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5 month old - Early signs of autism?
30

Firstimemam · 26/06/2019 17:07

Hello,

I’m usually just a quiet user who silently reads all posts but I’m starting to get worried about my little one. This does not mean I don’t love my baby, I do and he is the light of my life but I thought I reach out and maybe you can tell me what you think. I’m not even sure if this helps but I just need to pour my heart out as I haven’t talked about it.

Louis turned 5 months yesterday and since birth, his eye contact has not been great. All the mummy eye gaze people talked about, I didn’t get for the first 8 weeks at all. He then slowly started looking at me when on his back in this moses basket and I was looking down on him (if that makes sense?), it has got slightly better but it’s still only fleeting and there is no stare, he is not interested in faces, not mine, not my husbands if he gets into our field of vision, I do get a lot of smiles but he wouldn’t be looking for my face, I have to move my head to be in his field of vision.

He has not rolled over once and won’t use his arms in the way the other babies use their arms, they lie by his sides rather than are in the air in an anti gravity way unless he wants to reach for something but even that is limited, he only grabs whatever is above his chest and belly, if I hold it over his head or anywhere beyond his shoulder, he wouldn’t reach for it. He does grab his feet and gravity then makes him roll onto his side. When he has the toy in his hand, he wouldn’t play with it or shake it, everything goes straight to his mouth, sometimes without him even looking at it.

He doesn’t like being cuddled, he loves being carried over my shoulder or outwards facing, he hates the cradle position when being held. He likes to stand on his little feet and look around and seems to be very curious.

He doesn’t understand peek a boo, I tried it many times and hoping it’ll still come. He just seems so different to all the babies in the baby classes/ groups. I love him to bits but it he turns out to be on the spectrum, I would like to help him as soon as I can. I like being in control and find it very hard to just wait and see and not be in control.... this has turned out to be a really long post but just needed to get it all off my chest xxx

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Punxsutawney · 26/06/2019 18:19

My son is being assessed for autism at 15 so I'm probably not a great one for early signs but looking back now there were indications from when he was quite small.

I'm not sure if 5 months is really too young to be thinking about autism though. I think your best bet would be to relax about it as much as you can and just keep an eye on how he develops. Maybe your health visitor might be able to give you some advice on development. They are really so tiny still at five months that so much can change as they grow. Try not to worry too much.

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Alwaysgrey · 26/06/2019 18:22

I picked up signs in my dd at that age. I didn’t know what it was but knew something wasn’t quite right. She was diagnosed at 6 and her sibling later at 4. I’d keep some notes and mention it to your hv. Has he had his hearing tested?

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LightTripper · 26/06/2019 18:27

I didn't really see any differences in my DD but it is really early and I know there are a lot of variations in "normal". So although I know some parents look back and say "I knew" (or even know at the time if it's their 2nd or later child) for the rest of us it's pretty hard to tell.

I know waiting is horrible (I had a bit of this with my DS as we had just been told DD was probably autistic so I was watching him like a hawk and didn't enjoy his tiny babyhood as much as I should), but do bear in mind that in terms of helping him as soon as you can, the things you would do to help him if he did turn out to be autistic would be all the things you are doing already (trying to engage him, showing him that the world is interesting and fun, trying to find out what he likes and getting involved in doing that together with him). You read these websites about autism and the importance of "early intervention" but don't forget that a lot of those websites have a lot of money invested in trying to get parents in the US to sign up to massively expensive "treatments" (where the jury is really still out on whether these are a good idea or not ... there are some concerns about long term mental health impacts, and whether these very intensive interventions are actually just teaching kids to mask their autism rather than how to navigate the world better as an autistic person).

I know saying "don't worry" isn't very helpful, but try not to worry too much. DD is lovely and very happy, we have a very happy family life. The important thing is to engage with him on his own terms, start to understand what he enjoys and get involved in that, but it sounds like you are doing all these things already. If he doesn't like peek a boo work out what he does like and do that with him (so he learns that you are helpful to him and make his world a better and more interesting place). Maybe try giving him a range of different things to mouth if that is what he likes, and make a game of that. Maybe put stuff in your mouth too so you can share the experience with him (I may be going a bit far there but you get the idea!). The fact he is already curious about the world is a great sign of an interesting little character in the making!

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Firstimemam · 26/06/2019 20:48

Thanks everyone! You’re completely right, there is no point in worrying as what will be, will be but it’s easier said than done as I’ve always been such a worrier! I’ve seen a pediatrician but they just brush you off at this age which I completely get to be honest.

