Signs of Autism in toddler?

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Postby typinggurl65 » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:20 am

Hi All:

Testing date for Stephen will be in 1 month (October 26). I have been looking at all over the internet, talking to Stephen's developmental teacher, and a wonderful woman from CARD (FSU Center for Autism and Related Disorders) who is giving me and my family so much support with encouragement and information!

Here is an excellent site for anyone who may "suspect something" is not quite right with the development of their child. It is a wealth of info!!

http://www.firstsigns.org

BTW: Eric is now 5 months old!! He just adores his "big brother" Stephen! He is rolling all over the place and even starting to try to crawl, more like scooting on his face! LOL! I love my boys!!!

Social/Communication Red Flags:

If your baby shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner for an immediate evaluation:

No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
No babbling by 12 months
No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
No words by 16 months
No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age
“Most mommies and daddies tell me “I thought there was a problem at 14 or 15 months...and they told me let’s wait and see because sometimes some kids grow out of it.’ Well, that’s not a good answer. We’ve got to make the distinction between less important problems, where we can wait and see from core problems, which involve a lack of reciprocity and a lack of getting to know your world. For these core problems, we have to act on it yesterday. We can’t wait nine months, we can’t wait two months.” (Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., Child Psychiatrist)

Red Flags were compiled from the following sources: Greenspan, S.I. (1999) Building Healthy Minds, Perseus Books; Filipek, P.A. et al. Practice parameter: Screening and Diagnosis of autism. Neurology 2000, 55: 468-79.
Jill
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Eric's big brother, Stephen 2 1/2 years


DS-Eric Holt, Born 4/18/07,
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Postby mamalynn » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:03 am

great information!!! thanks for sharing. :)
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Postby SaliUK » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:01 pm

Hi, I just saw this post.

When William was 9 months old he regressed a lot, lost all his babbling and his words (mama, dada) and it didn't seem like he was 'there'. At 11 months I insisted on him being seem by a development ped as apart from gross motor skills he hadn't learnt anything, was still screeching instead of babbling, wasn't interested in anything, didn't respond to our reactions, didn't answer his name or show any interest in his surroundings. He also span wheels obsessively, scarily so.

At 13 months he had his first appointment. He was generally delayed by about 3 months and his speech was more at a 6 month level. It was a 'wait and see' and I was treated like a paranoid first time mum. I did lots of research and began to work with him myself. I was 100% convinced it was autism, he just seemed so different than other children.

His second visit at almost 16 months was terrible, the ped hardly looked at him, let alone observed what he could/couldn't do. I complained and was transferred to a more senior ped.

He just had his last visit at almost 19 months. He has come on so much its amazing. He's beginning to play with cars properly (though he still spins a lot!!), he's beginning to play with toys more appropriately (stacking rings etc) and he's even showing interest in other children. He failed his first hearing test but passed the second.

The ped says she sees no signs of autism in him but it can't be ruled out until he's about 4 so he has to keep going until then, but his appointments are 6-monthly now, instead of 3-monthly. He's also been referred for speech therepy as he's completely non-verbal. I do still worry a bit, he still spins, he has never pointed for joint attention and has difficulty follwoing a point but the differences don't seem to be as noticeable now as they once were.

Did you notice the differences in your son grew stronger as he got older or did they come and go? Also, was he vaccinated for MMR? I'm having to make this decision at the moment :(
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Postby typinggurl65 » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:48 pm

SaliUK:

Yes. He was vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Everytime I took him to the pediatrician, they would ask about developmental milestones such as talking. How many words is he saying, etc?. He would only saw mama, dada and just babble nonesense. Actually, his first speech therapist mentioned to me that he might have sensory issues because he did not like her to touch his hands (when working on a puzzle). That is where it all began. I had him evaluated by Early Intervention, and he was very delayed. He was just given the diagnosis of "developmental delay". I just chalked it up to him being born premature (born at 30 1/2 weeks gestation). I was like, okay, so he will just have to "catch up."

