My neighbor suggested that my 16 month old preemie could be autistic, please help I'm worried.

Tammy - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 54 moms have responded )

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My son was born at 32 weeks and is now 16 months old and he can't say any words or walk yet but he can stand on his own and last week my mom said he took 3 steps on his own but not any more yet. My neighbor saw him yesterday while I was outside and asked me if i have had him checked for autism since he is "slow". This kinda offended me but i didn't say anything but i looked up autism on the internet and the things that worry me now is that he does not point to things he wants, he actually don't point at all, he will respond to his name being called but after like you call him 5 times in a row then he will make eye contact, but he likes to watch a lot of tv and he gets distracted by the tv when i call him i think. The last thing that bothers me a lot is the fact that he flaps his arms up and down mostly when he gets excited an i read that this is a sign of autism. If he is laying on the bed he will move his legs up and down with his arms flapping as well. If any of u moms know anything on this subject and can give me some reassurance that my son is just fine, then please do so. This has been bothering me since my neighbor mentioned it to me and I didn't get much sleep last night because of it. I have gone through so much with my child already being premature and i don't know if i can handle anything else. I realize my son will have delays and i understand that but i just want him to be like other kids in the end.

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SHER - posted on 04/14/2010

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I am sorry to say that it is people like your neighbor that can make life so much harder as if there isn't enough to worry about. My daughter was born at 36 weeks and she had some rough spots but with some speech therapy and one on one from myself and her day care provider, she has done extremely well. Remember he was born early and babies go at their own pace. If you are worried ask his doctor for a referral to have him evaluated. Maybe all he needs is some physical, occupational and speech therapy. It really does help in the long run. Be encouraged and stay strong and my thoughts are with you . Good luck

Kara - posted on 04/14/2010

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Your son sounds social and like a happy little boy. I would talk to your doctor about your concerns and they can get him evaluated and see if there are any services that may help him. My son was born 6 weeks early and was delayed with crawling, walking, and talking. He didn't crawl until about 10 months and walk until about 16 months. He had a few words at 1 (mama, dada). He will be 2 on Fri. and is saying alot more, still not full sentences and running around everywhere. Has he had an issues with ear infections. My son had fluid in his ears and had to get tubes. That helped him with balance for walking and hearing for talking. As soon as he got that done he progressed. Just another thought. That may not be the case for your little boy. O wish you and your son the best. Let us know how he is doing:)

Leslie - posted on 04/14/2010

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You might want to mention this to your pediatrician. My son was also born at 32 weeks and didn't walk until about 13 months. But he did have a extensive vocabulary. I noticed that he always seemed a little bit "different" from his siblings and other children but nothing earth shattering. But the older he got I started to notice other things. He is 10 years old now and was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome 2 years ago. I have beaten myself up over and over because I perceived myself as a bad mom because of the late diagnosis. But a support group has helped with that. The thing I want to say is check on this early. I noticed things early on but autism is a BROAD spectrum. My son is very high functioning so some of the things I noticed were more socially oriented. Like he preferred to play alone or that he didn't seem to make friends easily. He seemed immature and uncoordinated but I attributed this to his prematurity. I guess what I'm trying to say is, that as moms we see our kids daily and we get used to some of their behaviors and quirks and we may dismiss them. Others may see some things that we miss (even if they express it in a rude way sometimes they mean well). Just take it with a grain of salt. Because in the end I know you want what is best for your son. My son is a great kid. He has some challenges but on a whole he's a blessing. It takes all kinds of people to make up this world and I feel blessed to have one of the more "unique" ones.

Marisol - posted on 04/14/2010

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I had quintuplets at 36 weeks and they all developed at a different pace. I had some walking talking and doing other things way before the other ones. Just because you see some signs that you have read about concerning Autism it doesn't mean he has it. Most children born premature will have some difficulty speaking and communicating than those who are not born premature. Where I am from there is a program called Early Intervention. This program evaluates children who are not developing at a "normal pace". They have a Psychologist, Speech Therapist, Occupational and Physical Therapist and Social Worker. They do test that determine where your child is at developmentally. When all test are done and if it is determined that your child is not where he is suppose to be developmentally, they will recommend services either in your home or in a program with other children.

Don't worry. Talk to your pediatrician and not to be disrespectful to your neighbor, but she needs to stop and think before she speaks. Unless she is a professional she shouldn't be saying things she really has no idea about.

I really recommend that you look into Early Intervention where you live. it has done wonders for my children and now they are 4 years old and they are doing pretty much what other kids are doing at their age.....

Cathy - posted on 04/14/2010

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My almost 3 year old (one of twins) was born at 34 weeks; he's still not walking. No known cause for his developmental delays and low muscle tone (hypotonia). He goes to an Early Intervention centre. Has anyone else faced this or something similar?

