Hasn't lined anything up yet. I allways sayy the overall picture of a child is important- which is why I posted the earlier list- autistic children- even the passive ones- can have major problems over weird things. Ds2 lines things up but is very NT. But even from a really young age of you chucked him with a group of children he knkew he had to use them as a cue for his behaviour.

coppertop Thu 14-Apr-05 15:55:41

I agree that the pointing is a very good sign. Ds1 didn't start pointing until 2.5yrs+. Ds2 started pointing at about 21-22mths(ish) but had to be taught what to do and what it meant etc.

Ds2 sometimes lines things up but ds1 never did. It's also good that your ds looks to see what your reaction will be when he does something. Ds1 didn't particularly care whether we were in the same room, never mind look at us. Ds2 is a lot more sociable in his own way but even he doesn't look round to see what we might be thinking.

Ds1 was diagnosed with autism at 3.5yrs. Ds2 goy a preliminary diagnosis of autism a couple of months before his 2nd birthday.

Saker Thu 14-Apr-05 16:01:41

In terms of speech, have you had his hearing checked, do you think there is any possibility of a problem with a lot of glue ear?

DaddyCool Thu 14-Apr-05 16:08:22

he was fiddling with his ears a while back and he was checked out as being ok.

ok, how about this one. He's extremely clingy (cries when put down, hates being left alone) and he constantly wants attention so for instance if dw and i are trying to have a conversation, he's in between us squealing and jumping all over us to re-direct the attention to him. Now, as far as i can tell autistic children don't necessarily want attention, they are happier doing their own thing, by themselves am i correct?

MommyD Thu 14-Apr-05 16:51:48

ds2 is 20 months old and has the same sounds as your son and nothing more. Like you, I have been concerned over the months, but am less so now. He understands everything and points to indicate what he wants. I am sort of expecting speech to come over the next 6 months or so. After that, if it hasn't arrived, I will no doubt start worrying again. Kids are all different. ds1 was talking in short sentences at 13-14 months!!!

chipmonkey Thu 14-Apr-05 17:06:47

DaddyCool, did he have a full hearing test or just someone looking in his ears? tbh I wouldn't worry just yet. He may be one of those kids who doesn't talk early but talk in sentences when he does start. Definitely doesn't sound autistic.

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