How Early Can You Tell??

April - posted on 08/04/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

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I have a thirteen month old daughter named Gabriella who turns 14 months old on the 25th of this month.



I used to work with autistic deaf and mute children, and was the one person who was correct in saying that Gabriella's cousin Anthony had autism, even when he was undiagnosed. He was 2 when I first met him, and the boy could mimic TV shows, but couldn't communicate simple things. I printed out pages of his behavior for his mother, and she insisted he did not have this, but at age 5 he was officially diagnosed with Autism.



I believe that Gabriella is showing signs of autism. She screams and throws unbearable temper tantrums over nothing, bangs her head on the wall repeatedly even though you tell her not to do it. She screams bloody murder and scratches her head really badly no matter how many times you tell her not to. She does not listen when you tell her no, she rocks back and forth repeatedly, she is really hyperactive, and wants attention 24/7, which is hard when I am a single mom working 2 full time jobs and going to college full time, and she only mimics things. She never says words on her own. I repeat several words to her and she says "mama" "dada" and "nene" which is her bottle but she only says them after I say them. She will sit on the floor and rock back and forth screaming bloody murder, she will bang her head on the wall when I tell her no, she also flaps her hands a lot, and she screams at night on end for no reason. If I take something away from her she screams. She acts really strange when you feed her, like if I give her food them take it away because she is eating too fast, she kicks screams and throws a temper tantrum.



She met her milestones fairly early, taking her first steps five days before her first birthday which happens to be fathers day this year, June 20th, and she sat up at about 6 months old by herself. She however did not crawl until she was about 9 months old. She prefers to play by herself with her toys, and not with other children, if you put her with other kids, she throws fits. She also does not react to her when you say No, no matter how many times you say it to her. She also refuses to go to sleep at all, and prefers to stay awake for days on end no matter what I do to soothe her.



My question is as follows:



- How early can you tell if a child has autism?

- Do these symptoms sound like autism?

- Who can diagnose autism?

- What do you do for this?



I used to work with children, but never had a need to really research the wide variety of spectrum disorders which is why I'm posting here. Feedback is appreciated. My e-mail is april.driesse@gmail.com if you also want to contact me there.

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Sheila - posted on 08/05/2010

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HI April,



When do you even sleep??



Honestly, it seems like you are covering all the bases. You have eliminated the three main areas that I questioned, and I think as a mom you know when something is not right. Not waving good-bye or hello is a typical milestone met before 14 months, so this is another red flag...I am wondering as well, how is her eye contact and would you say that she has bouts of playfulness, laughing, babbling? Does she play peek-a-boo with a towel? If you pick her up, does she arch backwards away from a snuggle?



Aspergers is not typically looked at as a go to diagnosis before classic autism. This is because aspergers often presents with socialization issues (typically, a child with aspergers communicates early...they are often said to be sounding like "little professors" because their speech can be very specific in the way it sounds.}



I honestly think that with everything you have posted you need to see a specialist. I don't know the system where you are, but if your family doctor is not sending you to a specialist, contact an autism organization in your area that can send you in the right direction (medically speaking). If there is a local university or college that offers a developmental screening clinic for infants, then get there.



Good luck to you and your daughter April. Like I said, you are clearly working very hard to provide your child with a good life and I admire your efforts.



Sheila

Sheila - posted on 08/05/2010

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Hi April,



First, if a doctor tells you it is a phase, then your doctor is not an informed developmental specialist. If you asked five hundred moms, how many had children who repeatedly banged their head against the wall, or engaged in harming themselves...you would maybe get six or seven moms saying that sounds familiar....and most of those moms would tell you they sought help and were initially told to give the baby time...this is not typical behaviour, nor is it a phase.



Self-injurious behaviours, regardless of ASD or not, is not a phase, It's an indication of something greater.



