My son is 17 months and he has lost almost all of his speech and has started throwing really bad tantrums.. Could this be an early sign of autism or some other type of developmental delay??

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Margarida - posted on 09/05/2012

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Yes it could! And no he is not too young to be tested. I would say find a specialist (a real one!) that has experience with autism to evaluate your child. My general sugestion is ignore anything your Pediatrician has to say about autism. My experience is that most of them are extremely unirformed about it and how to properly diagnose it.

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Cherish - posted on 09/08/2012

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Amanda,

My son has classic autism and also has alot of SIB(self injurious behaviors) and aggression when he is mad.

He broke several windows with his head this summer,and 2 summers ago he broke his nose hitting himself in the face...it is hard,and it can be upsetting.

Where do you live?

In the US,they have free early intervention for kids birth to 3...They will do a free eval and provide free therapy if needed...

Here is a link and the info to call them,they will give you the number of who to call in your state.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/miles...



You should take him to a developmental pediatrician,even if he does not have autism,they can help you address the behaviors.

Being only 17 months,I doubt they would put him on medication,but as far as behaviors go,for my son,they did get pretty bad,before they got better.

Communication and sensory issues also add to frustration,and behaviors.

Have you read "the out of sync child",that book is VERY helpful as far as explaining sensory issues and how they relate to behaviors.

If he is not talking,then you could try PECS or a augmentative communication device,to help him communicate more effectively.



My son is 10,and he has come a LONG way,with a million hours of therapy,by no means is he "typical",and he still has behaviors when he is mad,he will head bang,kick,pinch,bite scratch..etc himself and others,but it HAS gotten less often(maybe like 10 tantrums lasting 5-30 min a day)...



Feel free to email me if you want to talk,believe me I know how you feel

Margarida - posted on 09/06/2012

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I would also sugest you go to the autism research institute web site (www.autism.com). They have an overwhelming amount of research indicating that the kids that engage in this type of behavior are in some kind of physical discomfort that they cannot express and is causing them a lot of emotional distress. My daghter used to have terrible tamtrums, cry all the time, have horrible night terrors, and terrible terrible sleep paterns (which meant I never slept). Once I started listening to what the ARI had to say our lives changed. I started treating multiple alergies that she had and I didn't realize, food sensitivities, acid reflux, intestinal issues (diahrrea/constipation/yeast/excessive gas), multiple vitamin deficiences (due to her aversion to all kinds of foods), and auditory processing issues. She became a different person, the tamtrums went away, the skin rashes/ichiness went away (so she started tolerating different clothes again), she started eating better (though that is still a bit of a battle every day), and started sleeping better at night. It took us over one year to figure out how to best help her but I have NO regrets of all the work that went into it. My only regret is not having done this earlier. I didn't start it all earlier (we did not start until she was 4.5 yrs). You should also look into intensive speech/behavioral therapy to help him gain any lost he's got.

Katherine - posted on 09/06/2012

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Wow, that's intense. Definitely get an opinion from a specialist. I wasn't sure if he was too young or not. You may need a behavioral therapist too. Go to Autism Speaks for some more resources.

Amanda - posted on 09/06/2012

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His tantrums are harmful to hisself and others! Ive had to cut his hair really short because he was pulling it out and he's been biting himself as well as me and other children and random objects! Are there any ways to stop him from doing this? Im afraid hes going to seriously hurt someone or himself or hes gonna break his teeth biting his toys and other random things he ggets mad at

Katherine - posted on 09/05/2012

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It could just be a developmental delay. Unfortunately he's too young (I believe) to be tested. Ignore the tantrums, unless of course he's hurting himself and try to coax him back into speech by working with him and maybe finding a speech therapist.

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