My fiance's son, maybe autistic or not?

Amanda - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My fiance's son is 2 years and 2 months old. He walks, not the best balance though, doesnt speak a work just makes odd noises and very loud screetches. He doesnt eat any normal food really. his mom still has him drinking out of a bottle and only gives him chocolate milk and some juices, almost like hes still an infant and needs the milk as often as an infant. Hes not a happy child, it takes him longer than usual to get used to things or people. He does smile around my children, but thats about all i see, but we also only have him every other weekend. He doesnt know how to feed himself and doesnt seem to respond appropriately to what we say or follow any directions. My daughter is 2.5 years old. Shes been talking. fully potty trained. eats everything. feeds her ownself. and drinks out of a normal cup and understands just about everything and runs jumps and does the steps... he doesnt really do any of this. Now his mother does speak a lot of spanish, so i dont know if this has anything to do with it, but he also doesnt speak a work of that. she takes him to his appts and doesnt see anything wrong with him, she thinks this is all normal, ut me having two kids.. i look at where he is and think theres something wrong. It could be nothing, maybe hes developmentally delayed.. or maybe something else... but its not my place to do or say anything, i dont communicate with her, and my fiance doesnt respond to anything i bring up. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas of what i can do or what could be wrong?

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Jessica - posted on 01/19/2010

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these are all red flags you are describeing, i have 3 autistic sons, and they all displayed the same symptoms you are describeing now, go to autism speaks.org or any offical autism sight and have you and your fiance look at the symptoms/signs of autism, now is the best time to get him evaluated by early intervention, the earlier he gets evaluated the better b/c they can give him services to work with him, good luck

Sue - posted on 01/19/2010

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Hi Amanda, since every child develops at diff rates its hard to tell at this point. If the mother of this little boy is a hands on teaching child then he should be at the same level as your daughter. But if she is not so much a show and tell type mom then it could just be he hasnt been taught things.. and she just expects he will eventually pick things up, like how to drink out of a cup, how to pronounce words, or how to feed himself. I do find after 2 children of my own,and 5 grand kids that once they start talking, well it only progresses from there. Even my custodial grandson who was born with Aspergers didnt talk at 2 but did communicate with gibberish non stop by 2 1/2 and by 3 was talking like he was a university professor and is highly intelligent. My other 4 grand children who have no signs of Autism, all talked by 2.5 months and it was like a light switch.. one day they barely said a word or two and then bam they were talking very clearly.



Give it another couple of months. The time he is at your house you and his father,can take a more active role and see if you can make any progress by getting down to his level, maybe using some flash cards or simply just by pointing things out around the house and telling him what they are. Make a game of it, like the old eye spy game. You might be surprised how much progress he makes in your home compared to his own. If there is no improvement then it may be time for his father to make an appointment and get involved in getting him assessed. There are some good Autism/Asperger web sites that list symptoms etc that you could read and see if he matches them. Good luck

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Rachel - posted on 01/27/2010

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I disagree with the person who says it is all about the learning environment in the home. Surely that has something to do with it, but with autism, that is only a small part. I have two sons, the first with autism, the second who is neurotypical. The experience was so different with both of them that I wish that the neurotypical child was first because then I would have been more aware and gotten him services before he was two and not after. Your fiance has a right to be involved in the child's development and medical records. You should recommend that he call his child's pediatrician with concerns and meet with the pediatrician to go over any recommendations that may have been given that haven't been relayed to him. If there is resistance - I would take it to a higher level and go to some sort of mediation so that he is always involved. The pediatrician can administer an M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) and then make recommendations for early intervention or a developmental pediatrician, if a formal diagnosis is needed. I can tell you that your fiance's son is at the age where he should WANT to do things for himself (as you have certainly seen with your daughter), and that his development is NOT normal (I am also an occupational therapist who works in early intervention). It is very hard to see your child struggle and wish every day that things would be easier. There is a lot of ego invested in our children - but if we can separate that, we can get real help. Good luck and god bless you for caring.

Diane - posted on 01/27/2010

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As the mother of a boy with autism, I would NOT take the "wait and see" approach. Time is critical, because IF he does have autism (which is definitely a possibility given your description), the earlier treatment and intervention is started, the better.

