What are the signs of an autistic child?

Wondering if the unusual behavior exhibited by your child is related to autism or not can be difficult. What behavior is typical of an autistic child?

40  Answers

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My son was 12 months 2 weeks old when we realized he wasn't looking when his name was called. He would get so into whatever object he was perceverating on (tag on his blanket or wheels on a car) that he in his own world and until he visually saw us he did not respond. At first we thought he was deaf and immediately took him for hearing evaluation at CHOP to find out his hearing was 100% except his behavioral hearing was not up to par which is a sign of something not right. We then waited for a developmental pediatrician to evaluate him and at this point of waiting we did our own research of all of his arm flapping, toe walking, no speech, getting lost in the act of spinning wheels on a car/truck, flicking the tag on his blankie, and the meltdowns he would have and it all pointed to Autism. Dr. Yvette Janvier at Childrens Specialized Hospital evaluated him and it was then diagnosed that day at 18 months old that our son had Autism. From that day forward he had 5 days a week of in home therapies with developmental instructors, speech therapists, OT, and PT. He started with sign language which increased to sounds which increased to words. Today at age 6 1/2 he academically is above age appropriate and is just behind in behavior/maturity. He's very impulsive and can get himself into trouble that way. He also is very black and white and literal and that causes most of his daily meltdowns. I send any mom who just got that diagnosis a great big hug because I remember how empty and helpless I felt that day at 18 months old and wish that on no one but know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you are the chosen parent(s) because God Doesn't Give Anything He Knows You Can't Handle! ♥

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Tammy, your son is lucky to have you as his mom. You sound pretty blessed also. It's funny because I just used the same phrase, "God only gives what you can handle", with a friend of mine. My mom taught me that.

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She asked what the signs of an autistic child are not a debate. You want to debate vaccinations go to another post. Some of you people are down right rude. If someone chooses not to vaccinate THEIR child then so be it. If someone doesn't breast feed WHO CARES. Stick to the questions or find another post to be a jerk on.

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You are comparing apples and oranges. If a mother chooses not to breastfeed it only affects her child. If a parent chooses not to vaccinate, it could have potentially deadly implications on other parents' young children. The vaccination debate is unfortunately tied to most autism discussions, even though is has been totally discredited. What if your child contracted a deadly disease from a child who was not immunized? I'm sure you'd feel much differently then.

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Being the mother of two boys with autism, I get asked all the time "How did you know something was wrong?" The main reason was I am their mom, and I could just tell something wasn't right. Every time I listed off the multiple issues they each have, people would say "I know a kid who does that." My reply is usually always the same. Yes, there are kids who are a bit lost in their own world, or who don't always listen when you talk, or don't always look you in the eye, or don't talk, or like to watch others instead of joining in playing, or have crazy ocd, or major sensory issues, or eating issues. But when ALL or MOST of those are in one person, a person you are with 24/7, who you know everything about, you know something isn't right. Especially if they had some/most of those skills then lost them. My boys are 3 and 4, know their letters by sound and sight, know their shapes including some I had to learn to teach them, can count above 100, and can spell the names of everyone in our family. But if you ask them a question that isn't yes or no or a scripted one they've practiced, they can't answer you. They can't tell me how they feel, what they learned at school, how they got a bruise. I can't explain things to them. Its the most dis-heartening, yet most rewarding thing I have ever had to deal with.

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I would love to talk with you more. My son just turn three with the only diagnosis of a "young child with developmental delay". He toe walks and likes repetition but doesn't show any other "big" signs.. but the behavior and understanding issues you described is sounding right on. Any insight would be appreciated! I feel I've tried everything to keep him from screaming, acting out, hitting, etc.. try to explain and he just does not seem to grasp! Yet he understands concepts I had no idea he got. I guess the feeling of familiarity is comforting to me, because I don't know any child with Sebastian's issues. Thanks for the post Crystal cmarshall726@hotmail.com

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My son was a very typcally developing 14.5 month old who played interactive games with us, was way ahead on the developmental milestone chart, and had over 10 words he used frequently and appropriately. I'm not going to debate vaccines with anyone here because, quite frankly, other than my husband, noone else was there to witness the overnight- yes, I said overnight- regression. We have absolutely no doubts as to what happened to OUR child.
The first thing that I noticed the next morning when I went into his room was that he acted as though he was deaf, and suddenly had a flat affect upon seeing me and his dad. As the day went on, we saw that his eye contact was gone. He lost interest in his toys, he cried constantly, and started throwing up a lot, and refusing to eat most things, but yet was hungry all the time (he became a gastrointestinal mess), and constipation soon followed. He couldn't stand to be touched, and he no longer walked anywhere- he ran, spun, jumped, hopped, flapped, etc- he was like a walking tornado (his entire nervous system was comprimised). He craved water. Not drink, but rather to play in, which was somewhere between great & dangerous. I also noticed that he no longer played appropriately with his toys- he did the typical lining up thing with his cars & trains. And those 10 words were gone. Nine years later, we have yet to hear his voice again.

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Leslie, your story breaks my heart. I experienced the same thing with son at the same age as your son. Our stories are very similar.

