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DS as a baby ... opinions on possible asd signs i can recall?

(40 Posts)
mysonben Thu 10-Sep-09 18:15:59

DS was: (birth to age 2 approx.)

- a bad sleeper from birth, he had real difficulties to find sleep, we were lucky if he slept by 10pm. (Better now he has no daytime nap.)

-he was fascinated with the ceiling fan, and lights and buttons from phones, tv remotes,...he stared at them for ages.

-he was fussy when starting solids, took agessss to get used to lumpy foods, still is trouble at mealtime with chewing,...

-ds was very wary of strangers early on.

-terrified of loud noises and loud or highpitched voices.

-he would often hit his matress full force with his legs when awake (from around 9m). He kept that up for months.

-attention span for TV was so longggg, he was completely mesmerized by tv. Still is...

-cannot recall if ds ever pointed at things in his first year, but knows he wasn't pointing at age 18m, so we started teaching him, showing him how to point for things he wanted.

-ds took our hand and used our hand to point instead of his.

-ds took ages to learn to wave bye, and didn't copy us for nursery rhymes for instance. But he looked at us and giggled.

-from age 16 m, he'd gather shoes, tv remotes, dvds and cds, toys and would line them up or stack them, move one or two and place it back. He played like this for hours every day, but used some of his bigger toys like rocking horse appropriately.
A few months later he also used to kneel in front of his buggy and play with the straps for ages and started to play with doors open/close (still does)

-ds would need to be called many times or touched or he would not "hear" us , we laughed about his selective hearing att!

-ds did not understand/notice very simple sentences and instructions.

-lots and lots of unexplained tantrums, always overly emotional reactions across the whole range from sad to happy.

-his babbling was basic and limited, not many different sounds .

-ds mumbled "mama" but not meaningly addressed to me until near 18m.

-play always limited, especially pretend play, quickly became obssessed with cars and trains (he did flick their wheels too a fair bit), he played alone and never wanted us to entertain him.

- DS was almost non-verbal at age 2 with only a few unclear words.
he did manage to copy SALT at feeding a teddy after being shown several times for his initial salt assessment at age 2, so salt ruled out asd on the ground that he managed to copy her and that he was giving some eye contact.

Sorry it's a long post...and well done if you've read this far. grin

If and when ds gets assessed by CAMHS, if they ask about him as a baby do you think the points above will be taken into consideration?
I seem under the impression that early development is important in a dx.
We're not even there yet, and i'm worried that they will just dismiss his issues and our concerns.

grumpyoldeeyore Thu 10-Sep-09 19:46:18

In our case DS regressed so everything pre 2 was entirely normal - except we though him a bit too easy going from 1-2 compared to his brothers, a bit independent and stubborn; but the ASD stuff, speech loss etc not happen until over 2. So I'm not sure how much emphasis they put on the history rather than the here and now, it wasn't very relevant for us. My DS has a thing about pushchair straps too - and ones on supermarket trolleys! Some ASD kids do imitate esp girls I believe. My DS is obsessed with songs and copies all the actions for those - he can sing but not talk and motivated if I sing the words (this is the way we brush our teeth etc) but ignores me if I talk! In fact he does all the actions exactly (but then gets cross if we deviate!) I got him to copy me feeding a doll when he first regressed (desperately trying to convince myself was not ASD) and he can copy things like this at times but he does not ever choose to play like that spontaneously. He plays with toys normally but ones with concrete functions eg train sets, shape sorters, jigsaws, buttons to press - not things which are abstract eg a doll (probably thinking whats it do?). So again depends what kind of toy you give him. In our case it was very much a diagnosis on what they saw on the day + evidence that had lost skills. Even with the regression I got the impression they only really believed how many skills had lost when his nursery agreed - our word was not good enough. Our clin psych brought toys eg animals to see if make noises / play with them and a bag of tricks and then see if interact with him / us - then observed him whilst asked us questions - noticed things like use peripheral vision etc and jumping up and down / flapping. I have never noticed my son flap but perhaps I just think its normal! So I guess my point is that they will probably only want to diagnose on what they actually see - the rest is helpful background but they won't diagnose just because you say he used to do all these things.

mysonben Thu 10-Sep-09 19:49:56

Just re-read my post, seriously rambling on...
sorry blush

I suppose there is a tiny bit of my mind who is still in denial, so i post all of ds' behaviours past and present to sort of see if it confirms what paed has said about ds having mild asd, if that makes any sense?

mysonben Thu 10-Sep-09 20:01:44

GrumpyOE, thank you for reply.

