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Question about strange behavior

Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders


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February 18th, 2008, 11:45 AM
EricsMom's Avatar SuperMommy!
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 585
Hi, everyone.

I really didn't know which Board to post this on. I'm just looking for some feedback regarding my son's behavior.

Here's a brief rundown:
- turned 3 in Sept
- DS was born 6 weeks early
- had an abnormal MRI and CT at birth (Dr's were unsure what that meant but said he'd be monitored for his development)
- had a "nervous disorder" when born that caused him to twitch or spasm almost like a mini seizure but it would calm when you held him. Seemed to be related to over stimulation (noise, excitement, over tired, temperature). As he grew it became less noticeble and is now more like a "jitter" so to speak - it's hard to describe
- he's met all developmental milestones except speech - he's receiving speech therapy once a week and is making great progress. The words are now coming and we're working on pronounciation
- The nervous twitch is something that has never really been investigated and last summer it manifested into DS "pacing" on occasion and flapping his hands (a typical autism sign). When discussed with Ped. he ruled out autism as the typical signs weren't there - DS is very social, makes great eye contact, interacts with other children well, tends to have a short attention span, smiles, makes various facial expressions, etc.
- Passed the Gieselle Assessment at an age appropriate level in everything except speech in Sept.
- DS had an EEG at 18 months (for something unrelated) that came back "perfectly normal"
- DS is now 3-1/2 years old and over the last 2 months the pacing and hand flapping are now a daily occurance. If you tell him to clap his hand or put his hands on his head he will right away and you can make a game out of it but he will go right back to the behaviour when your done. He can pace for as long as 15 or 20 min. if you let him. This past week on 6 occasions that I've seen he's let out a loud screech for no apparent reason and he seems to be zoning out at times - especially in the car. I'll talk to him and sometimes have to get mad before he'll answer me. I never know if it's him just being a 3 year old with selective hearing or if there's something wrong. Up til now I've not been worried but now I'm getting worried. His next scheduled Ped. appt. is march 31 and I've called to see if we can get in earlier.

I just wanted to see if anyone else had any input here or a similar situation.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
~~~ Candie ~~~

Actively TTCMA #2 Again (10 yrs total TTC'ing #2 in various stages of MA and NTNP)

Me (40) Annovulatory, PCOS, IR and Type 2 Diabetes, DH (47), DS (11)

"Learning to have faith, think positively, believe in myself and trust in God."
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February 19th, 2008, 09:59 PM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 22,604
Hi! Our story is not very similar in the beginning, Gus was full term and seemed a normal infant, he did get overstimulated and preferred to nestle in his sling, but that didn't seem unusual - no medical issues or illnesses.
In toddlerhood he did begin to show quirks - and he wasn't really talking. I tried not to compare him to his older sibs and just went along until his doctor became concerned.
Here's where we have some similarities - Gus paces too! He will go up and down the room over and over sometimes. Sometimes in ritual - like he has to run up and down the room a few times in between I pour him a juice and he takes it. If he is interrupted he starts over. He flaps and beats his arms as well.
Gus makes eye contact, smiles, and is pretty social - kind of - he doesn't seek others but he doesn't shy away either. He smiles and interacts.
He was evaluated and diagnosed with autism in October 2006, he was about 2˝
Welcome to the board!

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February 19th, 2008, 11:33 PM
MrsStuartD's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 23,164
I typed out this nice long detailed reply and JM's nightly back up lost it in space! So since it's late, I'll keep it short and simple. My son didn't have the typical signs either and our doctor wasn't worried and told us not to worry about it. But we insisted he be sent for testing and he was diagnosed 2 weeks ago at 2.5yrs old. It's always best to be cautious. He does have signs. So I would get him tested. You know autistic people are like snowflakes, there are no 2 alike.

Good luck and welcome. Please keep us posted in his development.

Thanks Nicole (MommaDucks) for my new & awesome siggy.
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February 20th, 2008, 06:42 AM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North
Posts: 7,824
I would keep at the dr.'s to figure out whats going on with him neurologically. The zoning out could be a sort of seizure. My oldest was born with a seizure disorder and some of her seizures were just strange facial expressions. If there hasn't been a repeat MRI recently, I would probably push for another one...especially if there was an abnormality observed previously.

As far as the ped. making an Austims dx, I would probably ask for a referral to someone who specializes in autism.

good luck and welcome.
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
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February 20th, 2008, 12:35 PM
EricsMom's Avatar SuperMommy!
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 585
Thank you all for getting back to me.

His Ped. did brush it off because he didn't have the other "typical behaviors" but he also wasn't doing it nearly as much either.

When I ask him what he's doing (I have to ask him a few times) he tells me "ird, mama". Says he's a bird.

With strange children (like at playschool) he doesn't seek children out to play with them, he plays along side them no problem and he will interact with them if he is approaced. His cousins, however, he likes to get right in there and do whatever they're doing - especially when they play soccer.

My friend's 8 year old son is autistic as is her nephew (who is much more severe on the spectrum) so I know a lot of the "typical" behaviors so to speak. I know that like any disorder in can manifest in many ways.

Last summer when the arm jitters and hand waving really started he was only doing it when he was over tired or excited so the Ped. thought that because he really had no vocab it was his way of re-directing his energy. It's always concerned me as being something neurological but because his Ped. has always been fantastic, proactive and very thorough we went with his explanation. It's been 5 months since we saw his Ped. and it's gotten much worse (as far as progressing into full out flapping every day including pacing). On the contrary, his speech has made significant improvements since then.

Our next Ped. appt. is Mar. 31 but I've gotten us put on the cancellation list as well. No matter whether it's autism or not, I will definitely push for the testing, even if it just to rule it out. The behavior is not normal at all. I also hadn't thought of it until 2 days ago - the zoning out - my DH's niece has epilepsy and her seizures started out as being clumpsy and zoning out - so I will definitely be looking into that as well.

Thank you again for all your insight. I really appreciate hearing your thoughts and experiences. I was surfing yesterday and watching a bunch of videos on YouTube of toddlers with autism and there was one girl and one boy who both had the exact same arm motion and pacing that my DS has.

Sorry to ramble, I just really appreciate having someone to talk to. I can't talk about it with my friend for reasons I won't go in to here, and when I say anything to my family they're all "he's just fine" or "we'll love him anyways" - as if that was ever a question?!
~~~ Candie ~~~

Actively TTCMA #2 Again (10 yrs total TTC'ing #2 in various stages of MA and NTNP)

Me (40) Annovulatory, PCOS, IR and Type 2 Diabetes, DH (47), DS (11)

"Learning to have faith, think positively, believe in myself and trust in God."
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February 21st, 2008, 09:02 PM
Mjp121212's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 8,065
ya know odd you mentioned the jitters. I remember bringing that up at a sick visit to the pedi that my son was very twitchy and I worried about seizures. He would shake and jerk soooo badly and the dr said it was nerves too. The nwe thought he had a seizure, normal eeg. BUT an eeg CAN be normal since most are. Not all seizure disorders show on an eeg if there's not siezure activity at that same time. He also does the blank stare thing. I'm thinking I should bring all this up to his dr soon. sorry I'm not much help to you, but you've helped me a lot lol!

Thanks to Maitri for my wonderful siggy!
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