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ALL autistic children are unique in their own ways. There is no typical behavior of an autistic child. It's hard to pin point anything because the spectrum is so large. However, here a few things to look for before considering getting your child checked out.

1. Developmental delays including walking, potty training, speech or no talking at all.
2. No eye contact or staring at nothing - seems like they are not listening to you.
3. Dislike being held or even touched.
4. Echolalia - speaking but only repeating what is heard. Maybe said over and over and over. Reciting favorite movie scenes. Their voice may be high pitched and may be almost like singing.
5. Flapping or stimming especially when upset or excited. This can be moving arms, rubbing hands or fingers together, rubbiing certain items because of the texture like hair or wall. Banging head. Rocking.
6. Visually fixating on something like turning of wheels or dripping of water.
7. Dislike loud sounds like firecrakers and being in crowds. May hold ears. May yell to not hear sounds.

My son learned to read at age two. He said the words even if he didn't understand what they meant. However he HATES math. Even with the easiest of addition problems he has trouble. Some autistic children may have something that they are very good at such as reading, math, maps, anything that they may be interested in.

Please know I am not an expert. I am just a parent of a child that has been diagnosed being on the autistic spectrum. If you think that you may have a child that is autistic my suggestion is to start with the public school special education department. They should be trained to diagnosed and it won't cost you anything. If you want a second opinion then go to a specialist. I would suggest not going to your pediatrician unless they are trained to diagnose for autism. My original pediatrician just said it was due to birth order since my older son was talking for him.

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Ooh! How old is your son now? My son also started ready suuuuuper early (19 months) and we just don't know what to do to cultivate that 'talent.'

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Both my younger children were right on mark for behavior,and intelligence until about 16 to 18 month vaccinations.Almost overnight both children hand flapped, toe walked, became obsessed with order and repetition. Now at ages 10 and 5 they still both have ASD diagnosi but attend public school with aid of speech and emotional therapy. The youngest is on a modified or slowed vaccination schedule because of low weight and reactions to vaccinations. I am a huge advocate for not combining shots and waiting until children are healthy and hardy enough to handle the lowered immunity that occurs . Autism and ASD seem to be rampant now everywhere I read and see.As a Mother I have concluded from my situation that due to genetic predispositions(my son's DNA is modified )and dietary changes over the last 30 years that immune systems are much more fragile then proven by FDA tests. Common sense and Mother's intuition value much higher in children's care than social expectation.

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Vaccinations have nothing to do with it. Good grief.

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Here are links to some websites that give some red flags that they say would warrant a trip see the pediatrician.

http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/learn-signs
http://www.signsofautism.com/
http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/autism-symptoms

I like WebMd because they tend to be more detailed when explaining different diseases and disorders.

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No child with Autism is the same. That said, some of the associated symptoms are hand flapping, toe walking, fascination with order (placing objects like shoes or cars in lines), delayed speech, aversion to noise and certain textures, etc. The list goes on and on. Like I said, no child with Autism is the same.

My son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing/Integration Disorder when he was about 3 years old, about 70 percent of Autistic children have SPD. Now, at 7, he has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome with obsessive compulsive behavior. He has no problems with fine or large motor skills but can be kind of clumsy and uncoordinated because he has weak core strength. And, he has always been ahead of the learning curve academically--he started reading at 2 and was able to do simple math by 3. For the most part, he makes eye-contact unless his diet is off. He attends occupational therapy because he had a gag reflex when he was younger which caused him to only eat about 5 items, now he eats more foods than I can count but refuses to eat off of metal silverware because others have used it.

If you are concerned, speak with your doctor. You are your child's best advocate. Deep down inside I was comfortable with the SPD diagnosis because it's treated the same as Autism. I could feel the room cave in when his developmental psychologist explained he diagnosis this past April. Like one of the other moms said, I, too, send out big hugs and lots of love to mom and dads of children on the spectrum. If Autism is the case, you will handle it for the sake of your child. Besides, they are really not that different than typical children.

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I strongly agree with everything u said

