How can I tell if our 2 year old has autism?

Lora - posted on 03/26/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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He hasn't really begun speaking yet, he says a few words. Very few and not often. I'm not sure what the signs are so I don't know what to be looking for. He is very social and energitic, he just doesn't speak.

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Karen - posted on 03/26/2009

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I think the basis have been covered above, but I will give you my own personal touch.  When Jaydon turned 1, he had an appropriate vocabulary of approx 10 words.  When he was 16 months, it was as if someone had turned the switch off.  He stopped speaking, and started squealing.  I thought it had to do with the birth of our daughter, but it wasn't getting better.  He then began to avoid eye contact, stopped responding to his name but would respond to other sounds.  I had him evaluated one week after his second birthday.  He was diagnosed with autism (and it is more appropriate to refer to them as the child with autism, not as autistic.  Autism does not DEFINE him!)  He is progressing wonderfully, and is and has always been a very affectionate child.  I would forgoe searching here, and call your doctor or local early intervention program.  Even if he does not have autism, any speech delay is cause for concern.  He is in a critical syntax developmental period, and once missed it never fully recovers. 

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J.J. - posted on 03/27/2009

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You are welcome ... your son has the same symptoms as my niece. Good luck its a battle, but well worth it in the end. Contact me if you like and I will help if I can.

Lora - posted on 03/27/2009

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I forgot about the tip toeing. We are military and I will look that up. Thank you. I just might contact you.

J.J. - posted on 03/27/2009

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I am no expert, but I do have some training and experience and a niece that was just recently diagnoised but has been receiving ABA services since she was 2. The spinning, the jabbering, the weird stuff with his hands ...... does he tip toe?



Are you in the military? If so you are lucky because military insurance pays for ABA services I think it is 20 to 40 hours of therapy. But most other insurances do not pay for services.



My suggestion is to google ABA treatment for Autism or PDD and locate a facilite that specializes in ABA treatment. They typically will treat without a diagnoisis. My niece has been receiving this approved therapy for 3 years now and she is ready to be mainstreamed in a general kindergarden class. She has gone from tantrums and spinning and silence to listening, attending, and speaking. The techniques used and the language program used is incredible. This has all been accomplished without meds.



You may contact me if you would like at silvertreefrog@hotmail.com I would love to speak with you if you have any questions about my post.

Lora - posted on 03/27/2009

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His pediatrician has referred him to the ENT specialist. He has his follow up on the 14th. He does do some of the things that have been mentioned. He spins around , he is scarred of loud noises, especially the vacuum. he bangs things, he jabbers alot, does weird stuff with his hands sometimes. I think the next step will be the speech therapist. It's really difficult to get referrals because the post hospital has only a few pediatricians, with most of them still being deployed. But thank you all for all the answers and suggestions. We appreciate it greatly.

Heather - posted on 03/26/2009

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If your  concerned your best bet is to get in touch w/ your county's department of health sevices!!! Ask them for a speach evaluation!!! It's through early intervention(EI)!!! It does NOT cost you anything!!! I had to do this for my 9 month old at the time because he wasn't sitting or crawling yet, they just checked his motor skills!!!  By the time they got here only 2 weeks later he was doing both!!!  They also come to your home!!!!  Don't wait to long, because if he needs services you wanr to get him in as soon as possible!!!!  I hope this helped you!!! Take care!!!  

Heather - posted on 03/26/2009

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If your  concerned your best bet is to get in touch w/ your county's department of health sevices!!! Ask them for a speach evaluation!!! It's through early intervention(EI)!!! It does NOT cost you anything!!! I had to do this for my 9 month old at the time because he wasn't sitting or crawling yet, they just checked his motor skills!!!  By the time they got here only 2 weeks later he was doing both!!!  They also come to your home!!!!  Don't wait to long, because if he needs services you wanr to get him in as soon as possible!!!!  I hope this helped you!!! Take care!!!  

Stephanie - posted on 03/26/2009

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Check out the web site autism speaks. I have found it very helpful. I'm not 100% sure but I think in most cases autism isn't really detected until school age but that might just be with certain types of autism. One of my son's has the social autism and as a baby and before he began school I didn't see anything wrong with him and he was not dignosed until a few years ago as having autism and he's 13 yrs old.

