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18 month old ignores us- does this mean he has autism?

Hi all, new on here so bare with me if this is in the wrong place! I'm worrying myself sick that my son has autism and I don't know how to stop it!!!

I have an 18 month old boy and have recently given birth to a baby girl who is now 4 weeks old. Baby boy is an amazing boy who until I had my newborn, I thought he was doing amazing developmentally. We would literally sit and just say to each other how amazing he is!!

Since having the new baby I've been racked with guilt that I'm not spending enough time with my 18 month old and have worries that his sibling is effecting him :(

I've picked up that he just doesn't listen to us!! He never has done really. He doesn't follow instructions and rarely answers to his name. Does this mean that he has autism??

My newborn has really bad reflux and colic so is constantly in pain and screaming, so I'm really going it through it at the moment but my main focus of anxiety is lying with the probability that my son has autism?

Can anyone offer any thoughts if they've been through the same thing? Hope to hear from you xx


  • Hi, it seems to me from what you have said that your son is quite normal for his age and circumstances:)  

    the addition of a sibling is a testing time for everyone in the family ( even pets have to re establish their place in the new hierarchy!) and I can say after having 3 sons ( and 3 daughters!) that it is more probable he is displaying selective hearing! 

    autism is not diagnosed this early no matter the symptoms displayed but I'm sure that you little man is just fine and will be an amazing big brother!  But tell him that he is still a special person to you too, big guy time is also needed! Reading his books, playing his games and maybe giving him a job to help you ? Fetching a bib or the wet wipes perhaps help toddlers feel important and an opportunity to be praised. mine took over as nappy fetcher ( to them a very big and important job to help baby!)

    Also have you trained him to respond to his name being said?  Yes kids get trained to do anything lol but think about how many times a day you use his name, both directly and in passing reference and if he came running every time you refer to him,  try using a positive reinforcement trick to help encourage the behaviour and response you want - it dosnt  have to be much - just an excited "yay thank you for that ! Or asking for a hi 5 after he turns to his name but remember as a grown up of 18 months he is very busy with important games and toys and is distracted easily by them.  You may have to call more than once !

    Best wishes xx

  • Thanks busymamma, I do think he's suffering from the arrival of his sister, for the first couple of weeks he was ok but I've noticed a definite change in his behaviour since, she got colic and bad reflux from 2 weeks so spends most of her waking hours screaming in pain and wanting to be held. My boy had it to, I didn't count on my second child having it so it's quite hard to manage :( hopefully it all sorts itself out soon as I'm dying to just be able to enjoy these much longed for babies and get these negative thoughts out of my head. xxx

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