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I just have to say how it breaks my heart how people respond to other people's posts. I am an RN I uderstand what the research says at the same time I believe it is important to listen to a family's story. Have compassion! We don't need to attack eachother, we are here to support eachother. There are many causes and no cause effects everyone it comes in contact with, that is true of ever medical condition. Regardless of what I say to follow please don't attack me how does that benefit anyone?
I have 5 children & realize they are are all unique so when one out of them didn't walk until 18 months & was delayed in talking I just thought that was just his way. I am not sure what age we noticed the OCD but again I just thought that was the normal toddler security issues. In preschool the teacher had to keep him right next to her all the time as he wasn't easy to teach. Kindergarten was the same & they recommend retention. We thought he was a late bloomer & would eventually click & catch up. In 1st grade was when I figured out what we were dealing with. He no longer could cope wearing socks or underwear, he chewed wholes in the neck of his shirts & sleaves, he became increasingly agoraphobic, & his OCD began to be the center of our families attention. One day my teenage daughter pointed out to me at the play ground, "Mom look at Josh, do you see how different he is from all the other children?" He was playing alone, flapping around in circles in his on world. I began to realize his "temper tantrum" where really panic attacks. It is like he is locked inside, oblivious to the world around him.
At that point I took him into the pediatrician & she gave him liquid Prosac for his OCD. A few days on that & he was more hyperactive then he already was. We stopped it & took him back. Because I got so frustrated with his Ped & just decided to put my energy in academically. I went to the computer & there is where I figured out what I was dealing with. It is not easy to find specialist for these kids so when people say "take him to a doctor to have him diagnosed not the computer" I disagree. If it was cancer then yes because only a doctor can treat it but these are behavioral issues and because he is now over 5 there are limited resources for him. The school refused an IEP, I guess they often do in 1st grade. It wasn't until 2nd grade that we finally got him in an IEP & now for 3rd grade, starting next week, he will no longer be mainstreamed, except for math. At every step it is such a challenge to decide what they best thing is for him. It has been a long, complicated road! I have switched Pediatricians & I will be starting him in Occupational therepy next week as well to try & minimize his sensory integration issues. The school was a miss because he is such a sweet boy & they said most kids like him have impulse challenges & can be aggressive. He is actually cuddly & wants his back rubbed 24/7. He sometimes makes eye contact. They like the term "Nonverbal learning disorder" best but many specialist argue that NVLD is Aspergers. This is all why it is a SPECTRUM disorder, every child is different. Obviously the sooner you know what you are dealing with the better but who needs a lable? The treatment plan for every child is different because we are addressing the symptoms. This is our story. Prayers for every family that is touched by Autism.

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Amanda, I very much agree with you and get where you are coming from. We struggled with whether or not to "label" our son too. It wasn't until I realized all the services he was missing out on by not having the label that I finally opted to have the diagnosis made formal.

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The first thing I would like to point out is that no two autistic children are the same. Also, there is early onset autism (before two years of age) and late onset (where a child meets most milestones on time and seems to be developing normally until a marked regression of skills).

So in early onset, there will be a marked delay in several milestones, particularly in speech. The child may avoid eye contact and resist being held. The child may develop an irregular gait (toe walking, walking on insteps, or never relinquishing a "high guard"). Autistic children often fixate on objects, exploring every aspect of the object. Most autistic children will self stimulate (i.e. - rocking back and forth, visual stimulation by waving their hand in front of their face, tapping, hitting themselves, and repetitive auditory stimulation). Often times, they appear to be in their own world, oblivious to their environment.

Autistic children are either hypo-responsive or hyper-responsive. Either they crave external stimuli or they resist it. Bright lights on a business marque can be a fixation point for a child and either cause them to zone out, or have the opposite effect where the flashing lights cause the child to spin off like a top. Some children will resist being held, while others will want to be held tight. Children who crave deep pressure may hit themselves and hit others in an attempt to get that deep pressure that they crave. So understand that the negative behaviors are often rooted in the child's needs.

Speech delays can sometimes be tricky to catch, especially in a child who developed normally and then showed a marked regression. Also, many children exhibit echolalia, which is simply where the child will repeat a word or short phrase that he or she hears.

There are usually dietary intolerances in autistic children. Many end up having to go to a gluten and casein-free diet. Diet can usually have a positive impact on behavior.

I guess I should have prefaced this with my experience with autistic children. I am an occupational therapy assistant who works with autistic children in the home setting. Autism is my diagnosis of choice.

I do believe that vaccines can cause, worsen, or awaken autistic characteristics in children. There was scientific evidence to prove this, but the scientist that proposed this has since withdrawn his statement. But I believe my parents of autistic kids, and because of their advice, I am waiting to give my son any live vaccinations until I believe his system is mature enough to handle it. Please understand, that you DO have the right to refuse vaccinations for your child. I encourage you to make an informed decision on this and do your own research.

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No such thing as an autistic child................ Just a child with autism. I do wish people would get it right !!

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:0)

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Number One: Vaccines have never ONCE been proven to be ANY cause of autism. You can 'believe' everything you want to believe (Scientologists reaaaaaally believe that 75 million years ago, Xenu brought people to Earth with some hydrogen bomb explosion thingee.) Hey! Can't *not* prove it, can you???

Number Two: my son has autism. We knew something was awry at age 4 months. He started gagging on anything and everything. Feeding him solids didn't even begin until age 14 months, and it's always been a battle. This is not to say that every child with autism will have anything like this problem, but there's just a lot of quirks that don't add up. Sensory Integration Disorder is very common in children with autism.

Number Three: I try to explain to people what to look for by giving them the true definition of autism: lack of social communication. Neurotypical kids will say, "Mommy! Want juice!" at age 2 or so. Most kids with autism really don't have that inherent ability to call for mommy, use the word 'want' , etc. It seems like they're in a bit of a fog, or in their own world.... They're NOT. They just don't express things using language the way a normal child will. THEY CAN LEARN HOW, though. Through therapy, my son has made the most ENORMOUS strides in the last six months.

Number Four: I took my son to two different pediatricians on two different occasions so they could see for themselves his symptoms. Both of these doctors were on the older side (over 50) and just said to "enjoy the adventure that is Jack." (Swear, those were the exact words.) We went in another day because Jack was sick, and saw the youngest pediatrician in the group. After the ear infection diagnosis was made, he looked at me and said, "Have you ever had him screened for autism?" This young doctor knew EXACTLY what was going on. We got into the Marcus Autism Center two months later for an evaluation with psychologists and developmental pediatricians and the rest has been history. THERAPY. A GOOD SPECIAL-NEEDS PRESCHOOL. So many 'hands-on-deck.' It is AMAZING what can be done with early intervention.

