1 year old violently shakes head. Worried about Autism.

Danielle - posted on 08/04/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )




Hello Ladies,
Some background.. My 5 year old is Autistic. He falls somewhere on the cusp of Moderate/Severe on the spectrum. When he was 4 years old we got pregnant with his brother.
We know the signs, and symptoms, therapies, ect.

The reason I am writing this is because I am starting to get concerned for my baby. He is just under a year, and has started to develop a habit (a stim, if you will). Over the last couple months he has started to shake his head violently. His eyes will roll up in his head, and he will tilt his head up and start to shake.
Already having an Autistic child, I know enough that this is alarming behaviour and somewhat of a red flag.
It is very alarming for me to watch. He does it at least a couple times a day, and it is infrequent when he does it.
I am hoping I can get some reassurance from other mothers with Autistic children who've gone on to having a Neurotypical child. I love my older son very much, but Autism is not something I would have hoped for my children.
Obviously, we knew the risk of having another child, and the Autism rate in sibling. If he is Autistic, we will love him all the same, and do our best for him like we are his older brother.
I just can't help but feel panicked and heartbroken over the thought of both my children struggling.

Does anyone recognize this behaviour? Is this just a faze?
I don't have any other experiences other than my oldest son, who is also Autistic, so I have no jumping point to whats "normal" baby behaviour.

Thanks for reading.


Firebird - posted on 08/04/2013




His eyes are rolling up into his head? Are you sure he isn't having seizures? Is he responsive when you talk to him or touch him gently while he does this, or does he just ignore you like he can't hear you? If he is completely unresponsive, consult a doctor about these episodes and be sure to state that he's unresponsive. If he does respond to you, chances are it's just a stim or a habit.


View replies by

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/05/2013




I used to shake my head as a kid. I am not autistic. I understand your worry, but not all head shakers are autistic. Try to stop analyzing him. Take him to the doctor as planned.

Danielle - posted on 08/04/2013




Yes, his eye will roll up towards the corner of his eyes.
When I call his name he will usually stop. Sometimes right away, and sometimes he needs more prompting.
I am taking him into the doctor tomorrow to see if maybe he has fluid buildup in his ears, or maybe an infection.

I can't help but freak out a little over it.
He isn't showing any other trademark signs of Autism. He makes good eye contact, tries to socialize, babbles... but it only makes my anxiety worse. My first son was always different, but he did have a definite regression stage which is when we started looking into possible reasons in to his behaviours. Now that our baby is starting to (possibly) stim, I feel like I am analyzing every move he makes..

Join Circle of Moms

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

Join Circle of Moms