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Hi, i dont quite know where to start with this, and am worried that i may offend people as this is something i really know little about. But, im worried my 3 yr old son may have autism, this is soemthing that has only just occured to me whilst reading something on another forum about delayed speech in children. I'll express my concerns with you here, and would likeshonest feedback please.
James has delayed speech and is currently seeing a speech therapist, he doesnt have any problems communicating with me, i understand most of what he says. hes had his hearing tested and its fine, however, i often think he doesnt hear me!! He's showing NO sign of potty training, as much as we've tried he'll sit on the potty but doesnt do anything, or will stand up and wee right next to it!!! He likes to play with other children at nursery but is also happy to play on his own. He often has trouble expressing himself around other children and will sometimes just lash out and hit them or push them over for no reason!! He often has outbursts for no reason at all, he will just throw something or push a glass off the table!!! He's very hyperactive and has far too much energy than he knows what to do with!! Doesnt have great eye contact. Often repeats him self over and over again, whether its his talking or something hes doing! he will happily do the same puzzle 4 times in a row, or watch a dvd 3 times in a row!! he walked and did other developmental things at quite an early age, and is very independant for his age. He walks on his tip toes! he lines all his cars up and is very particular about things being in a certain order- we sometimes joke that he has OCD. He does puzzles that are very advanced for his age, that heseems to be able to do easily!! Almost like he has a photographic memory!!
I really hope i havent offended anyone, these are just some of the symptons i've seen on google- (which i know isnt a great source of info, thats why i'm asking on here!!)
So do these things sound like he could have autism? What is the next step, should i take him to the docs? Also interested to here how they test children for autism??


  • Hi, I did try to reply yesterday but be kept eating my replies so I will try again.

    Your son sounds similar to Isaac in a lot of ways but with one major difference, Isaac has developmental delay with his gross motor skills, he didnt walk independantly till he was 19 months and even now he is still struggling with things. He is seeing a physio who has given him excercises but after talking to her today she has agreed that his behaviour is odd, he has excessively hypermobil joints and low muscle tone although we dont yet have a cause for that, he first saw the physio last week and had to go back this week to finish off his assessment, she has now said that he doesnt engage very well with other people, he much prefers to do his own thing and becomes very distressed if you try to get him to do something else, he is obsessed with having the same episode of mickey mouse on over and over again and will go into complete meltdow if I say no (which I do as I dont want him watching tv all day long) he will only have certain stories at bedtime and gets upset if I try to change his story, he hates having his clothes taken off and as he has been wearing shorts/t-shirts all summer I am now having real battles trying to get him to wear long trousers and long sleeves and dont even get me started on socks. If he can hear the rain against his window of a night then he goes hysterical and will not stay in bed, she did say that it could be in the boundaries of what is 'normal' toddler behaviour but that he behaviour was very extreme, she also said that even with the most unco-operative child she usually gets all her assessment done in a hour session, she has now had 2 sessions with Isaac and still hasnt managed everything. She did mention about DCD which is like dyspraxia and also sensory dysfunction but also said he is far too young to diagnose yet and it is a case of keeping the hv and his paediatrician upto date with everything no matter how small it may seem.

    I think it is really difficult to diagnose any autistic condition whilst a child is so young but they can show traits from a very early age so if you are at all worried then phone your hv or gp, they will either put your mind at rest or refer you further. All the best. Hayley x
  • Thank you soo much Hayley for your reply.
    I'm going to see the hv on wed and will discuss it with her. I dont know if i'm reading to much into things that he does, or trying to excuse his behaviour at times, but the more i think abou it the more i can see issues. My oh was off work yesterday and came with me to pick james up from nbursery which we both thought he'd love!! BUt as soon as he saw his daddy he went mad, he threw himself on the floor and refused to move!!
    Thanks again for replying. I'll keep you updated
  • Hi,

    Wanted to post here not just in my role as a Mummy, but also with my 'professional' (i.e. Reception teacher!!) head on. Sorry that you haven't been able to find much info, but there are such different degrees of autism that its hard to find a definitive answer.

    Basically, what you are describing about James does sound to have some traits of autism - and a particular type of autism called Asperger's syndrome. This is where the children are particularly bright in one or more specific area, yet they still have similar problems to other autistic children - such as the lack of eye contact. Although this is by no means exclusive to the condition!! And the fact that he lashes out could be due to the fact that he's frustrated that he can't make himself understood by others, when he knows that you understand him perfectly! Have you ever done any sign language with him? Its just that this could be particularly effective - I use it a lot with my little boy George, who is 17 months and has down's syndrome. As part of the syndrome his speech is delayed too, yet he signs like mad and can put three signs together - 'more' 'biscuit' 'please' - typical man, always thinking about food!!

