Could it be autism?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2007
Could it be autism?
6
Sat, 04-13-2013 - 11:48am

Hello.  I used to post on iVillage a lot when my first child was little but now that I have 2 and am a full time student, I don't have time to very often anymore.  However, I am trying to figure something out right now and every encounter I have had with other moms/woman on here has always proved helpful and supportive so I thought I would try here for a little advice/help. 

I will start with a little background. I had my first child, a girl, in dec. 2006.  She was born right on time at 8 lbs. 5 ozs and excelled through her early milestones.  Was sitting up at 4 months, crawling at 6 months, walking at 10 months and well before her sencond birthday we could carry on full conversations.  She is a very bright girl. This year she is in kindergarten and she has excelled the whole year.  She was diagnosed with ADHD a few months ago. (I too have ADHD. I am 26 and still take meds for it so it was an expected diagnosis that her periatritian and I had talked about since she started walking and talking! Those red flags were just flying up left and right! She was my mini me) She started medication in December and things are perfect now.

I had my second child, a boy, in October 2009. He was born at 35 weeks weighing 9 lbs 6 ozs. (I know...CRAZY huge!).  I had gestational diabetes, which caused him to be so big. He was in the NICU for 12 days with difficulty breathing, which caused difficulty in eating, which caused difficulty in getting rid  of the diabetes.  HE was born with an enlarged heart wall (believed to have been caused by the diabetes) that "corrected" itself by the time he was 6 months old.  He, unlike my daughter, was behind on all major milestones.  He didn't sit up until 8 months, crawl until about a year and didn't walk until 16 months. At 16 months he said mama and dada. Now he is 3 1/2.  Last summer, I seriously begin worrying about his speech delay.  I had him screened by a state run program and he began once weekly speech therapy. That lasted about 2 months and then they pushed him back to once monthly (which I fought tooth and nail becuase he hadn't improved AT ALL and they were decreasing his benifits based on age). About 2 weeks before he turned 3, he was screened by our elementary school by the special education program.  He now goes to school 4 days a week for 4 hours.  He gets 10 minutes of 1 on 1 speech therapy a day as well as a group setting speech therapy for 30 minutes a day.  In my opinion, in the 6 months he has been in school he hasn't improved at all. He "babbles" more but doesn't produce any more words on his own. He will repeat just about anything you ask him to (if he is in the mood). 

A friend of mine has a 13 year old son who is autistic.  She has been spending a lot of time around me and my son lately. The other day she made a comment about how Konner's speech and behavior reminded her a lot of her autistic son. (the speech issues, obsession with certain toys (thomas the train), his clumbsiness, him always playing alone, and his always having things a certain way).  His pedi. and I have talked about his delays before and he seemed unconcerned rght now because Konner hasn't "lost" any skills. (He said they worry if they are talking and then suddenly just stop but Konner has NEVER talked). I didn't think twice about my friends comment until I spoke with his teacher the other day.  Each summer the school offers summer school to 6 of the 30 kids in the program.  The 6 that they think will need it the most.  When I asked what qualified him for it she said "he shows signs of regression after weekends and especially after long breaks" (i.e..spring break, christmas break). 

I decided after there two comments clicked in my head that I wanted to do a little research.  I see several "symptoms" (I use quotes because I am a worried mom and I may be seeing nothing.) of autism in him.  His lack and loss of speech, his delays in all his milestones, his obsession with Thomas the Train.  His OCD (that is just what my hubby and call it, no official diagnosis). Everything has a place and it goes there. He won't move on to a new task until the last one is where it is supposed to go. His trains all have to go in the sheds before he will stop playing (but he can leave lego's everywhere). He will only sleep with his thomas the train bedding and his baby blanket. He has two stuffed toys he sleeps with and they have to be in the perfect spot, he will not sleep without them and he will not let you put absolutely anything else in his bed (including mom and dad or sister).  He consistantly plays alone. Ocassionally with his sister but usually alone.  If we are at a friends house with kids or the park, he will still play by himself. His teacher says he is like that at school as well but it could just be that he is "shy".  He is also a VERY picky eater. He has issues with certain textures.

I also see things like "no eye contact, no hugging or kissing (signs of effection), no snuggling" etc...and that just isn't him at all. He won't do that with strangers but he will randomly run up to me and hug me or kiss me. He reacts appropriately to other peoples feelings (i.e...if his sister is crying he will hug her and rub her back) and seems to have no sensitivity to sounds or any other sense.  I don't think I have every seen him have a sensory overload but I also don't think I have ever had him in an environement where that was possible.

