Special Needs

How early?

tenfourtenfour member
Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Photogenic
edited May 2014 in Special Needs
Hi. I keep reading that early intervention is so important but how early can you actually have your child evaluated? I have a three month old and everyone thinks I'm just being crazy and "googling too much" but based on what I keep reading, I have some concerns. He's pretty smiley and will engage if he feels like it (usually lying down or in a seat) but basically will not make eye contact or engage with anyone while being held (won't look at the person holding him or anyone else) I brought it up to my pedi and he said he's fine and chalked it up to overstimulation. Anyway, I'm already prepared to go around my pedi but how soon can I call?

ALSO - and maybe this should be a separate thread but I am completely debilitated by my concerns. I just can't enjoy my adorable baby and I don't know how to stop stressing. I never had PPD (I have an older daughter, too) but I wonder if this kind of neurotic worrying has happened to anyone else and if there's anything I can do about it?

Sorry this is so long! I am just so bummed.

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Re: How early?

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  • tenfourtenfour member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Photogenic
    I LOVE the advice of hitting snooze on my alarm. For some reason I just can't allow myself to enjoy the moment without being able to do something about this. Whatever "this" is. PPA is sounding really plausible because it just feels like an abnormal amount. Full disclosure, I have been worried about this since way before he is even born. Although then I keep telling myself it's not paranoia if there really is a problem. I guess I have no choice but to wait and see. Thank you ladies SO MUCH. 

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  • I hesitate to reply, but thought I'd share my story. I swear I could have written your original post two months ago. My son (now five months) was a challenge for the first few months - colicy, reflux issues, gas. It was really hard to get him to smile or look at anyone until about 3 months when we got him on reflux medicine and I eliminated dairy from my diet. At about 3 months he started making eye contact, but only when lying down or in a car seat, never when being held upright looking at me. I was panicking and googling everything possible. Everyone told me I was crazy and he was fine, but I decided to have him evaluated by EI. They came out and he did qualify for services in communication, cognitive, and social. We also had his hearing checked with an audiologist to make sure everything was fine, and thankfully, it was. He's seeing an OCcupational therapist once a week now. he's doing MUCH better now. Smiles a ton and looks at me in the eye when I'm holding him. Not all the time, but I'm much less concerned than I was two months ago. I think it has more to do with him getting older and his GI issues under control than the OT, but whatever works! I honestly felt much better as soon as his EI evaluation was done, knowing that we had a plan in place.

    As for the PPA and obsessing, I can totally relate. Hence why I found your post while searching the internet :-) I'm trying to just be happy with his progress and not worry all the time. But it's really hard. I coukd literally spend all day every day worrying. But it really helps to see him improving. I also have an older daughter and never worried about her like this. I'm also trying not to constantly compare them as they are different babies.

    I'm not sure if this post will help you or make you feel worse, but at least know that others have been in a similar situation! Hopefully you'll start seeing some improvements soon and you can relax a bit. But don't feel like it's too soon to call EI. You might feel better knowing that you'll get some answers one way or the other. Let me know if I can share any other info with you. Good luck!
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  • @capeb07‌ I sent you a pm. I also have an older daughter!

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  • tenfourtenfour member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Photogenic
    edited June 2014


    tenfour said:

    I LOVE the advice of hitting snooze on my alarm. For some reason I just can't allow myself to enjoy the moment without being able to do something about this. Whatever "this" is. PPA is sounding really plausible because it just feels like an abnormal amount. Full disclosure, I have been worried about this since way before he is even born. Although then I keep telling myself it's not paranoia if there really is a problem. I guess I have no choice but to wait and see. Thank you ladies SO MUCH. 

    What are you specifically concerned about?  ASD?  Just assuming because you mentioned lack of eye contact.  With ASD, there isn't really something you can "do" about it.  If your LO is going to be autistic, you can't reverse it.  Early intervention is key but I can't imagine they would suggest you do something you aren't already doing.   Just continue to engage your baby and enjoy him.  Don't waste these times with him worrying about something you can't do anything about anyway.  You have a toddler so clearly you know how quickly it all goes by.  