    A lot of what you have described about James' behaviour, although it may seem quite extreme, is quite common among many children his age - particularly ones who have delayed speech and language skills. It is the one thing in their lives that they have control over, and provides some comfort to them that they can do these repetitive things and they know exactly what is going to happen. But if you are worried, there are a couple of things that you can do:
    * Try your GP first - raise your concerns and ask to be referred to a consultant paediatrician at your local hospital. They should refer you to someone with a specific interest in child development, rather than the more medical nature of some conditions.
    * If James goes to any kind of nursery or playgroup, ask the managers about whether he could be seen by the area special needs co-ordinator (SENCO) attached to the setting. They then might be able to refer him to an Educational Psychologist who will be more of an expert.

    I really hope that you get somewhere - I have got a little boy in my new class who is a classic case of the Asperger's syndrome, although he hasn't been officially diagnosed yet. The professionals are often reluctant to diagnose children at such a young age, since a lot of this could be, as hayley i says, they very extremes of 'normal' toddler behaviour. But it makes me sad when, since through my own experiences with George, I now know how much support and intervention there is out there - its just a shame that not all children who need it can access it. Because we have had an official 'diagnosis' since George was 3 days old, we've been able to access all these support groups and help for him, and luckily he is now thriving. And he will get to go to a nursery attached to a local a special school when he turns 2, to give him that extra leg up before he reaches school age.

    I don't know what your experience or opinion is of special schools, but if you do get an official diagnosis at any point, I would urge you to take on board any kind of help that they can give you. They are amazing places and we will have no qualms about George attending one if that is the best place for him. From my teaching experience, I would much rather he was one of a class of 8, with his own support assistant, if that is what he needs. And there they have access to things like speech and music therapy every week, if that is what's needed.

    Anyway, I'm waffling now - must be the cider that I've been drinking while typing!!

    Feel free to ask anything else if you need to and I'll try to find you an answer!

    Sarah x
  • My daughter is 6 and although being told she had complex communication and language disorder at 3 1/2 ( i was told they wont do the full assesment thing until around 5 / 6 anyway) we finally got a diagnosis of autism feb this year. It does take a very long time to get such a diagnosis although we already knew ourselves. I would add to what sarah has put about the referal to a paeditrician this can be done through pre school / nursery as this is who did it for my daughter. I hope you get some answers / help soon and i know its horrible thinking something is going on and you don't know how to help them. if you want to chat anytime. best wishes
    trace x
  • Thankyou all sooo much for your replies, its really comforting to know theres people out there you can talk to about this kind of thing. I havent spoke to anyone else about it yet as i'm worried about peoples reactions. My oh think hes just a typical child, but i'm at home with him all day and see some of the behaviour, that i wouldnt class as typical!! My OH's mother has already made several comments about me worrying too much because james has started seeing a speech therapist and has had to have his ears tested- due to the speech!! So its really nice that i can chat about it with you ladies.
    I'm seeing my hv on wed about my youngest, so i'll mention it to her then, and see what shes says.

    Thanks again girls
  • I agree with you foxylady, men like to be in denial, my hubby is the same about Isaac, in the end I have told him to read the book that someone gave me called the out of sync child, it is like reading a book written about Isaac also it has helped me understand better and I was in a way relieved when the Physio mentioned about it too becuase it made me realise that it wasnt just in my mind. I am seeing the paediatrician again in December and she has sent her report to him with her concerns so I'm hoping that as he's now 'in the system' that if there is anything it will be picked up before he starts school so he doesnt get lost in a class of 30 or labelled as badly behaved (which he isnt).
  • I hope everything is ok for you and you get to the bottom of this. I have no experience so can't offer any advice but just wanted to let you know thinking of you and hope everything is ok...


    Also I am currently pregnant and deciding whether to have MMR - mainly due to increased risk in autism - would the ladies on this thread mind me asking if you decided to go ahead with the MMR jab? I hope I don't offend/ upset anyone by asking this - no intention of that at all....
  • Hi designerbump, Isaac did have the mmr, as did my other 3 children, I did an awful lot of reading and soul searching for all of them when it was due because at the time my first was due it the reports on the links to autism had just come out. It has since shown that there is absolutely no proven link between mmr and autism or bowel disorders and if I am honest then I had concerns about Isaac from about the age of just a few months, he has always avoided eye contact whenever he can, he doesnt not do it he just avoids it or does the minimum possible, also alot of the symptoms for autism dont start to become apparant until after the age of about 18 months when the speech and language start to develop so that may be why the link was made as it ties in with the time the mmr is given. Obviously you are right to be concerned and if I were you I would gather all the info you can then make your decision based on your choice and what you feel is the right decision, even though I had read all the info when my eldest had his, I still did it all over again for the others in case I had missed something first time round :lol:

