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Why do I feel so clueless?

My son has been in speech therapy for a year. He just had his re-eval done. He tested at a 14-16 month olds level. He is three years old. His doctor brought up autism at his three year check-up. We are having him completely re-evaluated in August. We also are taking him to a specialist in October. My question is why didn't I see this? He's not talking. I just thought he was a being a boy and a late talker. I am a stay-at-home mom, and was a teacher before. I should of seen the signs. He is very affectionate, makes awesome eye contact, likes to play with his sister and other children at the park. He doesn't seem to understand verbal directions at all. He sometimes won't respond to his name. He is very curious. Why didn't I see autism? What can I do to help him? I feel like I am jumping out of a plane without a parachute.

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CSJMommy3

Asked by CSJMommy3 at 6:52 PM on Jul. 13, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 8 (209 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I didn't see it too much at that age either. autism is a spectrum disorder, it can be very different. My son is very self stimulating, makes eye contact and is affectionate, but he also is very speech delayed and has a hard time following directions and gets over stimulated easily. He loves other kids, but then someone pointed out to me he doesn really play 'with' them. He plays along side of them mimicking what they are doing. I was a SAHM and a former teacher too. Please do not beat yourself up over this if this happens to be the diagnosis. Just do what you can to help you child.
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 6:55 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • Do NOT blame yourself. Fortunately autism is much better understood and there is so much more information and support out there for you and for him. If he has been in speech therapy a y ear, that is also something an objective speech therapist could have caught on to and she or he didn't so don't blame yourself. It's hard to objective with our kids and see things. I would also have him checked for auditory issues since he sounds very social, maybe it isn't autism exactly that is going on. You are aware and getting him help now and he is just three, it would have been really hard to see any signs earlier. Honestly. You're a great mom, you haven't done anything remiss!
    jamesonjustines

    Answer by jamesonjustines at 7:01 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • layh41407 - Thank you for taking the time to respond. :-) I was wondering if you have any suggestions to help? We read books, do arts/crafts, play outside, work with his PECS... I still feel like I'm not doing enough or not doing the right stuff to help.
    CSJMommy3

    Comment by CSJMommy3 (original poster) at 7:01 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • jamesonjustines - thank you for respondng. That is something that does bother me that his therapist didn't pick up it. She claims that she is only trained in speech. The only thing she brought up to me outside of speech concerns is sensory concerns. We are having an OT evaluate him next month. I just would love to hear him talk. He is such a happy and sweet boy.
    CSJMommy3

    Comment by CSJMommy3 (original poster) at 7:05 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • Speech wise--My was echolalic when he first started speech. He repeated everything he heard, but could not have a functional conversation. It was if the words didn't mean anything. Then his early intervention teacher began to teach him some basic sign language and use the spoken words as well. Something just clicked. He suddenly could use the words he was learning. It was like he suddenly understood that those things he was saying MEANT something. it was an awesome feeling to see that he got it. It was another couple of years before he would actually use a sentence. He is 11 now and although his speech is still not that of a typical 11 year old, he can come up with some huge sentences and good ideas.

    I'd keep up with the PECS too and just keep talking to him. I did that too, I just kept talking to him because I knew one day, he'd say something back. And although his speech is that of a 6/7 year old, he talk A LOT!
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 7:20 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • layh41407 - that is my son!! He will repeat words that he hears or likes, but won't use spontaneous speech. He is able to select the PECS usually by eye gaze, but sometimes he does pick up his chose. He will rarely hand me the picture, but we are working on it. He will sign for more, but only for food. He has a hard time with attention, but that is getting better. He watched his four year old sister, and she will help him and me with a lot of communicating. He "drew" a picture today and she told me he made a picture of a cookie. It was so cute. Thank you for the advice and encouragement. :-)
    CSJMommy3

    Comment by CSJMommy3 (original poster) at 8:16 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • I also want to let you know that even now, almost 8 years after the diagnosis, I still have days where I think "am I doing all the right things and I doing enough?" I think I will always have those moments. Keep up everything you are doing so far, the reading and the arts and crafts, I think they will help a lot. I am grateful for my son. He has opened my eyes to a whole new world.
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 8:37 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

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