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Caroline - posted on 07/04/2012

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My daughter was born 9 weeks premmie, weighed 3 pounds & 11 ounces, she had many challenges. She was not able to walk un-assisted, she needed support to sit up, drooled constantly, developmentally delayed, frequent body tremors, some seizure like episodes, kind of in a daze all the time, clenched left hand, choking on her food, speach problems, left side weakness etc. She was elevated on her toes when holding her to walk, she was splinted for a leg brace & they wanted to give her botox, but after researching botox and discovering how it’s made and there were no long term studies I decided against it. Her life was restricted & so was mine ...and it looked this way for the rest of her life ... & mine. I felt hopeless.

We were attending all sorts of treatments and therapies which cost a lot. A friend told me about some special wellness supplements from a particular company, she started taking them in her yogurt, after one week she was up walking un-assisted, it made an immense difference to her brain function, memory, balance, mood & cognition in a short space of time. She began to thrive. I was elated!

I am so grateful to the person that told me about this incredible technology. She now has a life now ….. and so do I. It’s now over 14 yrs later and she continues to take these special nutrients, she has attended normal public schools, she is almost 16, in a few weeks she begins driving lessons and has just started an after school casual job in a fast paced food takeaway. Now she is taller than me.
http://www.navig8.biz/LifeStyle2

Ginger - posted on 07/04/2012

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Also taking steps and doing what they want to do and not listening to Mom is relatively normal. So just keep making things fun. When your child is ready and feels confident to do things they will. If you child enjoys flash cards to strenthen vocabulary then try that. But if practicing becomes a chore, the child will most likely rebel and choose to do other things. You are doing great, you kid is doing great. Keep working at it. If you want further confirmation bring it up to the pediatrician. Those educational age appropriate shows are actually good for children to learn colors and concepts and vocabulary. So go to Target and get some kid videos about learning. Your child won't know they are learning because they are watching singing cartoons and you both will be happy.

Ginger - posted on 07/04/2012

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Tell you apartment manager about the heartbreaking harassment you are getting from your neighbor! Having you or your baby hear discouraging words like that can be detramental to development on it's own! That is dispicable for your neighbor to say things like that.
Good Luck.

Caroline - posted on 07/04/2012

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My daughter was born 9 weeks premmie, weighed 3 pounds & 11 ounces, she had many challenges. She was not able to walk un-assisted, she needed support to sit up, drooled constantly, developmentally delayed, frequent body tremors, some seizure like episodes, kind of in a daze all the time, clenched left hand, choking on her food, speach problems, left side weakness etc. She was elevated on her toes when holding her to walk, she was splinted for a leg brace & they wanted to give her botox, but after researching botox and discovering how it’s made and there were no long term studies I decided against it. Her life was restricted & so was mine ...and it looked this way for the rest of her life ... & mine. I felt hopeless.

We were attending all sorts of treatments and therapies which cost a lot. A friend told me about some special wellness supplements from a particular company, she started taking them in her yogurt, after one week she was up walking un-assisted, it made an immense difference to her brain function, memory, balance, mood & cognition in a short space of time. I was elated!

I am so grateful to the person that told me about this incredible technology. She now has a life now ….. and so do I. It’s now over 14 yrs later and she continues to take these special nutrients, she has attended normal public schools, she is almost 16, in a few weeks she begins driving lessons and has just started an after school casual job in a fast paced food takeaway.
http://www.navig8.biz/LifeStyle2

Kathleen - posted on 03/11/2012

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hi there im a mum of a 2 year old boy he didnt walk until he was 18 mths and is still not talking only starting to say dada he doesnt wave r point i no he is quite different and recently he has started to lye on his back and move his legs in and out to me it looks like a humping motion my health visitor wants a second op ion has she feels there is more going on ?

C - posted on 04/27/2010

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First of all, your neighbour is an A_HOLE. Secondly, children develop at different rates and when you throw in the fact he was born at 32 weeks gestation is going make him a little delayed anyway. Being a preemie and a little delayed is NORMAL. My daughter was also born at 32 weeks and the so called experts said she was delayed as well. The joke was on them however, no she didn't walk til 17 months of age but she literally potty-trained herself and was ready for Kindergarten at 4 and never had any problems at school. In fact she was above normal in intelligence.
Unfortunately your neighbour has already put doubt in your mind so me telling you to follow your instincts may be a moot point,but listen to your gut anyway and if you honestly feel there is a major problem, have him assessed by E.C.I.P. They will give you some advice.