    Also even though my 5 year old had her mmr she still caught measles because the first dose doesnt give full immunity which is why they have 2 doses, she had it very mildly but she was still quite unwell with it, the dr did say that if I hadnt taken her for her mmr then she could have got it so badly that she would have ended up in hospital with it.
  • Hi,

    Just reading all these posts, my eldest is 2.5 years and was assessed at 18 mths for Autism (only because I pushed for it), I was told that there was nothing wrong with him. I know different, so the assessment was repeated on Friday and now they tell me that it is possible Saul is autistic... He does give eye contact but sometimes just appears to ignore you... He has been referred to a consultant paed, for specialist speech and language, hearing test, eye test and is having a care package put in place for him...

    Hayley - I smiled when I read your sentence about Mickey Mouse!!! Saul does the same, he would watch it all day given the chance and when I turn it off, his little world ends!!! He does speak, however, its not clear and still babbles loads...

    He calms himself down by counting, he loves everything to do with numbers, can count to 30 and recognises the numbers too...

    Like I said, I always knew there was something different about him, I have 11.5 mth old twins and they are what you'd call "normal" children, doing everything they should be...

    I was told Saul's appointments should start coming through in approx 2 weeks, can't be soon enough if you ask me...

    Sara x
  • Hi Sara, how are you doing, I remember you having Saul assessed, at the moment we are really not sure what is wrong with Isaac, the physiotherapist was conceerned that he doesnt engage in things, also she said he avoids eye contact, he does do it but only when he chooses, or if he is having a really good day, does Saul have good and bad days. He also was at the eye clinic the other week and the opthalmologist commented on how he wouldnt engage with her and he wouldnt make eye contact either, she also said he seemed locked in his own little worls which I have noticed. I phoned my hv and the nursery nurse came out and did his 2 1/2 year check but he was having a great day and even though he didnt do the puzzle or thread the beads on the string or use the pencil how he should, she still said she could see no cause for concern. He is under the paediatrician anyway because of his delayed motor skills so we are seeing him again 1 Dec so I am going to push it for more in depth reviews, I have 3 other children so I know what Isaac is doing is not 'normal'. He screamed for over an hour the other day when I cut his dinner up wrong xx
  • Hi Hayley,

    Its difficult isn't it, the professionals assess them for a hour or two and they could be behaving well for those hours!!! I think they should spend a day with the children to get a better idea of what they do... Cutting dinner up wrong, thats a familiar sound - If I put the dip dip (red sauce) on the wrong part of the plate, it goes on the floor!!!

    Can I ask what the opthalmologist does, surely its not like an adult eye exam??? Saul often seems like he's in his own world, plays with random toys on his own... Saul indeed has good days and bad days, I dread the bad days!!! It wears you down doesn't it???

    I will of course keep you up to date with his progress, and I hope you will let me know how Isaac gets on too...

    How old are your other children???

    Sara x

  • Sara, the opthalmologist does a number of different tests depending on what mood he is in, on previous occasions she has held up pictures and asked him what they are, sometimes he will co-operate but last time he went he just wouldnt so she had these special grey cards with hust an outline of a picture in white, I think that just by getting the child to look at the picture it shows how their eyes focus, must admit I didnt think he was having a particularly bad day that day, I guess I am just used to it now. He has to have another check in 3 months and this time they will put eye drops in to dilate his pupils which is a nightmare because he doesnt like being touched. Like you I dread the bad days, today he laid down on the floor at the toddler group I run and refused to move, he is a big boy so it is not easy to pick him up if he doesnt want to be. He doesnt seem to have any awareness of danger either, he doesnt like holding my hand but if he doesnt he just runs off and unlike the others he just wont stop if I tell him too so consequently he walks less which doesnt help with his motor development, it is like a no win situation, if I let him walk it ends up with a tantrum becuase he wont hold my hand and he doesnt like his reins and if I put him in the buggy I know it is holding him back.

    Have you tried potty training yet, I tried with Isaac and he totally flipped when I tried to put pants on him, he was screaming in terror and pulling them off, then he screamed when I suggested sitting on his potty so I have just given up for now.

    The others are doing well, Jake is such a teenager, I tell you we think the toddler years are hard, they are a walk in the park compared to the teenage ones :lol: Megan is 10 and doing well although I think the hormonal moods are starting to kick in, such a joy and Alice has just started school and is settling in really well, how are your twins doing now, I cant believe they are nearly 1, I still remember your bfp post!!!