Yes i see wym, i expect what they can see for themselves is the main part for dx, the past well, the doctors wern't there at the time so it's just our word really.

There never was a noticable regression with my DS, aprt from maybe with communicative gestures such as pointing and even then i'm not sure taht he did ever point spontanously.
He just progressed very slowly and by age 18 his was already behind iykwim?
If i had to say it in one sentence, it'd be: ds has always been more intersted in objects and toys than in people.

jasdox Thu 10-Sep-09 20:57:57

Ds2 is 12m now so in many respects highlighting the differences ds1 has. Except to add to confusion ds was always v. affectionate and good eye contact (well with parents).

- at soft play instead of playing going to all the prams to spin there wheels.
- loved and still does stuffing anything into something, cars into plane or bus, people into transporters etc
- could put the pull-out puzzles out and back with remarkable speed, before 12ms, likewise with stacking toys
- open/closing doors
- no attempt as sounds really, could only say 'hello' by 2, started about 2.9.
- not bothered by grandad/aunties more interest in the cars
- would always spin wheels whilst lying down or tipping his head sidewards
- when started walking at 18m would grab or hand and take us to the object
- hugh problems breastfeeding and terrible reflux sad
- still wants us to feed us, likes soft food, apart from banana/apple no fresh food
- never put things in his mouth till over 2
- seemingly a v.v. laid back boy!
- did not follow simple instruction
- at nursery never really responded to his name at only after several attempts at home
- loved jigsaw at 2, but abandoned them having got a house full of them
- at 2.6 development test 9ms behind, further socially, visually unsurprisingly ahead. no noticable regression.

just a few! smile

now his brother - known his name for ages, places differently with his toys, v. vocal, always wants to be in thick of it, especially grandad, take or leave cars, pointing already, saying bye bye, v. engaged, determined, eats everything - all goes in his mouth, grapes a fav, loves his brother.

mysonben Thu 10-Sep-09 23:20:01

Thank you for replying Jasdox.

lingle Fri 11-Sep-09 08:52:01

"If i had to say it in one sentence, it'd be: ds has always been more intersted in objects and toys than in people"

I think it's great that you've got to the point where you can encapsulate your thinking like that. Perhaps put that sentence at the top of any list of notes you give the doctor. Otherwise, say it first.

"Heard language as music" is my even shorter summary of my child- but I've done hundreds more long posts than you so have had even more practice working out my thoughts!!!!!

Jo5677 Fri 11-Sep-09 13:21:44

I was looking back at photos of my son as a baby and young toddler the other day and they brought back a ton of memories. I knew from him being about 12 months old something was 'a miss'. I actually got him to a child development center at 18 months,after much arguing to get him there at such a young age but after 6 weeks they confirmed what i'd hoped that they wouldn't really.

He was always comming out with allergies,his little eyes were always red and sore as he seemed to be allergic to his own tears (not good when he'd spend some days in a constant tantrum).

Anyway signs i now realise were...
He wouldn't take part in actions for rhymes.
He wouldn't point at things.
He used to rub the back of his head obsessively against his bouncer or a chair.
He had to be called several times before he'd turn to see what you wanted.
He used to take my hand a lot to show me what he wanted rather than ask.
Very limited speech.
A preocuppation with putting things in and out of things,open,closing doors.
A bit of a funny gait.
He'd carry his hands almost at shoulder height when he'd walk.
He wasn't good on equipment at parks.
He was extremely fussy over what he would and wouldn't eat/drink,for example he'd only drink his juice if he saw it came out of a robinsons bottle,otherwise he'd scream and go without !
Rather than play with cars he'd just spin their wheels.

There were a few more indicators when i look back too. I think your gut instinct as a Mum is usually right. I really didn't want to be right but felt if i was the sooner he and we got help the better. He started portage before his 2nd birthday. He is almost 8 now and on the autistic spectrum,he's not academically bright but otherwise he does very well in mainstream school and i wish i'd known years ago how well he'd do,it would have saved me a lot of worry and heartache. I've been very lucky that he's come/comming through as well as he is.

