Autism mommies ... Question — The Bump
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Autism mommies ... Question

My son is 6 months old and lately I've been hyper aware for his 'progress'. I've been worried about Autism and ADHD since I found out I was pregnant. I have 'off the charts' ADHD and (although she won't admit it or do anything about it) so does my mother. Apparently ADHD is the second most inheritable trait, aside from height. That being said, I realize ADHD is not autism but it's put me on alert to keep an eye on my LO.

[Side note: I also wonder about how low on the 'spectrum' one can go and be considered to have some form of autism ... I had issues as a child & young adult with social interaction (eye contact, overstimulation etc) ]


The 'red flags' talk about appropriate eye contact & responding to his name. Usually he'll look right at me and smile but it's for a few seconds at a time. But there are times (like today) that I can sit right next to him and repeat his name over and over again with no response, or that I'll try to make eye contact with him and he turns his head to avoid it. He also has days were he's just irritable no matter what we're doing.

He LOVES the water .... bath time, swimming etc. While in the bath, again he really won't interact with me but kicks the water like a madman and hyper focuses on the movement of the water. But when we go to swim class he smiles constantly at his swim coach.

Eating, he won't touch food. At first I'm thinking it's just the taste feeling in his mouth. So I started offering him avocado  or banana on a plate to see if he'd try it himself ... the second he touches the mushy pieces of food he gets visibly upset and tries to shake it off his hands. I have no idea if this is just paranoia on my part but I just don't know ... Is tactile sensitivity and issue in autism? 

SO, I just don't know what is normal for a 6mo. old. Should he be responding to his name EVERY time ... holding eye contact for longer? etc etc.

And yes, I realize if I'm worried I should see the Doc, have him tested etc but I'm not one to patiently wait & we're away from his pedi for another 2 months ... I will address it when we see him but I'm looking for a little perspective now. 



Re: Autism mommies ... Question

  • If I had a dime for everyone that came on here with a similar post as yours I'd be rich!  He's 6 months old!  That's TOO young to be worrying about autism.  *shakes head, autism is the new "it" thing* 
  • There have been a lot of these posts recently. As the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, ages 6 months to 18 months (roughly) nobody can diagnose anything to do with autism. Enjoy your child. Keep being aware. Play a lot. And please please don't worry so much about autism.

    I think the main thing to be aware of is that the 'red flags' of autism aren't all that different from a lot of stages little babies/toddlers/kids go through at some point in their development. Arm/Hand Flapping is completely normal in young toddlers. Eye Contact is fleeting when they are just getting into toys and sitting up (aka 6mo - you are no longer the most important thing in the room). Water Play for a period of time is just a way kids learn about their environment. Responding to their name is hit or miss. The fact is that children with autism continue those things well past normal developmental stages and depict them frequently, intensely and for long durations of time.

    Around about 18 months is when you can really start to tell there is anything setting the child apart at all, IF anything associated with autism is going on. That is a rough number because there are so many different presentations low to high in the range of autism.

    I understand your concern, from the point of view of what the media is portraying, but there is no doctor or professional or anyone in the world who would be qualified to diagnose autism in a 6 month old child.

    What you describe does not alarm me, but be sure to mention any concerns you have about your child to your doctor (but on this concern, maybe keep it to symptomatic concerns and not autism or adhd quite yet).

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  • As PP have said there is no way you can diagnose him until much later, so why are you letting this possiblilty ruin your precious mommy-baby time now?

    You need to stop worrying. It is not doing you any good and may even be affecting the quality of your interactions with your baby. He may just not be that "into you" right now. It sounds like he does interact and smile. Right?

    There are a whole lot of other interesting new things to see and experience in his world besides someone trying to "make" you look at them every five minutes.

    Also, I dont  think responding to your name is a 6 month skill. I have read this to be more in the 8-9 month range....The food thing is toally not something I would worry about. 6 months may be a bit young still for finger foods. Plus, don't YOU think avocados and bananas sort of slimey and icky feeling? Who wants their hands all slimey? I don't. You may just have a kid who likes to be neat and clean.

    WAY 2 Cool 4 School

  • Obviously it could go either way and no one knows at this point.  There is a fine line between being obsessive and observant.  I know ;)

    There are many behaviors often associated with autism that are also seen in typically developing kids - I think pps mentioned this.  For example, a 5 year old with autism may obsessively stack, line up, and arrange toys, but so will a typically developing 12-15 month old. 

    The only and best thing you can do today is continue to engage and play with your child, dictate his life to him, show and expose him to the world around him, and love your time with that precious little boy.  

    And FWIW, I was so bothered by my infant's lack of eye contact - she didn't gaze into my eyes like the books told me she would.  At 21 months, she shows no signs of autism.   

    GL and take a deep breath (I know not worrying is easier said than done) 

  • Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply, I'm sure a running into a ton of these posts can be annoying. Great insight breezy & susan, Thank you very much. 

    If I had a dime for everyone that came on here with a similar post as yours I'd be rich!  He's 6 months old!  That's TOO young to be worrying about autism.  *shakes head, autism is the new "it" thing* 


    I understand where your frustration comes from but I hope you're not suggesting autism is the 'it' thing as in people WANT their LO's dx'ed.

    My mother was too concerned with with her own life and it running perfectly that she was in total denial about my issues growing up. Being mis-dx'ed until I was an adult was pretty devastating to my life and I still harbor a lot of anger about it. I'm 34 and my life is just now coming together. Some things are still a daily struggle and always will be. Had I had help early on I could have avoided a lot of frustration, confusion and unfortunate consequences... So maybe I do have a a little paranoia about watching out for my son and rightfully so. 

    That being said, you all have given me great insight and I will definitely head the words of advice to forget about it and enjoy my beautiful son!!!


  • YES, YES & YES. You're on it Auntie. 

    As many adults dx'ed, I have anxiety disorder along w/ ADHD. And the to two combined are a recipe for obsessing. Again, my Mother being the poster child for both. And you may be right on about the higher functioning autism as well, but as you pointed out, that's neither here nor there ... Yes, having a son w/ ADHD is most likely a given. 

    I'm def working on myself ... constant never ending theme in my life :) Again, I appreciate those of you who took the time respond to yet another paranoid mother ... Side note: I REALLY do get how it must feel to have all these people asking, Does my son have it? Does my daughter have it? etc etc etc ... Dare I ever cop to having ADHD in the 'real' world (non-internet) I must first brace myself for the reactions ... typically either "OMG I think I do too! I have no patience at all" or eye rolls like I just told them I own a unicorn. They have no idea what it really means and what it's like to fight your brain everyday.

    ANYWHO!! I really did want to hear "Don't worry about it" Trust me I did not want to hear anything else ... It just didn't dawn on me that I may be 1 of 1000 others asking ... and I'd get *eye rolls* in response...

    I do get it & Thnx :)


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