NUMBER FIVE: That gluten-free diet thing is a bunch of crap for 99% of kids with autism. Go ahead... ask any autism specialist doctor. (And btw, they'll say the same thing about the vaccines causing it.)

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Brilliantly written...thank you!

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people are asking signs of autism, not what causes it! however, the women on here getting upset at moms suggesting it could be caused by vaccinations-LAY OFF THEM. i work in an therapy office with children. some moms believe it was vaccines that did it in the 90s. after their stories-am i going to tell them-no your wrong!hell no! (its easier to do on a computer isnt it ladies!!, if you want to call yourself that)
be supportive of your sister moms out there!!
for all you moms going through this, this is obviously not the place to get support. i would google local places, talk to your kids doctor, or even therapists for local support groups!! by the way, for those of you on the east coast... google surfers for autism!!! its an incredible event and changed my life over the summer!!!

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Believing that vaccines cause Autism and forcin your opinions on other who feel differently are two separate things. You said you work in a therapy office; in what position? MY job is as part of a wraparound team, mostly dealing with children and young adults on the spectrum. I can tell you point blank that there is no definitive, scientifically backed research supporting the idea that vaccines cause Autism or other spectrum disorders. Personally, I can tell you that a family I currently work with has two children, BOTH of whom are on the spectrum, BOTH of whom had extremely modified vaccine schedules in which neither received more than one vaccine per visit and the parents absolutely REFUSED the MMR vaccine at 1 year (which, most will tell you, is the vaccine under the most fire because of the mercury content). It obviously wasn't the vaccines that caused their ASD. More and more, people are finding that Autism is almost certain to be caused by genetics. This family particularly had a long history of mental health issues in their family tree. It's pretty antagonistic to call people out by insulting women on here when you're calling them out for supposedly the same thing. And personally, after my experience IN the field, I'd MUCH rather my son be diagnose with ASD than die from something a vaccine could prevent. Having a child with Autism is much better than not having your child at all.

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my 2 year old is autistic,I constantly have people telling me that lots of children have violent tantrums,don't listen,don't talk,are naughty,loud etc however they've not been with him since the day he was born and they don't live with him,as a parent you know when something is not right

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Tanya, I also have a 2 year old son and I soon will be getting him to see a developmental specialist. I do relate to ppl telling me that ohh he will grow out of it or I know a child that is similar. I am his mother and I am also his voice b/c he doesnt talk. I know when there is something not right its a mothers intuition right?

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My son only plays well in small groups or preferably one on one. He doesn't deal with change well and if he doesn't like someone such as recently we just had to change school as he got a new teacher this year. This teacher didn't seem to understand him and he couldn't cope with her either. Huge conflict of personalities and it meant constant anxiety attacks. He becomes obsessed with something like at the moment it is Beyblades and I mean obsessed. He has to watch the show, play with them and collect them. Everyone else has to be willing to talk about them. He doesn't know when to stop when doing something he will sometimes carry it too far and then get into trouble not understanding why. He becomes so absorbed in some things that he tunes out everyone and pretty much everything.
doesn't like to be touched unless he wants to be touched and then only by those he feels very comfortable with. He must have his own personal space.

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I forgot he also has like an eating disorder he eats but his food can't touch each other and like chicken nuggets they can't be a strange shape or have a piece missing or be 2 joined together. He won't eat them he would really rather starve.He won't eat most meat only chicken nuggets, my rissoles and sausages we worked out that for the most part it is the texture of meat. Also his food can't touch the sauce or his rissoles his vegetables or sausages etc. If they do he won't eat them it is like they are contaminated. He will become hysterical. We are just used to it now and deal with it but it is a real problem if you go out can't go to restaurants etc.

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Oh PLEASE stop blaming vaccinations for autism! If that were the case there would be many more children on the spectrum. Please be realistic and protect all of our children from deadly diseases!!!

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Because of the ignorant belief that vaccinations are linked to autism (which, as everyone should know by now, has been proven completely false, and the British doctor who published the garbage has lost his license), my five week old contracted pertussis (Whooping cough), was hospitalized for three days, then spent the next three months coughing so violently he would almost stop breathing. Not only are misguided parents endangering their own children, they are endangering everyone around them, including the newborns who are too young to be immunized. If you are going to be a parent, be smart enough to read real medical research and ask true medical professionals. If you don't believe them, then you go sit by the bedside of a newborn fighting to breathe because someone was too stupid to vaccinate their own children.

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For all you people so disgusted at the thought that vaccinations may cause harm and who can't believe the government would allow such action, I would like to encourage you to do YOUR research. Start with the polio vaccine, then go to any other massively boasted successful vaccine. You are looking for the death rates just before the vaccines were introduced and then just after. The truth is our bodies immunize themselves more then the vaccines. We adapt. It is not natural to fill our bodies with assorted chemicals in hopes of not getting sick. Here is a fact also: My oldest son has had chicken pox 5 times though you can apparently only get it once.He is my only vaccinated kid.