Karyn - posted on 04/25/2010

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Tammy, I know what you are going through... My youngest is 13 months old and he does not sit up on his own, crawl, walk, talk, stand, actually he does not do most of the things he should be doing he was 6 weeks early. i am having a hard time getting him to eat from a spoon and we JUST made the switch to a cup insted of a bottle. I live in Gorgia, we have a program here called Babies cant wait, they have programs like that in every state, i am not sure if the names are the same or not but they evaluate your child and see what can be done i have a physical therapist come out to my house once a week and teach me what to do and to help him. aslo take your child to the Dr. like most other people have said. looking on the internet is dangerous there could be wrong information and a whole slue of miss comunication. keep thinking positive. maby all you need is some physical therapy.... also talk to you Dr. about maby getting another hearing test. when my son was born he took the hearing test and faild and they gave it to him again befor we left and they said that he passed that was bull, i pushed the dr. and they couldnt do anything when i talked to babies cant wait the set up a hearing test and i was right he cant hear very well the way i was told was "what he hears is what we would hear under water."

Brandy - posted on 04/24/2010

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don't know if this makes you feel any better but my son who was actually diagnosed but a neurologist with ADHD and Autistic tendencies, started walking at 11 months old. Yet he was so delayed in many other areas. As one mom said already, they learn at their own pace. Talk to your doctor in person not on the internet and Honestly don't worry about what other's say reguarding your baby. I actually had an in home health nurse when my son first came home who I quote what she said when she saw us again a few years later in wal mart, "Wow, that's Micheal I thought he would be a Veggie for the rest of his life" ... Yet I will have you know he's a very active and productive lil boy. Sure he's a lil different in his own way it's part of his personality yet he's extremely smart in many different ways that make up for the other delays. With preemies everything is different and some of them balance/playing catch up themselves out with in the child when the child is ready for it in life for many years to come. He's almost 11 now and he's still finding balance/playing catch up in new steps in life. I expect as with every child since there are two preemies in my home and two full terms (niece n nephew) to compare to, I can see many similarities between all four of them that don't relate to being preemie and I can see many differences between all of them too that can attribute to preemie. And most people who meet my children now wouldn't believe that either of them were premature or have any issues. Take a deep breath and just discuss your questions with a good dr.

BELINDA - posted on 04/24/2010

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THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE COMMENT! I FEEL LIKE THERE IS SOMEONE THAT CAN MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE AND KEEP IT MOVING BY FOCUS ON OUR PREMEE BABY ( EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE GROWING UP ON US REAL FAST. LOL)

BELINDA - posted on 04/17/2010

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LISTEN, DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR NEIGHBOR BECAUSE SHE /HE IS NOT UR COUNLSOR OR DOCTOR AT ALL.THE ONLY TIME U WORRY IS WHEN THE DOCTOR SAY THAT TO YOU THAT UR SON MIGHT BE WHATEVER THE DIGANOIS BE. JUST IGRONE HER/ HIS STATEMENT AND JUST PRAY AND HOPE THAT UR SON WILL TURN INTO POSTIVE. I KNOW WHAT U R GOING THROUGH BECAUSE MY SON WAS BORN AT 30 WKS AND I KNOWS IT ALL. IF U HAVE ANY MORE QUESTION JUST LOOK FOR MY NAME AND I WILL TRY TO ANSWER IT. HAVE A BLESS NIGHT AND DO NOT WORRY, I WILL BE SAYING A PRAYER FOR U TONIGHT.

TaMonica - posted on 04/16/2010

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Whatever you do...please never let anyone put those types of 'seeds' in your head, because you will be watching every single move he makes and wonder if that is a sign something. My son was born at 7 1/2 weeks early, first child and only child as well, people not doctors were telling me he would be slower than most kids. Nope wasn't having that. I played with my son, talking to him (no baby talk), read to him, very limited television and then only kid friendly shows, and most importantly we have a schedule/routine. Now at 30 months, he can read short stories like "See Spot," knows his Alphabet and which order they go into with out signing it, can count to 50, knows his basic shapes...all of this while still a full time working single mom. Once again, I believe your doctor would have mentioned a concern at his check ups, and I believe if you make every moment a fun and learning moment your child will grasp things rather quickly without you even realizing it. Best of luck!!!

Jamie - posted on 04/15/2010

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Hi Tammy,I read your message and thought i might be able to help.I am a mother of a 6 year old with autism,my son was diagnosed at almost 3 years old.If anything I would like to tell you to have your son evaluated because early detection and treatment is HUGE.Now i'm not saying I think your son is autistic,it could be any number of things that are causing his delays such as sensory integration.It is also highly unlikly that any doctor would give you a diagnosis at such a young age, they like to wait until about 24 months.But to be honest your outspoken neighbor may just be a blessing in disguise because I wish someone had woken me up to what we were seeing, but didn't want to see in our own son,you wont lose anything by having him evaluated and if it turns out he does have autism you will have gained so much by starting treatment early I believe it can even be reversed if treated early enough.Thanks for reading. Jamie=)

Erin - posted on 04/15/2010

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First off, walk away from the computer, out of the house and PUNCH your neighbor in the mouth!!!! How rude of her to say such a thing. My son is a 34 weeker. As preemies, our children may be a little bit behind other children. My doctor said this is normal. My son will be 1 next week and he just started crawling last month! They do eventually catch up to everyone else. my son flaps his arms too when he gets excited. Until they can talk, things like that are their only way of letting us know they like. something or want something. I know what your are going through. someone once caught my son at an odd angle and tried to tell me he was cross eyed and even had the guts to give me the name and number of a pediatric eye surgeon. i got all freaked out and worried until i took him to the doctor and he is not the least bit cross eyed. Try to put it out of your mind. To heck with that evil neighbor!

