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Autism: Should I be concerned?

My son is 14 months old. He does some things that makes me not concerned at all, but other things, it raises some flags. We go to the doctors in 3 weeks so I can talk to him about everything, but I'd just like to get other mom's opinions on whether I'm just being paranoid.

Doesn't respond to name most of the time.
Eye contact only for a few seconds at a time, sometimes a little longer.
Flaps arms when angry.
Only says Uh-Oh and Mama and sometimes dog after I saw it.
Stacks all the time!
Not walking, yet, but close.

What he is doing:
Stacks all the time! =) And is really good at it.
Hands things to us all the time.
Will go get a ball when asked.
Will look at us when he's playing.
Will play with trucks and cars and go "Vroom" when wheeling them around.
Will continue to do the same thing when we laugh at him for something he does -- knows that he's getting a reaction.
Answer Question


Asked by Anonymous at 10:15 AM on Nov. 12, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (10)
  • My friends are going through the same thing, talk to your doctor and also look up Parents as Teachers, they are a FREE organization that helps any child with skill learning. My friend's son was doing the same things you described they diagnosed him as speech and cognitive delayed, this did not mean he was slow, he actually is very bright! They started making him use words to get what he wanted and it is working!! He used to scream ALL of the time, he was 2 when they took him in and in 6 months it has been amazing the progress he has made! Good luck Mom!

    Answer by kimigogo at 10:23 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • I just had my 1 year old evaluated by early intervention. He says three things (mama, dada, and rock rock - for his rocky horse) but doesn't respond to his name. He's extremely social and loves to play games with us. He was diagnosed with a receptive language delay and they are now providing speech therapy for him an hour/week. I think there's a good possibility that he would have caught up in time, but why would I waste this time when he can be getting an extra boost?

    I would recommend having him evaluated by early intervention regardless of what your dr says (my oldest is 12 and my dr insisted he was fine - when he was 2 i finally demanded to know where to take him for an evaluation). But then, I recommend everyone go for an evaluation when they have the first inkling of a concern.

    Answer by missanc at 10:41 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • Oh - and my oldest was diagnosed with autism at 2 1/2, even after his dr had insisted he was "typical"

    Answer by missanc at 10:42 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • It doesn't hurt to talk to the doctor and/or have him evaluated. However, some of what you've listed is within age-appropriate parameters. Doctor's look for a child to have about a 50 word spoken vocabulary by 2 years old. Sometime between 18 and 24 months most children will experience a verbal onslaught. They'll go to bed with about tiny pile of words and wake up seemingly able to recite the toddler dictionary.

    Young children have a lot of physical overflow. They do tend to draw with the tongue out, seem to fidget, flap a bit when overly tired or emotional or when focused on another physical activity. This could be a red flag OR it could simply be physical and/or emotional immaturity.

    If I recall 14 months is *not* considered late for walking. Many children are closer to 17-18 months before mastering the milestone.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:46 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • I wouldn't worry. The fact that he will play with a car and make appropriate "vroom" sounds is good as is the fact that he responds and will repeat actions that get a response from you (shows he aware of you). He should have 10 to 20 words by 18 months so he's moving along. Never hurts to ask the doctor as he lack of response to his name could also indicate a hearing problem. Arm flapping is a common and usually normal behavior at this age.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 11:17 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • I agree with the last poster. He sounds fairly normal for 14 mo. Talk to your ped about your concerns, but I think we spend alot of time evaluating and less time just enjoying. Kids develop at different paces. My oldest was talking with tons of words by 1 yr, smart as a wip... but refused to walk till 15 almost 16 mo old, my second is extreamly social, walked early, very intelegent, at 4 can construct difficult puzzles, but has a speech delay. My 2 yr old might as well be the perfect text book 2 yr old, but my 1 yr old is developmentally at the same milestones as her...... my point... not one child is the same, and they all develop at their own rate.

    I had a friend whos son allways stacked... and only in color groups, and banged his head against walls... everyone was thing AUTISM.... and now he is a "normal" 6 yr old... whatever "normal" really is.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 12:08 PM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • i think he sounds normal. remember boys take a little longer to talk than girls do. also, the arm stuff is out of frustration (probably bc he can't really talk all that good yet). don't worry about it too much..... they change rapidly so just make sure you are supportive and encourage him to use his words and he'll be ok i think

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 1:29 PM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • While it doesn't hurt to speak to a doctor about your concerns...the only thing I see on your concern list that is a concern is that he doesn't maintain eye contact. The fact that he MAKES eye contact is good...not maintaining it could be autism or it could just be that he needs to directed to look at you when you're speaking kind of thing.

    Not walking at 14 months...not unusual.
    Flapping when angry...not unusual. Here you're looking for CONSTANTLY doing it.
    Stacking...way to go!!! A great skill for fine motor skills!
    Few'd be looking for NO speech or regression in speech here.
    Hands things to you all the time...not sure why this is a concern, really.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:35 PM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • Actually Anon :35, you're wrong. Stop spreading inaccurate information. Flapping occurs when kids on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are distressed, so flapping when he's mad is a sign of autism. They don't have to flap "constantly." Only severely autistic kids are typically completely non-verbal, but many ASD kids only say a few words or are echolaliac.
    OP, always go with your gut. If you think something is going on get it checked out. Write down everything you have noticed. Don't interpret it just note what the behaviors are and what they are in response to or what happened prior. If you can, videotape him in one of his flapping sessions to show the doctor. is one of the best web sites for accurate information.
    Lastly, the first thing they teach you is there is no cure. What they don't tell you is that management can be very effective. Make sure you get OT and ST referrals! Good luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:31 PM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • I agree with Anon (2:31) It's very important to remember that every child is different and that "normal" covers a wide range. All kids - typical, delayed, advanced, Autism Spectrum - ALL hit their milestones at their own times. But there are typical early signs you should memorize and watch for if you are concerned.

    It is so important to remember that 1) Autism prevalence is rising 2) The earlier an ASD is identified and therapies are established, the better the odds are for high function later on! DON'T just "wait and see"
    That attitude can be very harmful if it turns out that intervention is needed.

    It is much better to feel silly at the Ped if you're wrong than to be right and find out you've missed valuable early-on therapy time while telling yourself you are just a worry wart.

    Hopefully everything is ok! But remember, an Autism diagnosis is NOT a death sentence! Kids with ASD are still KIDS.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:05 PM on Nov. 12, 2009

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