So, how early can you tell. With children severely impacted by autism, highly skilled and experienced developmental pediatricians are able to "measure" indicators as early as six months. Sick kids hospital in Toronto, I believe, recently released the study and achieved a high level of accuracy..so the infants that they stated were showing the indicators and would most likely go on to be diagnosed with autism were proven to have autism (I think it was Sick Kids hospital...honestly, the studies begin to blend together and I can't keep it all straight what I have read/from where I've read it)





It sounds like you have an awful lot on your plate. Two full time jobs/full time student doesn't give you a lot of time with your daughter and I am wondering how long the behaviours have been present. She honestly may be reacting to the lack of stability in her life if there are a variety of caregivers.



I am not judging, but if she has been in a daycare situation with multiple caregivers, you might be seeing what is known as Reactive Attachment (or Detachment...I honestly have difficulties keeping it straight) disorder. This is emotionally based due to a lack of consistencies and properly formed attachment to a single caregiver (or a consistent caregiver). You see this type of behaviours in children who have not properly bonded and they are often in "institutional" type care. This is not a condemnation of your efforts as a mom to provide a better life for you and your child AT ALL...it is just a possible explanation besides ASD and might indicate that you need to cut back if at all possible.



If HOWEVER she has had consistent and loving care with someone, then there is something else to look at.



Fetal Alcohol syndrome can also result in the behaviours your have described.



So, if you eliminate what I have described above, you are then looking at a series of behaviours that are most commonly described as Red Flags.



NOT playing with children at this age is not a red flag. Infants typically play beside other infants, but not with. Infants typically can sit with other infants and not become upset with them (unless there is a grabbing session over a toy)



Rocking back and forth, being easily upset beyond typical baby tears, and not meeting expressive language milestones are all red flags (does she wave bye bye or hello) By 14 months she should have some basic vocab like mama, dada, baba, no, imitating simple phrases like pick up, good girl (more sing songy type voice)



So, you asked if this sounds like autism. I would say yes, but I also indicated that it sounds like other things as well. The reason I say this is because I don't know your child...



for example, your child could also have food intolerances...this is not an allergy, but imagine feeling physically uncomfortable ALL the time...as an adult, you can share you discomfort...as an infant you scream and lash out.



So, who can diagnose:



BEcause of your child's young age, you need to see a developmental pediatrician who has worked with a lot of children and knows what to look for.



You should also get her hearing checked...if she is experiencing consistent low grade ear infections, you can get the same behaviours you are describing. You would not be aware of these infections...they do not present with fevers, they just are "there."



So, what do you do:



take steps

1) eliminate ear/hearing issues

2) see an allergist to make sure she is not testing positive for any intolerances (if lactose or wheat intolerant, she would be in constant distress)

3) if she has had multiple caregivers, figure out a way to cut back severely for six to eight weeks and see if there is improvement in what your child has been experiencing

4) if she has had a consistent caregiver, then ask your family physician to refer you to a developmental pediatrican, a pediatric neurologist, or a developmental behavioural specialist....someone with experience with children on the spectrum

5) if your child is diagnosed with ASD, begin early intervention therapy...ABA, speech and language, occupational Therapist.



The key is, time is on your side because she is so very small.



I truly hope I have not offended you or frightened you with my other NON ASD related possibilities. When describing certain behaviours, there can be a variety of causes, and if you can eliminate a,b,c,and .d....then, it makes it more certain that you are looking at "E" and you can take the action needed.



Clearly, you are working VERY hard to make a good life for you and your child and I TRULY admire that determination.



Keep doing your best to do your best.



Sheila

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Jennifer - posted on 03/22/2012

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I find out about my son's Autism due to my older sister who was the one who noticed first, by that time my son had 18 months. Before his 18 months he was talking, playing and even trying to communicate with others but all of a sudden he stop doing everything. He would stand in a corner and play with his fingers, he didn't wanted anyone to kiss him, hug him or even stand near him, it got to the point that my son started to have tantrums in which he would bite, push me, throw everything on the ground, cry and scream for up to three hours.



When I brought my son to his doctor, all of them said it was a normal phase, but my parents didn't really believed that and neither did I, I ended up taking him to a Autism Specialist Center in which they would give Speech, OT and Psychology help. There they confirmed that my son suffered of Asperger and up to this day he has been receiving all the help that he needed and has started to talk, play with other kids and his going to turn now four years old and he already has learned how to write. He loves to sing, drawing and swimming and is able to play with his cousins with no problem.