Jenny - posted on 04/14/2010

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As his mommy I'm sure that you're better qualified than your exceptionally rude if you dont mind me saying neighbour!!! Before this inappropriate comment where you concerned that there maybe something wrong with your little boy? I really do believe that Mom knows best...
My little girl was born 14 weeks premature and has amazed everyone by how she has progressed. She was up and running around long before my cousins little girl who was born full term just a month after Amelia, in fact I think she was over 18 months old before she started walking whereas Amelia was just over 12 months. I dont think you can make comparisons when they are so young between one child and another because they all progress and develop at their own rate.
Putting your own judgement aside, I'm assuming that your little boys has to attend development checks because of him been premature (Amelia has to attend a Low Birth Weight Clinic at our local hospital about once a year for monitoring), I'm pretty sure that they or your Health Visitor would detect any such problems.
My advice to you would be to continue enjoying your little boy and to tell you neigbour to get lost :-)
All the best, Jenny.

Tammy - posted on 04/13/2010

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Thanks Melanie and I'm glad your little one is doing good now. It's sad that people in your own family was saying things but I know how that can be too. Typically you hear it "through the grapevine" because they can't say it to your face. Nevertheless I'm sure he will be speaking more clearly before long. Speech therapy helps. I remember being in it in the 1st grade myself.

Melanie - posted on 04/13/2010

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My son was born at 31 weeks weighing only 2 lbs! We went through th same things but it was people in my own family who said these things! My son is now almost 3 and didnt start walking until 22 months he just started really talking about a month ago and most people cant understand him but I do! My suggestion if you are really concerned would be asked your pediatrician what they think but my son did the same things and he has been trough al these tests that say he is a perfectly normal premature little guy!! Is he in any physical therapy or speech therapy! It has made a big differance for my little miracle! If he's interacting with other children I would say NO he's not most austitic children dnot want to be bothered by people they dont know!

Tammy - posted on 04/13/2010

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Thanks again to all the moms who responded. I feel so much better about my son knowing other babies have done things similar and was just fine. Before I had my preemie son I was dumbfounded about how the whole preemie thing was. I always thought once they were breathing on their own and gained their weight and came home they would develop like ordinary full term babies but I was wrong. I didn't realize the time they didn't get in the womb had such an affect on their development. My son missed out on 8 weeks and as one mom mentioned they are behind one month to ever week they missed which I had no idea, so that would make my son 8 months behind anyways. As for the autism I'm not too worried anymore because he smiles ALOT and he enjoys being played with like tickled and such so I'm just not going to worry about the hand flapping and delays. Thanks again to all the moms who helped.

Jemma - posted on 04/13/2010

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My daughter was born at 26 weeks and only weighed 2lb 8 she did not walk until she was 2 and talk till 2and a half so dont worry any doctor will tell you that preemi babies just take their time megan is now 12 and bigger than ost in her year with no probs and they said they thought she had cistic fibrosis yeh right

Karinna - posted on 04/12/2010

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my daughter was a 3 lb baby....she did not start realy talking until about 1 year and is now 2 and just starting to put words together. she also has set backs but its all in time and working with the child. i had comments made to me about autism as well, but i felt in my heart i was just going to let her go at her pace and the docs didnt seemed to be woried. go with your gut, talk to your doc. my holly is doing great, she is walking but is pretty uncordinated clumsy little one :-) but even my hannah who is going to be 5 she use to have shuttering spells where she would shake uncontolably, we did see a neuroligist, nothing mager and she is doing great also. give it time and talk to your doc. preemies take a little longer. God bless

Claudelle - posted on 04/12/2010

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Hi there, my son will be 4 on the 20th of this month, he was also born at 32 weeks. He was slow at doing things babies his age was doing. People asked me the same question, but I ignored them. My doctor told me that they only catch up to their age around 2 years old. Your son might be 16 months, but remember he came 8 weeks early that is 2 months, so he is actually 14 months. He sound like a happy little boy to me. If you are concerned about him, chat to your peditrician just to get peace of mind. Remember that each child is different and will do things at their own pace. You might find he will do something another child his age does not do. I know how frustrating it can be. My son sat at 9 and a half month, crawled at 12 months and only started walking at 14 months. I encouraged him a lot by getting him those toy walkers, making him stand holding onto my leg while I made my eldest sandwiches. Letting him stand in the wash basket. Doing baby exercises with him, bicycle rotation of the legs. Hope all goes well. Another thing I took care of an autistic child and she was emotionless (would not hug you) and she was not sociable (never made eye contact, never smiled, never spoke, etc, etc). If your son is smiling, looks at you when you speak I would not worry what your neighbour says. Good luck.