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2010/jun/10060312 Here is a link to confirm the correlation of autism and vaccinations. There are many other studies out there too. Hope this helps anyone wondering about the link.

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002494/
Once you visit the sites listed in the first post or the one above, if you still feel your child might have autism visit your doctor. Be sure to make a list of observed signs you are worried about and questions before you go and have them ready to talk to the doctor about. If you do not feel comfortable with that doctor's opinion or recommendations get a second opinion as soon as possible. If your child does have it, the sooner you catch it the better for the child. If the child does not have it you should feel happy you checked it out anyway. :)

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I have 7 yr old triplets. 2 of them are on the spectum (educational diagnosis of mid-range moderate), and have different symptoms. My son is resistent to change, has texture issues with some foods, avoids eye contact a majority of the time, is only affectionate with certain people, has problems sitting down for meals, classtime, etc..., focuses on vehicles' wheels, and is mechanically inclined. My daughter is very excitable (loud, high-pitched voice) in normal social settings, doesn't seem to hear me when I speak to her, snuggles with a select few people, is reading at over a 3rd grade level, but having some comprehension issues, doesn't seem to engage in play with many kids other than her brother, focuses on vehicle wheels, sleeps on fuzzy pillows, and especially enjoys stringy things. They both developed late, but were initially treated due to severe low birth weight and prematurity. In early childhood, my son's teacher suggested he be tested for autism. I didn't pursue it until the next school yr, but when I looked over the questionaire, decided we needed to evaluate our daughter too (I believe they were 4 yrs old then). Some issues they had prior to that time that point to autism were no longer an issue, but there were still signs. They say early intervention (by age 8) is best, and can be very effective. I see my kids learning and changing every day. This topic has been helpful to me in a lot of ways. Our 3 child has special needs as well, but her concerns are very different from theirs. Sometimes, I think my lack of knowledge on this subject causes me to expect more from my kids than what they can give us. If we find time to educate ourselves, we can make a huge difference in the lives of our children. Thanks for all the positive, helpful information given!!!

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I am an Autism Support Worker and I hope all you Moms that think you have kids in the spectrum stick to your guns and get treatment! The earlier the better. I have been doing this for 4 years and have seen the most remarkable transformations!! Every fall we have approximately 50 children that we transition to school, and many of them are better able to handle school life than non-ASD kids.
If you're in Canada (even if you're not, the info is helpful!) you can check out this site:

http://www.autismsocietycanada.ca/

Best wishes to you!!!

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Some of the best information can be found here:
http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/learn-signs

There will be other resources listed on that page, including the CDC. Also, check with your local Department of Disabilites and Special Needs or your state Autism Society.

On a personal note, trust your gut. If you think there is something amiss, have your child evaluated by a developmental pediatrician or pediatric neurologist. If your child isn't meeting developmental milestones, isn't speaking, isn't making eye contact, over-reacts or under-reacts to sensory input (sound, light, touch, etc), have him/her checked out. Don't wait and don't assume your regular pediatrician will be able to pick up on the signs...ours didn't:(

I highly recommed the movie "Autism, the Musical". You see a broad spectrum of autism there.

Don't be afraid to ask for help or worry about what other people think. Again, trust your gut.

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This is from the Autism Speaks First 100 Days Kit (to assist in the first 100 days after you receive the diagnosis). It gives additional signs for older children and lays out the specific diagnostic criteria: http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/100-day-kit/diagnosis-causes-symptoms

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I'm a Speech-Language Pathologist and I work with kids in the autism classroom in the local public school. But more importantly I'm Grace's mom! She was diagnosed Asperger Syndrome 3 years ago.

I came across a documentary on Netflix (free streaming) last night and I have to share! It's call Loving Lampposts, and it is AMAZING!! Beautifully done and insightful! I cannot recommend it enough! It explains so much, covers all the various theories in a comprehensive way, gives perspectives of those with autism as well as family members in such a logical yet beautiful way. WOW!!

Here's a link to the website and trailer: http://vimeo.com/7654323
Please check it out! As an SLP, it's everything I want to say to the parents of my students as well as my own family members about Grace- and it's said eloquently!

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Have you heard about Indigo kids? some of this angels with "autism" could be indigos instead...

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I am currently going through the same thing and having my son tested. There are many signs, but a few that got my attention are when he would not play with other children and be by him self. when the radio in the car is on and I can barely hear it he would cover his ears and scream its to loud, and he constantly would flick his hands around. I hope this helps some.

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Here are some indicators that are mentioned in the DSM-IV (book used for diagnosing disorders). I paraphrased them. A kid can be on the spectrum and have all or few of them; everyone is different.

1. lack of eye contact
2. delay in communication (not just verbal, but any kind of communication)
3. lack of desire to share experiences or interests with others (doesn't point out things, show interest in cooperative play)
4. lack of emphathy/understanding emotion
5. lack of understanding social cues (nonverbal communication)
4. engages in repetitive behaviors (rocking, flapping, spinning.... )
5. engages in strict rituals routine that have little function
6. shows a lot of sensitivity or lack of sensitivity to sounds, physical touch, etc

I work with kids on the spectrum, and they are some of the most intelligent, endearing and incredible kids... they take more time to understand that your "average" child, but it is absolutely worth it, and their insights and views of the world are absolutely amazing.