Be always there for your child, Autism is really hard and I had to even quit my job so that my son could have as much help as possible.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/21/2012

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You should have her screened for autism spectrum disorder. My son presented this way and I know it is hard to handle. He never left my side until he started an early childhood special education program. Early intervention is a must in order to help them succeed. It is harder for them to understand what you are saying so using single sentences with one directive in it is the best way to get them to do something. Also routine helps. My home has been running on pretty much the same routine for 3 years. We still have special outings and things that must be done but we try to keep things pretty simple. Autism usually shows around 18 months, however every child is different and you shouldn't go off of that generalization. The symptoms you mention do sound like autism and you can have the child screened through different outlets. I am unsure of where you live but there are usually multiple resources available. Try simply searching online for them. For the night time problem melatonin will help a lot. It is all natural and is essentially a vitamin that promotes sleep. It is the naturally occurring chemical in your brain that puts you to sleep. There are also no side effects. The dosage for someone who has never taken it and is this young is likely 1mg, but you can ask a pharmacist for exact dosages. If your child has autism there are programs you can put her in that will help her with speech, language, occupational therapy, general therapy, and many other things that may help her catch up. I would also suggest you look up Autism Speaks. They have a lot of information. Most of what I have learned has been through research and the many resources that are available to my son. When he was really young he said moma, dada, and kiki (his name for his grandma) as well as a few other small words then he just stopped talking and seemed to loose some of his abilities. I was reluctant to have him checked but I did for him. He was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder that encompasses adhd. He went from not speaking a single word at 2 to using sentences in a year from being put into a program for autistic children. It turned out that he simply did not understand what was being said to him. I know that this is hard on you and understand, but as hard as it is on us it is harder on them. I just tell people to imagine not being able to understand what is being said to you which causes people to be upset with you and not having any way at all to communicate your needs or wants and tell them you don't understand. You are the mother and if you think that there is something wrong then trust yourself.

Lynette - posted on 08/18/2010

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I also have a couple autism support groups on facebook one is called "so it's autism,now what?" and recipes for parents of children with Autism & other sensory disorders.in my long spiel i forgot to add that diet also plays a prime roll in behavior.dye in juices an foods like red meat can last in the body for up to 3 days so that child will be wound tighter that a yoyo for those days after consuming such things as well as gluten in wheat or breaded foods.eliminating these things you will see a change eventually about 2 weeks in behavior.