Marcia - posted on 04/12/2010

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OMG! Your neighbor show mind their own beeswax!! I was offended to read that!! Kids grow at their own pace. If you are truly worried have him checked out by your pediatrician. It will help you sleep better at night. My own son did a lot of things that looked like autism and when I mentioned it to his doc, they reassured me he wasn't. For the longest time my son never really walked on his feet, but on his tiptoes. Googling it can bring some scary results. I'm glad that you asked us, moms who can give you postive answers. That flapping thing you mentioned, my son did that. I called it "happy body smiles". At almost 4 years, he still does. I honestly don't think you have anything to worry about. Good luck and hugs!

[deleted account]

@Brandy - It's funny you should mention the 'touching of everything to the head' thing. My son does the same thing (he's 2 now, born at 25 weeks). If he picks up something he hasn't before he puts it on his head and now that he's leaning to talk he'll say "on the head" while he does it. I asked about it at the preemie follow-up clinic and they said it was probably a sensory thing and that sometimes preemies develope strange little quirks.

Jillian - posted on 04/12/2010

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Wow, that was WAY out of line! Although I am sure she meant well. My son was born at 30 weeks, not breathing and was in the NICU for a little over a month. We took him home on all of the fun machines, and he had to keep using them for about 6 months. He was/is delayed in everything. Crawling, standing, walking, talking, eating.... You name it. But there is good news, he is catching up! He is 5 years old now, and I have him in a special pre-school for children that need a little help in catching up, and before that he also had speech therapy and motor skills therapy (which our state sponsored). He seemed to be behind about a year, preemies seem to be behind a month to each week they were born early. Don't be worried, time will tell and he sounds fine!!

Rania - posted on 04/12/2010

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I think he's just fine , he shows re-actions such as smiling or any other things but he's a preemie so he needs more time , my 3 kids are also preemies , they took their time to walk and talk , i didnt push them for anything , my youngest girl is now about 11 months , she isnt even trying to crawl but she can sit still alone , i'm waiting for her next move and dont care how much time it takes coz she's having her scheduled visits to her doctor and her development is perfect so dont worry and let him take his time
my kids are now sooooooooooooo brilliant at school , they can reach an average of
18.5 / 20 , so this has nothing to do with being a preemie , my elder son started to talk at age 30 months and he walked at 16 months
i talked a lot but just to relief you
you have the right to ask about anything concerning your son and to be more accurate ask his pediatrician about this issue
good luck

Brandy - posted on 04/11/2010

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my daughter was born at 26 weeks and is now 14 months she cant stand alone or say any words unless you count uh-oh. she does alot of weird hand flapping and she shakes her head up and down alot, she also has an obsession with touching everything to her head before she puts it in her mouth. but im told shes fine. i have her involved in something called help me grow and they track her development, she also sees a physical therapist and an occupational therapist at a place called riverside who actually specializes in mh/mrdd. they told me that most children are not diagnosed with autism etc until they are 4yrs. but i did read in a book that preemies are more likely to develop ADD and ADHD so it could be that your child is over stimulated and destracted because of that, but its not a life altering disability, my husband has it and he's perfectly normal. i understand how you feel though and its hard to ignore the stupidity of people like your neighbor, but just because your baby was premature does not mean that he will have any delays. anybody that even tries to say my baby is slow i let them know right away that she was born three months early and she is doing more than we ever thought she could!

Tammy - posted on 04/11/2010

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Thank U Carolyn for the informative information. I will keep an eye out on my little one since now I know what to look out for.

Carolyn - posted on 04/11/2010

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Here are some Autism signs to look for in the children in your life:
- Lack of or delay in spoken language
- Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
- Little or no eye contact
- Lack of interest in peer relationships
- Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
- lack of understanding towards 'hot or cold'
- reckless behavior such as climbing or standing on edges of table
- inappropriate response to pain (for ex. child may trip and fall and not cry at all)
- unable to grasp the potty training process.

As far as how early i began to notice signs was when my daughter was about a year and a half. she began to lose a few mile stones that she had gained and mastered such as potty training, talking & eating with utensils. one more sign i noticed was she began to react quite fearful of her favorite pbs characters particularly Elmo & Barney.

Tammy, hopefully this will help, Carolyn
(p.s. I don't blame you for choosing to wait a while because the typical age children are diagnosed with autism is between 2 1/2 & 4 years old..God Bless) - please keep me posted.

