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New mom here with questions.

Posted by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 2:20 PM
  • 3 Replies

I should preface this by saying that my son (2.5 years) has not yet been diagnosed ASD. He has just recently qualified for Early Interventions with 2 therapists. One for speech and the other for cognitive development. I am just starting to research characteristics and behaviors associated with ASD and I see that my son has some classic behaviors but not the really big red flags (or maybe so and I am not being objective enough to see). His biggest red flags are the speech and cognitive delays. I would say he is almost exactly a year behind. His non verbal communication is pretty good. He will point, grab at and even move us bodily toward things he needs help with. He has about 50-60 words but doesn't use them with the regularity that he should and rarely strings 2 or more words together. He can count to thirty and even count objects versus simply reciting numbers in order. He seems to have an affinity towards numbers/patterns. 

His other big red flag is his self stimulating behaviors. The arm flapping started when he was about 6 months and it occurs when he is excited. He also lines up things (mega blocks, cd cases) vertically across our coffee table and looks at them from all angles. He spins objects or picks objects up and drops them over and over. He has just started flipping things around with his fingertips and watching how they bounce/fall. It looks almost like he's playing hot potato. He grabs handfuls of my hair and stares at the strands with his eyes looking up out of his eyebrows.....almost like he's scowling. He also chews on shirts and puts his arms and knees in his mouth. 

My question is this: Is it possible that he can have these behaviors and not fall on the spectrum? I ask because I feel like he is an otherwise completely normal kid. He initiates interaction with people he is familiar with. He plays with his 5 year old sister (though there is no imaginative play for him). He mimics our facial expressions and watches our reactions to situations. When he counts he waits for us to acknowledge how well he did and then he arm flaps or claps his hands saying "yay!" He imitates things that his sister does, like reading books with him babbling and turning the pages. He smiles and laughs along with us. He tries to make us laugh and smile. He is very cuddly and has always been that way. He makes great eye contact for long periods of time. Is this all possible with ASD? 

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 2:20 PM
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Replies (1-3):
emarin77
by Gold Member on Jan. 14, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Sounds like he has mild Autism, my son had or has some of the same symptoms when he was diagnosed.  All kids are different with their symptoms if they started with them or not.  Have him diagnosed as soon as possible so he can go to ESE preschool.

amonkeymom
by Amy on Jan. 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Welcome to the group.  It sounds like you're on the right track with getting him the help he needs, etc.

Yes, those things that he does can still be done by someone on the spectrum.  My youngest is high functioning and you'd never really know he's on the spectrum unless you know him well.  That being said, I'm no expert, and there could be another reason for the symptoms he has.

Quoting SunshineBird:

I should preface this by saying that my son (2.5 years) has not yet been diagnosed ASD. He has just recently qualified for Early Interventions with 2 therapists. One for speech and the other for cognitive development. I am just starting to research characteristics and behaviors associated with ASD and I see that my son has some classic behaviors but not the really big red flags (or maybe so and I am not being objective enough to see). His biggest red flags are the speech and cognitive delays. I would say he is almost exactly a year behind. His non verbal communication is pretty good. He will point, grab at and even move us bodily toward things he needs help with. He has about 50-60 words but doesn't use them with the regularity that he should and rarely strings 2 or more words together. He can count to thirty and even count objects versus simply reciting numbers in order. He seems to have an affinity towards numbers/patterns. 

His other big red flag is his self stimulating behaviors. The arm flapping started when he was about 6 months and it occurs when he is excited. He also lines up things (mega blocks, cd cases) vertically across our coffee table and looks at them from all angles. He spins objects or picks objects up and drops them over and over. He has just started flipping things around with his fingertips and watching how they bounce/fall. It looks almost like he's playing hot potato. He grabs handfuls of my hair and stares at the strands with his eyes looking up out of his eyebrows.....almost like he's scowling. He also chews on shirts and puts his arms and knees in his mouth. 

My question is this: Is it possible that he can have these behaviors and not fall on the spectrum? I ask because I feel like he is an otherwise completely normal kid. He initiates interaction with people he is familiar with. He plays with his 5 year old sister (though there is no imaginative play for him). He mimics our facial expressions and watches our reactions to situations. When he counts he waits for us to acknowledge how well he did and then he arm flaps or claps his hands saying "yay!" He imitates things that his sister does, like reading books with him babbling and turning the pages. He smiles and laughs along with us. He tries to make us laugh and smile. He is very cuddly and has always been that way. He makes great eye contact for long periods of time. Is this all possible with ASD? 


SunshineBird
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Thank you for responding. I'm so nervous for my boy and anxious to start his therapy. I did ask the EI evaluator if I should take him to be assessed by a behavior specialist but she said they would have EI be the first step anyway. She said he wouldn't likely be diagnosed with anything before he turned three so they would want to see how well he does in his therapy sessions. Is this something I should ask his pedi about?

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