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At what age can you stop worring that your child may be (or become?) autistic?

My son is almost 2. I worry about so much, this is just one of them. I'm always looking for symptoms of different things, but autism normally develops by the age of 2, right?

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:42 PM on Jun. 30, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (7)
  • I hate to say this but it can be later like age 8.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 11:43 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • If he was severely autistic, then yes, I'd say your probably in the clear. But some of the higher functioning forms don't show noticeable symptoms until school age. Don't sit around and worry about it though. Otherwise, you may start to symptoms that aren't really there. You know, self fulfilling prophecy, think he is not speaking normally so you adjust your language to your assumption of his level, thereby stunting his ability to learn normal speech. You don't want to do that, so it's best not to worry until you do notice signs that you find worrisome.

    Answer by Petie at 11:53 PM on Jun. 30, 2009

  • He's perfectly normal, but an answer in another thread made me think. They said their child was completely normal until age 2. He's happy, social, loving (usually.... ;)) and all things a 2 year old is supposed to be and more. I don't think I have anything to worry about. I just worry as a mom. You know how it is! I worry that this wonderful happy little boy will change. *sigh*.... I know its silly to think about it like that but I do.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:03 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • It's healthy as a parent to worry, but only to a certain extent. Many times although parents say their child was typical to a certain age, looking back they remember things that were just shrugged off in the beginning. Autism is not the only disability that can strike at an older age, learning disabilities surface in school aged children, and many regression disabilities surface around age 5. I work with children who were completely "normal" until they turned 5, and by the time they were 6 were on a feeding tube, wheelchair bound with profound mental retardation. These parents never saw it coming. Its a fact of life, things can go horribly wrong, but do you know how rare that is? Don't spend every moment worrying, your child is beautiful no matter what hand they were dealt. Always be aware, but focus more on the positives and reality then the what if's, and don't let the abnormal stories get you down.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 1:20 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • My daughter had signs starting at 4 months. Your most likely in the clear.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 2:50 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • The ones who say their children were "perfectly normal" until a certain age, have children with MILD forms of Autism...including Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) and Asperger's.

    Both of my children have autism, and you could have knocked me over with a feather when my now 7 year old was diagnosed at 2 1/2. There was no doubt he had a speech delay, as he said very little, and his hearing was fine, but had just been diagnosed with extreme farsightedness (causing him to tune out the world around him while he tried to focus/see, thereby missing some developmental milestones!)

    Now my 7 year old is completely verbal (hyperlexic), has been potty trained since the age of 3 1/2, and will be in a regular education 2nd grade classroom in the fall 80% of the day--pulled out to work on reading comprehension and new math skill concepts. He was originally borderline autistic and has been recently classified as having Asperger's.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:31 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • Neither of my sons spoke until the age 4, and my now 5 year old will be starting full day Kindergarten in the fall, he is expected to follow in my 7 year old son's footsteps!

    When I look back at baby pictures, knowing what I know now, the signs of Autism were there ALL ALONG...I just didn't know what to look for!

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:33 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

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