Hello. Let me start by saying that we don't have a diagnisos, but we are headed to our pediatrician's office today to get started. My son is 30 months old and has been slow to develop speech. I have raised concerns with my doctor several times at well check-ups because he seemed so far behind others in his playgroup. I was told to give it time, then give it more time. He seemed to be making some progress around his second birthday, signing and speaking regularly (just one word at a time) so I stopped worrying. There were never any problems with eye contact, and he smiled all the time, so I never even considered autism. But I had a lingering concern about how he acted around other kids - he seemed overwhelmed by his cousins, and always retreated to another room when around other kids. But - his cousins are pretty rambunxiuos, so I figured he was just the quiet, shy type - not unlike my husband and me.
In April our world came crashing down when we found out that our second baby, due to be born in June, had a large intracranial mass (brain tumor) and would likely be severely handicapped or die shortly after birth. This was all a huge shock, as previous ultrasounds showed normal brain development. Nathan was born on April 25, and he died on April 29. It was a horrible ordeal, as we chose to remove him from life support and held him as we waited for him to leave us. Needless to say, I was a basketcase and it has taken months to recover physically and emotionally (not that you can ever fully recover from losing a child). My poor little boy must have certainly known that our lives were upside down - my husband and I were away from him while in the hospital, people were in and out to help me with him, and I'll admit I was emotionally a wreck and unable to focus on him for at least 2 months. Now it is four months later, and his behaviors, which we dismissed before, are very concerning to us. He's obsessed with fans, the wheels on his cars and tricycle, anything that spins, and he can literally spend hours opening and closing our closet doors (the kind that slide). Sometimes he looks up at the fan, gets in a crawling position, and flips himslef around in circles with his eyes to one side. Other times he just stands and turns in circles, or runs around our kitchen table. I just thought, "oh look, he's pretending to be a fan, or look...he's imitating the kids on the TV who are chasing eachother around a tree." Every time he sees a lamp or a light on the ceiling he reaches for it and says "whiiiiite" (this is how he says light). He does this over and over. He still has many words, but many he has used in the past are lost. He no longer signs. He doesn't look at you when he speaks and often uses words out of context. Just sitting in his highchair today he started saying duck over and over. Much of his speach is impossible to interpret, and it just seems like he is talking to himself. We tried to start preschool last week and it was a disaster - he kicked and screamed and did everything he could to leave his classroom ao he could run up and down the hall. No interest in the other kids. I stayed and watched out of sight and he eventually calmed down and did fine the rest of the day. His favorite activity- running cars or trains around the room. I didn't take him today because his behavior has been so much worse since school started. Should I have taken him anyway? I'm afraid I'll break down when I drop him off - he has such a hard time when we get there. The school thinks it's separation anxiety - but it look s way different from anything else I see when kids cry at drop off time.
My husband and I have been reading about PDD and Autism and we are both just devasted. I can't stop crying. Please help - I need suggestions for what questions to ask, where to start, etc.. I feel like I'm loosing another child.