And yes, i do try to do all the things he likes, he doesn’t always like his pram so I always have the sling with me, I know he sees more and likes it - he likes looking at the trees and the world around him, he likes m&s & all shops ( so much to see) he loves swimming, so we go every monday, he likes the teething rings that have water inside and I keep them in the fridge as his face is priceless when it goes in his mouth and he realises it’s cold, he likes all toys that light up, so got a few more from the NCT sale, he likes when I sing to him, it also helps a lot with the eye contact as he really looks at me then, if I need a break, I put him in his cot as he’s got his mobile in there which he really likes - win win! I really do love him more than anything and I’ll be there no matter what.

Thanks for all the lovely messages, I didn’t expect to receive a response at all but this helped me, honestly xx

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Ambydex · 28/06/2019 09:49

He is very young. Maybe keep an eye out on his hearing and eyesight. Hearing difficulties have a similar profile to autism in toddlers, and there are a few things that you've said that could be consistent with a child seeing the world a bit blurry.

My NT child, who was always way ahead in the social measures in early years, spent much of her first few months staring lovingly at walls and never really played with toys. I was relieved when her little brother came along and would play on a mat like the textbooks said. As it turned out, the eldest was very much NT (and quite sophisticated socially as a preschooler) and my textbook baby was autistic. It's early days and it sounds like you're doing all the right things either way. Enjoy your little boy.

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BlackeyedGruesome · 28/06/2019 16:52

before one there were definite signs.

sensory issues: some sounds terrified him
he was interested in wheels. as soon as he could sit himself up he used to lean forward over the front of the pushchair and watch the wheels turning. he liked going over manhole covers that were bumpy.

he never pointed or asked to be picked up as a baby.

he was sensative to touch from the day he was born.

with dd, I can't remember much. she also did not ask to be picked up, she did not point either. she did like peekaboo.

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BlackeyedGruesome · 28/06/2019 16:52

hearing was tested when they were born.

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Ambydex · 28/06/2019 17:03

hearing was tested when they were born.

Sure. But loads of babies and toddlers pass their newborn hearing test and later end up in audiology/ENT/with grommets. It's just something to keep an eye on, that people don't always think of .

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birdonawire1 · 28/06/2019 21:00

At the moment he sound like any other tiny baby, so i would try not to worry just now, it's far too early to stress out over such minor things. All babies are different and yours sounds on a fairly normal spectrum at the moment. If things become more worrying or not improving g then certainly look for an assessment

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Firstimemam · 28/06/2019 22:10

He turns his head to sounds and I can calm him by singing to him, so 100% sure his ears are working just fine but would check his eye sight if things don't improve. I will continue to arch his development, love him & try not to get too worried as that's all I can do! X

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Firstimemam · 28/08/2019 22:32

Update, little man is now 7 months and he is rolling like mad (who would have thought!), he's slowly becoming more mobile, shuffling about and trying to crawl. He is still a slow developer compared to the other NCT babies but I'm ok with that. It's hard not to compare but he will do it in his own time.

He's not sitting unaided and does not like to sit, he arches himself in a standing position, so no idea if he'll ever like to sit?

His close eye contact is almost non existent and i mean like nose to nose close almost but when he's in his high chair, pram or on the floor, it's no bad and he's a smiley chap!

He definitely turns his head to noise unless he's really concentrating on playing with his toys.

He's still not into peek a boo but laughs a lot more now.

Attaching a picture of my favourite little human xx

5 month old - Early signs of autism?
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yellowallpaper · 28/08/2019 23:06

He sounds perfect to me and it helps to remember babies write their own books, they don't read the ones we do.

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imip · 28/08/2019 23:12

What a cutie!

If I’m honest, I have 2 dds with ASD and they were very different as babies. Retrospectively, under 12 months they had signs of ASD, but also signs of being good in terms of development. What would be beneficial regardless is to continue talking/ communicating to your baby.

They would be unable to test for ASD at this age, and some babies may develop slowly with no negative effects in later life.

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Firstimemam · 02/09/2019 20:48

Thanks ladies, another update: he now babbles for England, I don't even know if this is a good sign but when he says ba Ba Ba Ba Ma Ma Ma Ma it's the cutest! Thanks for continuously listening, I really appreciate it! Thanks

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LightTripper · 02/09/2019 23:46

He is gorgeous! Glad he is doing so well. No two babies are alike, they all do things their own glorious way! My NT son is arguably harder to parent than my autistic daughter, but they are both gorgeous (sometimes infuriating, but still gorgeous!)