Lynette - posted on 08/18/2010

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You asked very valid questions i am sure a lot of moms are wondering but are afraid to ask because it might raise a red flag that their child may have autism/aspergers.first you will have to get your GP to send you to a pediatrician an that doctor will order a battery of tests to rule out other possibilities an ask you a bunch of questions based on your child's behavior and physical development etc.If he/she feels your child possibly fits the criteria then that doctor will refer your child to a child development specialist. and they will have questions an do tests of their own.I would type up a report of unusual things you notice about your child that makes you question the development of your child.It took us a year to get our son diagnosed through this process.an then another long period on waiting lists when we lived in ontario for therapy.We are lucky that we are a military family an we put in a request to go to New Brunswick when it came time for our next posting because here he will get 20 hours a week of intense behavioral intervention therapy known as IBI. We first noticed symptoms of our son's autism when i was pregnant only because at that time there was a segment on the news about autism an the link with boys who had a large head circumference noticed in the womb.later when my two friend's babies who were born at the same time span as him were excelling along in their milestones an our noah was not especially with his mobility ones sitting,standing,crawling,walking until real late and the doctors blamed it on the fact that he was a stocky boy.then when he was not increasing his vocabulary beyond mom,dad,nan,pop and dog and not responding to loud clapping of hands behind him,didn't respond to his name or make eye contact to communicate with us only when he wanted something we wondered if he was deaf.he had testing done that showed his hearing was fine .after further investigation things i noticed like noah would have to align his wooden blocks in a perfect line,an if that order was disrupted he would have a huge tantrum .the same with his cars he would arrange them in a line according to size.he didn't play with other children.at birthday parties he would play in amongst others but not with them.he had texture issues with food that were gooey,wet like bandannas,jello an chicken if it was roasted not breaded. and toys that were the same texture to touch like slimy gooey worms you get at the dollar store ,play doe he would freak out if you made him touch it.so then i started to investigate the possibility of autism an i had alot of disagreeing relatives an friends who said they didn't think he was autistic or looked autistic to them. but what i found out there is no look to autism an it is different with all affected. so really there is some things that are characteristic of it but since autism spectrum disorder is an umbrella of developmental disorders no tow children affected are the same.your specialist will set you up for your child to start speech/communication an behavioral therapies.don't be discouraged if there is a wait to get into therapy an of the diagnosis.you are your childs best advocate so don't give up until you get all your questions answered by the specialists.If i had listened to others my son would not have progressed in a manner he has through therapy and understanding from you an trained therapist's.There is a huge autism community of mom's with children an spouses on the spectrum who can offer support emotionally an information wise. I'd advise you to avail of them. it has gotten me through the rough days an i have been able to help other mom's through their rough days. Remember it is nothing you did wrong this is just something that happens.instead of focusing on what could have caused it i advise you to look at ways of helping intervene at a young age so they can have a independent life later.hope this helps.melatonin helps our son to sleep we give him two tabs a half hour before bedtime an we turn off the tv an computer anything that might be to excitable for him an read to him an have bath time for him to wind down by the time the melatonin kicks in he's off to sleep.melatonin is a natural chemical that the brain puts out along with serotonin that helps us to sleep.in autistic individuals this can be lacking.and for tantrums plan to ignore all undesirable behavior as long as the child isn't in harms way an you will notice she will lesson that undesired behavior it may seem cruel but you are teaching them a lesson in proper communication that there are better ways to deal with communication like pointing to desired objects or using picture cards to tell you or sign language.get down to her level to train her to look at you eye to eye for communicating.even if you hold something bright or colorful next to your fce so that she is attracted to look at you when she does praise her saying"good looking".keep your sentences short like 3-4 words max.it takes a asd child a few seconds longer to process info so wait a bit between questions or commands before repeating it.an they are very literal so think about how you want to ask an don't change the wording of your question that will confuse her.people think because of this they are "slow" which is a word i hate.but in fact, it has been proven they have a higher i.q. than most children their age.my son is now 4 an we have learned that his is hyperlexic which is the opposite of dislexia he is reading,spelling an printing at a 8-9year old's level or more.I am lucky only one of my children are on the spectrum some people have more than one child on the spectrum an even a spouse who is.I don't envy them.that is why emotional support is essential and learning ways to help your child besides therapy because the less frustrated she is the less tantrums she will have.I say it is nothing you did in reguards to pregnancy or vaccinations. i did all the same things with noah's younger sister as i did when i was pregnant with him an post pregnancy an she is a busy typical child an has no developmental issues an that's how i know.also it was not cause from brain injury in the birthing process because we had a mri to rule that out an genetic testing to none of them showed anything pointing to a cause.The specialist said it is just one of those things. you are not alone and you are a caring mom for asking others for answers.pat yourself on the back an continue asking questions an researching.sorry this is alot of info to take in but this is not a simple topic.

