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People with autistic children.....

(76 Posts)
Jimjams Tue 07-Jun-05 13:17:27

Straw pole (if you can remember)

When did your autistic child start to reach out? Did they play with baby gyms or just look at them for example?

If you can say whether you think they werte autistic from birth or regressed that would be helpful as well. If you think they regressed any identifiable trigger would be helpful. I'll explain why later....

I'll go first.

Ds1 used to look at baby gyms but never reached out. We went to baby swimming classes and he didn't reach out for the swimming toys until 7 months. When people gave him presents he never took them. Still often needs a verbal prompt to take things from people.

I think he was stuffed by thimerosal in baby jabs, and regressed further at 11 months following eczema herpeticum.

coppertop Tue 07-Jun-05 13:38:43

I've got to rush off but will be back soon to answer.

Jimjams Tue 07-Jun-05 13:41:11

thanks (bring on MDF if you want as well- his answers would be interesting)

Socci Tue 07-Jun-05 13:45:44

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Socci Tue 07-Jun-05 14:06:10

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coppertop Tue 07-Jun-05 14:26:04

Ds1 used to have a baby gym. I hadn't thought about it before but he used to kick at the objects that were hanging down rather than try to grab them with his hands. I didn't know back then that his hands were so sensitive. I don't remember him reaching out as a baby at all tbh. I don't remember an exact time but I think he started reaching out for things when he started to talk - about 3yrs-3.5yrs I think.

I would say he was definitely autistic from birth. He had to be tube-fed because he wouldn't let anything in his mouth. He screamed a lot for the first few months and then became very placid.

I don't think the 2 DTP imms he had did him any favours tbh. He was far more closed off than ds2 at the same age but the difference may be due to personality or the fact that ds2 has got far more early intervention.

Ds2 had some traits from birth. He didn't like loud noises at all yet would settle best if I put him in his car-seat next to the washing-machine.

There was some regression in the sense that he had 4 words at 10 months but then lost them, but the words were too perfectly pronounced IYKWIM so not usual baby speech. He didn't lose any other skills though so it probably doesn't count as a real regression and there was nothing happening at that age to trigger it.

He didn't naturally reach out for people at all so I taught him how to lift his arms up at about 16mths. He still doesn't really reach out for things that he wants. He just sort of flaps his hand in the general direction most of the time.


I'm too scared to change back to MDF in case the mumsnet team stop the name-changes and I'm stuck with it. I would be chased off the SN board by pitchfork-wielding MN'ers!

RnB Tue 07-Jun-05 14:34:29

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dinosaur Tue 07-Jun-05 14:47:03

DS1 just used to lie under his baby gym and look at the things. He was particularly taken with the little red bird on the side bar and would stare at that very intently.

I remember being worried about him quite early on because other babies his age were reaching out and getting hold of the side bits and using them to roll themselves over and he was still completely passive. He didn't reach out his arms to be picked up either.

However he was for a while, aged about 10 months, quite good at picking up a soft ball and rolling it back to me.

I don't think he regressed - I think he was autistic from birth - but I do think his behaviour changed after about four months - when he completed his course of thimerosal-laden jabs, but also when I went back to work.

macwoozy Tue 07-Jun-05 16:46:38

I believe my ds was autistic from birth. He constantly screamed and it was incredibly hard to encourage him to smile. I couldn't tell you the age at which he started to reach out for toys (so no help there then) but it was far later than usual in that it concerned the doctors enough to think that his sight might be impaired. (He has a squint) Nor did he stretch his arms out to be picked up. No regression though.

Socci Tue 07-Jun-05 18:18:12

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macwoozy Tue 07-Jun-05 18:59:59

Likewise with my ds, although he certainly understands the concept now. I have a video of him at Xmas, when he was 2.8 yrs, surrounded by presents, and he hadn't had the slightest urge to open any of them.

Davros Tue 07-Jun-05 19:10:52

My DS was the same as Macwoozy's. No interest in toys, I remember my niece holding a little toy above his eyes that had balls in it that rolled from one end to the other, she tipped it and he didn't follow it at all, must have been about 2 mos . He had the most terrible screaming from day one (and I still didn't use a dummy, nerr!), I describe it as "not being ready to be born", obviously a huge sensory overload for both of us! There was no baby-hood or early childhood regression and I don't think vaccinations had any adverse affect, no significant illness etc. He is also strong as an ox, almost never ill, only had antibiotics for the first time a couple of months ago. I also have at least 2 other people with autism in my family. My cousin's DS, who is younger than my DS, was about the same as far as I know.
Are we the first sample in your new and exciting job Jimjams?

aloha Tue 07-Jun-05 19:14:34

Ds isn't autistic but he is dyspraxic and a lot of these things seem familiar to me too. He was - iirc, very passive under his baby gym (but would cry to be picked up). So much so, I hardly used it. He didn't - again iirc - lift up his arms to be carried either.
It's amazing to me to see how much dd (4months) reaches out for things on her baby gym, toys with them and plays with them, and is urgently trying to roll etc etc. So, so different.
Ds also shows little interest in unwrapping presents. He doesn't seem to 'see' things either. Cannot be asked to get his shoes or anything and definitely does not follow a point properly. He points with his thumb sometimes when he does point. He's four in Sept.

JakB Tue 07-Jun-05 19:44:36

Davros- just read this- could the antibiotics have triggered the change in your Ds's behaviour?
Can they have a delayed effect?

Jimjams, DD did play with her baby gym and batted toys, she babbled early, she crawled and sat up early. But- in retrospect, didn't turn to her name and didn't play with toys functionally (just fiddled with things).
Had a definite 'regression' at around 8 months after a particularly severe ear infection. So she had DTP at 5, 6 and 7 months followed by antibiotics which I think definitely kicked off her autism. She stopped babbling. Autistic 'behaviours' started between 18 months and 2. Everything became more apparent when she walked at 16 months.

Saker Tue 07-Jun-05 19:56:08

Sorry Jimjams, diverting a bit off your thread but just wanted to say as ever to Aloha - your ds is so like my ds2! I know they are very different in language development etc but pointing with the thumb, not following a point, passiveness as a baby all similar. Likewise with presents although he is getting more interested, I could still drive home with a present on the seat next to him in the car and he wouldn't hassle to open it. Because I had had a very alert Ds1 I was very acutely aware that Ds2 was not the same but couldn't quite put my finger on what was different.

The paed is finally talking about DCD/dyspraxia being a possible diagnosis although it will be a long time before we get there I think.

Ds2 did like his baby gym but played much more half heartedly than Ds1 ever had. He had generally less curiousity - with Ds1 I used to entertain him by leaving a bag of objects on the floor for him to take out and explore. I tried this with Ds2 but he never looked inside the bag. He was a very smiley baby and made a lot of eye contact at that age; people often came up to us in shops because he had caught their eye.

Saker Tue 07-Jun-05 19:58:37

Btw Aloha, have you thought of getting your Ds's eyesight checked? Dyspraxics often have visual tracking problems and I wonder if that is causing problems with following the point, locating stuff etc. You might find this link interesting:
here .

aloha Tue 07-Jun-05 19:59:08

If I'd had dd first, would have noticed ds's dyspraxia much earlier, I think.

Davros Tue 07-Jun-05 19:59:21

JakB, you're back! Interesting about the anti-biotics. I know exactly when it was so I'll check the dates to see if they coincide.

aloha Tue 07-Jun-05 20:01:45

I really would like to talk about how he 'sees' (or rather doesn't see) things but this doesn't seem the right thread, somehow.

Saker Tue 07-Jun-05 20:02:37

Sure, sorry Jimjams we will clear off now . Feel free to email Aloha if you want.

Jimjams Tue 07-Jun-05 20:02:59

Saker the smiley bit sounds like ds1

Thanks for these responses. I'm interested as ds1 not really reaching out was an early sign that things weren't right, and I've now discovered that its the first stage on the pathway to pointing. So........ Just pondering really. Just wondering if it could be a sign early on (well obviously it could but wondering how widespread).

Obviously now I've started collecting articles on autism and infancy I'm completey paranoid about ds3 He definitely plays, and explores, and reaches out, but his eye contact up close is crap, although much better (and socially responsive) from a little bit further away.

Davros- first project will be next year, but am starting to ponder and catch up on the literature.

Jimjams Tue 07-Jun-05 20:04:17

Davros- ds1 regressed after a heavy course of several antibiotics (and that's when all the food stuff started as well)

Davros Tue 07-Jun-05 20:06:34

Saker and Aloha, don't email, start another thread. Its interesting!
Interesting idea Jimjams. I am certain that there are clear signs from very early on (if its there iyswim) and indicators too that haven't been identified. I think DS's tendency to SIB had an indicator of the chin press. Early dx and early signs are a big interest of mine as I think anyone knowing much at all about ASD could have seen it in DS VERY early. I hate always hearing that parents notice something around the same time as MMR so its just a coincidence, I think a lot of the time that's when they first come to the notice of certain professionals and so that's what the data says.

Davros Tue 07-Jun-05 20:07:57

Oh, meant to say and there are those that change/regress around then too.

Saker Tue 07-Jun-05 20:09:24

It would be interesting to know how much already having had a child would influence how early parents realised. I'm sure I would not have thought Ds2 had problems as soon if I hadn't already experienced normal development.

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