possible ASD please help. LONG STORY — The Bump
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possible ASD please help. LONG STORY

I know this might not be any of my business but as a mom I am concerned.

I have a friend with a little boy who will be 2 in December. I am concerned he is showing sign of ASD but she ignores it. How do I advocate for this child without making mom mad or should I just leave the issue alone. Here is his story:

Since he was born he has been so hard to interact with. He hardly ever interacted after about 6 months. No giggles maybe a smile every now and then. He is completely non verbal. No babbling, no pointing, no grunting, will hardly even cry even when disciplined. He has never waved bye bye, mimicked, and still does not have a functioning pincer grasp. ( cannot feed himself small bits of food he will pick up a handful and shake his hand until he gets only one or two small bits and then will take it to his mouth) He is fixated on objects instead of toys. He loves rocks and will sit for hour in a pile of rocks just running his fingers through them. He will line blocks up but never build. He won't interact with children that try to play instead he walks off away from them never saying a word or showing any emotion. He will lay on the floor stroking the carpet for hours. He will go in the kitchen and open and close drawers for entertainment. Something was finally said and she did get his hearing tested but the doctor performing the test said the test could not be accurate because the child did not interact enough.

The only time mom has acknowledged there might be an issue was the day the hearing doctor said he didn't interact enough and that she might need to try speech therapy first. That day she admitted she thought he had ASD, but her husband was very mad and irritated with her for thinking that. Since then she has decided he is just an independent child and has no need to talk. He gets his sippy cup out of the bag by himself so he has no need to ask for it. I feel like the child needs and advocate but at the same time I know this is not my child and it's ultimately her decision.

Should I try to talk to her more or continue tip toeing around the subject and let her keep brushing it under the rug.

I just know the earlier you can get them help the better this can be treated. Please no negative comments i am coming from a place of love and concern and my heart brakes for that baby and mom and family. All advice is very much appreciated.

Re: possible ASD please help. LONG STORY

  • A year ago I would said leave it alone.

    Now, we have a diagnosis for our son and I've seen how fantastic therapy has been for him.

    I don't know where you live, but here in TX, you can take your child to be evaluated at an early childhood intervention place. They'll test his abilities and place him on a scale. Being a certain percentage behind where he should be will qualify him for services. Oftentimes, services are cheap or free.

    They won't actually diagnose him. They'll purely come at it from an educational and therapeutic standpoint and work with him to get him to where he needs to be. It's worth a shot.

    I say, bring this up to your friend. Tell her it's not for a diagnosis. It's for help that he's qualified for until he's 3, and you just wanted her to be aware of it as early as possible so that he could potentially have a year of it before aging out.
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  • Thank you!! I'm going to talk with her this weekend and suggest that.
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  • I agree-- don't focus on labels.  You might mention that he is obviously an independent little boy, but he seems to have trouble with interactions and Early Intervention can help him get caught up with that so he won't be behind for school.  This a tact to try if developmental concerns are not that concerning.  You can offer information, but I wouldn't push too much as it may take a while to process.  The process to check is totally free-- if they aren't concerned or the child isn't delayed enough to qualify then the parent will know that and if the child does qualify they can work on getting him some help from qualified professionals.  Sometimes parents are afraid of labels. Personally I think they can be quite useful as they can qualify for services and insurance coverage and they are like a hammer-- I can take it out and use if if needed, but otherwise it can just stay in the drawer.
  • My heart breaks, too. None of that sounds like something that should be left alone. My son has ASD. I agree with what the others have said. Avoid the labels and just mention interest in helping him interact more. Perhaps some professionals can help him while nudging her into a place of more awareness and make it less scary, if that is a problem. I know it was for me. Terrifying.

     
  • I had to bring it up with a friend of mine and it was hard. We weren't even all that close, but I work for a publisher who focuses on early childhood development and developmental disabilities, so I saw the signs. I suggested she take him in to be evaluated and she was hesitant at first. There is a strong defense system in place, and it's hard to break that down, but once she decided to take him in it snowballed (in the best possible way) and he's a happy healthy little boy now, on his way to tracking within the average of his age group. I would say that (for us) it actually brought us closer. But I can see how that would not always be the case. I do still think you should mention it, though. Best of luck.
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