Lynette - posted on 08/18/2010

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You asked very valid questions i am sure a lot of moms are wondering but are afraid to ask because it might raise a red flag that their child may have autism/aspergers.first you will have to get your GP to send you to a pediatrician an that doctor will order a battery of tests to rule out other possibilities an ask you a bunch of questions based on your child's behavior and physical development etc.If he/she feels your child possibly fits the criteria then that doctor will refer your child to a child development specialist. and they will have questions an do tests of their own.I would type up a report of unusual things you notice about your child that makes you question the development of your child.It took us a year to get our son diagnosed through this process.an then another long period on waiting lists when we lived in ontario for therapy.We are lucky that we are a military family an we put in a request to go to New Brunswick when it came time for our next posting because here he will get 20 hours a week of intense behavioral intervention therapy known as IBI. We first noticed symptoms of our son's autism when i was pregnant only because at that time there was a segment on the news about autism an the link with boys who had a large head circumference noticed in the womb.later when my two friend's babies who were born at the same time span as him were excelling along in their milestones an our noah was not especially with his mobility ones sitting,standing,crawling,walking until real late and the doctors blamed it on the fact that he was a stocky boy.then when he was not increasing his vocabulary beyond mom,dad,nan,pop and dog and not responding to loud clapping of hands behind him,didn't respond to his name or make eye contact to communicate with us only when he wanted something we wondered if he was deaf.he had testing done that showed his hearing was fine .after further investigation things i noticed like noah would have to align his wooden blocks in a perfect line,an if that order was disrupted he would have a huge tantrum .the same with his cars he would arrange them in a line according to size.he didn't play with other children.at birthday parties he would play in amongst others but not with them.he had texture issues with food that were gooey,wet like bandannas,jello an chicken if it was roasted not breaded. and toys that were the same texture to touch like slimy gooey worms you get at the dollar store ,play doe he would freak out if you made him touch it.so then i started to investigate the possibility of autism an i had alot of disagreeing relatives an friends who said they didn't think he was autistic or looked autistic to them. but what i found out there is no look to autism an it is different with all affected. so really there is some things that are characteristic of it but since autism spectrum disorder is an umbrella of developmental disorders no tow children affected are the same.your specialist will set you up for your child to start speech/communication an behavioral therapies.don't be discouraged if there is a wait to get into therapy an of the diagnosis.you are your childs best advocate so don't give up until you get all your questions answered by the specialists.If i had listened to others my son would not have progressed in a manner he has through therapy and understanding from you an trained therapist's.There is a huge autism community of mom's with children an spouses on the spectrum who can offer support emotionally an information wise. I'd advise you to avail of them. it has gotten me through the rough days an i have been able to help other mom's through their rough days. Remember it is nothing you did wrong this is just something that happens.instead of focusing on what could have caused it i advise you to look at ways of helping intervene at a young age so they can have a independent life later.hope this helps.melatonin helps our son to sleep we give him two tabs a half hour before bedtime an we turn off the tv an computer anything that might be to excitable for him an read to him an have bath time for him to wind down by the time the melatonin kicks in he's off to sleep.melatonin is a natural chemical that the brain puts out along with serotonin that helps us to sleep.in autistic individuals this can be lacking.and for tantrums plan to ignore all undesirable behavior as long as the child isn't in harms way an you will notice she will lesson that undesired behavior it may seem cruel but you are teaching them a lesson in proper communication that there are better ways to deal with communication like pointing to desired objects or using picture cards to tell you or sign language.get down to her level to train her to look at you eye to eye for communicating.even if you hold something bright or colorful next to your fce so that she is attracted to look at you when she does praise her saying"good looking".keep your sentences short like 3-4 words max.it takes a asd child a few seconds longer to process info so wait a bit between questions or commands before repeating it.an they are very literal so think about how you want to ask an don't change the wording of your question that will confuse her.people think because of this they are "slow" which is a word i hate.but in fact, it has been proven they have a higher i.q. than most children their age.my son is now 4 an we have learned that his is hyperlexic which is the opposite of dislexia he is reading,spelling an printing at a 8-9year old's level or more.I am lucky only one of my children are on the spectrum some people have more than one child on the spectrum an even a spouse who is.I don't envy them.that is why emotional support is essential and learning ways to help your child besides therapy because the less frustrated she is the less tantrums she will have.I say it is nothing you did in reguards to pregnancy or vaccinations. i did all the same things with noah's younger sister as i did when i was pregnant with him an post pregnancy an she is a busy typical child an has no developmental issues an that's how i know.also it was not cause from brain injury in the birthing process because we had a mri to rule that out an genetic testing to none of them showed anything pointing to a cause.The specialist said it is just one of those things. you are not alone and you are a caring mom for asking others for answers.pat yourself on the back an continue asking questions an researching.

