Early ASD symptoms? — The Bump
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Early ASD symptoms?

My son is almost 11 months old.  We have had some feeding issues (dysphagia/poor suck), and tone issues (low in abdomen, stiff in legs).  He has also suffered from colic (hate that word)/reflux and screamed until about 17 weeks old.  Not a great sleeper, etc, etc.

His GI doctor put him on goat milk about 3 months ago, and he has started accepting more solids. In the past month he gained a POUND!  Which is incredibly awesome.  He as also seemed to gain some strength lastely and has started rolling more freely and is pulling up.  We were in relief and celebration mode when he started flapping his hands.  He often shakes his head no (not in connection with the word).  He also has just started grinding his teeth.  When he tries to crawl, his right foot tries to plant on the floor as if to stand (definitely not ready to stand like this).  He also stopped babbling at 10 weeks old and didn't start again (except whining/crying) until 32 weeks.  He started aaaaa, then maaa.  Lately he seems less likely to "talk." I feel like I'm just waiting for a big regression.  We don't have a follow-up with developmental pediatrician for quite awhile (5 months I think).  Should I move up the appointment?  We are involved with our EI program, we also go to PT at the local hospital, and a chiropractor a few times a month.  I've been reading about brain plasticicty(spelling?) and wondering if there is anything else I can do?  I guess I've been focused on the feeding and movement issues.  I'm not sure what to do to support him with any new ASD like sypmtoms????  Thanks.


Re: Early ASD symptoms?

  • Many of the symptoms/red flags you mentioned can also be associated with other disorders.  The disphagia and difference in muscle tone alone leads me to believe this could be something neurological.  

    It is possible, he isn't talk "talking" because low muscle tone makes it difficult for him to maniuplate his mouth (you did say he has a poor suck).   The hand flapping and head shaking are the only possible signs I see mentioned your post, but I don't know if I would jump to the conclusion of ASD just yet (however, I am in no way an expert in ASD - maybe Auntie or another person could jump in on that part of the conversation).

     I am curious...

     Does your son make eye contact?

    Are there other members of your family who are on the spectrum?

    Does your child have a hand preference?

    Was his birth traumatic in anyway?

    I can't tell if you if you need to move your appointment up.  But, it is good you are getting services in the meantime.  If you concerned about your son's behavior, you could ask one of his therapists.  But, besides that, it seems like you are doing everything you can for him at this point.

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  • imageJoJoGee:

    Many of the symptoms/red flags you mentioned can also be associated with other disorders.  The disphagia and difference in muscle tone alone leads me to believe this could be something neurological.  

    I agree. Have you been to a geneticist to rule out something going on in that arena? Or a neurologist for an MRI?

    If you think you would want to pursue an ASD later you may need to go the genetics route first anyway.

    The tone issues on top of the GI problems would put any child behind. The weird crawling pattern could be something, then again, it could be the way he has figured out how to be most comfortable while in locomotion.

    I think typical kids go through a flapping stage.

    Nate has neurological issues created by genetic micro-deletions which were not picked up by CVS. (They were too small) He had a micro-array done at birth because he was in NICU and they noticed a lot of dismorphic features in his face that led to them to think he had some genetic issue going on. (very wide set eyes, low set ears, small chin, flat nose, very flat philtrum, eye shape, etc.

    He has poor tone in his lower core, but higher tone in his ribs and spine. He also had a poor suck swallow and was the spitup king until he was about 13 months old. He was never in any pain though, so we never had to see a GI. He also had a weird crawl and butt scooted mostly. He does not have many of the other issues children with his brain abnormality have such as being poor sleepers, poor eaters nor sensory issues.

    I guess what I am getting at it that it could be ASD, but it could also be something else. I agree that you could ask EI for an assessment around the areas you think he is behind and see where that takes you. However, if he is still trying to play developmental catch-up from all of the GI issues, you may have to wait it out a bit and see where he stands in a few months or so.

    Contrary to what everyone out there says, there is not some giant "early intervention" clock ticking away. I think this stresses out parents unnecessarily. It is true that the brain is less plastic when you get older, but it is also true that we cannot be hyper focused on "possibilities" and miss other things like just enjoying your child. For us, the therapy opportunities fell into our laps as we were ready to pursue them and when Nate was ready developmentally to get the most out of them.

    You are on top of this and ready to act! You are also ahead of the game since you are already in EI. Feel free to ask us anything and Welcome!

    WAY 2 Cool 4 School

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