Is my baby showing signs of autism?

Melissa - posted on 01/10/2010 ( 40 moms have responded )

113

30

5

UPDATE (March 9th, 2012)



I felt it was important to leave an update. My daughter is almost 3 years old now, and is very social, no delays what so ever. When I was worried about my daughter, I did do ALOT of research on the topic, and found different strategies I could use to work on improving her eye-contact, social skills...if anyone is interested in finding out more about these techniques, you can send me an e-mail at savoiempsychologie@yahoo.ca



I know how this can be stressful and make a parent feel powerless, and I want to help if I can...



UPDATE (january 12th, 2010)



Hi everyone, I decided to edit my inital question to provide some update on my situation in case anyone else wants to share...



Today I consulted a psychologist who specializes in autism. After discussing my daughter's behavior/traits, he feels autism is unlikely. Because my daughter is not showing other signs of autism, and is very interested in her environment. Since she is constantly looking at everything around her, turning her head to look at something different every 5-10 seconds, and she isn't focused on anything (including my face !) for very long, he feels she is probably easily distracted and thinks she may have attention difficulties (ex. attention deficit disorder). Of course, no diagnosis was made, but I will keep an eye on her development and be sure to consult more professionals.



I'm am still intersted in any info. that you think could be helpful...



Thanks !!!



ORIGINAL QUESTION :



I have some difficulty getting my 7 month old daughter to make eye contact when I say her name. Some days she will respond 50% of the time, sometimes 25%. She smiles often, and doesn't seem to have any other problems, no developpemental delays...



I find I usually have to "work" for her attention. I will repeat her name, sing to her, snap my fingers...after doing these things, she usually looks at me, and if i'm smiling, she usually smiles back.



She loves to look at everything around her, the dog, the cat, her toys, if someone walks by, if there is a noise she turns her head. If I leave and come back then say her name, she'll usually look at me and smile. She likes to be held.



Because I worry about autism (my cousin was diagnosed with severe autism), I do try to get her to make eye contact ALOT. Maybe I'm asking/expecting too much from a 7 month old baby. If I try to get her attention 5 times in 5 minutes, she might make eye contact 2 or 3 times out of the 5. But, for the other 2-3 times where she practically refuses to look at me unless I really try, I really worry. Maybe she's just sick of me trying to get her attention so much !!! :-)



I know this is very limited information and I'm not seeking diagnosis from this community, I intend on bringing her to see a pediatrician, but I am interested in your opinion.



I know that no (or lack of) eye contact may be a sign of autism, but should a 7 month old respond and make eye contact to their name being said 90% of the time, 50% of the time, 25% of the time?



Please share your thoughts and your personal experience...



Thank you !

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

I wouldn't take any diagnosis like ADD at this age. Children develop at different rates and yes they can ignore you when they are focused on something else. My 12 year old son started showing signs of Autism 2 days after his 18 mo. vaccines. He turned into a totally different child. He is very intelligent and through natural supplements, PRAYER, and behaviour techniques he has overcome so much of the issues he faced. Have you had her hearing checked yet? I have 7 children that range from 5 to 25. I have never worried about their developement at that age if they were eating well, focusing on things around them and interacting. My oldest was a self-taught reader at 3 and the others started reading anywhere from 7 to 9 with excellent comprehension. I have homeschooled for 18 years and taught kids with learning disabilities also. Start with the basic stuff like the hearing check and put her in new situations to stimulate her. I have not and will never give my kids the traditional meds for Autism and would not recommend the ones for ADD. I have had many friends whose children have been diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD and had terrible experiences with the meds. Ritalin is synthetic cocaine and can set a child up for future addictions. The Omega 3, 6 and 9 and vitamin B complexes are excellent for dealing with any of the autism and it's spectrum disorders, ADD or ADHD issues. Diet plays a huge part also. Cutting sugars, dyes, aspartame, msg (and all of it's other names) out of the diet makes a big difference. If you don't know what's in it, don't feed it to them. My 20 year old loved to play quietly by herself and didn't talk a lot until after she got into Mother's Day Out. My 12 year old with Autistic Spectrum Disorder loves Legos and can build anything. He prefers to not follow the directions which leads to much better designs. He has great problem solving skills. What we see as weaknesses are much of the time the things that lead to great strengths. He laughed and said Autism rocks after seeing the story of a local boy with Autism saving his choking teacher's life and the Autistic boy with the amazing basketball skills. He has a very good understanding of what he is challenged with and his attitude is "Bring it on!". Just love your little girl and pay attention to patterns that are holding her back, not what may be just her personality. Remember, Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were told they were stupid because they were active and thought outside of the box. Churchill was dyslexic and overcame to be a great world leader. EVERY child is full of potential for anything...