Valerie - posted on 08/17/2010

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I, too, got the "Its just a phase," and "Its because he's a boy," and my personal favorite...He's just spoiled. Give him a spanking and he'll snap out of it! Even the school district thought I was being paranoid, seeing a problem where none existed. My son was finally dx w/ Autism in April of 2007 at age 7, and dx changed to Aspergers last month (July). He NEVER slept! He also ended up doing an inpatient stay at a behavioral health facility, due in part, to the insomnia, but largely because he bacame a danger to the other children in the home. He is now 11, going into 6th grade, plays the trumpet, loves Science, and is in self-contained only at the begining of the school year. He goes to band, reading and science outside BMC. This is due almost entirely because I, like you, knew something was not right. You are pushing the issue a lot sooner than I did and for that you are my hero. If your pedi won't listen, find one who will. Even if your daughter doesn't have Autism, something isn't right and the sooner tx begins the better he prognosis in the long run.

Hayley - posted on 08/14/2010

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my daughter went throug her milestones late than "normal" nothing to be concerned about apart from her speech which didnt come along till she was 3 1/2 she now repeats word and small sentences, i think your daughter is showing signs, i would talk to a doctor if you feel theres something wrong, i was told i was being silly my gut was autism with melissa after reading loads about it (looking up about delayed speech), and if you get turned away or fobbed off keep trying it can be a hard battle but i thought my 2 year battle was worth it esp now she ment to be starting full time school, she wouldnt cope without ectra help and would of got lost in the school system, good luck with everything

Kristen - posted on 08/13/2010

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I Believe that your daughter has symptoms that point to ASD disorders. It also sounds like she might be in some physical pain - perhaps "gut"pain. What does she eat? Does she have a restricted diet? In other words, if she could eat what she wanted, what would she choose? The head banging, hand flapping, echolalia, tantrums, lack of vocabulary and eye contact consistently are all "flags". I would strongly urge you to take her to a DAN! trained doctor and have some testing done. Go with your gut. And hang in there - you sound like an incredible lady and a wonderful mom. If you'd like to contact me, feel free to call 925-325-4159 - I'm in CA - All my best - Kris

Vicki - posted on 08/13/2010

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I would say all the signs point that way. My grandson flaps his hands this is called flapping it is a way to express excitement or upset whatever the case maybe. Donivan does it more when he is excited. The banging of the head is a very good sign, Donivan never did that but sometimes he will hit his head out of frustration this is when I step in and take his hand and look him in the eyes and tell him to stop. All children show different sign Donivan has Asperger and his big thing is numbers and his schedule, do not go off his time line he will get very upset. Like he eats breakfast at 8, lunch is noon,and supper is 6, and if I am late he will keep telling me until I get him his meal. I sometimes catch him rocking himself but I feel this is his way to relax unless he gets going at an uncontrollable speed I let him do it and it seems to relax him. He did not start talking until he was three and that was our first sign that there was something wrong. Best to get it checked out now and start working with your child as soon as possible. Not a doctor just a grandma who has lived with it for a while now, love them, hold them close and never let them not feel your touch.

[deleted account]

Find a developmental specialist and take her to be evaluated. I have 2 boys on the spectrum, but they had Aspergers so the language piece is different. Whether or not she's on the autism spectrum you are right to be concerned because at the least she may have sensory issues with feeding, and she isn't sleeping normally. Early intervention can help so much and delaying is only going to be a lost opportunity. If she is not on the spectrum the evaluation can't hurt her. ((((Bighugs)))))

Renee - posted on 08/12/2010

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I am not a professional but your daughter is displaying many signs of autism. I would have her evaluated by a developmental pediatrician as soon as possible. The earliest I think they are testing now is about 6 months old. DO NOT let anyone tell you they can't diagnose your daughter, that's BS. You can contact your local school district and they can diagnose her for free. The child psychologist has to do it. Not a speech therapist, not an occupational therapist but the psychologist.
The therapists can be at the evaluation and likely they will be but the diagnosis must come from one of three professionals: developmental pediatrician, neurologist, child psychologist. I would talk with your childs doctor about using melatonin to help her sleep. It is normally produced naturally in the brain to put us to sleep she might benefit from that and so might you considering it doesn't sound like you get much sleep either.

