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  1. #1
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    Default Could it be autism?

    I have a feeling this will be long so I can explain. Sorry.

    Firstly I am a little concerned that my eldest may have autism. But in my gut I don't think he does.

    DS1 is 2 (3 months off being 3). His speech is delayed (we are booked into a speech pathologist but it's still another month away) he says a few words but not many, we have had his hearing tested and that was all fine.

    He seemed to be developing fast in every area. He was the first to roll, sit, crawl, get teeth, stand and walk in my mothers group (I think I jinxed myself because I could see some of the other mothers getting frustrated that their child wasn't doing those things and I knew children all develop different and told them that just because he is doing these things first doesn't mean anything because he might be the last to talk... And guess what he is the last to talk). He looked people in the eye all the time and he was a really happy baby (mostly). He was affectionate and cuddly. He liked people (except my dad until one day he was just suddenly fine with him)

    When he was 15 months old I had twins. And he they were demanding and it was hard with just me at home and the 3 of them. He still got everything he needed but it was hard to give him one on one attention because one of the twins always wanted something. I tried to include him in as much as I could, getting him to get nappies, take nappies to the bin, sit with me and pat them while I fed them but he want always interested in that and probably had to play on his own in the first few months, a lot more than I would have liked.

    For a long time I wasn't worried about his speech because he had a few words and also his dad apparently didn't even say one word until he was 2 and now he doesn't shut up ;-) but the twins are 1.5 and they are talking a lot more than DS1.

    But of course you worry and want the best for your kids. So I read about autism but reading it I didn't think it was him. He was affectionate, he looked me in the eye (but not everyone) and he communicated by pointing and sometimes grunted or made sounds like he was trying to communicate. But my mum talks to her clients and she thinks everything they say is the final word, if I tell her something she doesn't believe it until someone else has told her and she thinks that I would have never givin anything any thought. It makes me so angry, she comes to visit, stays for 10 minutes and thinks she knows everything about them and what goes on here. She gives them lollies even after I tell her not to. She frustrates and stresses me with just a little comment.

    We've tried reading books but he's not interested, he won't sit still for them, except at night... I do a book on my phone with him when we lay down at sleep time. He is happy to look through a book then. But then the twins are not around. In my gut I think it's just all because the twins were born and life changed for him everything went from being about him to being about them as well.

    If he is playing with DH or myself and one of the twins come to play too he leaves, doesn't matter how much we plead him to stay, he doesn't want anything to do with them. He won't play with them and gets frustrated when they want to play with the things he is playing with. I have had a few mothers groups here and he is happy to play with the other kids his age and when we are at the park he wants to play with any older kids there. He loves when he gets to go anywhere with just DH or myself. But unfortunately it's not that easy to do very often. I don't have any help and DH can sometimes work until 8pm, one on one time just isn't possible as much as I would like. So laying down with him at bedtime is really the only alone time we get. Sometimes we can get a bit of alone time while the twins nap but they are not good sleepers and can take my time away from him then too.

    We do flash cards and picture books while they eat, breakfast, lunch and tea. Sometimes he will randomly say one of the words but when asked again he won't do it.

    I try to explain to him everything I am doing through the day and always ask if he wants to help with things he would be able to (like getting the washing out of the machine, it's a front loader but he can't reach the dryer so I do that part). I get him to help with tea where he can and it's a bit of hit and miss sometimes he wants to sometimes he doesn't.

    I try to do at least one activity a day weather it's some kind of dough, painting or drawing, a craft, a puppet show, dancing, a game, cooking, building with blocks or Lego or both, dress up e.t.c but unless they are in a high chair so the twins can't touch his then he wants nothing to so with it.

    But as I said about my mum, she says things and then I start to think about it more and more and then I worry.

    He does have some signs of autism. He plays alone. He doesn't respond to his name (usually when he is watching TV or playing with something - he is like his father in that they are oblivious to everything going on around them, they are solely focused on what they are doing or watching). He lines things up (but he then plays with them like they are talking to each other and doing things and walking around) we used to walk on his tippy toes all the time, did it for a few months. He hasn't done it for a long time though.