I only wish proffessionals had taken more notice of these signs and taken them seriously when i raised them. As getting them to put him on the CDC list was a nightmare as they just kept telling me that he was fine but just developing a bit slow !

mysonben Fri 11-Sep-09 14:24:05

Lingle, i'll take your advice on the one sentence, sometimes it's better to get to the point quickly instead of rambling on (i'm an expert for that!wink)where a lot of you say can be overlooked i expect.

Jo5677, there is quite a lot of similarities in the early signs between your ds and mine i see.
Up to age 18 m, we just perceived DS as a difficult tot who was stubborn and independant in his ways ( him not seeking us out for play and attention). We started to worry about his lack of speech shortly after that.

I remember a few other things like how he would open the bathroom cabinet door and get everything out and put it back all in over and over, or how he'd bang/slam his legs hard against his matress right up until he finally feel asleep.
He'd often shake his head in a "no" motion lots and lots.

I remember talking about some of the stuff DS did, with my friend who has a DD the same age as DS. And she'd say "yes but your DS can play alone with a few cars for hours, not a peep out of him! My dd is a nighmare always in my skirts wanting something...boys seem so much easier!"

A couple of times i approached the HV about the problems for sleeping, eating, tantrums,... i was told some children are easier than others!

Jo5677 Fri 11-Sep-09 15:07:12

My HV said the same. Also because my eldest child has a terminal condition i was questioned lots as to if i thought my son's developmental problems were caused by me maybe just not paying him enough attention. I was gutterd by those questions as i knew he got lots of my attention and despite his problems he was and is a very affectionate little boy. Also he wasn't the youngest,he was my 3rd child,my 2nd child,the one before him hadn't suffered any problems through having an elder sibling with an illness,infact she is very clever.

I have had 3 health visitors over the years and i'm sure there are some excellent ones out there but i think we've been pretty unlucky with the one's we've had as a family.

Oh also,re reading your msg,i remember my son used to bang his feet on his matress 9not cry) until he fell asleep almost every night until he was about 2 and a half !

mysonben Fri 11-Sep-09 16:14:25

Yes ,DS did the legs slamming thing for a longggg time, come to think about it i think he stopped shortly after he moved from cot to toddler bed at age 2.
DS didn't cry either i think he liked doing it and his cot mattress was really firm, he just lay there on his back and "bang...bang " rhymically did it.
When the banging noise stopped we knew he 'd fallen asleep. wink
DS was also affectionate with us. When i went to HV re:sleep, food, tantrums,... she asked if he liked cuddles? i said yes. She said that's ok then,...blah,blah. hmm
She also said to me, your ds doesn't talk and respond well to instructions because you are a bi-lingual home (i'm originally from france).
So, i said : DS1 (who is 16Y, NT), was a bit late talking too (although he quickly caught up) but that didn't stop him responding to us and he was a very different kid , so friendly!!!
Again i was dismissed. Not that i thought that DS had asd at the time , but i found him different, more difficult to fathom, iyswim?

5inthebed Fri 11-Sep-09 16:24:35

DS2 dx at 2.6:

-never held anything in his hands at all until he was 15/16 months. Refused finger foods
-terrible with lumpy foods, took forever to get him to eat lumps
-would lie on the floor and roll cars/buses past his eyes
-open and closed doors constantly
-flicked lights on and off constantly
-only ever lined things up once. It was a tube of pringles, crisp by crisp from one end of the living room to the other, and then ate them one by one
-no interest in playing with others
-would lie under his bed and play with toys (rolling cars)
-freaked out by anything that moved when it shouldn't, like electric toys
ran around like a humming bird (tip toes and flapping arms)
-flapped hands in front of his face
-high shrill scream
-Never talked until he was over 3
-hated baths
-would only wear brightly coloured (almost clown like) shoes

I could go on and on. He doesn't do some of the above as much though.

Jo5677 Fri 11-Sep-09 16:25:36

Totally know what you mean,as at first i couldn't quite put my finger on what it was about my son that wasn't quite right,then i thought the things i did put my finger on were probably irrelevant and maybe didn't indicate anything as each child is an individual.