Your daughter will need speech and OT intervention. She has several sensory problems - head banging, scratching (self injury). Get her a small trampoline from the sporting goods store, it's like 6 inches off the ground so she can burn off some energy. Have her jump regularly. I don't know who is caring for her now since you are working and going to school, they need to understand autism too.

Good luck to you both.

Ava - posted on 08/10/2010

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I agree, make an appointment to be sure. My daughter is the same age as yours and, other than scratching at her own head (mine doesn't do that), she does absolutely everything else yours does. I've had suspicions my daughter has AS or autism (I am supposed to have been checked for being on the autism spectrum several times in my life, which is why I'm here; I feel strongly that I have AS [as do most of my friends with it] but don't have the money to see a specialist or psychiatrist about it). So that's definitely possible.

Amy - posted on 08/10/2010

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Hello. I have a five year old son with Autism. By 2 he had met his physical developmental milestones but was not talking. We live in California and contacted the local Regional Center and school district. There is a system called "Childfind" and "Early start" that is designed to find kids that need help. He recieved speech services and around 3 he had an evaluation done by the school district and regional center. They both found him to be autistic by their criteria.
And he gets a myriad of services paid for by them (like preschool 5 days a week when he was 3 and 4)

I dont know where you live but every state should have some kind of service like this. Start by calling your local school district. They will know where to refer you too.

I dont know if your child has autism but the way you describe them autiam or not it sounds like they should be checked out. You will never regret looking into it.

God Bless

Kathy - posted on 08/10/2010

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yes, that is the way to go. Can't really do much without a referral. Sounds like something is going on.

April - posted on 08/10/2010

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Thank you to everyone with your reply. Yeah, she did change her behavior drastically. She used to sleep, now she doesn't, didn't really talk, but she used to make sounds, now she doesn't. Then the change in her behavior. So I'm trying again with her pediatrician.

Kathy - posted on 08/10/2010

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Hi..I have 4 Autistic children. My daughter first starting showing signs a little after 10 months. The biggest sign of all is a change in their behavior, a major one. If they used to sleep, they don't. They use to talk, they quit. Used to play, stop. Major behavior/and or personality changes. And yes, some of those things you are describing do sound like Autism. Hand flapping, rocking, screaming, headbanging, not sleeping,..but best to go to family dr with concerns. He will then see if you need a referral to someone like a neurlogist. My kids were diagnosed at 14 mo, 2, 2 and a half and 6.

Cathleen - posted on 08/07/2010

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Start with your pediatrician and advise you have a family history. I have an 8 y/o who is adhd and aspergers. he would rock back and forth and we are still working with his sharing. I have a 3 y/o who shows no sign and i also have a 9 mo who has been flagged (she flaps arms and hands continuosly and has texture issue atypical of a normal 9 mo old. my advise is start w/ pediatrician maybe inquire about occupational therapy check w/ local university on any studies also. Hope this helps.

Jess - posted on 08/07/2010

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I have a nephew with Aspergers as well as another nephew with Down Syndrome & Autism.The oldest nephew was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 13. Thinking back now, he was showing typical signs since he was a year and a half. My other nephew with DS has been in therapy since birth. It is necessary and a huge blessing. We are helped by Easter Seals who are wonderful. As for the older nephew, we went through a diagnostition who finally correctly diagnosed him after being diagnosed with BiPolar and ADHD. You know better than anyone what is going on and what doesn't "feel" right. Good Luck!

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Find a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor now. The sooner you can get her started on therapy, the sooner she can be a happier child.

Denise - posted on 08/06/2010

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my son has a.s.d i knew there was something wrong when he was 1 but it took me untill he was about 5 in a half but i would go to ur docs and tell him ur worries but dont let them put u off u know ur child better then anyone but plz do it soon as u dont want to go through wot i went through good luck

Rebecca - posted on 08/05/2010

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Hello wow sounds like you have your hands filled i have a son who turns 8 in two days and he was first diagnosed at 2 years of age and i first started noticeing things at 13 months as well. Reading your stuff brings back memories your daughter sounds alot like my son did. Head banging screaming for no reason he screamed for 4 hours on day.