Erenia - posted on 01/14/2010

6

4

2

Not all Autistic children display the same pattern of symptoms, so you are right to keep an eye on her development. My Soon to be 7 year old has never been officially diagnosed by a pediatrician, but she is listed as Autistic in the education system. Yes she can talk, yes she can look me in the eyes, but it is odd for her out to have eye contact for more than 2 seconds and she wasn't talking until age 3.5 or so. She has come a long way and we are very proud. Her behaviors can be described as having Asperger's Syndrome. She is super talented in drawing with details. She loves reading, but more than that she is obsessed with numbers and does not always like to join her siblings in playtime. Her father also has mild Autism but people mistake his distance form the outside world for being a home body type, or they think he is shy. He was labeled as a depressed child, and that was a misdiagnosis of course. Don't worry, Autism does not mean that your child will not function in society. My husband is proof and so is my daughter, and we are thinking out toddler is also on the spectrum. Just have hope and let your child be herself, whatever that life is, it's her life in your care so be loving, and be proud of her, and don't let people tell you what she will be like.

Jennifer - posted on 01/13/2010

8

7

0

I specialize in autism and have an autistic child. I do not think that what you are seeing is uncommon in any 7 month old. I think that, in one year, you will look back and see that your concern was not warranted by the evidence you have described. My one year old boy who is NOT autistic makes almost no eye contact, but is loving in many ways...and focused on what he is interested in...they all just have different styles. I hope your doctor says the same!

Alicia Ree - posted on 01/13/2010

2

39

0

I really wouldn't worry at this point. :0) Now if she get past her 1st b-day & is not interacting with you, not speaking, I would have her checked again. Even if she does end up being on the spectrum, remember, Autsim is treatable. My son is 6, in the 1st grade, and goes to class with everybody else. Most people don't even know he has Autism. Hope this helps!

User - posted on 01/09/2012

2

0

0

I wouldn't jump to any conclusions at such a young age. Most issues are not diagnosed until children are around 2 years old or more. There is so much information out there and every child shows some signs of some disorder but it is frightening to parents and we always label too soon. let the baby grow and continue to reinforce focus by reading books, playing, making eye contac with songs, etc....pretty sure your baby is fine.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

40 Comments

View replies by

Julie - posted on 07/24/2011

34

14

1

she is very young and I would think if she is smiling and intersted in her surroundings I wouldnt worry too much yet,think of this if someone tried to get your attention 5 times in as many minutes would you get tired of responding,I dont mean to sound flippant but take a little step back,if she is warm and attectionate and does respond at least some of the time let it be she sounds like a real little cutie"

Chelsea - posted on 07/17/2011

8

16

0

not true its more common in boys than girls but girls have stronger symtoms

Chelsea - posted on 07/17/2011

8

16

0

not true its more common in boys than girls but girls have stronger symtoms

Stacey - posted on 01/16/2010

372

43

29

If lack of eye contact is the only worry then I think you probably dont have much to worry about, but thats not to say that you shouldnt get it checked out if you are concerned. There are many symptoms and signs of Autism and I would say to people that your child should display atleast a few before there is anything to worry about. My son has mild Autism and he shows atleast 5 symptoms.

Sandra - posted on 01/15/2010

19

11

2

It may be too early to tell just yet, I would wait and see when she gets to be around 18 months and then have her tested

Deirdre - posted on 01/15/2010

14

165

0

Everything you are saying sounds like what Drew was like and they put me off!
Don't let them put you off...I would go in another month or two and find another
psychatrist to evaluate her!
Best of luck.............Dee

Erenia - posted on 01/14/2010

6

4

2

I have a 1st grader too and her friends don't realize she has Autism, it's so nice that they blend right in.

Melissa - posted on 01/14/2010

113

30

5

No my Gosh, the psychologist did not diagnose the baby with ADD, just that he does not think she has autism, and IF anything she may easily distracted which could affect her ability to concentrate (and she could possibly have attention difficulties later on if things don't change), not to worry as it's too early to tell but to keep an eye on it.