    Foxy lady, routine is definitely key for Isaac and he likes it to be rigid, if anything is even slightly out that is when the problems start, totally agree with you though, for all the tantrums and the difficult days I wouldnt change him for the worls, at the end of the day he is still Isaac my beautiful little boy and I absolutely love everything about him ;\)
  • Saul definitely won't cooperate with the eye test, should be interesting!!!

    Saul is also showing no sign of toilet training, he won't sit on the potty at all, so I bought a step for the downstairs toilet. Still didn't work... He's just not interested in the slightest...

    My demons (twins) are fabulous, showing no signs of autism, they were 1 on Tuesday, Saul won't let them play with any of their toys!!! He loves them and thinks they are his!!!

    I bought one of the plates with the 3 sections, seems to work, however, he only ever eats from 1 section and no it doesn't work if I move food into that section after he's eaten!!!

    I just can't wait for the appt to come through, I just want a diagnosis... I wouldn't change him for the world either, he's my baby and I love him to bits...

  • Glad the twins are doing okay and really hope you get Sauls appointment through soon. Isaac isnt so worried about separate sections on his plate but he doesnt like food that is too wet (like gravy or sauces etc) and like you I wouldnt change him for anything although at 8.15 this morning when he was having a major flip out because his socks were 'wrong' I might have just changed him for a child that will let me get the older ones to school on time :lol:
  • Oh my, you too... Saul won't eat any wet food at all... He only wants crisps, breadsticks, biscuits, crackers etc...I've started being very strict, if he doesn't eat his dinner, he doesn't get any snacks in between!!!

    His dad is demanding to be at all the doctors appts, but I don't want him there, he always contradicts what I say!!! Did I tell you we are in the middle of getting divorced??? Probably doesn't help with Saul... He witnessed lots of arguments!!!

    Well, demons are staying with him this weekend, so I get some quality time with Saul...

    Sara x
  • Didnt realise you were split up, so sorry, my hubby is the other way round and until his last appointment where I flipped at thim and told him I couldnt do it on my own he hadnt been to any but then when he did come he just kept saying to the paed that "oh hes not that bad" I was soooo mad, I spend most of the day with him on my own so I know how bad he is, hubby does an odd bit here and there and thinks he's a bloody expert. Although I have taken a job 2 evenings a week to fund Isaacs nursery whilst I am at college so he has to do the bath and bedtime twice a week and finally the other week he admitted that he hadnt realised how bad he could be :roll: He hasnt booked the day off for his appointment on the 1 Dec though so I guess I will be doing that one alone, although I have started to keep a note of all his little 'odd' moments so that I can tell the paed everything and hopefully I will get some answers this time. Enjoy your weekend with Saul, it's lovely to have quality time with just one of the children sometimes, it is such a rare thing though. xx
  • Yes, we split up in May after he assaulted me!!! I found out that he'd had FOUR affairs since we'd been together so told him it was over... He didn't appreciate it much and threw me up against the wall... Luckily Saul was at nursery...

    I am now with someone new, he is going through exactly the same as me, his wife had an affair and he threw her out... He has 2 young children, so every other weekend we have 5 children under 4!!!

    I don't think i'll tell the ex about the appts!!!

    Hope you have a nice weekend...

    Sara x
  • Poor you, he sounds like a real charmer. wow 5 children under 4, bet your house isnt quiet on that weekend :lol: Really glad you have found someone else, I wouldnt tell him about the appointments either. Good luck with them, let me know how you get on xxx
  • Hi Hayley,

    Just a quick one to say good luck for tomorrow... Please let me know how you get on...

    I spoke to my health visitor today as I haven't heard anything about the appts for Saul... She said that she'd been busy and hadn't sent the referrals off yet and that she'd do it this week!!! I was furious, its not important for her, but it flipping is to me!!! I've been waiting for the post for nearly 4 weeks now!!!! So I doubt Saul's appt will be before Christmas now!!!

    Anyway, enough moaning, speak to you tomorrow.

    Sara x
  • That's terrible, can't believe she forgot to send them off, I would defo complain, don't they realise how stressful it is waiting for appointments? I am really stressing about tomorrow, Isaac was at nursery lst Thursday and his key worker said he went into like a trance which lasted for about 3 hours, she said in that time there was nothing that could get through to him, she said it was almost as though his body was there but he wasnt in it. She has done me a report which I am taking tomorrow so hopefully we weill get some answers even if it isn't what I want to hear. I will keep you posted x
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