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Is this autism?

(27 Posts)
Aragon Sun 24-Apr-05 12:03:24

Help. I am currently working with a Mum who has a nearly three year old son with some worrying behaviour. I am wondering if he has autism. Mum says

He has been "different" from birth.
Never really liked being handled or cuddled.
Hates any change to his routine
Little speech (certainly not stringing any words together)
Has displayed odd behaviour like spinning around uncontrollably while looking at the ceiling (I know all children spin - you should see my DS but the way Mum and Dad described this was different.
At present has screaming tantrums which last around 45 mins after which he is "vague", vacant and exhausted (often falls asleep after them). The tantrums can be provoked by anything - a change in his routine, offering food when he doesn't want it etc. He often puts his hands over his ears during them. Dad says it's almost like he's had a fit with the vacantness afterwards.
He goes to a special nursery that he was referred to for assessment by the previous HV. They say he is a lovely little boy and have never seen the tantrums either, however, Mum gets them when he comes home from nursery. The nursery do say, however, that he is delayed in development.

On sight he can be happy, calm and placid and happily accepts me into his home environment(I'm a HV - was Amanda3266) so I've never witnessed a tantrum but I have heard them on the phone and they are beyond anything I've heard before. Also I may just have been fortunate not to witness a tantrum as he sometimes will accept no person into the house other than his Mum who is at present exhausted and at the end of her tether. He has been referred to a consultant paed but Mum was told this would take six weeks. By great good fortune I saw the consultant later that day at a meeting and approached her about him. I am so pleased I did as she was so nice and said straight away that she'd do a home visit to him with me next week (she hasn't even recieved the referral yet)so I am touched that she's making this effort.
Is this autism - I think it is and suspect that Mum does too - but I'm no expert. What do any of you think.

lynny70 Sun 24-Apr-05 12:30:35

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lynny70 Sun 24-Apr-05 12:35:19

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ggglimpopo Sun 24-Apr-05 12:37:28

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coppertop Sun 24-Apr-05 12:57:11

I obviously don't know whether or not he's autistic but the alarm bells would certainly be ringing for me.

The idea of videoing him is a good one. I did this for ds2's assessment and they were apparently very useful. The staff even said that they had thought about asking whether or not they could use it for training purposes. If the mother doesn't have a video camera then even an audio recording could be of help to show the severity of the screaming etc. If she gets the chance I would also advise her to write down absolutely everything she can think of that concerns her about his behaviour, development etc.

Does the little boy have access to any SALT etc?

P.S. I know I've asked before but please pretty please will you move nearer to me and be our HV?

Aragon Sun 24-Apr-05 14:49:50

Thanks for the replies. The video is a great idea and one that Dad has thought of. He has got just one on tape at the moment and I said to try and get another and show the paediatrician what he does. I'm a big believer in the parent's being the experts and I certainly believe this couple are right. Worst thing for them is that it is stopping them living a normal life and the older children are suffering. Just hope this paediatrician can give them some answers. He has been seen by SALT but it's early days yet. I do wonder if some of his tantrums are about frustration from the lack of communication. My friend has two daughters on the AS and she uses something called "Total Communication" which are basically pictures on a chart in each room so that her two can communicate "I want the TV on" etc. I think it's a fantastic system.

RnB Sun 24-Apr-05 14:53:44

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beccaboo Mon 25-Apr-05 11:00:47

I think it does sound like he needs to see someone to establish what's going on. It's good that you've heard one of his tantrums, so you can back the mother up - she must be frustrated if he only does it at home so other people don't understand.

dinosaur Mon 25-Apr-05 11:03:34

Agree lots of red flags.

Are you testing us out after what's been said on ASDFriendly??

beccaboo Mon 25-Apr-05 11:15:13

Hi Dinosaur - what has been said on ASDfriendly? [nosey emoticon]

coppertop Mon 25-Apr-05 11:26:04

Aragon/Amanda has been on mumsnet for a while now. She's just had a name-change, I think.

