New Here...Have questions....

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2005
New Here...Have questions....
6
Mon, 03-26-2007 - 2:55pm
This might be long...so please bear with me. My son is 26 months old. I always had the motherly fears of is he alright...is he doing what he should be doing..ect.. Nothing ever quite struck me as "abnormal" until we were at a play group a few months ago and it was brought to my attention by a friend that I should have him looked at for Asperger's. Until then, I didn't even realize what it was. Needless to say, I went home that day crying and looked up everything and anything on Asperger's and Autism. My friend felt this way only b/c he wouldn't play with her 2 year old and wouldn't look at her when she called him and didn't play with blocks. I did see some areas that my son fell into..like knowing his whole alphabet and memorizing books. He knows his numbers 1-30 and seems to be almost obsessed with letters and numbers. He does look at you when you call his name, but not all the time. He never really pointed at objects, but knows what objects are. He never liked playing with blocks and does like to line up his toys. He plays with his cars and animals and knows what sounds they make and does it, but that's as far as pretend play goes. He seems contentplaying on his own, but does play around other children when he's around them ,notwith them. We did take him to the doctors and he said that children at this age do not play together, and as long as he plays along with them and makes eye contact and follows directions...that he says that DS is just being stubborn and that's his personality. He wants to do what he wants. My husband and I took what the doctor said as truth and that was that. But its been hard since that play date. My husband and I are always looking at what he's doing and anlizing ti. Is that right, is this wrong..ect..So I guess Iam looking for someone who has dealt with this and looking for advice. Its driving me and my husband nuts and not to mention the strain its taking on our family. I don't know if we should take him somewhere else or just let it be. My best friend and mother of 3 says I'am crazy and doesn't see it at all. She agrees with the doctor that he is just strong-willed and stubborn. Anything anyone has to say would be greatly appreciated! THANKS for reading..
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2004
Wed, 03-28-2007 - 4:41am

Dear Saz,

I thought I would add a post to welcome you.

You will find that a lot of posters on this board are going through the same thing, or have been there and remember it well.

I have a 5 1/2 year old with asperger's, and I started the evaluation process with him when he was almost 3. The initial evaluations were free. I persued the evaluations doubting that anything was really "wrong" but some part of me felt that if there is something, and it is neurological, the earlier I get help the better. The inital evaluations I got showed deficits, but my son was not diagnosed with anything. The team recommended services, and he was called a "preschooler with a disability." He received Speech therapy and occupational therapy by therapists who visited him at his daycare. I took those evaluations to a neuologist later, who diagnosed him with asperger's syndrome.

I have a second son who is now nearly 3 himself, exactly the age his brother was when I was going through his initial evaluations. My second little guy was (is) quite different from my first, so I kept over-analysing everything he did, either convincing myself that I was finally experiencing typical development, yet I had a nagging feeling... I called Early Intervention for the first time when he was about 18 months.

Honestly, part of me wanted the evaluators to pat my knee and tell me that this was a "normal" guy, and to take a hike. Instead, I had very gray results. My second child is very inconsistent. When the psychologist appeared for the first visit, he almost Dxed PDD on the spot. (Qualified Evaluators may do that. But they also may recommend services when they feel they do not have enough information for a confident diagnosis.) However, my little guy WAS acting like himself, but not as he was all the time. (I think the specific issue was that he was running laps around my house for almost the entire visit, and only stopped for brief moments to attempt the testing items.) Since I told the psychologist that there were more sides to my son, he came back after the speech evaluator and the PT evaluators. My little guy was more connected with them, and came up age-appropriate on their evaluations, but a bit hypotonic and high in activity level. On the second visit with the psychologist, my son charmed, made eye-contact, but did not participate well in the testing. He did whatever he felt like doing, a pattern that continues to today. But he was under 2. The upshot of the evals were to reevaluate in 6 months.

When he was around two, he had additional evaluations, and started getting services, itinerent OT (primarily for sensory issues) and a SEIT (primarily for attention to task and socialization issues) and a Family Trainer (to help me carry over services at home). After working with the therapists a while, and after I had brought my bundles of assessments to the neurologist who DXed him with ASD (he never specified what ASD), the early intervention team met and agreed that he needed even more, and he currently has a half-day school with 2 sessions of OT there, and an OT session at home on Saturdays. He also gets a SEIT at his daycare 3 days per week. And he continues to get a family trainer 1 day per week. He has never qualified for Speech even though his speech is eccentric, but he has a speech therapist in his classroom, which is probably all he needs. Overall, I am thrilled with the services. Since my guy is still little, I have no idea if he will grow out of some symptoms, or if his therapies will help him resolve some symptoms, or if his symptoms will actually become more pronounced and make him seem less typical as he ages and expectations go up. However, I do know that for now, he has a good plan, a great school, and some great therapists. I think that it can only improve his future, whatever his future is.

I highly recommend Early Intervention. It's free. If they recommend services, the services will also be free, and probably quite pleasant to your son.

