Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders
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I wouldnt say my son is autistic - although I did think so at one point, and support the cause - I dont know what to think anymore. Is he mildly autistic, or is it just normal toddler behavior paired with a processing disorder and sensory overload. His therapists weren't sure what to think at first, but recently his BT and I talked about it and ruled out autism (because she works with autistic kids and they have a much harder time - but if all autistic kids have it the same why is it a spectrum?) but she says its most likely a processing disorder and definitely sensory overload. I can see that - my DH had dyslexia as a kid he most grew out of it, like learned to learn differently basically. My biological father one of the few things I know about him is that he had dyslexia. A lot of boys in my family have had to stay back in school, go to speech therapy, or go to summer school because of learning disabilities. So, I can see how autism is easily ruled out for me son. BUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM?! Isnt there any other way to know for sure one way or the other without the "professionals" GUESSING based on other cases they have seen? Will it help when he sees a neurologist?
you can just respond to those main feelings Im having, or you can read on to try to understand my concerns about my son. I realize this post is already long, and I dont want to seem like this is a "diagnose my son" post. But maybe someone has a child who is similiar and can give some further insight for me.
My son progressed normally for the first 15 months. Not like he was perfectly on target, but definitely not leaving me concerned, other then his head banging. Which I would look up, find autism, read more, and figure nope, not that! but then other things started to come into play...
here is where we are at at 2 1/2 years
He used to try to repeat words - but as quickly as he learned them he would forget them. Now its a huge deal for him to learn new words. He still has regression, but I will say with therapy he is learning words faster then he is losing them. But there are words he said for months, and then wont say again - and i mean its been months and he wont say them. He used to say dog, cat, bear. now ALL animals are kitty "tit tee" you can tell him cat or dog or bear until your tongue falls out of your mouth and he will copy you with (kitty) as if thats what you had said. The word cup is PUH and you can tell him so 100 times but its puh to him. the few words he does say he tends to pronounce backwardsish... But the fact he stops saying words all together or generalizing them is difficult. And the generalizing seems to be getting worse. instead of calling all animals "tit tee" he has started generalizing all sounds. puh now means cup and apple and aparently a few other things that I dont know what he is talking about when he says it. This is good - he is copying sounds - from what I understand. but is it good that he USED to say apple and now its puh? Is it good that he used to say all done and now is awuh? is it good he used to say mommy but now im muh? If yo look at every he has learned to say you would think he isnt too far behind his peers - but if you look at what he actually communicated at any given time - well, my 15 month old talks more then that - which makes me wonder now if I just missed the signed before 15 months with him.
I also notice if I keep trying to get my son to say a word he will just say "cah" (car) because thats a word he knows. So I KNOW he WANTS to tell me what he knows. he wants to show off to me. So how come he cant say words he used to say? I know he WANTS to.
Of course its not all speech. He follows some directions "lets go outside" "get your shoes" "get your cup" "put this in the garbage/sink" this is a huge improvement made just recently. BUT - as with every accomplishment I have to wonder - how long will this last? what about the things he USED to understand that he doesnt anymore?
Behavioral things are also an issue. The headbanging has stopped, and so has the weird arms and face gestures (they would just tighten up in this weird way with his head to one side and his arm bent up) but thats done now. Hes just now starting to become a picky eater - seems to have to do more with the texture of the food - but I tried blending it for him and he still wont eat it. He lines up his toys, stacks them. he used to do this more religiously then he does now, but he still will stop what he is doing if something is turned on its side to put it upright and go back to what he is doing. what im noticing now is his expression of frusteration. when he gets frusterated he turns EVERYTHING onto its side. if we are playing with cars and something goes wrong he turns each one onto its side. then he seems to calms down and turns them back again lining them up.
sometimes i feel like im looking for something that isnt there. maybe im reading too far into this because im so concerned about the speech delay.
He also recently learned how to sign "more" which he was using for everything the first few days. now he ONLY uses it to sign "more" for bubbles. if you try to get him to sign "more" for anything else then he throws a fit.
My son IS loving. He gives hugs and kisses and is sweet with our family. Even warmed up to his therapist pretty quickly. he points to things. he babbles. he mimicks "counting" by going "eee, eee, eee, eee, eee" as im going "1, 2, 3, 4, 5" but he wont try to say the numbers. right now our main focus is just taching him the concept of 1.
for someone with a sensory overload, he sure doesnt like his diaper changed! you think hed hate sitting in a dirty or wet diaper but he would sit in it till it fell off if you let him. i found recently counting during diaper changes keeps him calm though.