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Tilly09 · 08/12/2019 20:26

Hi ! Your lo is so cute! From your first post I can so relate. And I have similar views to you. Do you have an update now? Hope all is well X

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Firstimemam · 08/12/2019 22:12

Hello hello! I'm not as worried as I used to be, DS is now 10 months, very smiley, loves people and other babies. He's crawling like mad, pulling himself up and cruising the furniture, loves peekaboo. He's just started to wave bye bye and since last weekend, has a bit of stranger anxiety which he didn't have before, I basically stayed at my parents house and he couldn't be calmed down by anyone so had to come home from my friends birthday party. He had his 10 months developmental check and i didn't want to go as i was too scared, my hubby mentioned that I'm worried about autism and they said: NOOOO WAY! They couldn't believe it & he passed the check with flying colours, a big no concerns on there. I do think that I convinced myself that he's got it & i still believe it at times ... you now what though, I now look back thinking: why was I so so so worried, it made me not enjoy his babyhood enough which is so sad now. Try to relax, everything will fall into place - he's so young anyway! & even if he's got it - it wouldn't make me love him any less. Have you got PND by any chance? X

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Tilly09 · 09/12/2019 09:29

Really appreciate your reply back. Sounds as though he’s a little superstar! No of course not they are all unique in their own way. I’m just hung up on the eye contact it upsets me. You mentioned in you first post about it .. has that improved and if so around about what month? I have post traumatic stress from last year regarding death/health.. so yeah that doesn’t help. Awaiting for some the thearpy. Medication and choclate help a little but I need someone to get into my head. Smile x

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Firstimemam · 09/12/2019 19:54

His eye contact still isn't amazing to be honest with you, it's good from a distance, and quite close up when he's in his high chair, sitting down etc but never when on my lap or when I carry him. I don't even notice it that much anymore because it's just what he does! it could be a quirk, it could be autism - who knows! I only really notice it when other people hold him and trying really hard to make eye contact but he's having none of it x

I hope you're ok Mama - look after yourself and feel free to privately message me x

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Firstimemam · 31/01/2020 15:16

Hello! I just wanted to send an update because you all were amazing supporting me.

I have the happiest, smiliest child. He claps, waves, points with he remote to the TV (lol looks as though we watch too much TV), he doesn't quite point with his finger a lot but points with his hand and sometimes the finger comes out, he knows how to high five, I don't even know right now what else he does but babbles for the England (and Germany - I'm german living in London), he's been crawling for ages and has started taking his first steps. I just wanted to tell all the mums who are worried at this stage: just enjoy them as a baby. I now hate that I felt that way but if this has taught me a lot - maybe I needed this.

It has taught me to be so much more open minded. My little boy will be going to nursery from the age of 2 & he will be going to a nursery that has an inclusion policy and because I believe that half of my fear was not knowing anything about disability in general. My entire life I was excluded from people with disabilities and I want to change this for my child & for myself now, to learn and to grow and to be of help, maybe even be a carer on a Saturday for a child. If I have chosen the wrong words in the above post, I don't want to upset /hurt /offend anyone, this is still a huge learning curve for myself.

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Ariana1371 · 06/06/2020 19:37

Hello Firstimemam

I am glad you lo is doing well.
I have severe anxiety un regards to my 6 month old development I have a list of what she does and what she doesn’t would you please share any experience that you had with your baby at this age.
I am getting sick and can’t function as a normal person as I already have a 27 month with complex needs.

  • [ ] Staring into space
  • [ ] not looking into my eyes when being held
  • [ ] Not responding to her name
  • [ ] Does not startle to loud noises and doesn’t respond when distracted
  • [ ] Stopped babbling and no syllable at all
  • [ ] Staring in to objects more than faces
  • [ ] No affection anxiety at all and no signs of affection to caregiver
  • [ ] She does not bounce her legs when feet are placed on a firm surface
  • [ ] Not babbling
  • [ ] Not sitting unsupported
  • [ ] Flapping hand and twirling feet

  • [x] She does roll over back to front at 6 months
  • [x] She does make eye contact while feeding and sometime while singing and playing
  • [x] She laughs sometime when we play with her
  • [x] She brings everything to her mouth
  • [x] She does respond to sounds when she is not distracted at all
  • [x] She does look briefly into mirror and smile
  • [x] She is reaching for toys
  • [x] She makes some noises sometime sounds like gurgling
  • [x] Can sit with support and can sit unsupported for few seconds

