what would you do? — The Bump
Special Needs

what would you do?

I had my son's evaluation last Friday and he is eligible for speech - but BARELY.  When the evaluators told him they were all done my son clapped and then said bye bye.  They told me if they included that in the report, my son wouldn't qualify and that is how close he came.  I am glad he's close and not that behind, but also glad of course that he is able to get some ST because I think it could be helpful. 

Anyway, my fear was autism going into this.  He doesn't seem to engage me a lot in his play.  He plays with things but doesn't want me to participate and it is a total lack of engagement on his part.  He also started to walk on his toes a few times a day and sometimes during dinner with cross his middle finger over his index finger.  At the end of the evaluation when they said he was doing fine and only really a tad behind in speech.  I brought up my autism fears and concerns and they looked extremely shocked and said autism is definitely not what they see.  They think the toe walking is a typical thing that most toddlers do and doing it once in awhile is not a concern and the finger thing they also felt was normal.  They obviously sat and played with him for the full hour of the evaluation and said that they think he is fine and while he may be very slightly behind socially it is only due to his speech delay and this is common.  They also said since he always plays near me that this is parallel play.  I get that, but he literally never engages me.  I take him to the local childrens museum and all I do is follow him around from one exhibit to the next and it's not actually playing with him.

At his 18 month well baby visit, they did an autism screening as part of a routine thing they do now and he scored above average in social skills.  The pedi at that time said she had zero concerns about autism and didn't even think he needed ST.  

I can't really do anything else other than start this ST because I can't get into the DP without a referral from EI or my pedi.  Is there anything else I should do??  Am I being a total lunatic and crazy person for still worrying despite all of these people saying he's fine??  I have heard so many stories of people who have tried telling their pedis something was wrong only to be dismissed and worry I will be one of those.

Just hoping for advice on whether or not you would accept this or if you think my son has some red flags.  I've had such a tough year with so much going on and know I'm not thinking clearly.  Thanks.



Re: what would you do?

  • I've been there with the anxiety driven autism concerns and a speech delayed kid (or two).

    I can't imagine what screen your DS got at 18 months that scored hime above average in social skills.  18 month olds don't really have any social skills to speak of.  So that is a head scratcher.

    Both my kids started speech therapy at 18ish months both with less than 3 words.  DS1 graduated out 6 months later having fully caught up (and now you would never know he was slow to start talking).  DS2 is on hiatus after 2 full years of speech and while technically he is caught up, I am still working with him on certain sounds and combinations (apraxia). 

    DS2 is who I have worried about the most but in the last 6 or so months as his speech has come along so beautifully, I have wondered how much of his aloof nature was driven by the speech deficit.  Probably won't ever get an answer to that one.

    I highly recommend ST.  I have learned so much, my kids have benefitted greatly as well, of course.  Give it time, there are no quick fixes IME with ST.  From everything I've read, if autism is part of the picture, it will become clearer with time as your child ages.  So work with what you've got: ST.  And be watchful, but don't make yourself nuts over it.  Very counter-productive.  Take it from me.


    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • Thanks :)  That helps a lot. 

    They did the Ages and Stages assessment and we got a breakdown of how he scored developmentally in a few different areas.  

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  • image -auntie-:

    In your place, I would get the speech and look into whether there's a need for OT around sensory issues for now. He could look very different in a year; either more typical or less like his peers. The older he is when you evaluate, the more information you will get. A lot of times parents rush to evaluate sooner and end up with a label that isn't appropriate or no label and told to come back in a year to revsisit things. You're probably already getting some of the services he'd get if he was on spectrum.

    I agree with auntie here.  We started this journey with nothing more than a possible speech delay but then the evaluators found it a bit concerning how he didn't really play with his toys, only the cause and effect ones but the others he just mostly threw around.  But it was his lack of progress with speech therapy that brought on more evaluations and more services.  

    So go with what they give you and work with your therapist.  They'll be working with your child on a regular basis, not just the hour the evaluators had.  They may agree with you that something else is going on or they may be able to lay your fears to rest.

    Good luck! 

    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers


  • He's almost 20 months old now.  They did both the MCHAT and the Ages and Stages.

    He seems to do the toe walking very little - maybe once or twice a day.  It seemed like a lot a week or so ago when he started, but now not so much.  The finger thing he seems to do if he's just sitting listening to a book or something.  Maybe a few times a day.  

    His fine and gross motor skills are great and during the evaluation they said he was definitely ahead in these areas - around the 24 month or higher mark.  

    As far as the play - he plays completely typical.  Or, at least I think he does.  He plays with a large variety of toys and all in the correct way.  He does pretend play with toys - basic things like car stuff and making noises with them, he pretend plays with these little animals he has and walks them and makes sound effects for them and he pretends with kitchen stuff.  He has these rocks we let him play with outside and he takes plastic bowls and it's like he's pretending to make a meal and then pretends to eat them saying" mmmm" or "yum yums."  He does engage me in this and will often offer me some of these rocks (pretend food). 

    He asks for help with a lot of things and will always bring me things to help him with.  He makes excellent eye contact too when asking for help or just throughout the day.  He brings me tons of books to read, but again - I don't think that's the same as engaging me in play.

    He doesn't seem to really have any other sensory thing going on, so that's why I am confused.  When the EI people came there was a special educator there and she said she even works with lots of kids with autism.  She asked a number of sensory type of questions and he fit none of them.  He doesn't have any food issues, doesn't mind loud noises and doesn't have a single issue in crowded places.  In fact, he becomes a social butterfly if you take him to the grocery store.  So again...it's just so ridiculously confusing.  

    Oh, and while he doesn't engage in playing with his cars or mega blocks or whatever, he does engage us in play like peek a boo or games of chase.  He will hide behind the curtains or he just started to take his toys and cover his eyes with them and expect us to say, "where is aiden?"  He also loves running away and if we don't chase him he looks back and yells.  He finds both of these hysterical. 

    Sorry.  I know this is all over the place.  

    I guess all I can do is do the speech and see what comes of it.  

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