Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Signs of Autism

So DH and I are meeting with a woman who works with ECI and we've been working on communication and developing his language skills. Today we had our 4th meeting with her and he's progressed. He is signing "more" now, also starting to open up to her more and play her games. :D

 

Butttttt....  She just had to bring up Autism and mental health and she seemed like she was a little worried about it. She said she didn't want to diagnose him with anything yet, just wants to work on correcting what we can but of course, I'm a parent and can't stop thinking or worrying about it.

 

I'm looking for comfort, and signs to look for, I've just begun my research. TIA ladies.


Re: Signs of Autism

  • Please forgive my lack of knowledge, but what is "ECI"?

    It is hard not to worry when people bring things up like this.  With L, he has a huge head (like the average size for a 3 year old at the moment).  They say there's probably nothing wrong and it's just familial, but then they say what else it could be and I start questioning whether there could be something wrong.

    Hang in there momma!

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  • I'm a teacher, not an expert...but I do know that some of my students with autism are VERY sweet, loving, SMART, very smart kids! Even if your child does end up getting diagnosed, it's not a death sentence. I deal with many highly functioning, amazing kids with autism! Hang in there momma! Just like all kids their atmosphere has a lot to do with EVERY aspect of their lives. That's something you can control, so just keep loving like crazy!  :)
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  • Repost this to the special needs board.  The ladies over there can probably give you more information than you'd ever need.
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  • Well, I work for ECI so just so you know, she can't officially diagnose him with autism.  ECI doesn't diagnose.  If I were you I'd talk to your pediatrician about her concerns.

    Autism is a spectrum disorder, so it's a wide range of severity.  But the areas it impacts are social skills, speech skills, and sensory processing.  Is speech the only issue?

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  • image CopperT0p:

    Please forgive my lack of knowledge, but what is "ECI"?

    It is hard not to worry when people bring things up like this.  With L, he has a huge head (like the average size for a 3 year old at the moment).  They say there's probably nothing wrong and it's just familial, but then they say what else it could be and I start questioning whether there could be something wrong.

    Hang in there momma!

     

    ECI stands for "Early Communication Intervention" we started him with it because he wasn't really talking or communication and the doctor recommended it. She told us today that there was this ladder of mental health disorders, she started with having 7 senses or being bothered by one sense, then on to ADHD (which both DH and I have been diagnosed with), next was Autism, then Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia. I think the main thing that concerned her was the fast he didn't want to make eye contact but she was definitely considering the first 3 steps on the ladder. It is hard to not think about it or over-worry yourself especially when there isn't some kind of way to properly diagnose.


  • image rlyttle:
    I'm a teacher, not an expert...but I do know that some of my students with autism are VERY sweet, loving, SMART, very smart kids! Even if your child does end up getting diagnosed, it's not a death sentence. I deal with many highly functioning, amazing kids with autism! Hang in there momma! Just like all kids their atmosphere has a lot to do with EVERY aspect of their lives. That's something you can control, so just keep loving like crazy!  :)

     

    Thank you for mentioning this. I am grateful for this amazing little boy no matter what. :D 


  • You'll be able to find a lot of the "typical" signs online. But especially for kids who are high-functioning, those lists aren't all that accurate. They certainly weren't for my DD1. 

    She was diagnosed with autism last March. She is "high-functioning", i.e., normal intelligence and self-care skills. She has a speech delay, but talks up a storm. A lot of it is repetitive or "scripted," as in she repeats lines from books, movies, TV, or just the last thing she heard someone say (echolalia).

    She is affectionate, giggly, loves Tangled, dances, sings, and for the most part, not all that different from her peers. She has a fantastic memory and notices details that many people don't -- like when a classmate gets a haircut. She has a hard time with abstract concepts, reading people's expressions, sustaining a conversation, and she does very little imaginative play. She wants to engage with peers, make friends, play, etc. -- she just has very little idea of how to do so, and it takes a lot of help for her to figure out the things that my DD2 picks up as naturally as breathing. 

    She does not toe-walk, flap her hands, spin wheels or fixate on fans, have issues with textures or fabrics, or issues with transitions/new things/change. A lot of the autism guidelines can make it sound like every kid with autism has one or all of those things, and that's not true. There's a huge spectrum of capability. 

    For my DD1, most adults have no idea she's on the spectrum. They automatically accommodate her quirks and therefore don't notice them. And the differences can be very, very subtle. Like -- when I make faces or do funny things for DD1, she laughs. But when I do the same thing for DD2, she'll laugh and then imitate, use it in different contexts, etc. The difficult part for DD1 is the ability to see what others do and then turn it into something she does herself/make it her own. 

    And there is testing to diagnose autism, even if EI can't do it. Developmental pediatricians and child psychologists can perform a developmental evaluation to determine whether a child is on the autism spectrum.  

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  • My step son is in the autistic spectrum but is labeled learning disabled.  He is 15 and is an average boy on every level except in school.  Socially he has friends and communicates normally with them and does age appropriate activities.  He just does not pick up on regular social ques that other kids would and he gets distracted alot.  He is totally happy to sit all by himself in a room with no stimuli and stare into space.  You have to remind him numerous times to do a task, like brush his teeth and shower...or keep a chart so he can stay on task.  Otherwise he is sensitive, caring, funny, and you would never know outside of his school environment that he is learning disabled.  He did not learn to talk until after the age of 2 and has a really hard time with organized sports like baseball and basketball and soccer... but can play video games with the best of them.  Don't let the term autistic scare you... as others have mention the spectrum is very broad.  As long as they are monitoring and he gets the help he needs, it doesn't matter the label really.
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  • image CopperT0p:

    Please forgive my lack of knowledge, but what is "ECI"?

    It is hard not to worry when people bring things up like this.  With L, he has a huge head (like the average size for a 3 year old at the moment).  They say there's probably nothing wrong and it's just familial, but then they say what else it could be and I start questioning whether there could be something wrong.

    Hang in there momma!

     

    oh dont worry.  my 9 yr old had a nice size dome when he was little. the doctor told me she wanted to monitor his head growth. i quickly told her that 'domes' run in his father's? side of the family lol! 

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  • I am a speech pathologist who works with kids with autism. Autism looks different in every child, however most of the children have social difficulties. In toddlers, some of the things that we look for are: lack of eye contact, lack of interaction with parents or peers, playing alone rather than with someone else, delayed speech and language skills, aggression, self-stimulation movements-rocking, flapping; or very routine-based. Some children also become "obsessed" with certain things-lining things up, letters, numbers....

     

    If you're in doubt, talk with your doctor. 

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  • I am a special education teacher specializing in Autism(all of the students in my class have Autism). I am also certified in School Psychometry(diagnostics)...the PP's have given you really good advice. I will say that, of the 6 students I have right now only one of them  has issues making eye contact...hang in there...
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