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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Autistic or Not? Typical two year old, or signs to be concerned of?

Posted by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 8:59 PM
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My son Gage was born prematurely, at 32 weeks. He suffered no ill affects known from his early birth, aside from a few developmental delays such as crawling and walking a little later than expected ( Started crawling a week before his first birthday, was walking two weeks later). Around a year an half the biggest delay we noticed was his talking ability. As a baby he didn't babble as much as other children. It took Gage a while to start talking, and at 2 1/2 he is just now starting to form some 2-4 word sentences. He is still adding new words to his vocabulary, but at a very slow rate. He loves repeating what people do an say ( pretends to fake cough, sneeze or burp.) However he is resorting to a lot of baby babble and saying words in between the babbling. He also seems to have trouble with eye contact, and at times following directions. He CAN follow directions, but you never know when he will or won't. He loves sitting on laps, does go up to other children, but being a stay at home mom he has limited interaction with other children aside from his 1 year old sister. I believe him to be a very social little boy, who cannot communicate well with words. He is easily frusterated, has many tempertantrums if a toy doesn't do what he wants, or he doesn't get his way. For the past few months he has taken to sitting on his sister when she has not provoked him or was even near him. He has no repetetive behaviors, aside from loving match box cars and will take his cars and run them all over the house, but he will play with other toys as well. He has been seeing a speach therapist, and her concerns have been the lack of eye contact and the inablity to communicate with language well. He does point to what he wants or will say " want that". Both the speach therapist and pediatrition have said he may be borderline austistic. I am trying to get as much early intervention as possible, however I am having trouble telling the difference between the warning signs of Austism, and typical two year old behavior. Could anyone help?

by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 8:59 PM
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mypbandj
by Jen on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:22 PM
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Google MCHAT. The web address is like m-chat.org I think. It's a free online checklist that points out red flags for autism spectrum disorders in toddlers. It's the tool that led me to believe my son might have ASD.

From what you describe, I don't hear any big red flags. Some of those behaviors could be due to a language disorder.

My son is three and he didnt point till he was. 2 1/2. His eye contact is spotty. Doesn't always answer to his name. Stuffs food. Wants his food only cold or frozen. Did hand flapping and ear flicking. Tantrums over the littlest things (like cutting a strawberry or where people sit in the car). Licks me. Has some obsessive rituals around my arm!! Demands that colors match (like the color paper to the same color scissors). Hits himself in the face when upset. Echos language. Has a speech and language delay. Wants to watch Tom and Jerry cartoons non stop.

And with all that, the preschool said "he's not autistic cause he doesn't rock." Ok.

On one test we did, he scored in the 97th percentile for pervasive development problems. That's autism. But the preschool didnt see it, leaving me to think I'm just crazy.

I'm just taking a break this summer. The past six months of watching his every move to see if it seems ASD like or not, has made me crazy!! So I'm making plans for preschool and then I am going to see how he does there. If he struggles or shows signs, I will go back to the school for more evaluations. And probably get a private eval too.

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mypbandj
by Jen on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:24 PM
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I forgot to say, it's HARD to see the line between typical toddler behavior and ASD behavior. Especially in high functioning kids. But that is where I think the MCHAT can really help you.
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Jenalide
by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Has he had an Early Intervention evaluation?  Just wondering if he has the speech through that, or privately.  You could go through the state EI program, and do a free eval or screen.  One way or the other, it may ease your mind just to know.  I am guessing he gets frustrated because of the delayed language.  We had a lot more luck with a specialized Speech Pathologist, with experience working with toddlers with special needs. 

Cjsboogies
by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:42 PM

He is currently being seen by Akron Children's hospital, which I thought would be the best, unless you have any other suggestions

mypbandj
by Jen on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:44 PM
You should call early intervention. They will help you get him transitioned into the preschool.

Quoting Cjsboogies:

He is currently being seen by Akron Children's hospital, which I thought would be the best, unless you have any other suggestions

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Cjsboogies
by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Thank you so much for your reply. Gage isn't exhibitng as many symptoms as what I've read about, though I have read that it doesn't mean he is not autistic. I am going to check out the MCHAT as you suggested- this is all very new to me. I really wish you the best of luck with your little one. I hope you will keep me posted on your struggles, and hopefully accomplishments.

EthansMomma2010
by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:45 PM
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 i agree with pbandj, and like her i'm not seeing any big red flags. does he like his therapist a lot? even nt children will avoid eye contact with people they don't like or when told to do new things they don't want to.

Cjsboogies
by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 11:43 PM

He does seem to like her a lot. I like her a lot too, she's older with grandchildren of her own and very motherly to both him and I. She is not affliated with Gage's ped, and she too is concerned about autism despite the lack of any major red flags. I also forgot to mention I did have his hearing tested, and that came back fine, and that I have also been working with Help Me Grow. He has most of the major mile stones met, except speech. However, for two professionals to worry about the same concern worries me. I took the MCHAT test, he only missed two of the questions, however another questionaire he missed 6-7 and the test indicated he should be tested ( Which we plan on doing).

Cjsboogies
by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 11:48 PM

I forgot to add that he has started licking the bottoms of his feet lately. Not all the time. I just thought it was becuase his sandles were getting so smelly and I was teasing him about having smelly feet.

kajira
by Emma on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:07 AM
3 moms liked this

You can have a speech delay and not be autistic.

I would give him more time - to ME - since he was premature and been delayed on all his milestones, but eventually hit them - I wouldn't panic about autism... yet.

It doesn't mean he's not autistic, but I definitely just considering those signs, wouldn't consider it as high of a possibility as a stubborn kid who has some speech difficulities and WANTS to communicate and can't yet.

Once he has language and can use it, then I would see what you are left over with, because the tantrums and problem behaviors may be eliminated once he can communicate more effectively with those around him.

That is VERY normal for a 2 year old to act that way.

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