Adrienne - posted on 01/14/2010

8

11

1

She is too young to tell. Children all develop at different rates. If you still have concerns ate age three get her evaluated by a specialist such as a neuropsychologist. ADD cannot be propperly diagnosed until about age five, so if your doc really said your 7month old has ADHD... Get a new doctor!!!!! Please!

Heather - posted on 01/13/2010

2

16

0

I think your baby is to young to know for sure. It will become more apparent between age 2-3 years. Early signs are usually a very good baby, starring at objects, no speech development, not being on track for her gestional age.

Trudy - posted on 01/13/2010

7

5

1

I would not be too concerned unless she was not achieving mile stones of development on schedule. If she doesn't start talking at the typical 9 month mark, then I would be more concerned. Try not to worry.

Amy - posted on 01/13/2010

2

15

0

I don't have much to add, everyone has given great advise. When you start to stress and worry, remember to pray. It really has helped us get through some of the toughest times. I will pray for you and your daughter as well.

Michelle - posted on 01/12/2010

13

7

1

i am tending to agree that it is a liitle to soon think the worst. but it is a good idea to keep track of milestones, i.e. sits up, stands up, first words, (which is very important when talking about an autistic diagnosis), these are all questions that will come up if and when you take her for a formal evaluation. in the meantime, enjoy her and just let her grow. i am sure she will be just fine.

Melissa - posted on 01/12/2010

113

30

5

Hi everyone, I just want to say again thank you all for responding. Even though my daughter is not diagnosed with autism, I received much needed support from all of you. I want to tell you also that today I consulted a psychologist who specializes in autism. After discussing my daughter's behavior/traits, he feels autism is unlikely. Because my daughter is not showing other signs of autism, and is very interested in her environment, looks around at when an object moves, when there are noises, etc., and she isin't focused on anything (including my face !) for very long, he feels she is probably easily distracted and thinks she may have attention difficulties (ex. attention deficit disorder). Of course, no diagnosis was made, but I will keep an eye on her development and be sure to consult more professionals.

Heather - posted on 01/12/2010

1

10

0

Autistic children tend to be very fussy babies, head bangers(banging their head on things), they usually also have gastrointestinal problems which cause them to be fussy. It sounds to me like you may just be over thinking things but to make yourself feel better take her to the docs. Always remember though that your gut instinct is the best and never let a doc tell u otherwise.

Theresa - posted on 01/12/2010

1

21

0

Mellissa, trust your instincts get your daughter checked out, this will ease your mind. whatever the result, keep a little record book of the little things that concern you. My Dusty is now 6 and was diagnosed with ASD about 7 months ago, i honestly can't remember what he was like as a 7 month old, but i do remember that he was peaceful, always happy in his own company and seemed to take his own time to do anything really. Dusty walked and crawled as normal, but he speech was delayed, i figured that this was normal as cody his brother that is 18 months older did so much for him.Cody talked exceptionally for his age and asked for all Dusty would need, Dusty just seemed like a more independly minded kid. Now i know that he needed more time to process things and to put them into his world in a way he understood. It's normal for a mum to worry, try not to stress- you have an example of the extreme but to have an ASD child can be very rewarding, tough too but rewarding. Dusty has always enjoyed his own company and since going to prep last year has seen how being with other kids can be enjoyable. Relax and enjoy your daughter and let life run it's course. Go and see who you need to and don't let the thought of a diagnosis be a bad thing. She seems happy and healthy and trust that you are doing the very best you can!! Theresa

Karen - posted on 01/12/2010

57

11

6

I agree with the conversation by Colleen.... In the untied states it as if the peds do not have enough qualifications on autism. It also could be the board of oeds do not do a lot of research or accept I should say the many signs and reasons of autism. MY peds doct is fantasic, but she does not have a lot of knowledge when it comes to autism. I just recently had to ask her some questions in reguards to his bowels, she acted like she idnt even know what the cf/gf diet consisted of........

THis is here in the united states of course, chantelle.

Melissa, it is good that you are looking into this. I must say my baby was above everything developmental besides speech, otherwise there was no other signs, besides the name calling........ If she is autistic, you are doing the right thing, paying attention, being concerened, and you will be ready for ear;y interventiob\n, if need be!!!!!!