Amanda - posted on 04/11/2010

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Is your neighbor a medical professical? or had a premie? if not than they should have kept their opions to themselves. I love how people try to give you advise, and tell you things that your child should be doing by now. They don't really know how to deal with a premmie. I feel your pain. My daughter was born at 29 weeks and is now seven months old, not corrected, and most of my family told me that I should have had her on baby food months ago instead of just starting her on it now. I don't listen to anyone but the medical professionsals as the know what they are doing and see premmies everyday. You should tell your neighbor the next time they feel the need to suggest something that my be wrong with you mircale, to butt out and mind their business. Good luck and god bless.

Andrea - posted on 04/10/2010

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I wouldn't worry to much about it... Ask your Dr about to be on the safe side is what I would do. My DD teacher (early intervintion program) said that you can pretty much tell early on if they are aurtistic... The first things they look for are if they don't look you in the eye or smile, which if I read right your son does!!!! About the having to call his name 5 times my daughter is the same way!!! At two she still flaps her arms like wings when she gets excited and she was also a late bloomer as well!!!

Bout your neighbour you must be a better person than me because I would have told her to put it were the sun doesn't shine!!! I have had ppl come up to me and say well you baby is a preemie they are going to retarded for the rest of her life and you will have to take care of her till you die!!! WOW, (in a overly nice voice, hey I am a very sarcastic person) I did tell them I think your misinformed about preemies and need to really read up on it!!!

[deleted account]

hi tammy I have three children my sldest son was 36 weeker and he has autism he was slow to crawl never rolled over slow to speak when he started it was in sentences, he never displayed any of the flapping but was obsesive with toys I knew from early that he was not developping normaly. My second son was born 25 weeks, and was a very different baby he wanted cuddles and pointed and smiles so much, he was slow to develop but we put everything down to his prematurity as he has got older he was so active! we thought he may have adhd so had him checked and he was diagnosed as mild aspergers we were very surprised as we hadnt spotted thesigns, now I know I can see it, he is 6 now and very very affectionate stil waiting to find out if he is also adhd. My daughter is a 32weeker and was slow to reach her milestones late walker but is develoing into an average child no signs of autism.
All preemies will develop at their own pace , I wouldnt worry too much about it, but I would be aware of it, I would if I were you get some info on autism the signs and behaviuors so that if your son does display any other traits you can act on it. early diagnosis is important. Good luck

Amy - posted on 04/10/2010

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I would tell this lady to back off!!!! Mama Bear is about to go off. I have twins that came at 32w 4d. My daughter I was concerned about as you are. However, You have to take into account that your son started out 2 mos. behind as my two have. Corrected age is 2mos. when they have really been around for 4 mos. If you have taken him to all his doctor appointments and they have not noticed anything as of yet, I would say he is just fine. I mean come on if a child runs around with a bucket on his head and runs into walls does that make him autistic? I would find a nice way to tell the neighbor you don't need their 2 cents worth and then talk with the doc about your fears. That is what I did and the doc told me that she would have to be at least 6 mos old before they could tell anything. She acts as normal as any other baby. Just not as advanced because she was a preemie. What nerve of the neighbor.......grrrr

Tammy - posted on 04/10/2010

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Hey Carolyn, I'm hoping my son will come around. He is 16 months old now and I'm gonna give it a little more time before I take him to his pediatrician. I am curious though, at what age did u start noticing your little one do things like mine is doing and what things should I look out for. I know little about autism and I'm praying he doesn't have it but I don't want to be in denial about it either. Thanks, Tammy

Carolyn - posted on 04/10/2010

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well, i too had a preemie born at 24 weeks and she did not walk until she was 19 months but she did not do the things that you are descrbing with your son. she is now 18 years old and doing just fine. however, i have a 4 year old who WAS showing all the signs you are describing and she has been diagnosed with Autism as of a year ago. i, too, was offended when her school nurse said she was considerably developmentally delayed at her 3yo well visit. it bothered me that entire Christmas vacation until i looked up the signs of autism and was shocked at all the signs she showed. at that point my husband and i made the choice to contact the school's social worker who examined her and made a number of referrals. after five months of testing and and examinations with all sorts of Special Education professionals she was then referred to the Psychologist and was officially diagnosed. the benefit of accepting that there was something wrong early was that the success rate of her possibly overcoming this disorder (or at least significantly improving) is much higher. having said that i strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with your child's pediatrician a.s.a.p. to rule it out. also ask your pediatrician to rule out possible cerebal palsy (sp.) as well for this is quite common in preemies. i truly hope and pray that it works out in your favor. just know that if your son is diagnosed with autism there are a host of programs & support groups available. as well my daughter was even approved for social security income which was very helpful in purchasing diapers, learning toys, etc. sincerely, Carolyn

