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Autistic?

I've always personally wondered if my son is autistic or not, but he hasn't been diagnosed. He's 4 but didn't start speaking until he was 3. He is speaking now, but not in full sentences and he can't say certain sounds still. He hates when a schedule is changed and fights me about it. He has an obsession with light switches and if they are on and aren't normally, he'll turn them off and vis-versa. He does have different mannerism (but nothing obsessive). He's always lining things up and is very touchy-feeling (can't leave his hands to himself). Also, as a baby we could never get him to have eye to eye contact and still fights it.

I really don't know much about autism, but I've been asked if my son is or not and always brushed it off. I guess I figured his dr or his preschool teacher (he's in a special needs preschool for his speech) would have said something to me. But now I'm curious. What do you ladies think?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 2:56 PM on Jan. 22, 2010 in Kids' Health

Answers (9)
  • I think you need to bring it up to your doctor. YOU know your child best but from what you described it sounds like he could be on the high functioning level of ASD especially if you get him some early intervention asap!
    outstandingLove

    Answer by outstandingLove at 3:01 PM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • I think you should go with your heart and get him tested at a developmental clinic. It's not the end of the world by any means. I have an autistic son that is now almost 16 and one of the most interesting people I know. If you want to talk you can PM me off list.

    Cindy18

    Answer by Cindy18 at 3:02 PM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • If he were my child (and i have no experience with this) I would continue to treat him like a normal child... but i would work on communicating with him and maybe do some practice exercises that may be intended for parents who have children with autism. make sure you really pay attention to him. and work on the things he struggles with through games and fun exercises. children with autism, like children with any learning challenge, have the abilities as any other kid... they might just need to accomplish them in a different manner. autism or not... you need not worry. as long as you give him that special attention and focus he needs, then he will grow to be a perfectly intelligent and happy little boy, as well as functional and social adult. good luck!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:05 PM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • It sounds like he has some signs that might be autism. It definitely wouldn't hurt to have him tested - my dr always brushed it off when i asked him about it until I insisted that my son be tested! He's 12 now and does have autism - mom's intuition is usually pretty on target. It may help in accessing certain services that may be available in the community, the other mom's in my local autism society have been invaluable and after almost 10 years together are among my closest friends. Good luck to you and your son!
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 3:17 PM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • Been there done that with the wondering. I just got my son diagnosed at age 5 and a half. I know he was 'different' from the time he was about 3 and looking back I should have noticed sooner. Talk to your ped about a referral to a specialist who can do a full evaluation. If it is a form of autism it's better to find out earlier rather than later and if it's not your mind will be at ease.
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:53 PM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • Get him evaluated so that he can get the appropriate services based on his specific needs. If he is on the Autism Spectrum, his behaviors may get much worse as he gets older and I can just about guarantee they're going to get a whole lot worse once he hits puberty. The earlier a child with an ASD is diagnosed and services are begun, the better the outcome, so please, if you suspect he has an ASD, get him evaluated as soon as you can. Not all pediatricians are up to date on current guidelines (same for your special preschool) and many, not having sufficient experience, do not recognize the 'soft signs' of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:48 PM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • What anon 9:48 said. I say this as someone who lived inside the hell of it for 40 years without knowing there was a reason for so much of the weird about me...and that means with knowing that if some people had paid attention and DID something about some of this instead of shrugging it off, at least some things surely could have been different.

    BTW, the current #1 Journal (or it was an hour ago) is actually about how crucial diagnosis really is, and the way "labels" should be applied, as well as what they do not excuse. I wrote it. Please stop by and check it out.

    That comment about continue treating him as a "normal" child is all well and good, but there really is nothing wrong with understanding that if he is autistic, some things will require different approaches, some things may come (or go) with work and time, and some things just simply cannot be changed and must be worked around. Good luck.
    roachiesmom

    Answer by roachiesmom at 3:18 AM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • Okay, anon :05, my bad, That is pretty much what you were getting at, too.

    But I still say it''s better all around to KNOW. No one will ever convince me other wise -- and that's not just because I do not transition well. :O)
    roachiesmom

    Answer by roachiesmom at 3:21 AM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • Autism is NOT a label it is a diagnosis. A label imply's that it doesn't exist.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:30 AM on Jan. 24, 2010

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