    Yes I'd prefer if there were something I can do about it, if anything could or needs to be done such as EI or anything. I'm new to this so I have no idea what one does or doesn't "do" except that everything I read says to "do" something as early as possible I just wasn't sure how early, which is why I posted this. I am concerned about ASD because a few times I've seen people post that they could notice their infants lack of eye contact from birth, even in the FAQ early signs post here on this board.

    We actually did take him to the pedi and are seeing an opthamologist today. Of course at the pedi my son smiled and tracked and had eye contact the whole time so I really looked crazy. But we will see. I'll keep updating this thread in case any other worried moms come across this.

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  • Thanks ladies that is so helpful! Starting a log is such a good idea, I will definitely do that.

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  • I'm just going to add that PPA or PPD can actually affect the way your infant interacts with you. There have been studies on this -- when mom is depressed or anxious, it makes baby more likely to avoid eye contact, have less expressive facial expressions (flatter affect) and in general, be more connected/engaged with other people. 

    I had this happen myself, albeit at an older age. My DD1 has ASD and I was convinced her younger sister did, too, at around 12-15 months. She made little eye contact with me, would move my hands to do things for her (use me as a tool), wouldn't respond to her name -- all red flags for ASD. But when she was evaluated, they actually said she was spot-on socially and a little ahead, although her language was slightly delayed. However, they noted that with me, she made significantly less eye contact than with the evaluators. My DH and other people thought I was crazy -- because she wasn't that way with them, so no wonder they didn't see what was making me so worried! 

    When my pedi heard that, she asked how I was doing and I burst into tears. My anxiety was through the roof. I went on anti-depressants for 18 months and my relationship with DD2 got back on track -- all those little red flags went away after awhile. 

    Don't underestimate your baby's ability to pick up on your state of mental health. The little things you're seeing may be nothing, or they may be something -- but it could be something with *you* that your baby is responding to. 
    image

    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
    [Deleted User]crazyjoedivolamacchiatto
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  • I'm just going to add that PPA or PPD can actually affect the way your infant interacts with you. There have been studies on this -- when mom is depressed or anxious, it makes baby more likely to avoid eye contact, have less expressive facial expressions (flatter affect) and in general, be more connected/engaged with other people. 

    I had this happen myself, albeit at an older age. My DD1 has ASD and I was convinced her younger sister did, too, at around 12-15 months. She made little eye contact with me, would move my hands to do things for her (use me as a tool), wouldn't respond to her name -- all red flags for ASD. But when she was evaluated, they actually said she was spot-on socially and a little ahead, although her language was slightly delayed. However, they noted that with me, she made significantly less eye contact than with the evaluators. My DH and other people thought I was crazy -- because she wasn't that way with them, so no wonder they didn't see what was making me so worried! 

    When my pedi heard that, she asked how I was doing and I burst into tears. My anxiety was through the roof. I went on anti-depressants for 18 months and my relationship with DD2 got back on track -- all those little red flags went away after awhile. 

    Don't underestimate your baby's ability to pick up on your state of mental health. The little things you're seeing may be nothing, or they may be something -- but it could be something with *you* that your baby is responding to. 
    omg that is so interesting!! people keep telling me not to stress and he can sense it but it's helpful to have a real life example. thank you for sharing!

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  • lite-bright makes a really good point. I would definitely see a therapist (not just your dr since meds alone are generally less effective than meds and talk therapy combined) and your dr about possible PPA or other underlying anxiety disorder.

    I will say, I noticed things that were "different" about my son from the time he was 2-3 months. Part of it is that he seemed especially floppy even for a baby that age, and part of it was that he wouldn't make eye contact while being held or really at all unless you were a good 4-5' or more away from him. For him it persisted until 18m and then got better, but to this day (at 5.5) he does still have inconsistent eye contact and social skills delays). When I asked my pedi about the eye contact in infancy, she didn't think it was ASD because he only did it if you were close to him; that he may have been overstimulated, a shyness/personality thing, etc. I do still think it was more than that (esp. since he was doing it with his own mom) but this thread is the first time I've heard anyone else report the same thing with their own baby. At any rate, now at 5.5 he's been evaluated for ASD several times and isn't considered on the spectrum yet but definitely has some red flags/similarities to kids with Asperger's.
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
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