Possible ASD? — The Bump
Special Needs

Possible ASD?

SGC29SGC29 member
Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Photogenic
edited October 2015 in Special Needs
My DS recently turned 3 and over the last year or so (particularly within the last 6 months) we have begun to have some concerns in regards to his behavior. He had his 3 year well check not long ago and was pretty wild during the visit and therefore I did not get to really voice all of my concerns with our pediatrician. The few things we DID cover, she wrote off as him being a "strong willed child" and she recommended a few books for us to read. 

The more I observe his behavior though as compared to our other children the more I have trouble ignoring some of the "red flags" that come up. Though I honestly am not certain if these are even things that I should be worried about or if I am just overly concerned at this point. I don't expect anyone to diagnose my child but I am hoping that someone could help me understand if these things are things that I should be discussing with his doctor, or just waiting to see if he outgrows them.

Here goes, for one, he seems to have difficulty with clothing. Aside from not dressing himself in any way (he can occasionally put his Crocs on his feet but that is it), he has a strong aversion to wearing socks. We can sometimes get him to wear them, other times he cries and say the "hurt". He is not potty trained. He will go to the potty if we put him on it, but otherwise he wets himself and seems to not really realize that he has even gone to the bathroom on himself. He has stopped eating almost every food he use to enjoy. There are maybe 3 things we can get him to eat. If we try to feed him anything other than the very small list of things he will eat he goes hysterical and says those things "hurt his mouth". Though he does slightly better eating if we sit and feed him, as in we use his utensils and do it for him. He has difficulty sleeping at night. He has done better since we moved him into a room with his older sister but he still winds up in our room several nights out of the week. He seems to scare easily if he hears a loud noise (car alarm, house alarm, horn honk, garbage truck). His reaction is brief but he will sometimes yell. He has difficulty staying calm at times, if he gets overly excited, or upset, or hyper he will have these emotions to the EXTREME and it requires us to focus solely on him. No amount of comforting helps him when he is having a "meltdown" we usually have to just sit with him and ride it out. He doesn't seem angry during his outbursts, he seems almost panicked. He carries something in his hands at all times. He strongly attaches himself to objects and will fixate on something and then carry it around for several days, day and night until he moves onto another object or toy. He never ever has empty hands. He is almost always moving, even when he is sitting and watching a movie SOME part of his body is always moving. 

There are more things but as to not be too terribly long winded I will stop here. If you have an ASD child (forgive me if I am in any way using incorrect terms, I am still VERY new in my learning about all this), does this sound like behavior you see in your child? Should I be alarmed?

Thanks so much.

edited to add: One more thing of note, he does make eye contact with us and others but he almost never makes eye contact with a camera? He always always looks away, and usually has a blank stare on his face. He will say "cheese" and smile but he will look at the ground, the wall, the trees anything but the camera. I'm not sure if that is note worthy but I felt inclined to include it.





Re: Possible ASD?

  • BigboobsmcgeeBigboobsmcgee member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers First Anniversary
    edited November 2015


    If you are concerned then I would definitely call the Pedi and ask how to get an evaluation.

     

     

  • greyt00greyt00 member
    Seventh Anniversary 250 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic
    edited October 2015
    My DS1 has ASD. I'll take the opposite stance and say that I would be concerned. I'll go down your list with my son's behavior.

    - Clothing: No issue with not liking clothes, though I hear this is somewhat common with ASD, or at least with SPD (sensory processing disorder). If you are dealing with ASD you are very likely also dealing with SPD. You can have SPD by itself, though.

    - Potty trained: Was not something we even worried about until he was 3 years and 4 months old. We had a lot of help with his ABA therapists and it went very well. Prior to this we really never even tried.

    - Eating: YES TO THE EXTREME. My son barely grew at all for a good year because he ate so little. If he didn't want something, he had a meltdown simply because it was placed on the table in front of him. He had extreme anxiety about most food. He survived on fruit puree, crackers, milk and cheese for a long time (awful, I know!) This was our absolute top priority in ABA therapy. He is much better now, thank goodness, because it was having a bad impact on his health. He used to get sick A LOT. Not so much anymore.

    - Sleeping/staying in bed: Yes to the extreme. We had a year from hell on this front and worked on it a lot. We got the Kid'Sleep Classic clock. It doesn't work perfectly but it works well. GET A SLEEP CLOCK. Often kids with ASD just don't NEED as much sleep as typical kids. I always say it is very cruel of nature to do that because parents of these kids are generally more taxed and tired than other parents, and then they get even less sleep because of this. But even if he is not asleep, if he stays in his room and is quiet, maybe then I can sleep. And if he stays in his bed then there is a chance he will fall back asleep. He won't fall back asleep if he keeps getting up.

    - Noise: Somewhat. This is a new development. Noises never bothered him until he was about 4 years old. He really hates the sounds my phone makes when it reboots. The other day it happened and he yelled "Noise!" (that's what he always does) but this time he RAN all the way up stairs and got in his bed. Fortunately, he doesn't have a meltdown and gets over it very quickly. I don't recall many other noises bothering him.