Good luck

Amber - posted on 01/12/2010

1

17

0

my son is three and diagnosed mildly autistic i started really noticing the signs when he hit one and started to regress with his speech and eye contact, but i kinda always knew deep down. But i love every minute and there is so much help out there, he has already started an autism program at a really great school and i have seen a huge improvement. If you ever want to chat or have questions just ask!
Amber

Miriam - posted on 01/12/2010

1

14

0

Girls are less likely to develop Autism. She sounds like she is doing great, Please understand thought that I am not a professional. I am a Mom of a boy with HFA. Does she babble, or try to make noises? Most infants won't respond 100% of the time to stimuli for different reasons...tired, distracted by other things, sick, hungry, etc. Keep doing what you are doing and get check ups from Doctors. Try playing pee a-boo, read, hold toys in front of her and she if she will follow with eyes. Do the same things with sound to see if she turns in that direction. If she does all of these things she sounds like she is on the right tract to healthy development.

Candace - posted on 01/12/2010

2

22

0

Please don't worry raght now, it is too early. Most of the time it starts to show around a year old. Take her to the Dr. if your worried. I have two boys with it they did not start showing signs till they were about a year old. Problems with taking one of them off the bottle, he also would not put anything but that bottle in his mouth, one did not show affection, or talk at 15 months (at all) no cooing or any thing, sleeping is off with them maybe 2 hours a night! but every child is different! If you have problems later and find out that she does (and will pray for her) There is a program called " babies can't wait" check them out they are a big help!

Kisha - posted on 01/11/2010

3

20

0

I think you may need to wait a little while longer to see. I complained to the doctors about the differences I saw in my son at the ages of 4 and 5.. I was told he is just being a boy, I knew something was not quite right. Finally at the age of 8 I finally found someone to listen and he was diagnosed with Aspergers. It is a new journey everyday but I would not change a thing about him..He is mine!!!

Bonnie Jean - posted on 01/11/2010

100

63

20

If you are really stressed about it contact your local Autism Society to get in touch with a Doctor that specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorder because the signs vary in combinations with each individual finding out early is not a bad thing. Especially if it does occur in your family. I give you kudos for checking into it early. As you know most children are not diagnosed until they are two years old unless it is on the severe end of the spectrum. Check online for the National Autism Society....google it. It never hurts to get more information, even if your daughter is not affected the information you learn will help you understand your relatives journey.

Chantelle - posted on 01/11/2010

114

17

4

Quoting Colleen:

unfortunately pediatricians are not taught to look for autism and don't know anything about it or even what to look for ... your best bet is to go through early intervention ... that's how i found out my daughter was autistic ... her early intervention coordinator arranged to have her tested for me ... she was 18 months when i had her tested ... it's better to be safe then sorry ... the earlier you find out the better ... good luck!



Please keep in mind depending on where you live will determine on who can diagnose your child with autism.  I live in Australia and without Paediatricians we would not be able to get a diagnosis for our children with autism, and here they are very well educated in this area.  If it wasn't for my paediatrician my little boy would still be going through an awful childhood without help.  Thank you Dr Richard Brown, you have been a blessing to our family.  Also in Australia you are not able  to go through early intervention until you have a diagnosis (which is also through a paediatrician).

Melissa - posted on 01/11/2010

113

30

5

I just want to say a big THANK YOU to all you moms who have responded so quickly :-)

Melissa - posted on 01/11/2010

113

30

5

I had her hearing checked at the hospital, I think a few days after birth and they said it was fine. I'm 99% sure she hears well. If I shake I bag of sugar behind her head, she'll turn around to look at it 100% of the time. If I stand behind her and say her name, she'll turn around sometimes...Actually, I have more success when I say her name from far away then up close?

Melissa - posted on 01/10/2010

113

30

5

Quoting Brooke:

I think 7 months is far too early to tell. I have 2 children with autism both a boy and a girl. I also have 2 other children with no autistic traits. It sounds like to me that you are stressing a little too much about eye contact. When you are trying to get her to make eye contact are you doing this with no other distractions? My 2 children with Autism both had more than one trait. My son tip toe walked and flapped his arms, servere speech delayed and really bad behaviour. My daughter was not responsive and would prefer alone play, didnt babble nor talk, head banging.

Have you tested her in a social situation, like playgroup? would she be happy around other children? Does she babble?
Does she play with her toys like other babies? Some Autistic children prefer to watch a fan spin, or the door open/shut etc.