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Superbly put! My son is now 4 1/2 and starts school next month, he was diagnosed severe ASD when he was 2yrs 3mths old. I can't thank his teachers enough for what they have done for him in the past year, he has been going to his specialist school on a part time basis since last September. He has gone from being very clingy not wanting to go in to now knowing his classroom and things that are going on in there and has just this week begun to sing "row row row" that's the only word he has said but he sings it and does the actions for it now. He is a totally different boy to the one that first walked in the door, and I am confident that with the support of his family, and his teachers that he will flourish in the years to come. I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your hard work, I'm sure the parents of the children you work with will be eternally greatful for the help you give them, as I am to my son's teachers.

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I'm a mom of two wonderful boys with autism. First at all please start calling kids, adult with autism. No autistic. They are not autistic, they have autism. The first time I explain this to one of their teachers in an IEP, their attitude trough my boy change completely. She start seing my boy like a person. Pay more attention to him and more important, work harder with him. Both of my boys start talking at 5 years old. Is a very lonely life, no many people wants to be around kids with special needs. So if you are in a place like us, looking for better life for our kids, you are alone. In any event is a really, really hard life but never, never give up. My boys are in a public school in mainstream. My older one has a GPA of 3.71. He is doing well at school, execpt for the bullies and is hard for him to make friends. That why I hate so much school time. My younger one his reading is not good and also have ADHD. And his comprehension part is no much there. But we continue working with them at home ( the parents). Treating them like typical kids, when every action has a consecuence and they follow the rules very well ( now). We can go to place and they will follow the rules that we explain in the car or in the house. And when they forgot, we just remind them and they stop their behavior. We just follow the rule that one day we will not be here and they will have to continue without us. God bless all parent with kids with special needs.

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Thank you for your insight and your comments. My daughter is 3 and has autism. She also has sensory issues. I need help with getting her in the bath tub and other things, like brushing teeth and brushing her hair. She isn't potty training and she gets scared and screams when she starts to pee without a diaper on. She used to sit on the toilet and look at a book with me, but now she won't get on any more because she started to pee in there and it got her scared and she tried to stop it with her hands, and now won't sit on the toilet any more. I'm hoping it will get better when she starts school. She will be starting in Developmental Preschool this month. Thank you again for your comments and sharing.

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Everyone has mentioned the repetitive movements like hand flapping, not responding when someone calls their names, sensory issues,etc.
My four year old son starting spinning when he was 18 months old. It couldn't have been vaccinations because we didn't vaccinate him on time (we've caught up with that). Even then, we didn't believe there was something wrong when a friend kindly observed he could have autism. He was a normally active child and loved to sing. We didn't know he could not speak because he would sing all the time and knew the words of very long songs and could say them all very well.
When he started grabbing our hands to lead us to whatever he wanted and even placing our hands in the desired object instead of pointing or asking for it, we started thinking it was unusual. But we were generally amazed by his resourcefulness, so we were not alarmed.
At two we started noticing his meltdowns were horribly worse than any normal temper tantrum and would hit his head on the floor making his forehead look like a mountain range. Finally at his checkup the pediatrician mentioned it could be autism (he didn't say mom or dad, couldn't say any of his siblings names, didn't even notice the doctor was in the room until he started examining him, but was incredibly advanced in other areas like counting to 20 in both english and spanish, working mechanical stuff, musically giftedetc.). We were referred to a neurologist who said it might be food allergies (it wasn't). The allergist changed his diet to a gluten free, nut free, soy free one (didn't work). We tried taking him off dairy (didn't work either).
We moved to the USA when he was 30 months, took him to the doctor because of a persistent cough and the visit lasted more than an hour when the doctor saw all his behaviors (add making weird noises). Started with Early Intervention right away and that helped a lot with stopping the leading by the hand behavior and talking more. His ST didn't think he had autism because he started learning to speak so much. Still, the odd movements (add finger twirling, hand flapping, sensory seeking), weird noises, horrible meltdowns (add biting and generally violent behavior).
Started a Preschool program for children with disabilities when he was three and loved it from the start (the routine). The first weekend he didn't go to school he had a meltdown that lasted three full days (lack of routine) and left him without voice. We took him to a developmental ped. and was diagnosed on the spot. The reason why he was speaking is because he has echolalia (pretty much repeating what everyone else says) and that is a sign of autism too!!!! His speech is pretty much what he has rehearsed before, but try to get him to say anything new and it doesn't happen on its own. You have to tell him what you want him to repeat in order for him to do so. Can't start a conversation, etc.
Needless to say, we absolutely adore him and we love the fact that he is different, we have been able to work through parent training and self education to reduce his meltdowns and he is learning so much!!!!

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Google Dr. Robert Melillo or visit www.brainbalancecenters.com. He has done some wonderful research on functional disconnection syndrome which includes autism and a handlful of other neurological problems such as Asperger's, ADHD, sensory integration and dyslexia. There is hope that these issues can be corrected or lessoned with his programs.

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what could course ear bit to a child who does not hear and talk?