He just wanted to be in his own little world, and zone every one out. He would avoid eye contact. I would say the talking was the biggest red flag for me. When you talk to him, he just stares at you. He does laugh, but to himself and at strange out of the blue moments. Like in the pictures, below. He loves to swing.

He started speech therapy, occupational therapy, and had a developmental teacher come to our house once a week. But he just was not progressing in his speech. He would line up his toy cars, spin their wheels. He was not doing any imitation play. He would spin himself around a lot.

I thought okay, just to rule out Autism, I will have him evaluated. An evaluator came to our house to observe him and ask tons of questions. According to her scoring, he needed to be formally tested. He will be tested by a pediatrician and psychologist who specialize in autism and only they can give the official diagnosis.

I will have to say I go back and forth emotionally.

His early therapy has made a lot of difference such as he is making more eye contact. He still babbles but will repeat words. When he is near his little brother, he will say "baby" in passing him. He ignores the baby for the most part.

I am hopeful but aware there is no "cure" for autism. BTW, I am seriously considering the gluten free/casein free diet! That will be another post in the future!
Jill
Me-42, DH-43, DS-18, DD-16, DS-2 1/2, Eric-6 months, and precious baby m/c Dec. 05

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Eric's big brother, Stephen 2 1/2 years


DS-Eric Holt, Born 4/18/07,
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Postby HolliM » Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:35 pm

typinggurl65 wrote:I am hopeful but aware there is no "cure" for autism. BTW, I am seriously considering the gluten free/casein free diet! That will be another post in the future!


Lurker warning! :D
I do ABA therapy with children with autism and just wanted to pass along some hope. While I agree with you there is no cure, I know a woman with 2 sons who were both diagnosed with autism by age 3 and started receiving treatment early. They are now 11 and 13 and considered "fully recovered." They do not have any symptoms and no longer meet the diagnostic criteria! While I know this is not necessarily realistic for every child, I wanted to pass along a success story! You sound like such a great mother that is seeking knowledge and information early...this will be key for your son. Way to go mom! :D I know it's not easy.
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Postby typinggurl65 » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:14 am

Lurkers always welcome!

I wish they did ABA here in my county, but I have been told they don't.

My son will be transitioning to pre-k at age 3! I did not know that special needs kids in Florida can start public school so early. He turns 3 in March, but since school will be out some time in May, I am debating on starting him in the August instead.
Jill
Me-42, DH-43, DS-18, DD-16, DS-2 1/2, Eric-6 months, and precious baby m/c Dec. 05

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Eric's big brother, Stephen 2 1/2 years


DS-Eric Holt, Born 4/18/07,
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Postby LemonJelly » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:55 pm

Hello there - I'm also lurking...

My brother (aged 28 ) has low functioning autism. He was diagnosed when he was 5 years old, although obviously my parents had known since he was about 18 months old that he wasn't developing at a normal rate. My Mum said that she would've realised earlier if he had been her second kid - she said there was a real contrast between me as a baby and him, and in retrospect she could see things that she'd just accepted which weren't quite right.

Re MMR I will have no hesitation about vaccinating my kids - the guy who originally published on links between MMR and autism was discredited and struck off. Moreover, my Mum said that Alastair did begin to talk, late, then regressed quite suddenly. This happened just at the age when babies are given MMR (here in the UK they didn't begin to routinely vaccinate babies with MMR until later, so he and I didn't get given it). So it is quite possible that one of the reasons that storeis of links first came about is becasue of this regression occcuring in other children who had recently recieved MMR.

Alastair is incredibly intelligent. As a kid he would score high on non-verbal intelligence tests, but zero on verbal tests. We don't know how much he understands, even now, but it is all lot. Mention his fingernails are getting long, he'll go get the nail clippers. Ask him to lay the table or whatever and he'll do it - or tell you (though not in words!) not to be lazy and do it yourself! If we could change one thing (apart from him having autism at all) it would be to get an earlier diagnosis, and somehow FORCE him to learn. My family all have a lazy streak, and I think that given his intelligence A could've been far higher fuctioning than he is - he realised that he could get by without talking, and it was hard work, so easier not to bother. I don't know if we could've done anything differently, I mean he was given speech therapy from the age of two. But I wish we'd pushed him harder, just in case it would've made a difference...