    Would you please share at what age your son did these things?
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Tilly09 · 07/06/2020 09:02

Hi Ariana173,
I would like to share my experience. My daughter turned 4 month and I honestly thought she was on the spectrum. I thought this because of some of the characteristics you have said your daughter has above. She would stare into a plain white wall, stopped babbling etc.
Anyway it turns out my girl had delayed vision maturation. This means her eyesight and her eyes looks normal however they haven’t progressed to the next eye sight stage so she wasn’t getting facial recognition and smaller fine details.
This didn’t come through till about 9 month. We are working on the eye contact as the dr said she didn’t see the eyes as importance for so long she zoned out but we will get there. Looking back you just wouldn’t believe she was the same baby.
Physical wise each baby is really different.
Drs and I believe my sweet girl was in a really awkward position in the womb which has caused her to have torticollis and a positional turn in the foot. Also her oblique tummy muscles were weak from it. All this caused her to be behind in physical as soon as we did some therapy at 7 month she sat up at 8 month and crawled on all fours.
She’s nearly 1 saying words, almost walking and I couldn’t be more proud of her.
Every child is different please rest your mind. Also she sounds great! Bringing everything to mouth (mouthing) is a greatttt development so good that she is doing that it shows she is curious.

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Firstimemam · 07/06/2020 10:37

Dear Ariana,

I genuinely do not know what it's like to have a child with complex needs but I have noticed that quite few parents who had a first with autism or other disabilities tend to over analyse and watch their children like a hawk. I had PND and read too many developmental books convincing myself that something is wrong. What I've noticed, and that is not meant in a bad way at all but babies and toddlers are a little weird, they all have their quirks and are all very individual.

My child was definitely staring into space and still does, he sort of zooms out but I do this as well - he's now 16 months. He's always done this.
My son does not like close eye contact, and never did as a baby (this mainly caused all my anxiety) but I now know that he's fine, it's just his personality, he doesn't like it. I do still get envious when I watch bloggers and their babies staaaare at them but it's fine, mine doesn't like it and I'm not going to force him. He does other wonderful things. My son only started responding to his name at around 12 months and he still has selective hearing, lol especially if he's distracted but I know nothing is wrong. At 6 months my DS was not babbeling, it started at around 7 1/2 months and then he never stopped. Stranger anxiety started around 12 months, before that, I could hand him to anyone and I know my DS loves me but he's not a cuddly baby or toddler, never been. He only started sitting unsupported at 7 1/2 months, and even then I would rather but him on his tummy still as he just wasn't stable and would fall backwards. He has a big head 98th percentile. He never twirled his feet but he constantly moved his feet. The rolling started around 6 months I remember but that was like the first times, proper back and forth rolling was at 7 months and that was because he never sat early and he was ok his tummy all the time, he didn't even move his hands to the right or left, I was worried about that soooo much but it all "corrected" itself.


From what I can read, your baby sounds perfectly normal to me. I was watching mine like a hawk and I mean, I overanalysed EVERYTHING and it turns out that all babies have some sort of autistic traits I would say and if you are tying to look for something, you will find something. If you were to overanalyse you're own behaviour, I'm sure you could find issues if you wanted to? Do you see where I'm trying to go with this?

I'm not a medical
Professional and I've been through it but my son is perfectly healthy, he's developing on track, some things quicker, some slower and that's normal. I know how hard it is but give your baby time and trust Mother Nature, it's so much harder to do than to say but everything will fall into place.

Xx

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Ariana1371 · 09/06/2020 23:28

Hello Firstimemam & Tilly09

Thank you so much for your reassurance I am trying so hard to control myself but sometimes it’s extremely difficult when it comes to my children’s health, I have been through alot with my DD1 was born with severe brain injury at birth.
There is no word to explain the pain that I feel whenever I look at my DD2, I always feel there is something wrong and I am getting sick thinking about (what if.....).
I am sure you all know what it is like to have worries about your child’s development but it gets even harder when you already have a child with severe disabilities.

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Firstimemam · 10/06/2020 10:39

@Ariana1371 I completely get it and it must be even more difficult for your little one but don't overthink it, enjoy your beautiful baby. I spent too many hours worrying and now I regret it because he's no longer so small, the speed they are growing at is crazy, so enjoy that time with your baby. What will be, will be & to me, everything sounds like it's right on track. Xx

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