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what could course ear bit to a child who does not hear and talk?

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Autism is not usually diagnosed before the age of 3 however you need to be careful when getting the test certain kinds of autism can actually present themselves as other disorders (ADHD or ADD usually) at younger ages and then come full blast when in middle school. I grew up with friend who is mild autistic, a brother who is High Functioning and a classmate who was Severe. Severe is easy because of the signs. If you have autism in your family I suggest getting your child genetically tested to see if they have the genetic problems that can cause autism.
I got my daughter genetically tested when she was only a few months old due to the fact that I was adopted but also because my brother is high functioning autistic it helps me with the signs. My daughter as two genetic condtions a duplication on the 16th chromosome can cause autism and her microdeletion on her first also causes issues with the mental aspect.

An autistic child can come in different ways their attention wanes away from activities they do not like while paying very close attention to what they do like. Mild and High functioning they will talk and act pretty normal those usually are cases misdiagnosed the most. Severe tend to need a lot of promptings for everything until they find that one thing they really are good at. Its hard no matter what kind of autism you have to work with to make them understand what they are doing but it is worth every step when they graduate high school.

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I am very concerned my 2 year old might be autistic and would like some feedback. Shes been having moments where shes zoning out for 10 seconds or so. Not blinking or even acknowledging me, even when I get right in front of her face. She gone from saying 6-8 words down to 2-3 words. She doesn't even say mama anymore. Shes doesnt even flinch when i say her name. She's extremely fussy and throws awful tantrums. She fixates on a blanket tag or object and flicks it while she makes a continuous "aaaaaahhhhh" noise. She does not adjust well to any change. It will take her days to weeks before shell eat or sleep properly when she's gotten a new sitter. She is extremely unfriendly around people, especially other children. She will be very mean to them. Pull their hair out or slap at them for no reason. Shes started to bang her head against things or slap herself when she frustrated. She gets frustrated when i try to teach her something. Shes now started to walk somewhAt bow legged? She will be turning 2 next week. She seems smart motor skill wise but everything else doesn't seem to click with her. I was not supposed to have children, im a single mom of one and im waiting for her to see a doctor. Shes such a handful, my own family wont watch her. Id really like to touch base with some moms who go through the same because it can slightly be stressful at times. Id love some advice. Thanx.

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3.5 yr-old grand child, pre-diagnosed w/autism - at the doctors office after I question his behavior. He was tested and there was not a clear diagnosis of autism, and I don't really not what is going on. He currently is in pre-school and going to a special school 1-day a week. He does not have all the garden variety of symptoms. He speaks and moves around well... He has an 8 year old mind and get frustrated quickly. However, was always jumping around, very hyper and does not appropriately respond to directions. He holds his ears from different noises and his social skills were lacking. When he has fits, it was unsafe for him - as he flapped his hand, jumps around ad throws things. He does not respond well to discipline in any form. When I take him to the store, or a large public gathering, it is overwhelming for him and it usually results in a melt down. Initially, I thought don't take him to any large public places. This is our biggest problem. I am also taking care of two other grandchildren ages 8 and 5 who are girls. The 8 yr-old has PDS, and we were able to easily deal with that. How can I get the clear diagnosis? What can I do calm him down in large outing or public places? What forms of discipline or training to route out bad behavior?

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My son is 3 he can not count past 1 without help. I believe something is wrong but others say give him time it truly frustrates me because my 2 year old can count to ten. Now you tell me, sounds like he has a learning disability.

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Speech regeneration, and lack of eye contact, fear of strangers and noises, reading or doing same thing again and again. very fond of little things and spend hours with that, watch rotating objects over and over, like cartoons like Tom and Jerry, Oggy witch doesn't have spoken words. those are the things i noticed my kid who was suspected as Autism. those we noticed when she was 2 and half years like now she is 4 and half this December she has improved a lot.

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my son has had autism disorder sence he was 18 months he is now 9 yearws old still yet he is felling 2nd grade and the school wont go by the doc who has tested him on 1-3-12 he is with disability and my son is getting a check from ssi i don't know how too get my son in a special class so he can get the help he needs i want the best for my son i still dont know anything much about his disorder but i know he needs the special classroom im tired of dealing with the school on them telling me they have got too test my son when they keep telling me he i adhd,add,and odd how can a school tell u that when they aint a doctor and the doctors state what my son has

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Depending on where you live contact the Dept of Health. To find out what services are available for your child. With this information it can help lead you in the right direction towards getting help for your son.

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One thing I just read (sorry if someone already posted this because I don't have time to read all the answers!) is that their head circumference is large for their age. My son's jumped several brackets in just a few months so the nurse seemed concerned but didn't say why. I am hoping all is well, but we have to wait and see.