After i had my sons diagnosis and begun to see Traits in my daughter i approached the paediatrician at about 18mths of age, he said it was too early and wanted me to bring her back at the age of 2 if there were no changes. So I got a diagnosis at the age of 2.



Hi Broke, I never thought of that. Actually, when there are absolutely no disctractions whatsoever, I can get her to make repeated eye contact for about 15 sec relatively easily. But as soon as there something else around, toys, tv, a dog, a cat, the wind blowing the branched on the trees, you name it, she's interested, but she doesn't stay interested in one particular object / person for very long. She doesn't seem interested in parts of objects either, but rather the object as a whole. There are no other traits at this time. At what age does hand flapping usually appear in children with autism? My baby doesn't babble yet, but she does coo several times a day and seems to "want" to communicate at times? Also, she does not seem to like to be alone. Sometimes she'll cry when I leave the room. She also seems to hate being placed anywhere that limits what she can see (ex., play pen, car seat, crib). Ok, I'm starting to see I probably have nothing to worry about. Thank you so much.

[deleted account]

It was one of those uh huh moments for me last week when I read that parents of autistic children often have their child's ears tested to see if they are hard of hearing. When my Kya was 10 weeks old, I carried her to have her hearing tested. We didn't get a diagnosis until she was 3 1/2 years old. Her treatment wouldn't have been any different if we had found sooner.

Just a suggestion, get a two year dayplanner, and write down things as you notice them. That way, you don't have to worry about remembering everything, you've got a timeline.

Brooke - posted on 01/10/2010

108

30

26

I think 7 months is far too early to tell. I have 2 children with autism both a boy and a girl. I also have 2 other children with no autistic traits. It sounds like to me that you are stressing a little too much about eye contact. When you are trying to get her to make eye contact are you doing this with no other distractions? My 2 children with Autism both had more than one trait. My son tip toe walked and flapped his arms, servere speech delayed and really bad behaviour. My daughter was not responsive and would prefer alone play, didnt babble nor talk, head banging.

Have you tested her in a social situation, like playgroup? would she be happy around other children? Does she babble?
Does she play with her toys like other babies? Some Autistic children prefer to watch a fan spin, or the door open/shut etc.

After i had my sons diagnosis and begun to see Traits in my daughter i approached the paediatrician at about 18mths of age, he said it was too early and wanted me to bring her back at the age of 2 if there were no changes. So I got a diagnosis at the age of 2.

Colleen - posted on 01/10/2010

36

27

5

as a mother it's definitely not something you can just relax and forget about ... having her tested will put your mind as ease ...

Colleen - posted on 01/10/2010

36

27

5

unfortunately pediatricians are not taught to look for autism and don't know anything about it or even what to look for ... your best bet is to go through early intervention ... that's how i found out my daughter was autistic ... her early intervention coordinator arranged to have her tested for me ... she was 18 months when i had her tested ... it's better to be safe then sorry ... the earlier you find out the better ... good luck!

Chantelle - posted on 01/10/2010

114

17

4

Try not stress yet, it's too early if you are only concerned about the eye contact. Wait a bit longer, save your money. If she was showing other signs then I would be recording them down for future reference when you do see your paediatrician. For example, my son at that age (who has autism) was a very cranky-pants baby, would not take to solids, head-banging, biting, eating inedible objects (like wood and paint) staring at objects that spin in particular, would spin his toys, the list goes on. So my opinion is just relax, enjoy your baby, give it a bit more time. When you feel you have more evidence then do something about it. All the best.

Jennifer - posted on 01/10/2010

1

1

0

Go to the pediatrician. Things besides autism can affect eye contact and some of them are treatable. Also, autism is a conglomeration of different symptoms. Is she showing more symptoms than just the eye contact? If not, you probably don't need to allow yourself to stress out about it. Hope this helps.

Fiona - posted on 01/10/2010

22

34

4

asd if she is she would be in the lower end girls don't carry it as stronge as boys but untill she is two year old it is hard to tell. with my doughter she fits in and was missed and 5 and a half before she got dignosed but my son by the age of 3 he was dignosed, eye contact, lining things up, not looking when his name is called, hurting him self and a love of counting, but a lack of talking and does not understand simple commands like put that in the bin, very stronge does not feel pain like a normal person let alone child and lashes out alot.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms