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Do you think my 18 month old DS is autistic? Need opinions please.

70 replies

honeybee95 · 01/04/2021 15:59

Probably not the best place but just wanted opinions and there is always high volumes of traffic in aibu.

My DS has just turned 18 months old and I’ve never been concerned about his development, however my sister keeps making comments so I just wanted some outsider opinion.

He is very interactive and expressive, gives me constant eye contact, he will follow where I point, he will point for things he wants. He answers to his name. He will join in with make believe play, he will feed the baby, answer his little phone. Loves the company of other children, he babbles constantly, he currently has around 10 words. I’m not sure if that’s a good amount for his age? He’s always been quite advanced in his physical development. He was practically running at 11 months. He loves physical contact, loves to cuddle and sit with me, gives kisses etc. He loves to play with me and daddy, he will bring toys for us to play all together, such as his track to build for him and then he’ll get his cars to play.

He goes to nursery one day a week currently and they don't have any concerns. He can be quite shy with new people and lots of children overwhelm him, but he will get involved after about 5 minutes.

The last few days, he’s been moving objects from one place to the other. Like his bricks, he’ll move them all out of the basket and onto the sofa and then move them all back. I thought it was just a stage of play all kids discover. If his favourite tv show comes on he will completely zone out to watch, you pause it and he’s back in the room. My sister said these are signs of autism. She keeps making comments constantly about him being autistic and it’s starting to get at me. Are those two things enough? She seems pretty confident. My two younger brothers are autistic and I do know some of the signs to look out for, and I’m obviously more aware he’s at a higher risk because of the family link. Just need some opinions as a worried first time mum. Should I be worried?

OP posts:
AtrociousCircumstance · 01/04/2021 18:19

He sounds completely typical. Your sister sounds like someone with a hang up/axe to grind/reason to be envious of you.

Is there any reason why she might want to worry and undermine you?

LetsSplashMummy · 01/04/2021 18:22

If you had been able to go to toddler groups, you wouldn't be worried. He's the exact age they all like moving things around, it's why they fight over the little shopping trolleys and wagons.

Mammyloveswine · 01/04/2021 18:28

I'm a nursery teacher, SENCO and also have a son with ASD.

Your little boy sounds absolutely spot on for his development! I wouldn't be concerned in the slightest!

Signpost your sister to "schemas".. repetitive play that is a normal part of young children's development.

She is out of order and I would tell her so.

CloudFormations · 01/04/2021 18:32

I don’t think anyone can diagnose autism over mumsnet, but it does sound like your sister is jumping the gun a bit. Everything you describe sounds like the behaviour of a neurotypical child, and while some behaviours may present in autistic children too, that doesn’t necessarily point to a diagnosis at this stage.

Your sister should back off - it’s not her job to diagnose. If you have any concerns you should speak to a HV or your GP, but I honestly don’t think there is cause for that at the moment.

Lollypop701 · 01/04/2021 18:33

I have no experience of autism, but sounds fine to me. You mention that autism runs in family... is your sister worried about her own children/projecting? Just thinks all boys in family will have this? My response would be, he’s fine right now, I will sort anything that comes up but either way he will be loved and have a wonderful life so I can’t get too het up about it. So let’s just leave it there for now, so I can enjoy my little man as he is. If she mentions again rinse and repeat

snowone · 01/04/2021 18:34

I don't think you have anything to worry about at the minute. Sounds like an normal 18 month old to me!

Goslowlysideways · 01/04/2021 18:36

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this but he could be a schema. Children who follow certain ways of playing. Lots transport things. Others wrap things and another one is tying things together.
Loads of children do this, transporting is especially popular.
I taught a child whopved to tie things together.
It's so interesting.

AnnaSW1 · 01/04/2021 18:37

That's a pretty normal stage. I wouldn't worry. It's the kind of thing people who don't know much about autism or normal child development say.

KOKOagainandagain · 01/04/2021 18:42

Forget your sister OP. Do you have concerns? Maybe you are hyper-vigilant due to family history. The pointing, following points is pretty out-there - it was an issue for the comm paed assessing DS2 when he was 7 but I was unaware despite having an older child with ASD.

DS2 is hyporesponsive to pain stimuli. He had 2 admissions to ED as a toddler once with a perforated ear drum and once with a bowel prolapse. On both occasions medical staff were shocked when they examined him as his pain response was negligible.

If you have sensory concerns you don't need them to be validated by behavioural issues to talk to your doctor.

SplendidSuns1000 · 01/04/2021 18:44

I highly doubt he is autistic or neurodivergent. Repetitive movements or obsessions with moving blocks from one place to another are called Schemas. They're just patterns of play children get into. Zoning out is completely okay, it just shows he's paying attention.