Melissa - posted on 04/10/2010

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My son was full term. He didn't crawl until 11 months and didn't start walking until around 16 months. He flapped his arms when excited too. He is very sensitive to light and loud noises. He didn't speak or even babble. I thought it was because he had older siblings and everyone did things for him, so he didn't "have" to speak. At least that's what everyone told me, so i tried not to worry. When he was nearly 3 and only said 5 words, then I was really concerned. I thought i had an autistic child too. Regional center came out to do an assessment. What they found was a moderate expressive speech delay. They sent a teacher to the house and gave him occupational therapy in the field. When he turned 3 they transitioned him into the school district and he has continued services. Everyone has assured me that he is NOT on the autism spectrum. I still see signs that he is, but they say no. He is doing fantastic now. He talks like crazy and even sings. He is still very light and sound sensitive, and can't stand wind. And he memorizes books word for word. The reason i felt compelled to answer you is this.... Don't loose sleep over it, because he's going to be fine! There are so many services that available to have him evaluated and most will be at low/or no cost. My regret was waiting until he was nearly three to have him evaluated. Don't be afraid, everything is going to be alright, but the sooner you can get an evaluation, the sooner they can tell you he is fine. If for some reason they find a delay or that he is on the autism spectrum, then you can start getting services for him. If you're not sure what services are available in your area, you can contact your school district. they should be able to direct you to the agency that does evaluations on children under 3 years old. Remember DON'T WORRY, he's your perfect little boy and he's going to be just fine!!! Take care and God bless!

Kerry - posted on 04/10/2010

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Was your son premature and in the hospital longer than most newborns? My son was premature 32 weeks, and was in the hospital for 2 months before he came home. He has sensory issues, look that up, the hand flapping is slef stimulation, (sensory) I don't think you can diagnose autisim until they are like 5. My son did everything slow, because he was premature, it is like they have to catch up, wouldn't worry about it if I were you, maybe look into therapy for the sensory, or I can give you tips for what we did with my son. =)

Nikki - posted on 04/10/2010

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Tammy , don't worry :) My son Ethan was born at 29 weeks and he too displayed the same things you are describing so I was worried too . I looked up signs of autism and asperger's syndrome . He seemed to show signs (some) in both of those descriptions of both disorders BUT he is 3 now and in time he caught up to where he should be on everything and while he still has some "issues" I pray he continues to overcome them as he gets older as he has done so far :) I think all preemies do things when they are ready and they are all different ! I think the "flapping" might be him showing frustration as he can't get across what he wants to just yet as Ethan did the same thing but he has stopped doing so as he can now tell me what he wants , what is wrong etc. but it took him some time to get there. He also loves tv (alot!) but he has never been in a daycare so I am hoping as he begins pre-k he will learn to interact better with kids his age as for now he clams up around other kids. I think time is on their side and ours too!! as well as God :) They are all here for a reason I believe !! Be strong and good luck to you both from us !! God Bless ...

Samantha - posted on 04/10/2010

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he sounds normal for the amount of weeks early. my son who is come up to 5 now ,was born at 30 weeks and lots of problems straght afterwards . he wasn't sitting or walking until he was 20/23 mths old and talking until he was over 1. he is a bumle of joy . ive had plenty of pactice with 4 other premmies under 35 wks . your doctor or health vister will pick up quicky if theres a promblem.

Tracia - posted on 04/10/2010

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wow. this topic helped me! my beloved grandson was born at 35 weeks. he is healthy as a horse and is a charmer. it did niggle at the back of my mind incase something popped up...my daughter was in labor for a month before she even had him. needless to say, she had been pumped up full of heavy duty drugs to keep him in and help her pain. he is 10 months now...he chatters, copies words, smiles and engages EVERYONE,,,,HOWEVER he is a bit behind on his motor skills. he is just now sitting up....and commando crawling. fine motor skills are there but, need to be practiced more. thank you moms of preemies...I know now that Gryphen is right where he should be....at HIS pace. I knew this already in my heart. just nice to see others confirm it. thanks

Tammy - posted on 04/09/2010

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Thanks for all the moms who have replied. I feel much better now since I see my child is not the only one with developmental issues.

Pip - posted on 04/09/2010

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What a 'witch' your neighbour is... Truely only family and close friends can say things like that. I would totally dismiss anything she says. She is rude, crude and her behaviour is outrageous. I don't have a child with autism but I have 4 friends with autistic children and from what you are saying about your boy he sounds perfect. If he is loving you and happy to interact with other bubby's in the sand pit he's fine. Don't worry about the flapping I've got 5 boys that all flapped. LOL and still do when trying to get their point across. As for walking I know babies that have walked at 9 mths and some at 22 mths they are all normal, developing at their own pace as your boy is. It's all ok just sleep again and ignore that witch of a neighbour.