Lol at 'when the banging noise stopped we knew he'd fallen asleep'...that was exactly the same with my son.
Forums like this are brilliant for exchanging experiences on.

I hope when your son is assesed it goes well and that your concerns are taken seriously.
Good luck,Jo.

mysonben Fri 11-Sep-09 16:31:22

Thank you ladies for replies.

Barmymummy Fri 11-Sep-09 17:46:31

Really interesting thread this, I am very embarressed to say that I didn't really pay much notice to anything odd like these things mentioned because it simply never ever entered my mind that anything could/would be wrong with my little boy blush

However, looking back now what is facinating is that the following things describe my DD as a baby/toddler who is completely NT....

Completely passive, never cried
Slept constantly and I mean constantly. Took her to the hosp to see a paed she was that placid.
Refused solids, lumps etc. First ate some bread at 2 years old.
Late to talk. Didn't start til 2 years old but by 3 was completely fluent.
Screamed if we put her on sand or grass in bare feet.
Didn't point much.
Used our fingers/hands to point out pictures/words in books.
Zero tantrums, never had one.

There are probably more but have forgotten. Now I promise you my DD is completely NT, is thriving at school and has many friends. If I had read the 'symptoms' of ASD when she was little I would have pooped myself!!!

Now when DS was born I assumed he would follow a simliar line so when he was eating great, sleeping like a normal baby ie waking up (!!), crawling, walking etc etc I really didn't worry when he wasn't pointing or talking much. It is only since he turned 3 that I started to think this tantrum thing was getting silly.

Now his traits now/when he was a baby are as follows:

No pointing/sharing interest until much later. Great now, irritating in fact grin.
Late to talk and when he did it was echolaliac. Still has mild speech/language probs.
Tantrums way out of control with fierce temper when told no! Tantrums wayyyyy less now but still hates being told no!
Lying on floor and pushing trains/cars along the floor with no commentary.
Posting things through flaps, gaps and holes!
Opening and shutting doors.
Constantly looks for ways to make things 'fall' either on their own or by pretend falling.
Loved trains, car park barriers, traffic lights etc
Hated dressing up.

Again probably loads I have forgotten!

I do look at DD and wonder if we got off lightly with her despite her ASD traits when she small and wonder why DS came off worse? Know what I mean?

Just goes to show though that NT kids really can display ASD traits when small. Facinating looking back actually comparing them

Barmymummy Fri 11-Sep-09 17:47:48

Oh forgot to say that DD is not good at coordination either and even now still struggles with a knife and fork, do wonder if she is slightly dyspraxic??

DS however is amazing! Been doing stuff from a very early age and excels at sport, balance, fiddly things etc....weird.

5inthebed Fri 11-Sep-09 19:20:45

I meant to add that DS2 couldn't, and still can't kick a ball.

LeonieSoSleepy Sat 12-Sep-09 17:15:27

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LeonieSoSleepy Sat 12-Sep-09 17:20:08

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LeonieSoSleepy Sat 12-Sep-09 17:24:43

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LeonieSoSleepy Sat 12-Sep-09 18:08:18

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Marne Sat 12-Sep-09 20:12:15

Dd1 (AS) as a baby:
- Poor sleeper
- started making herself sick from 9 months old if we didn't give her what she wanted.
- Hated strangers (hated females but would sit on a mans lap)
- Hated the pushchair and car (never slept in car)
- Not a cuddly baby.
- would not have any blankets over her.
- Hated being changed and pocked around.
- Said her first words at 10 months but walked late.
- Lined up toys from 10 months old.
- A very unsettled baby.
- Gagged on lumps, ate puree until 2 years old.
- very fussy eater (this has got worse)
- Hated loud noise (hoover etc..) and would cover her ears.

Dd2 (ASD)
- very easy going baby
- very clingy (slept on my chest, loved cuddles)
- Slept well
- Good eye contact

Dd2 was a normal baby, we didn't really notice anything until her speech did not develop (age 2), then her ASD traits became more clear, covering her ears, humming, non responsive to my voice.

LeonieSoSleepy Sat 12-Sep-09 20:37:14

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lingle Sat 12-Sep-09 20:51:41

just the language, pointing and tv attention span ones for me mysonben. Most oddly he has lost interest in tv now.

LeonieSoSleepy Sun 13-Sep-09 09:42:43

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