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I am hoping maybe you can give me some advice


Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders

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  #1  
January 8th, 2008, 07:31 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 39,051
I need some advice. I don't have any real experience with toddlers at all. I've only worked with school aged children. Now I babysit a 19 month old boy. He has had some severe delays and I suspect he is autistic. I'm not sure how much of it is normal behavior for a child his age and what is stuff that really should be worried about. Here are the things I notice:

-didn't crawl until 14 months, finally walked at 17 months
-doesn't speak at all, not even mama or dada
-doesn't look at an object when you name it or point to it (if you say C go get the ball he won't even look at it even if it's right in front of him)
-he doesn't seem to notice Ben (my 7 month old at all even when Ben is majorly crying)
-he flaps his hand around weirdly (hand flapping is a sign of autism but I don't know if it's just normal at his age)
-he does not feed himself with utensils and makes no attempt to, if you hand him a spoon he doesn't seem to know what to do with it
-he refuses most foods that require chewing unless it's cracker or something of that nature. he still mainly eats babyfood
-he does not do any pretend play
-he is not affectionate at all (I can understand him being that way with me but he is that way with his family too)
-he rarely laughs
-he hardly ever answers to his name
-he makes eye contact but not on cue (like when you call his name) and doesn't hold it for long
-he doesn't interact and play (he'll play with a toy but not sit with someone and play with them)

I'd appreciate any advice you could give on what is and is not normal for a child his age. I know all kids are different but I'm hoping I can get a general consensus on some things. I am friends with his mother and watch him 4 days a week. We have discussed some of his problems. He did go to PT for help with walking. She said to me one day well at least I know he's not autistic because his Dr said he can't be because he will make some eye contact. I think her Dr is wrong. I have worked with autistic children and many of them do make eye contact. I don't know if I should bring this up to her or just let her figure it out on her own. I know that the earlier the intervention the better so if he is autistic it would be beneficial for him to get help as soon as possible.
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  #2  
January 9th, 2008, 03:51 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,966
I am not sure what to say. With what you are saying it does sound like Autism. If it was me I would say something to the mother. I am not sure how exactly I would go about it. I am sure there are people on this board that give advice on that. If you do talk to her tell her about calling early intervention. They can do a evaluation on him and they should be able to give a list of docs she can go to get evalulated for Autism.
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  #3  
January 9th, 2008, 05:43 AM
outnumbered's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My son has autism and his eye contact was there sometimes, too, but that's only one thing on The List. Suggest the mom call whatever Early Intervention there is in her area and get him evaluated. If he's afflicted, the earlier the better. I think my son is doing as well as he is because I made that first call when he was 18 months old. He didn't get the autism diagnosis until almost a year later, but he was found to be Speech and Language Impaired with some sensory issues and started working with trained people and going to special playgroups.

I don't know about such a delay in walking. Hunter never crawled, but I beleive that's because I carried him around at the house because we had tile and wood floors. He walked the day of his birthday. He could have other issues but with autistic tendencies.
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  #4  
January 9th, 2008, 09:07 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Location: New Jersey
Posts: 39,051
Thanks for the advice ladies. I want to say something to his mom but I don't want her to feel like I'm putting her son down. I know it's very hard for most parents to accept that something may be wrong with their child.

He's been consistently behind on so many things. I have a 7 month old son who in some ways seems more advanced than this boy. I'd like to see him get the help he needs if he does have a problem. I know that it is so important to make intervention as soon as possible.
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  #5  
January 9th, 2008, 11:08 AM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
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Gus made eye contact and smiled too. The specialist we saw said that does not exclude autism. Her GP may not be up to date on early warning signs. From your list Gus had these when it was first suggested to us, he was 2 ˝:

-doesn't speak at all, not even mama or dada
-doesn't look at an object when you name it or point to it
-he doesn't seem to notice other children
-he flaps his hand around weirdly (hand flapping is a sign of autism but I don't know if it's just normal at his age) actually Gus does more of a pumping his arms and/or beating his chest thing but it's stimming nonetheless
-he does not feed himself with utensils and makes no attempt to, if you hand him a spoon he doesn't seem to know what to do with it
-he refuses most foods that require chewing unless it's cracker or something of that nature. he still mainly eats babyfood to this day Gus eats mostly yogurt and banana baby food and peanut butter sandwiches that he mushes, not chews
-he does not do any pretend play
-he is not affectionate at all (I can understand him being that way with me but he is that way with his family too) Gus would accept a hug if you asked first but not intitiate and would shrink back from contact
-he hardly ever answers to his name
-he makes eye contact but not on cue (like when you call his name) and doesn't hold it for long
-he doesn't interact and play (he'll play with a toy but not sit with someone and play with them)

Anyways, with a few exceptions, what you listed is very similar my boy Gus - back then. Now , about 18 months later, he has many words, answers to his name, follows directions, gives hugs and kisses, plays with other children - he has made huge progress with O/T and speech and special needs preschool 5 days a week - through Early Intervention and then the school system.

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  #6  
January 9th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,160
Sounds like the doctor is an old school doctor. My child is older than most on this board and back when he was 4 and we were starting to try to get help we kept constantly being told he doesn't have autism, he makes eye contact. Now that isn't the be-all and end-all to autism diagnosis, in fact the milder forms of autism like asperger's, children often make good eye contact but they are still diagnosed with it.
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