    - Always moving: YES TO THE EXTREME. This is a hard one for me especially. He won't be still and he really likes to be touching things all the time. The being still thing is sensory related, I think -- it's the proprioceptive sense (sorry if I butchered that term)

    - Emotional/outbursts: YES. Sure, one could always have a dramatic child (my other one is dramatic and I don't think has ASD) but he overreacts. Meltdowns are longer. You have to figure out the triggers. I'm still trying to figure them out.

    I would look into an evaluation for sensory issues at least. That's how DS1 was treated prior to the ASD diagnosis. At first the issue seemed to be mostly with eating and then we realized it was other sensory stuff besides eating (didn't like touching many things, or doing new things, etc.)

    Coming from where I do, I worry about the eating thing. If your son is still growing appropriately, that's good. Sometimes kids get better about eating without doing anything. But things can get bad so quickly and it can take a long time to make them better. So that worries me.

    I don't come in here often but I will try to remember to check back if you have any questions.

    Also, I wouldn't put a whole lot of weight on eye contact. This week's issue of Entertainment Weekly had a full page ad from Autism Speaks SOLELY about lack of eye contact. I though, what a waste of a page. Some kids with ASD have great eye contact. You can't put too much on that 1 trait, either way. Even my own pediatrician said she didn't think DS1 had ASD because he has good eye contact. I didn't think his eye contact was that great, but there was some, and she was very wrong, regardless. That ad just disappointed me. As for the camera, neither one of my kids are great with the camera, a lot of times they won't want to look at it. They're getting better more recently, though.

    Is the blank look just when you are trying to take a picture, or in general? DS1 is definitely a lot more expression-less than DS2. I notice that when looking through pictures, but it applies all the time, and carries over into photos.

     
    jerseygirl227
  • DD1 has sensory processing disorder and has the exact same symptoms as your son. She goes to occupational therapy for it and it has helped tremendously. She has also "outgrown" a lot of it as she approaches her 5th birthday this December. She does listening therapy, which has made the biggest impact on her. We really pushed for OT at her 4 year check up because we knew that her behavior wasn't normal. Best thing we ever did for her. She's now in preschool and loves it (something we thought would never happen), but she does wear noise reducing headphones to help with sensory input overload. There is an SPD parent support group on Facebook that you might want to check out. It might give you more insight to daily life with an SPDer and help you decide if you think this might be what he has.
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    greyt00
  • ASD is a very large spectrum and kids can show different symptoms and still be autistic. Our youngest was just diagnosed a week before his 4th birthday after multiple reports of behavior outbursts and not being able to handle large crowds, loud noises or any regard for his own safety. I was reluctant to get him screened because I didn't want him the be labeled but I felt we had no choice after his preschool kicked him out. He was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, ADHD and PICA. He has his good days and bad day, eats everything in site (except bread), but he doesn't dress himself, doesn't really use a utensil to eat, has no regard for safety (runs out in the road, will run away, won't spit out toothpaste), he also has speech delays and I swore we were going to college with him in pull-ups. If you're concerned, get him checked. It's a hard thing to do because it's admitting that our kids aren't perfect and we may need some help and of course the labels that come with it but getting the proper help and learning how to fit in his world is totally worth it! Good luck!
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  • My daughter will be 7 this month and was diagnosed with autism right before she turned 3. If you feel there is something that needs to be addressed, you need to take action. Some days my daughter has very severe and debilitating problems and other days she acts perfectly fine. It's a never ending battle for her. I have had to teach her things most kids don't have to be taught because she can't learn some things the way other children do. I feel better about my parenting because we received a lot of early intervention. We had in home assistance for her and my husband and I and a very supportive network of professionals that have helped me help her every day. I felt helpless and now I feel more in control and I can assist her when she needs it. Trust your gut and do what you think is right! We were told she would never have an imagination or feel empathy and probably be behind in class for her entire life. She now has many friends, is super excited about being a big sister in March, and is in the top 1 percentile of first graders in the nation in math skills! I'm glad I followed through in the beginning and can't imagine trying to deal with it all alone.
  • 1.) Stay away from Autism Speaks. Just, don't even look at their stuff. 

    2.) Sounds to me, honestly, that it's more a sensory processing disorder issue than it would be considered ASD. ASD (which now includes Aspergers in case you'd heard about that as well) typically includes a lot of social issues as well as sensory and developmental. 

    3.) Feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk more. There are SO many things and it's such a spectrum that no one can really tell you exactly if they think your child is autistic from an internet connection (which you obviously understand!) 

    I would absolutely seek out an opinion from your pediatrician, and possibly go ahead and start the process of speaking with a developmental pediatrician. If you PM me, I'll link you to my blog where I sort of kept track of all of the process in order to hopefully help other parents seeking a diagnosis of some sort.

    Good luck, mama. His quirks aren't "wrong" "bad" and he isn't "sick." Those are the top things one hears in this world and just remind yourself that it isn't true. You're a fantastic mother! 
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