My doctor told me it was t twos but i knew something was not right so i too saw a develop ped doctor and he was made the diagnoises .

I can say speech ot IBI ABA do what ever you can afford and try for funding and it work my son talks and is staring grade 3 in sept in a regular class room setting with part time EA .

Good luck and stay strong you need to fight for her.

Shelley - posted on 08/05/2010

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hi my name is shelley i ave a 5 yr old boy with autism and i knew from when he was about 1 and half that there was something not quite right . i took him to doctors and told my health visitor and they all told me that thee was nothing wrong with him it was only when i moved to northern ireland that he was diagnosed at age 3, some of the things youre daughter is doing could just be normal child behavior but when u say mama to her and she repeats it back that is called echolia, the same with the memorizing of tv programmes and dvds or songs these can sometimes be signs of autism autistic children can be extremly brainy and can become fixed on certain objects and also food habits can be more about sensory factors than just temper ,my son only eats white foods and it will mostly be quiet soft foods also the temper tantrums youre daughter is having could just be frustration because she cant get her needs across , my son could not talk untill about 9 months ago and he screamed when he was frustrated the only advce i can give you is go to your doctors and if they wont listen then go to someone else

all the best plz keep us posted

if you need aymore info there are websites you can find and you can also get in contact with me my email is shelleys911@hotmail.co.uk

xxxx

April - posted on 08/05/2010

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Hey Sheila,

I've covered the term of "Sleep, what is it" lol, because I don't remember a night when I was last able to sleep. When I try, Gabriella screams so horridly you can hear her outside of my apartment.

Her eye contact, she will look at you for five seconds than she focuses on something else. She laughs when you tickle her, but it seems to also annoy and irritate her, as she responds back by trying to bite. When I pick her up, she doesn't mind it but when I hold her close, she will scream, and try everything possible to get away from me.

I am calling around some places today...

April - posted on 08/05/2010

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Thank You Sheila.

First and foremost, while working two full time jobs, and being a full time college student, all of these are from home. I go to college online at Kaplan University and am seeking my medical assisting degree. I am trying to attain my 4.0 GPA but it has prooven hard. My two jobs are both from home. I work the first one during the day setting appointments for medicare patients. My one from night is for AT&T as a contractor servicing their live person chat client. So she is in constant care and supervision by me, as I am her primary care giver, and she does not need day care as I work from home. She doesn't even ever have a babysitter, as I find that I have a hard time trusting people with my child.

FAS is not even possible. I did not drink or do drugs during pregnancy, and never have touched a drink of alcohol or drugs and have no intention to do so. My mother was a chronic alcoholic and drug addict, and I saw what it did for her life and decided I did not want that life for my child.

To answer some of your questions:

- She does not talk by herself. She only mimics words such as mama, dada and nene which is her bottle. Those are the only words she seems to understand and know.

- She does not know how to wave goodbye or hello. I have tried to teach her, but she gets commonly disgruntled by this, and will rock back and forth and kick her feet.

- As to food interolerances, she does not have these. She was tested for these as a young child when we thought she might have an allergy to a food by the way she acted and refused to eat baby cereal and food. PKU, and all her food allergies possible came back normal.

- Hearing: her hearing is fine. They tested her recently as a routine, and she passed with flying colors.

All of these things are things I have considered already, and is why I think she has autism or aspergers spectrum disorders.

April - posted on 08/05/2010

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Thank you for your reply. Based on what I have said, do you think she has autism? It is so hard because most doctors give me the "its a phase" thing.

Stephanie - posted on 08/05/2010

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I would set up a appt. with a doctor. My daughter was doing almost the same things as yours. She was diagnosed 2 months before her second birthday. I have seen such a improvement with my daughter by starting aba, speech, ot, etc. The earlier you start therapy the better. A devolpmental ped was who diagnosed my daughter. Good Luck hope this helps some.

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