IDK - on paper doesnt sound so bad.. I guess there are also those things you dont think to talk about until they are doing them again. I guess you can say my main concerns are the regressions and generalizations. I am honestly FLOORED by what I hear most 2 1/2 year olds saying and understanding. Even what 2 years old says and 1 1/2 year olds say. Im even amazed at what my own daughter says at 15 months old. Joey may not have autism, but something is not right here. and I feel like I will never know because its not severe enough to diagnose. At least he is receiving services though and will soon be getting services through the school as well - when he turns 3.
I know that you are told that your son doesn't fit the autism dx but welcome to the board anyway.
As far as a processing disorder, I am guessing its maybe a language processing disorder which I do not know much about. It sounds like he knows what he wants to tell you but that he can't do it. Maybe a speech therapist could shed some light on this issue and give you some advice on where to go for an eval.
The wierd facial expression and arm movement, was this something that he did not seem to have control over? Just happened for a few seconds and stopped? I know you say he doesn't do this anymore but if it was something that was not within his control, it almost sounds seizure like to me. My oldest had a seizure disorder and some of her seizures were just contiained to eye squinting episodes. I dont' want to scare you because it may not have been that at all...just what popped into my head when I read your post. Yes, a neurologist consult might help...write down everything you've put here and take it in if and when you go.
As far as speech goes, I dont' usually get too overly concerned as I've had 3 late talkers and one earlier talker. My 2 1/2 yr. old has just a few months ago started making great gains with speech. I wouldnt' even be concerned with a toddler losing a few words that they had previously been saying. But, it sounds like your little guy has been having quite a struggle with this so I would look into getting an eval. with some early intervention...it sounds like you've done some of that already. Hopefully with some help, he can catch up in the speech and that will relieve alot of his and your frustration.
Sensory issues...my dd had so many when she was little...didn't like anyone touching her for the most part, baths, lotion, teeth brushing, nail cutting, loud noises, certain foods etc...were a few things that used to set her off. Good news is that while she still has issues, she has become much more tolerant over the years.
Hang in there. Answers are a lot of time very slow coming and it can be very frustrating having to wait without knowing whats going on but if you need to vent, you can always come here. Let us know how things go.
Tammy, Mom to
Abby (19), Kacie (13), Chase (11), & Jacob (7)
"...They're supposed to make you miserable! That's why they're family!" ~ Bobby ~ Supernatural
thanks for taking the time to read my long drawn out post lol
there was a concern when he was younger too for silent seizures - how do they check for that? he used to sit there and then "zone out" and it was like he couldnt hear you. but then again, maybe he was just deep in thought, i know kids zone out sometimes. He is getting speech and behavioral therapy right now, and supposed to get occupational therapy as well. Some of the things we have done to help with his sensory overload seem to be working so far, so thats good. I hope he just "snaps" out of it. ya know, just starts talking one day. My daughter loses words sometimes too but regains them quickly and learns a lot of new words all the time. Joey seems to take months to learn a new word, and everything he learns get lost , deteriorates, or get generalized to mean several things - even if they arent in the same "catagory" i that makes sense. Hes definitely frusterated by his inability to communicate, but at the same time I get frusterated ebcause he's USED these words before so how come when I "remind" him what the word is he wont even try to make a sound and just throws a fit?! its tough. thanks for the support!
Our old next door neighbor's teenage daughter was our "mother's helper" babysitter last summer and she had Aspergers and she also had some other diagnosis and I remember that it had something to do with uncontrollably bending her arm! She took medication to control it. Oh, I can't remember what it was called - and she and her family have moved cross-country! I will try to get in touch and find out if you like.
Crissy ♥ mama to Jack 7.16.01 ~ Mia Bella 10.29.02
Angus Pickle 2.24.04 ~ Sydney Bean 10.26.06 & Kater Tot 2.15.09
thanks for taking the time to read my long drawn out post lol
there was a concern when he was younger too for silent seizures - how do they check for that? he used to sit there and then "zone out" and it was like he couldnt hear you. but then again, maybe he was just deep in thought, i know kids zone out sometimes. He is getting speech and behavioral therapy right now, and supposed to get occupational therapy as well. Some of the things we have done to help with his sensory overload seem to be working so far, so thats good. I hope he just "snaps" out of it. ya know, just starts talking one day. My daughter loses words sometimes too but regains them quickly and learns a lot of new words all the time. Joey seems to take months to learn a new word, and everything he learns get lost , deteriorates, or get generalized to mean several things - even if they arent in the same "catagory" i that makes sense. Hes definitely frusterated by his inability to communicate, but at the same time I get frusterated ebcause he's USED these words before so how come when I "remind" him what the word is he wont even try to make a sound and just throws a fit?! its tough. thanks for the support![/b]
We thought the same for my son too at one point he an EEG and that came back normal so they then did a sleep deprived EEG and that also came back normal so it was just behavioural, so you could ask for these to find out for sure. HTH. BTW your son sounds similar to mine, my son has not yet been diagnosed read thread "what to think?" for details.