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Is this autism??

5 replies

XmasCarol5 · 21/12/2003 18:30

Hi, as some of you know our dd2 has global developmental delay and microcephaly (head circumference unusually less than average). She is 2yr 7mths. At the moment, she can sit unsupported but not crawl, pull to standing or walk. She has just started rolling (but only on the bed!)
She is mostly non-vocal, but does do a bit of babble (mostly mummummum etc) and occasionally says a clear word out of the blue.

We don't have any diagnosis, but recently I've been beginning to wonder if this is autism. She doesn't point but has good eye contact and seems quite affectionate/sociable. However, she is a terrible eater, won't spoon feed, must have the same brands of foods and drinks, will only drink out of one type of sippy cup. She is a bad sleeper, almost always waking at night hysterically crying and won't settle unless in our bed. Sometimes she is awake for hours in the night. Also she suffers quite badly with eczema.

Also she is very frightened of all new situations, is terrified of swimming, the bath, the hoover, all loud noises - especially trains, and is sometimes sick because she's so upset. She has a very sensitive head and gets hysterical if I try to brush her hair (or her sister's!)

Sorry this is so long, but wondered if some of this fits the bill for autism (jimjams?!) Can people with autism be non-mobile? Also, a fair few people on both sides of the family could well fit a diagnosis of Aspergers. Thanks in advance if you made it through this far!

OP posts:
Jimjambells · 21/12/2003 19:16

well aspects of autism often go with learning difficulties and developmental dealy (a fair number of children with DS for example have autistic characteristics). I'm not sure that they would diagnose autism with global developmental delay though as with autism there's often only a delay or disorder in communication etc.

She certainly sounds as if she has some of the language problems associated with autism and also some of the sensory issues. It wuld certainly be worth reading up about it a bit as I'm sure that many of the techniques used with children on the spectrum would be helpful to her.

There are loads of books out there on autism. One that I would recommend for describing the sensory problems and how they affect behaviour is A posititve approach to autism by stella Waterhouse. I've seen it in libraries A good place to browse is the publishers Jessica Kingsley. They have a large selection of autism books (and other special needs).

Do you have portage or anything like that?

XmasCarol5 · 21/12/2003 20:26

Thanks jimjams, we do have portage and she goes to an SN nursery 3 times a week. She's doing well there, I suppose I'm just searching in the dark for things it could be. It just struck me from some of your posts that dd2 certainly shared some autistic characteristics. Thanks again.

OP posts:
Davrosthesnowman · 22/12/2003 16:26

Agree with Jimjams that its hard to say as many of these behaviours/reactions go with other disorders. She does sounds like she has a lot of sensory problems thought and I'm not sure how common those are in other disorders, very typical of autism though. I do know a child with DS and autism and the difference between him and other DS kids is huge (in my little experience). The withdrawnness (!), the lack of interaction, not just communication difficulty but real problems with relating to others. DO let us know what happens. Have you mentioned it to any professionals yet? You never know what reaction you'll get, could be "yes, we thought so" or "don't be silly, you're just putting down expected difficulties to something else".....

XmasCarol5 · 22/12/2003 20:37

Hi davros, thanks, I think I'm beginning to understand this a bit better now - her main difficulty is probably an unknown syndrome of some sort, but she also shows quite a few autistic type behaviours/sensory problems.

I did mention it to the paed last time, but it was the first time she'd seen dd, so I couldn't really expect a reasoned answer. However, her nursery manager doesn't think she is very auti. She's got a review in Jan, so will mention it then.

The books look helpful jimjams, thanks for that. Definitely worth trying the techniques for the sensory probs.

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Jimjambells · 22/12/2003 22:03

It can take a long time to find an underlying cause. Had a chat with a freind tonight whose dd has had various dx added to an ever increasing list since she was 2. She thinks she has finally found "the syndrome"- no thanks to the NHS btw - she hasn't even seen a genetic counsellor. Having looked up the syndrome on the web I agree with her. A simple chromosome test should confirm one way or another.

In the meantime its worth trawling the internet now and then, but if she's showing sensory problem worth treating those anyway. Have you come acorss BIBIC? They are fantastic for the sensory stuff- we've been on a BIBIC programme for 6 months and it has definitely made a difference.

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