 

So I guess my question is if my story sounds familiar to anyone? My husband as well as my parents and in-laws are all adament that "there is nothing wrong with that baby" but my gut seems to be telling me otherwise.  My husband told me it was "horrible" that I could think there was something "wrong" with our child.  He insists that I am over reacting and doesn't want me doing anything with the school/dr about it but everything I have read says the earlier the better. Like I said, I am a worried momma bear and I may be over reacting but I just wanted to know if maybe someone shared my story that could help me out! Thanks and god bless you all!

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2013
Sun, 11-03-2013 - 5:47pm

Please listen to your intuition. A mother knows when there is something that their child needs help with. Early intervention is key in helping children reach their developmental milestones. I have worked with children with special needs for over 20 years. Many of the children that I work with never got a diagnosis but one thing is universal: they need help. Look into speech and occupational therapies. Look into sensory processing disorders. Our website http://mosswoodconnections.com has resources and activities that you can start at home. I hope that you have already begun your journey. It may seem daunting in the beginning but it really does become rich, fulfilling and joyful.

Regards

Mosswood Connections

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2011
Fri, 05-10-2013 - 9:22pm

If you have a gut feeling you are probably, right. My kid was always a decent talker but had lots of other symptoms then she had a big regression around the age or 2 1/2 or 3 and I thought it was just us moving to a new environment but then she started having tantrums(over stimulated) and more symptoms in preschool years. It was all very difficult for me cause I just knew in my gut something was not right, I had been around lots of kids in my past. I told Dr's and things in those years and got, she talks well, she may be a bit physically delayed from being a premie and quirky but no one wanted to take it seriously. It was very stressful for me, to feel like I knew something was not right, and be dismissed. It was not until early elementary that I finally had it, she was struggling and yet very bright so we finally saw a child phycologist and she was diagnoised on the spectrum. Yes, a girl and yes a verbal child, but with social issues/OCD stuff and a very active mind, I was so glad she was diagnoised and we were able to provide her some treatment and help her learn better knowing it was a disorder and she deserved to be treated for it so she could grow up and be healthy and strong! She was never an easy child as a premie and as a kid with ASD but she is an amazing and wonderful person at age 18. Get the help your child deserves.....never give up, see a Doc. My husband did not want to think anything was wrong and was difficult about it. Yet, I refused to give up on my child or let her suffer alone, I did what was needed to teach her, love her and accept her....quirks and all. It was worth it. She is as fuctional or better than your average young adult now, and it was a lot of effort and work on my part especially but SHE IS WORTH IT. Your child is worth it too. GO see mental health care professionals....they understand the difference in special needs issue or just a phase they are going to grow out of, sort of stuff! Your regular MD is not always the best at determining it. See a specialist, go with your gut. Because she was a first born I got a lot of that your just over reacting as a Mom or she is just in the slow range physically, she is being a brat....cause she is an only, type stuff that was all not true, she needed extra attention and accomedations for being a specturm kid. I had to fight for it....SHE IS WORTH IT! Go see a specialist, it is worth the doctor bill!

H.        

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2003
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 2:03pm

I have to agree, there are several red flags in what you have said that would point towards Konner being on the sprectum, I would research Dr's in your area that specialize in autism, we see a Developmental Ped.  they will do a full evualation & have input from both you & the school.  If the answer you receive doen't seem right don't be afraid to see a different Dr, we have seen several untl I found one that sat down, talked to me, Nathan & then evulated everything leading to a DX

Good luck & keep us updated

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2003
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 2:03pm

I have to agree, there are several red flags in what you have said that would point towards Konner being on the sprectum, I would research Dr's in your area that specialize in autism, we see a Developmental Ped.  they will do a full evualation & have input from both you & the school.  If the answer you receive doen't seem right don't be afraid to see a different Dr, we have seen several untl I found one that sat down, talked to me, Nathan & then evulated everything leading to a DX

Good luck & keep us updated

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Mon, 04-15-2013 - 4:03pm

Hi Stephanie, welcome to the board!  I can't really tell if he is autistic, but it's a pretty large spectrum.  From what you are describing there are some red flags, and I think you need to continue to follow your mommy guy.  You've already taken steps I would've suggested, such as getting him evaluated by the district.  I would suggest that you ask for an even more thorough evaluation by a doctor who specializes in autism.   It is better to work on his issues earlier.  When it comes to your husband and family, you could tell them you'd be more than happy to have them say "I told you so" if you are wrong about this, but your son's future is at stake.  If you don't find out what's going on and get him the help he needs, that will have an affect on his ability to improve and develop.  I know from my own experience that people have a very hard time admitting that one of their own could be different, but they have to be realistic at some point.  Your son is more important than their hang ups. 

Hang in there!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Mon, 04-15-2013 - 2:28pm

(Sorry, had trouble posting til now.)  If you are concerned, get an appointment with a child psychologist.  But beware- even in professional communities there is a lot of misinformation out there about ASD!