Tell your sister to do some research because she clearly has no idea what ASD entails.

SnackSizeRaisin · 01/04/2021 18:54

He sounds normal and completely average for 18 months. It's normal for toddlers to play repetitively. They are famous for it. Also if he's not crying are you sure he's actually hurt? Falling over isn't necessarily painful, they are low to the ground and lightweight. If it's something like a deep cut or broken limb or black eye and he still doesn't cry it would be strange. Mine is always falling over but cries more due to shock or frustration than pain, if anything.
If your sister keeps going on you should tell her to shut up. I hope she isn't criticising your son in his hearing either. In a few short months he will understand every thing.

SnackSizeRaisin · 01/04/2021 18:56

Also if you think he's getting too obsessed with TV, then either turn it off or find something a bit less mesmerising for him to watch. You will probably find that there are certain programmes that are really fascinating and others that are only mildly interesting!

HeraInTheHereAndNow · 01/04/2021 21:47

Doesn’t sound typical to me. My son was diagnosed with autism aged 4. I knew at 8 weeks something was very different.

He’s 20 now. Clever boy but still, very obvious. Still lining stuff up, all over the house.

LadyCatStark · 01/04/2021 21:52

You haven’t described a single thing that would suggest your son has autism. It sounds like your sister wants him to have autism for some reason...

Tinydinosaur · 01/04/2021 21:58

Its too early to know but i honestly don't think there's anything concerning about his behaviour at all. There's nothing that would make me think autism in what you said. Every kid I know spaces out when watching TV.

BlackeyedSusan · 01/04/2021 22:02

I knew/suspected by 12ish months one of mine was autistic, it was the obsession with the coat hanger and wheels.

T'other one, erm,by a out 8 or so. The were bloody great big signs earlier, but you know different presentation and well, I thought of her as the NT one so dismissed them. Then the peer group accelerated away socially... So I looked into it more and now we both have a diagnosis.

Yours, not seeing any major red flags, as a previous poster pointed out he is doing the opposite of some things.

MrsDSalvatore · 01/04/2021 22:06

My twins are 20 month and do pretty much the same with he moving of things to one place then back. My little girl also went through a phase of lining all her teddy bears and dolls up in a row and would be very particular about how she would place them. If they got accidentally moved or out of place she would become absolutely inconsolable. She still lines them up now and again but not the the extreme she would a few months ago. At the time I was abit concerned but read online that this can be quite common for NT toddlers around that age.
My little boy will always zone out if a program or song comes on he enjoys. Won't even respond to me or my DP when we speak to him.

Doesnt seem like anything to be concerned about in my opinion but I'm obviously not a trained doctor so can't say for a fact.
I think you need to speak to your sister and ask her to stop with the unnecessary and unhelpful comments.

KarmaViolet · 01/04/2021 22:09

It doesn't sound hugely likely from what you've said.

The brick transporting is normal. The 'zoning out' - yes some autistic people do this when absorbed, but NT people also do it with television. What happens when you turn it off - DD at that age would have a meltdown if her favourite show was paused unexpectedly. She also echoed what was said, in the exact intonation, sometimes meaningfully and sometimes not. It can be startling when Bing suddenly appears behind you while you're hanging laundry Grin

Not crying when hurt - that could potentially be a sign of a sensory processing difference if he isn't feeling pain, but if he is coming to you for comfort that's an indicator of being NT. DD would drop to the ground and cry when hurt but wouldn't come to me for comfort, it just didn't seem to occur to her.

At 18m there were beginning to be indicators for DD beyond anything you describe - licking / mouthing anything shiny, constant flapping, echolalia, screaming at transitions - and even then, we were told that was within the bounds of what was ordinary toddler development and just to keep an eye and see if it persisted.

ThatsNotTheTeaHunty · 01/04/2021 22:09

Oh your sister is a medical professional who can diagnose children with autism as young as 18 months?. Didn't think so. She needs to keep her unwanted opinions to herself. She's utterly ridiculous and making you fret over nothing.

My 20 month old DS is pretty much the same. He says some words then doesn't say it again. He puts his toys all over the place. Which kid doesn't. As soon as his favourite programme comes on he's takes interest. Which I would expect.

This is not in any harsh way to you OP just winds me up when people make comments over silly things and make people worried.

KarmaViolet · 01/04/2021 22:11

PS - when I say the brick transporting is 'normal,' I don't mean 'distinct from autistic behaviour,' I mean 'is ordinary for both ND and NT children of that age.'

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