Yours,

Sidney

APOV on Autism
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2005
Tue, 03-27-2007 - 10:47am
Thank you to everyone! I think that we will look into the early intervention program. To answer Heather....my friend is not an expert on any level. She is a "by the book" parent that has answers to it all. Her child is of course a "text-book" baby. The only thing that does concern me about my son is the fact that he doesn't seem to be able to communicate on a level that I believe he should be. I only have other 2 year olds and a 19 month old with two siblings...to "compair" him with at playgroups. I am a SAHM and he is the only child at this time. I feel that maybe that is a factor sometimes. He's really not into pretend play and like I said before...he doesn't always answer to his name. He follows directions when prompted and knows what things are...but rarely can say what he wants..He usually ends up crying until I figure out what it is that he wants...He shows lots of affection, and other then what my friend had said..we would have never thought something was wrong then maybe good memorizing skills, which I blamed on my husband b/c he is an accountant and a number person(LOL)...Other then that...he seems like a well behaved, loveable, smart child. This is all so confusing and fustrating! Thank you to all who have listened and replied. I will keep you all informed..its so nice to know that others out there can relate.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2006
Tue, 03-27-2007 - 10:40am
Just to piggyback on Renee and Paula - Call EI. My pediatrician poo-poo'd my concerns but EI saw things she didn't and my DD started receiving services immediately. I think the Ei folks do a very good job at seeing and addressing red flags..its what they do, so to speak, where as pediatricians, unless they have a specialty, simply don't see as many spectrum children and can be fairly dismissive...
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Mon, 03-26-2007 - 10:16pm

Hello and welcome.


I agree with Renee.

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-26-2007 - 4:44pm

Well, my general advice to any mom with concerns is to have an evaluation. You will either feel at ease after or you will get an early start on intervention. Your son is still under 3 so you can contact your states early intervention program and they will set up an eval. If you don't know how to contact them, call your local school district's special education department and they aught to be able to point you in the right direction and give you the phone numbers.

Naturally it is impossible to give an oppinion on a child over the internet but I can say that some of your post sounds familiar to my life. Right down to the friends thinking you are crazy. Many moms with autism spectrum children have had this experience. It doesn't mean that your son has an ASD it just means that it is a common reaction of friends and family when you start to question your childs development.

As for the pediatrician, ours was the same way. We got every excuse from "kids develop at thier own rates" to "you are just reading into her typical behavior because of your jobs" (DH and I worked with autistic children). This kind of thing delayed us from getting help for our oldest until she was 3 and even then we had to pay for a private speech/language eval because he wouldn't give us a referral.

Hindsight being 20/20 I would now get the evaluation through EI as soon as there are concerns.

BTW, we did have concerns with our youngest at that age and we did have him evaled through EI. They were not able to give us definitives but they gave us alot of information. He did gets some services and supports through preschool and now is doing wonderfully and he is not ASD.

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2000
Mon, 03-26-2007 - 4:22pm

Hi there!

I'm sorry that you are going through what so many of us here are familiar with.
After reading your story I have a couple of questions off the top. Is your friend that suggested Asperger's a mental health, educational, or medical professional? Does she have a child on the spectrum? That being asked, I will try to hit both sides of the coin here for you. I hope it helps you try to make better sense of what I'm sure is very concerning and confusing for you.
I will say that your pediatrician is right. Two-year olds typically parallel play, so that in itself is not atypical for a 26 month old.
As for the letters and numbers--that is very familiar to me. My Josh (now 7) recognized numbers 1-10 at 11 mos, and all of the letters by 17 or 18 mos. He also seemed obsessed with them. I remember specifically at 2 1/2 we were in the toy section of a supercenter and he found a pricing sign with a two on it on the floor and he was pleased as punch. He could've cared less about the toys unlike the other children in the store who were around the same age and wanting the toys. To me where you should be exploring to help you put the puzzle together are:
1) What is YOUR gut feeling
2) Does he have any other signs other than liking numbers and letters?

I'll give you a brief rundown as to what we saw in Josh (each child is different, and ASD's aren't cut and dry, but maybe it will help you gain perspective on whether or not you think your child may be on the spectrum). I remember when Aspergers was first suggested to us I just wanted to see a book that had other mom's stories of what they saw so I could figure out whether or not I thought Josh truly fit. Josh falls between mild and moderate on the spectrum--definately Aspergers

-from birth Josh hated being held and would arch his back
-he was found to have hypotonia(low muscle tone which can be related to Asperger's)as an infant when he was not holding his head/crawling/sitting on target
-he didn't point at things or show us things of interest
-he didn't give kisses or hugs like other children that age---only with much coaxing and prompting starting at about 18mos
-he loved to stare at cieling fans, lights, spinning mobiles
-he has sensory problems--had to wear "soft pants", couldn't stand loud places, or music being played etc.
-when going to sleep he would violently swing his head back and forth and bang his leg on the bed rhytmically
-he just didn't relate well to his peers
-very litteral speaking and thinking

We weren't aware of Asperger's when he was young, and in retrospect I wish we had known (we have a neighbor who is a mental health professional and after his diagnosis said she always thought Josh was an Aspie) because not only does it help a parent understand better why their child is behaving the way they are, but appropriate therapies can begin which can help the school transition later on.
If you come to feel that you really want an evaluation either to confirm suspicions, or to put your mind at ease I would suggest seeing either a Developmental Pediatrician, Neurologist, or Behavioral Psychologist for an eval. That unfortunately is the way to find out for sure. It could be that your little guy is being two, and a very smart two with the love for letters and numbers. Let us know how things are going, and if you have any more questions ask away.
I hope this helped you a bit with what you were looking to know. I'm sure there will be a host of others here that will offer other (and quite possibly better) info.

Hang in there and hugs,
Heather