My son was diagnosed with mild-to-moderate autism in 2001, at which time he was just under 3 years old, non-verbal, significantly delayed by that time, after a huge regression immediately after his 18-month vaccinations. My son was talking at 18 months, but barely. Had about a dozen words, then had high fevers and a trip to the emergency room a few days after his well check where he had 5 vaccinations, and lost all language and skills. We were told "wait and see" too. As skills disappeared and tantrumming increased, we consulted with various specialists, who each said all kids develop at a different rate, and not to worry. By age three, he was evaluated to have the development of a 10-month infant.

Once we knew he had autism, we threw ourselves into a comprehensive intervention plan involving medical care by a DAN doctor (Defeat Autism Now!), behavioral therapy, speech and occupation therapies, etc.

Fast forward to now, and my son is in typical 5th grade, very strong student, and most people he meets have no idea of his diagnosis.

Here are a few links that might help you and your financee (or give you peace of mind should you find that this child is not as bad as it seemed):

Diagnostic Criteria for Autism: http://www.tacanow.com/autism/diagnostic...

DSM-IV Criteria for Autism:
http://www.tacanow.com/autism/dsm_level_...

Take the ATEC (Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist), developed by a panel of doctors to help parents to get an idea of where a child stands developmentally - http://www.autism.com/ari/atec/atec_form... ; General info: http://www.autism.com/ari/atec/atec-onli... (We used it to gauge where our son was developmentally. Helped us get a better idea of where he was compared to typical development.) BTW, his first ATEC score was a 96 (zero is neuro-typical).

Outside Assessments: http://www.tacanow.com/resources/evaluat...

I do hope this helps. More info on many different topics re: autism can be found at the TACA website at www.tacanow.org

diane in TN

Melissa - posted on 01/22/2010

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Hi Amanda...I think you're right to be concerned. My son was just diagnosed with Autism last month and everyone tells me that because I got him into some autistic therapy before he was 3..just turned 3 last week...that it will be so much easier for him in the long run. My son is also bi-lingual (spanish) but that's not the reason why he doesn't talk...there's something else going on!! I got hooked up with the local Regional Center here in San Diego and so far everything has been FREE!!! Even his therapy...I say it doesn't hurt just to have him evaluated!

Shamey - posted on 01/22/2010

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I have a 7 year old son who has ADHD, Bipolar, Autism, & OCD. In some kids it can be hard to tell because kids do not always develop at the same time. Even though Autism can show at birth many children are not diagnosed until about age 3 because it's eaiser for them to tell when language deficits can be distinguished from speech delay. (language deficits are prominent in autistic children, more then half don't speak at all). My son was not diagnosed until he was 4 years of age. He started walking when he was 10 months but he hardly every talked. It's hard to say with out him seeing a doctor and being examed. Was he born early, under weight or have any problems at birth, and you said his mother mostly speaks spanish. All of this can play a role as well. Lots of times children born early will have development delays. I know you said that you havae him every other weekend. If his mom is not working with him to help him learn to eat, walk, talk , and so on then that can as well cause develpoment delay. Does his doctor not worry at all? I understand where you are coming from I have had to deal with my exhusband on this(not wanting to talk about it). The good thing there is help out there. My son has came such a long way in the last 4 years of his treatments. I wish I could help you more. I am going to school my self ( about to be done) so I can work with thos that mental disorders and behavioral problems. I went back and looked this up for you if you want to show it to your fiance. ( The Childhood Autism is a perasive development disorder with profound implications for the child ability to function. Children with Autism suffer psychological, congnitive, ans social daficits that can impair all areas of their lives.) My son is in the 1 st gread. He is now reading at a 3rd or 4th grade level and has strait A"s. He made the honor role just this week. We have our ups and downs but the good days out weigh the bas ones any day. I tell other parents who are dealing with this. It's going to be ok but you have to work at it. If your fiance's does not step in and do something then it could hurt his development now and in the long run. As for not being a parent it ties your hands in some ways. Does he have a grandparent you can talk to about this, or you could go online and look up information to show his mom and your fiance. If you take him to the doctor at any time talk with them and talk with your childs doctor they can help you or help you find some one to talk to. I hope this helps in any way. I wish you and this child the best of luck and if I can help in any way please let me know.