Kim - posted on 03/26/2009

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When my son turned 2 he literally only said 2 words. I took him for his 2 yr checkup and the pediatrician was concerned about a speech delay. He didn't think he was autistic because he was very energetic, loving and social. The pediatrician referred us to the early intervention program and they came out do to do an evaluation. When he was evaluated he was delayed in speech so he began receiving speech therapy. In just a few months I saw such a huge difference. He is going to be 3 in June and still has some issues with his language but does so much better. If you are that concerned I would speak with you sons pediatrician and ask to have him evaluated. I am so glad that we had it done when we did.

Melissa - posted on 03/26/2009

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Hi Lora ,

I'm an educational assistant for a developmental delay pre school for the public schools in my town and am now but learning about all the services the schools as well as the city offers young ones as young as 6 months I am also a mother of 4 ages 8 9 12 and 15 my advice would be to get out your phone book let your fingers do some walking .Good luck let me know how it turns out for you?

Karen - posted on 03/26/2009

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Some things to check for is, is he smiling, laughing and does he look at you and react to you when you talk to him. I read that some parents of autistic children thought that their child was deaf because the child acted like they didn't hear them. Also, try to notice if he responds more to noises like you would make banging on a pot or if he responds more to human interaction. Ultimately, if you are concerned you should have him checked out by a doctor, but it's good to first observe your child so that you can have some things to discuss with your doctor.

Tracy - posted on 03/26/2009

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There are many different symptoms with Autism. some of the main ones are that they like to line things up all the time. For example putting cars in a line all the time. Doing very repetitive things. Or sometimes they like to spin around a lot liking to get dizzy.

Christine - posted on 03/26/2009

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I work at a peditricians office and we have an autism screen that just asks questions about the child at the 18 and 24 month check ups. Some of the main questions are- Does he make unusual finger movements near his face, does he seem to oversensitive to noises, have you ever wondered if he is deaf... Some children just start talking late, but you can always call the doctors and she what they think.

Nicole - posted on 03/26/2009

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I've worked at the Autism Society of Maine for a couple of months. I'm by far no expert but I did learn allot. If he's social that's a good sign that he's not autistic. Autism has a very wide spectrum they call it and kids/adults can fall anywhere on that spectrum. If he was not social (that's a big clue) then I'd be more worried. Autistic kids shy away from social situations. They do odd things like line up their toys instead of actually playing with them. Your doctor should be able to help identify these things. Check out: http://www.asmonline.org/ They are the only ones in Maine or in fact most of the USA that give all this info. We use to get calls from Florida from people asking us to send them info. Good luck.

Heather - posted on 03/26/2009

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Your best bet is to check with his doctor. Generally Autistic children have a routine and when that is disrupted they have a hard time adjusting. It could be that your son has a problem with hearing or maybe he is tongue tied. He will speak when he is ready but a speach therapist can check him out and see what they thing also.

Sharond009 - posted on 03/26/2009

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http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autis...






What are some common signs of autism?








There are three distinctive behaviors that characterize autism.    Autistic children have difficulties with social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors or narrow, obsessive interests.  These behaviors can range in impact from mild to disabling.



The hallmark feature of autism is impaired social interaction.  Parents are usually the first to notice symptoms of autism in their child.  As early as infancy, a baby with autism may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time.  A child with autism may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement. 



Children with autism may fail to respond to their name and often avoid eye contact with other people.  They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior.  They lack empathy. 



Many children with autism engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or in self-abusive behavior such as biting or head-banging.  They also tend to start speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead of “I” or “me.”  Children with autism don’t know how to play interactively with other children.  Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking. 



Many children with autism have a reduced sensitivity to pain, but are abnormally sensitive to sound, touch, or other sensory stimulation.  These unusual reactions may contribute to behavioral symptoms such as a resistance to being cuddled or hugged.   



Children with autism appear to have a higher than normal risk for certain co-existing conditions, including fragile X syndrome (which causes mental retardation), tuberous sclerosis (in which tumors grow on the brain), epileptic seizures, Tourette syndrome, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder.  For reasons that are still unclear, about 20 to 30 percent of children with autism develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood.  While people with schizophrenia may show some autistic-like behavior, their symptoms usually do not appear until the late teens or early adulthood.  Most people with schizophrenia also have hallucinations and delusions, which are not found in autism.





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