I agree that it can be such a relief to have someone else finally witness the behaviour. I felt like such a fraud explaining to people that ds2 had huge meltdowns at home, because outside of the house he is generally a happy, cheeky little toddler. The day the portage worker witnessed a mini-meltdown was a really good day for me. Would you be able to write a report of that for her to give to the Paed?

coppertop Mon 25-Apr-05 11:28:01

beccaboo - There's a thread somewhere in Chat (I think) with a title abot mumsnet being badmouthed elsewhere. There's a link in there to ASD friendly.

dinosaur Mon 25-Apr-05 11:31:27

I know coppertop but I think I saw a post from her (or at least someone called aragon) on ASDF.

coppertop Mon 25-Apr-05 11:33:49

You've obviously got a much better memory than me!

dinosaur Mon 25-Apr-05 11:34:42

Only looked at it this morning - missed all the controversy over the weekend!

dinosaur Mon 25-Apr-05 11:34:46

Only looked at it this morning - missed all the controversy over the weekend!

Jayzmummy Mon 25-Apr-05 11:34:46

Aragon did post on ASDF and was very supportive with regards to some comments made on the other site.

ASDF is a supportive site for parents of children with ASD and if you search the archives there you will find some very useful information regarding ASD issues.

dinosaur Mon 25-Apr-05 11:35:48

I'm not trying to start a row - i was being a bit tongue in cheek (need a tongue in cheek emoticon). No offence aragon and as coppertop says you must be a fab health visitor.

coppertop Mon 25-Apr-05 11:36:42

Are you okay, JM? From what I saw you were being given a tough time.

coppertop Mon 25-Apr-05 11:38:20

No more rows allowed on SN, thankyou very much. Or I'll send Lou after you.

Jayzmummy Mon 25-Apr-05 11:44:06

I can take it....lots of things went on behind the scenes at ASDF whilst I was an active poster there. Sadly I decided to leave the site when I was receiving unwanted emails and correspondance from a member.....this information has been twisted to make the other person look in a better light....and now I have been barred!!!!!

I highlighted comments that were being made on the other site because I knew that some of the "new" users, who were being not so nice on the previous thread started by Davros, were from that site and they had been encouraged to come on over to take a peep at the thread.

I just wanted a certain person, whom I hold the greatest respect for, to know that the people posting were not regular users of this site....I put my big fat arse on the line....but I valued her opinions and advice far to much to let this lie.

The other site moderators wrote to Mumsnet and asked them to ban me from here to.....thankfully they have chosen not to as I explained the reasoning behind my actions.

I am sad that the other site took the action that they did...and saddened more by the untruthful comments they have made about I said in my leaving post there...familiarity breeds contempt!!!

coppertop Mon 25-Apr-05 11:47:29

They wanted MN to ban you??? What on earth for?? Just for linking to their site?

I'm glad MN decided not to listen to them. That's awful!

Aragon Tue 26-Apr-05 07:50:31

Hi yes - I did leave a post on ASD friendly too. Visited it from the other thread. Said that MN was okay and not to feel threatened by the contentious stuff.[smile360]0.303030.0363
(The extra stuff is from DS who is 2 - hope you understood all.+

Aragon Tue 26-Apr-05 07:51:05

Very numerical as you can see.

Aragon Thu 28-Apr-05 14:32:21

Just an update for all of you who replied. Paediatrician visited with me today and did a full assessment. Is sending this little one for a brain scan and chromosome studies. Saw a tantrum start and also saw video footage that Dad had recorded of this child.
Parents just feeling relieved that someone is listening to them and took the time to visit and see their son. I am so impressed with this doctor - she still hasn't recieved the referral and yet making a home visit seemed no problem. How many paeds are there like this out there?

Spoke to Mum after and she said it was like seeing some light at the end of the tunnel as they may now get some answers to their concerns. I feel so sad for them as I suspect that this may still be the very beginnings of the struggle. I just hope there is some support for them out there.

PS: Thank you for the nice comments - but I'm sure that I don't get it right all the time. Just feel that being a parent of a young child myself I can hopefully appreciate what's helpful and what's not. And I was really fortunate that the day I saw this Mum last week I also happened to see the paed at a meeting in the afternoon. Good fortune rather than me being or doing anything special. Just relieved that someone has seen this child and is taking the family's concerns seriously.

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