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Should I still be concerned for ASD?
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Aycddi · 17/06/2022 16:22

Hi All, I have a 17 month old son. He never really did back and forth cooing when he was infant but the doctor always said he is fine. his motor skills were a bit delayed too (sat independently at 8 months and walked independently at 14 months). He had 2 words (with no meaning attached at 12-13 months) but then suddenly stopped it. So around 14 months I got very concerned as he had no words, no gesture except clapping, no proper play skills. The ECI evaluation appointment I got for June 7th. So in the meantime I worked with a private ST (3 hrs a wk) and OT (2 hrs a wk). and at home had daily 2+hrs floor based play sessions The play sessions and my ST's suggestions worked wonders for us so far. My little Boy who was not able to follow our pointing constantly points now showing me birds, bunnies, dog, trees, CARS and to show what he wants. I don't know how but within this 7-8 weeks from no words we are at almost 20+ words and shows additional 50words in books and flash cards. His receptive language is getting better as well. So finally when ECI did the evaluation last week they said he is doing great as a 17 month old and doesn't have any red flags yet - truth be told my son was so happy on the evaluation day, he even surprised us with his responses. Now this was the good part. But I do have some specific concerns -

  1. Regression: when my son was around 12 months he did have 1-2 words (i.e. mumma, dada) but most of the times without any meaning just babbling and also used to show his belly by lifting his shirt when asked. At 13 months he completely stopped those. That really scared me. I am confused was it regression - if yes then even though he is making such good progress right now should I keep worrying about regression?
  2. The Diagnosis of private ST it is: "mild to moderate constrictions in the DIR® Functional Emotional Developmental Levels'. Underlying contributing factors are sensory processing differences, sensory modulation difficulties, and challenges with motor planning and sequencing. And Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder (ICD-10: F80.2) and an Oral/verbal Apraxia (ICD-10: R48.2).” ---- I am just struggling to wrap my head around it. If I google all these big words they always gets associated with ASD.
  3. He will still have days when he wont respond much to me or follow a command consistently. It feels he understands but doesn't want to do it- is that a behavioral issue?
  4. All his therapist and ECI said he has good eye contact and joint attention. According to me it depends on the day/his mood. He can have great eye contact but most of the time does that only when we do something he really likes (sing to him or say his favorite Rhymes) or else he does not look much.
  5. He will sleep in my arms at night but doesn't like kisses or hugs at all. He always wants to be around us-never wants to be alone and sometimes he just takes my hand to put on his face or while playing come and sit in my lap - so I just thing his love language is different and he shows affection a bit differently. Should I be concerned?
  6. I am not seeing any benefit from OT session yet but some folks have told me that's how OT works (very slow progress). My son cannot drink with a straw or straw seepy cups - He just doesn't understand what we are asking him to do. The OT hasn't been able to help much yet..
  7. His play skill hasn't improved much he still tries to put everything in his mouth. Its very hard for us to make him sit and play with puzzle/blocks etc. He will drive the car though and sometime hug his teddy bear and tries to make us drink from his toy cups.
  8. Even though ECI said no red flags for now- as mentioned above I do see concerns. Has anyone seen cases where the early evaluation did not flag anything but later ASD was diagnosed? Do I need to keep worrying for couple of years about ASD? I have been in such a bad place for last few months but his progress gave me hope.
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PritiPatelsMaker · 19/06/2022 10:12

We haven't had an early assessment but I was just wondering if anyone had suggested doing the MChat Test. If the risk is medium to high I'd ask the GP for a referral to a Paediatrician for a formal assessment.

If you post in the SN section you may get a few more replies to your question too Flowers

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Aycddi · 20/06/2022 14:46

Thank you @PritiPatelsMaker . I have done the mchat screening. At 17 months he has 3 negative points. I will do the assessment again when he is 18 months old and talk to his pediatrician. The pediatrician earlier sent us to Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for assessment and last week they said they do not see any red flags right now.

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vera16 · 20/06/2022 21:06

If you had never been worried enough to see a ST and had the assessments would you now be worried about the development of your 17-month old? Perhaps not. Just try enjoy your time with him rather than constantly assessing him. He will have a 2-yr assessment in any case and there's nothing else you could be doing that you aren't between now and then. The 'regression' you mentioned could just be him moving on from meaningless babble to starting to understand words.

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Mummyof287 · 20/06/2022 21:13

He is still VERY little...I'm not saying he doesn't have autism as I don't know him, but many of the 'concerns' you have I don't see as concerning personally (mum of 2 and worked with lots of children especially of that sort of age) Some are more 'cuddly' than others, 8 months abit on the later side for sitting but 14 months for walking about average.Boys are often much slower with language acquisition than girls...often they seem to have a burst of language development around 2ish IME, and you say he is coming on with that.Many children put things in their mouth regularly during toddlerhood (hence the no small parts for under 3 guidance with toys).I would take a step back, enjoy your little boy and give it awhile.If in time your concerns increase and he is getting older and you are seeing more 'red flags' then by all means do get the support in, but just don't jump the gun worrying too much when you may not have to...I don't see major concern in much of what you've said personally xx

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Aycddi · 20/06/2022 23:10

Thank you @Mummyof287 i am trying to worry less and appreciate his improvements.

Thank you @vera16 I am really trying to focus on the positives more.

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