User - posted on 01/22/2010

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His father has a legal right to medical information regarding his son AND to speak with his son's pediatrician, unless there is a court order in place to the contrary. If he does have autism (or any medical condition) it is CRUCIAL to find out sooner than later. There is nothing more important than the medical needs of his child. If he knows his son's doctor, I would suggest calling and voicing his concerns. I hope everything works out!

Sue - posted on 01/22/2010

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he needs to be tested ASAP! Early intervention will make a big difference in his life.

Dori - posted on 01/22/2010

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I agree with all everyone has been saying. If he's unhappy and crying a lot, he may have GI issues. Try keeping the gluten and cassein away from him as much as possible. Try putting an enzyme in his juice when eating and one probiotic a day. This can help his tummy break down the food. My son started articulating as soon as we started the GFCF diet and supplements. The balance can be helped w/ OT if you can get to that point. Early intervention can make a huge deal! Get him evaluated, by a psychologist, on a day your fiance has him. Best of Luck.

Debbie - posted on 01/21/2010

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Amanda, I strongly urge you to check out the website. The more I read the more I think he has some Autistic traits. Maybe if you print out the list of signs and check all of the ones he has, then give it to mom. Tell her you only want to help, and that you have concerns. Show her the list and tell her that he shows these signs and that he really needs to be check out it might help. I know that you are in a awkward position but be persistant. This little guy needs your help. Please keep us updated.

Amanda - posted on 01/21/2010

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Well his dad doesnt have much control. the mother takes control of everything and refuses to let the dad do anything with his sons medical stuff, she wont listen to advice or suggestions and for some reason my fiance wont push the issue and i feel like ive said all i can looked into it more than him and i dont know what else to do except sit by and watch and it bothers me. He does walk mostly on his toes. and the noises at times are very loud squeels that do sometimes seem like they could be ticks, and when he plays it is in response to my kids, but normally its just like taking something from her and making the noises... or turning the tv off and her turning it on and him turning it back off... but he does laugh and all. but thats as far as his playing and interaction seems to go. and when he isnt doing that hes constatntly doing teh squeeling and crying.

Debbie - posted on 01/21/2010

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There are a couple of things you can do. Check out an Autism web site, you will find a check list of symtoms of Autism. When a doctor gives a diagnoses they use this list to see if a child meets any of the criteria (6 out of 10) I am really surprised that this childs doctor hasn't done this my now. From what I see here I would guess that he is on the spectrum somewhere. As for you fiance, print out this check list, mark all of the things that relate to his son. Lay it somewhere so that he can see it, or show it to him. The worse thing for him is to ignore this, because early intervention is of the upmost importance. There are doctors, and therapists trained to work with these kids. I know this because my son is severly Autistic. There is a web site called autismspeaks.org or unlockingautism.net you can find loads of information there.

I see many of the red flags that indicate there could be something wrong, Please just check out the web sites. It will answer a lot of your questions. Good Luck

Renee - posted on 01/20/2010

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Why won't his father do anything? I find that alot of men are closed off from getting an evaluation. You can give him this post to read. The child needs an evaluation, do not wait. You must get a parent to consent to this. I don't know what to tell you but I would beg and plead with the parents to have this child seen by a developmental pediatrician. You said his balance is not good, does he walk on his toes? Not make eye contact? Does the sounds that he makes seem repetitive almost like ticks? Does he play "with" your children or along side them?



He does sound like he is on the autism spectrum or at the very least a develpmental delay. Is the mother and father in denial? I see that alot on here. I would strongly encourage you to implore these adults that sooner is better for evaluation and therapy there is so much more they can do if you start around age 2 or sooner. The longer they wait the less progress can be made.

Amanda - posted on 01/20/2010

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Thank you very much/ It's just very hard because his mother is not open to hearing what we have to say and refuses to share any medical cards or anything more than she wants to with us. Shes a very "hard" woman to deal with, for lack of a better word, and i hate to say that about someone. But this weekend i am going to give these ideas to my fiance and hope that he tries them. Thank you for all of the help and feedback, it feels so good to talk to people about this stuff.

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