Tammy - posted on 04/09/2010

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Yeah Chelle that's exactly what my son does. His whole little body moves when he lays on his back but it is usually when my boyfriend is playing with him. He will "rough house" with him and throw him on the bed landing on a stack of pillows not to hurt him of course, but he just loves it and his whole little body gets to going his arms go up and down and his legs and he smiles so big when he's doing it. It is actually very cute and funny to see him do it all until my stupid neighbor trys to make something bad out of his arms flapping. I hope he is just fine and I'm worrying for nothing. Thank u for sharing your experience.

Tammy - posted on 04/09/2010

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Thanks Wanda for your reply and that was rude of your neighbor to suggest your child was lazy. I get so tired of other people comparing their children to other children. They can make some really hurtful comments sometimes. I have never personally make any comments in a negative way to anybody about their child even before I had a child of my own. My son had to wear a cranial helmet for 4 months due to head flatness and I never hardly took him out b/c I didn't want people to stare. His head is fine now. The helmet got his head back into shape. My mom tells me I am making too much out of what my neighbor said and it made her mad when I told her about it. I'm gonna quit worrying about it for now and just give him some time.

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Your neighbour was way out of line and probably doesn't know what they're talking about. It took my son a long time to point and when he did he would cross his first 2 fingers and point that way. Speech delay is very common in preemies, our doc told us the best thing we can do to help speech is to read to our son and constantly talk to him. My guy's 2 now and just recently has started putting 2 or more words togehter but when we go for a walk or whatever I'm still chatting away, pointing out different things or singing to him. The reading part was easy, he loves books. Is he 16 months corrected or actual? Although a lot of babies walk sooner, it's perfectly normal for a full term baby to not walk until they're 16 months - so either way I'd say your son was doing great in that area. From what you've said, I wouldn't be thinking autism (hubby works with kids in the austim spetrum and I've picked up a thing or two but I'm by no means an expert). Ask your doc the next time you have an appointment.

I have a neighbour whose granddaughter in a couple weeks younger than my son. Her granddaughter was full term, my son was 14 weeks early. One day she was bragging about all the things her granddaughter was doing and asking if my guy was doing those things yet. I said no and explained about him being behind because he was a preemie. She told me that that was just an excuse for laziness. I told her she didn't know what she was talking about and haven't spoken to her since. I don't know how the granddauhgter is developemently but I saw her the other day and my son is bigger.

Katie - posted on 04/09/2010

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My lil girl didn't start walking until 19 months, and just barely started talking. I was worried about autism, but her pediatrician quickly dismissed it. But because she was so premature, it was always in the back of my mind. Texas has a program called Early Childhood Intervention and they send an RN out to your house to evaluate your child and then schedule the appropriate services for them - all at your house. My daughter has been seen by a speech therapist, occupational therapist, and a nutritionist and they've all said that she's developmentally appropriate for her age. A "teacher" comes out to our house once a week to work with her and every week she's learning and doing more! The BEST part is that the program isn't based on income :) Maybe your state offers services like this. Like Jayme said, I think your neighborn was WAY out of line. I hope you don't lose anymore sleep over it (but that's what mommies do!)

Chelle - posted on 04/09/2010

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Your son sounds just like mine! Mine just barely started standing on his own at 16 month and just before he was 17 months he finally started walking (and not very good at all). My son is now 22 months. He just started really saying mama and dada and bye bye and hi and night night. He's just a late bloomer. But, my son flaps his hands and does his feet like yours. Every time he is laid on his back he move all 4 llimbs like crazy. This has me worried a little too. I will wait til his 2 yr check up to bring it up though. I think right now he is ok but bring it up at his next appointment for some ease of mind.

Jayme - posted on 04/08/2010

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I personally think your neighbor was waaay out of line and rude saying that. Usually if a child is autistic...they are not very social and dont make eye contact. Also they tend not to smile much. Your son sounds social with you and other children and smiles and make eye contact....so I dont think you need to worry :)

Tammy - posted on 04/08/2010

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Thanks for your reply. I haven't taken him to a doctor about this yet. And yes, he does smile at me and look into my eyes but he doesn't know how to hug yet. He is behind so much. I think some of it is contributed to the fact that he has never been around any other children. He is an only child and no other children come around. I just recently took him to the park and he got excited when he saw small children like himself. I let him play in the sand and he actually crawled over to another little girl and took her sand bucket and I had to take it away from him and give it back to her. I thought it was cute. I hope i am just worrying for nothing. I wish my neighbor had never mentioned this to me at all. It's like when u search the internet for something every little thing can drive u crazy. Like the hand flapping he has done since i can remember when he gets excited and i never paid it any attention before then when i get on the internet it says it is a sign of autism so this being my first child i worry and i worry too much. Thanks for your help.

Jayme - posted on 04/08/2010

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First of all....all kids go at their own pace. Your son sounds just fine to me. Its good that he can stand and take steps. Has his Dr shown a concern?? Does he smile at you and look you in the eye? Does he hug you?

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