    He says words and every now and then he will say something new. But he just doesn't say it again. He has a few words that he says regularly and clearly. Sometimes he will try and tell me things. And he'll be very animated, pointing and moving his hands around and facial expressions but the words don't sound like words, the only way I can explain it and I hope no one takes offence to it because I just don't know how to explain it any other way but it sounds like when and deaf person talks. Like it's coming from the back of his throat or nose I guess.

    He understands everything I ask of him, he will turn the light off or on when asked, he will take things to the sink or bin. He will get things he is asked to get, sometimes it takes a couple of times to ask before he acknowledges it but it does happen.

    I just don't know. I have spoken to our GP and he doesn't think he has autism and I have been in tears (feeling like a moron) with the health nurse but she doesn't think he has it either, she offered that he just might not be a talker but still when people get in your ear and you think about it you just worry.

    So I am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience with their kids, if maybe it does sounds like it could be autism? If it sounds like something else you've experienced or maybe someone you know?

  2. #2
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    He sounds a bit like my 3.5 year old.

    We are booked into a paed next month to explore the possibility he has autism.

    My DS has an amazing memory and a wide vocabulary, but he simply doesn't engage in conversation. He doesn't greet people with 'hi' or 'hello'. He doesn't ask questions. His eye contact isn't great.

    My DS has a great deal of trouble sitting still. He flits from one activity to another. He has sensory issues and has a limited range of foods he will eat, and will not try new foods.

    He has a number of autistic traits, though I still think sometimes maybe he isn't?

    Whatever the case we just want to help him as much as possible with the things he has difficulty with. If he has ASD, he'll still be our same amazing little guy, it'll just mean we can focus on getting him the right support.

    When you see the speech therapist let them know you have concerns and ask their opinion on whether they think you should see a paed. Speechies work with ASD kids all the time.

    And It's hard when you feel that something isn't quite right with your child.

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    bigZ  (19-08-2014)

  4. #3
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    Oh bigZ I feel for you - I went through exactly this with my ds1 at the same age. He is now 4.5 yrs. I couldn't sleep at night from the stress of not knowing. One of my sisters sons has asd and apraxia (now grade 6) so I also had my mother in my ear about the similarities between my son and hers. But I can tell you our story ended differently - no autism, no apraxia.

    We started private speech pathology once a week for ds1 at 2 years old. I also had him assessed at a government child health centre and he attended free group sessions and assessments. The private lessons were expensive and we went thru a few teachers until we found a male speech therapist who ds1 really responded to. I always made sure we went to classes sibling free to get the most out of ds1, and to pick up the activities so we could do at home. Progress felt achingly slow. Ds1 also had a few behavioural issues - probably because he struggled to communicate his emotions and wants - and was (still is) very jealous of us sharing time with siblings.

    At 2 yrs old I put him in daycare 1 day a week to expose him to other children in the hope it would spur along his communication skills. Then I put the other sibs in daycare a separate day to give me one full day per week to focus just on ds1, go to speech class and do his speech homework. He thrived on these days alone with me, Suddenly by his 3rd birthday he was talking but still behind the 8 ball. We continued classes until 3.5 yrs.

    I am pleased to report that now at 4.5 he is smart and articulate with clear speech for his age. Whether your son has autism or not, early intervention and therapy for speech is vital in my opinion. Don't loose hope but I think the situation definitely calls for extra effort and stimulation on behalf of us mums which is very hard to juggle. Best of luck

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    bigZ  (19-08-2014)

  6. #4
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    The worry is the hard part. It's more worry for him to have to deal with it. We of course will do everything we can to help him in whatever way we can but it's just no one wants their child to have anything. We deal with it if they do but of course there is worry for how they will be treated, what's going on in their heads. Can we help them, what have we done wrong, you know all the usual stuff. I guess I just keep trying here and wait and see what the speech pathologist says.

    Thanks for the replies, good to hear others stories.


 

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