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From about 18mths old I've known something isn't quite right with my nearly 8 year old, he used to have to line up his cars when we went out or he would have a tantrum, he'd sit for hour just rolling a car up and down the floor not talking until he was about 3 late walking also. I used to walk to my mums every day and on the way he'd have to walk on every drain and shut every garden gate, if he missed one he'd. Have to go and do it again. Even now he doesn't like getting his hands muck,y in the slightest, if he thinks there's black bits on his food he will pick it off when there's prob most of the time nothing there. He has trouble showing emotions and doesn't know why he's sad, angry or happy. He's very intelligent but his social skills aren't there. Does this sound like autism as he went to c a child phycologist and they just passed it off as it being my fault as I was in a bad relationship when he was 2 for about 4mths. Also he has 5 year old sister and 2 younger brothers but he seems to have such hatred from his sister he hurts her al the time and has since she was born.HELp!,

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This is such a touchy subject...My oldest son has been diagnosed for the last year and a half with pdd-nos. He's almost 13 years old. I was going to my doctor at least once a year, explaining to him that something was off, that he wasn't "normal" as much as i didn't want to describe him that way. I would give him a whole list of things that concerned me...little things like he would hum when his pencil touched paper, and wouldn't stop until it was off the paper...he only ate white food...it took two weeks of fighting before school started to get him to even try on his new shoes, but once he did, those were his shoes and there was no going back to the old pair...kids backed away from him within 5 minutes of being at a park, saying "that kid is weird"...he grunted and roared when he played outside...he flicks his hands when he gets stressed doing homework...he excels at math, but even in grade 7 he reads at about a grade 3 level...and the worst of all as a mom, i haven't really even been able to hug my little guy since he was about 4 years old...he hates being touched. The list goes on...but all my doctor would say is, he's a typical boy, he will outgrow it. He actually told me to starve him until he eats what I give him....I don't think he realized my son would've just starved to death before eating different food...it took me ten years to finally see a good doctor who knew just after talking to him for a brief few minutes that something about him stood out.

Anyway, I only wish that I had more help while my son was growing up because maybe things would be different for him now. My advice to parents now is, if you even think something is going on, go to your doctor, go to a specialist, whoever....but look into it.

On a side note, you should never feel shame or embarrassed that your son or daughter could have a disability, by feeling that way you are denying him/her the best chance at life! They are still smart, loving, funny, caring...they just show it and learn it in different ways! Think of it this way...if you cut your front lawn from side to side, but your neighbour cut his in a bunch of zigzags, would you be embarrassed to have company over?? or would you just be happy to that your neighbour's lawn isn't covered in weeds!! We are all different, a simple diagnosis doesn't change you!

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I have a 4 months old baby. he is born exactly one month before.
he is exactly 4 months old now. he doesnt respond to sounds when he is awake. he responds and awakens to any small sound when he is in sleep. he laughs, he wants us to be near to him. plays with us. maintains very good eye contact. he watches the toys. if the toy is moving, he follows it correctly. when he is awake also, he gets startled to familiar voices, but doesnt turn towards sound. his breathing pattern changes when he is exposed to sound and we could see that. but still he doesnt turn to see which is causing the sound.
he passed the basic ear test and also the detailed ear test. doctor said that there is nothing wrong with his hearing. may be the bone will take some more time to develop.
The doctor also told that he is not showing continuous interest in the same object.
we are extremely scared that it is an autistic symptom. kindly do let me know if you or your friends had faced similar issues and recovered in the upcoming months. kindly reply.

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I realize this question & comments were posted last year but I'm coming late to the game and wanted to add a comment based on personal experience with my child. One thing I think to note is that there is no "typical" behavior for an autistic child...especially with more research being shown on the Autistim Spectrum Disorders. My daughter is 6 now & has not been formally diagnosed at this point (we are on waiting list at local developmental center at our hospital), only because she also has a genetic abnormality which has posed medical issues as well & we have been bogged down with those. However, I wanted to make mention that we always knew something was different with her, from the time she was 3 mths old...when her twin was hitting the normal milestones, she would not respond to our voice, not smile, not seek eye contact and would stay fascinated with the ceiling fan for long periods of time. She started receiving OT, PT, Speech & Developmental therapy at 6 mths. as well as attending a day care / preschool for handicapped children. She has never hit her milestones as she should, delayed by several months. We have since found, thanks to advanced chromosome testing, that of the other 6 cases documented of similar chromosome deletion, they were all diagnosed with autism. The reason I'm posting is that while I feel we have always done the best for her, I think we were under the same impression as most parents and thought that she couldn't be autistic becausof all the "typical" behavior & not realized that there are several other autistic disorders that fall on the "spectrum", which in our case applies more to her. Some of them being that instead of shying away from contact, she craves it - explores her world by touching everything & everyone; she is overly social, awkwardly so, having NO awareness of "stranger danger"; very verbal, but most of her speech is obviously very "scripted", meaning she repeats a lot of the things she hears on TV or from us and uses whether it applies to the situation or not; she is very emotional and will break down because she has gotten in her head we are going to ride a roller coaster and we tell her it's closed, saying things like, "but I love it so much!" as well as picking up when others may be upset and seeking to comfort them, but again, very scripted behavior; she also has some of the typical behaviors such as head-banging to "center" herself, eating issues due to texture, obsessive behavior with certain objects or TV shows - but they can change and her obsession may be for a day or several weeks. As you can see, her "atypical" behaviors gave us reason to think otherwise but after more research, have found that PDD-NOS fits her more and it is within the autism spectrum disorders. I think it's important for parents to "go with their gut"...when they feel something just isn't "right" with their child, they are usually right!!

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