Thursday, November 12, 2009

Autism Symptoms

A few moms from social networking sites I am a part of, have asked me what symptoms I saw in my son, or what they should look for that may mean Autism.  So here is a short discussion to help out, but please, even though I am not a genius in clinical psychology, feel free to ask me any questions.

The most blaring thing about our son was that he was still non verbal at 18 months.  Completely.  We thought it was his hearing (he had many ear infections), but he had tubes put in, his hearing was tested (perfect), and his ear, nose, throat doctor and pediatrician suggested we have him tested.  We then realized he had other symptoms, sometimes as a parent you don't want to accept these things, or you turn a blind eye.  

Here are some of his other issues:

little to no eye contact

not responding to his name 75% of time

huge tantrums for what seemed like no reason

repetivitve activity (stimming), flapping arms, filling and dumping buckets of toys for long periods

no empathy, reaction to our emotions

waking a lot during the night (has to do with sensory issues)

And later, here are some of his newer symptoms:

no pretend play

no playing with toys appropriately
echolalia (he repeats everything now that he is verbal)

inability to answer questions

That is just my son! There are many other symptoms that may or may not pertain to other kids on the spectrum. People discuss things like too many ear infections being a sign (which my son had). The biggest ones are being non verbal, and lack of social interaction: no eye contact, not responding, too much independence.  So check some Autism sites for other things you may be concerned about.  Most medical websites have some sort of checklist.  But always ask your pediatrician!  

Then go with your gut.  Our first pediatrician would not accept his diagnosis so we went to 2 other developmental pediatricians with more expertise and they were a better fit for us.


Anonymous said...
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Haddock said...

I liked reading this.

heatheramyprice said...

with us our first clue was at about 13 months when our son was separating mega blocks by color instead of stacking them. he'd have a yellow pile, a blue pile, a red pile, and SCREAM if I screwed up his piles. AFTER that was when the sensory stuff really kicked in and the non verbal was clearer..... he's now 3 years old and will ONLY talk if you write or spell for him. If you ask him to say something even as simple as hi, he won't. but if you write hi, he'll read it. Occupational and speech therapy and a special ed preschool program have helped.

MommyToTwoBoys said...

Thanks for sharing Heather. That is very interesting about the writing making him talk. My son became verbal with the help of ABA but was solely echolalic for a while. Now his vocabulary is excellent. He can read and write, but has very little social skills. Autism is so interesting isn't it? And Jaylen has a lot of OCD tendencies too. He also gets upset if you mess up his stuff or things he is working on.

Melissa said...

Autism being represented as a puzzle is so fitting in so many ways...for me looking back at my son's babyhood I can see all these different "pieces" of his development that I knew didn't FIT the "normal" range of child development...but I was unable to put those pieces together to see that the big picture was Autism.

Crystal said...

Stopping by from Theta Mom.

This is excellent information! While Autism is not something in my realm, I have a son with dyslexia. It can be so hard to find information from real parents who have dealt with these situations everyday. I have found it hard to get information from our school as well.

Your list of symptoms is great and this type of advocacy from parents is exactly what brings light to our concerns in layman terms!

Good stuff.

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