Good luck to all of you with your Autistic kids. It can be such a difficult condition, but so much more is known these days that kids can look forward to a much brighter future than Alastair had. And do get your kids vaccinated with MMR - the risks to their health from measles and mumps are far worse than autism - and anyway, as I said, that dr was struck off.
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Postby manynums » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:18 pm

our son showed a few early signs (echolalia, parallel play, hand flapping) and we had him screened at our public school early childhood center. he qualified for their pre-school program and it was such a success for us. he came a long way his first year. the second year we pulled him from the home day care he had been in (very good care) in favor of a center where he would spend more time with more 4-year-olds.

the second year was amazing. he just became this wonderful child who was expressive and so busy. as a kindergarten student he still has some hand flapping (mostly he rubs his nose) when he has an excess of emotion, but the echolalia is gone. he's much like his father where he is very linear (dh is an engineer) and enjoys doing things alone. he's an only child (until i give birth in may) and is used to doing his own thing.

our cousin has sensory processing disorder, which is autism-related. she has had quite a bit of therapy, but did not receive any intervention until she was nearly 4. early intervention is KEY...and i commend all the PP for their advice.

my son doesn't appear to have any spectrum disorders, but he did scare me to death for a while. now he is just a normal 5-year-old, but the extensive intervention from pre-school and the professionals involved there was life changing for him.

GL!
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Postby Char » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:25 am

Hi...I am an Early Intervention Teacher for children with Autism. I am glad you are are going to start him in prek. I would highly recommend starting him right as his 3rd birthday, even so close to the end of the school year. That gives him 2-2.5 months of services that are so important. I have many children age into my program during this part of the school year. Besides, if he has emerging skills, behavioral concerns, lack of progress, etc. at the end of the school year, they may offer him Extended School Year services (ESY), which is federally mandated by IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. So, by starting him in March, he could potentially get, March, April, May and 4-5 weeks in the summer. That is precious intervention time, IMO.

Where in Florida do you live? I ask because i just did a search on ABA and florida and came up with the following, to list a few of the first I saw. Also, as Holly had mentioned, she is an ABA therapist. There are ABA therapists who work outside of agencies in every state. I would look into this as well.:
http://www.autism-programs.com/programs.htm
http://www.cfaii.org/
http://autismbulletin.blogspot.com/2007 ... opens.html

Here is a link on Florida's ESY services http://www.advocacycenter.org/FactSheet ... -01-07.pdf

Lastly, I would not mind helping you if want to learn how adapt some prek level books for him to help him, I would be more than happy to help. In addition to being a teacher, I have an online business where I make adapted materials for children with autism. I would not mind talking you through some things, at no cost, of course.

Let me know. You can PM me if you want to chat.
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Postby ThinkingAbout2 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:19 pm

Hi there,
I know this thread is very old but I was wondering how things are going with your son? I'm glad you posted this as our beautiful 31/2 year old was diagnosed almost one year ago with Autism.
He was a very social, happy baby, great eye contact, etc.
He started regressing aftear a year old and after being dismissed several times by our pediatrician, he finally got diagnosed at 2 1/2.

I cannot even begin to tell you how IMPORTANT early intervention is. Our son went from being COMPLETELY non-verbal at 2 1/2, NO eye contact, no responses to his name or anything else, no social interaction with anyone other than parents, other people were 'ghosts', stimming behaviors, etc.
Now he says SOOOO much I cannot even tell you how many words he has and he is starting to talk in sentences finally. He is very responsive and very social now. Sure, he still has his quirks and has a lot of work/therapy to go through but he has come SO FAR. Don't ever think that there isn't anything you can do, you CAN overcome this with LOTS of dedication, time and therapy.
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