Is it Autism or Speech delay?

Proudmama - posted on 09/28/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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my 3.5 years old son was diagnosed as meeting the criteria for autism spectrum disorder by the school early intervention services...he was a very normal baby and had no signs at all of autism at the age of two he was speech delayed and only said mama baba and dada and stopped responding constantly to his name but was very happy and affectionate..he started saying more words but no sentences by the age of 2.5 after that he did speech therapy for two months. by three he started saying few sentences but for a month now he is saying alot of words and long sentences in two languages ..we are bilingual..however most of what he says is echoing what he heard from us..he started special needs preschool two weeks ago..he knows his schoolmates names and his teachers names...in one week he stopped crying when I take him to school and seems happy to see his teacher in the morning:I made a list of things that he does ....by the way we saw alot of speech,nonverbal communication and eye contact and name responding after the diagnosis which was a month ago.

here is a list of what my son does:
points to things like school bus..truck..car...window ..airoplane
points to objects when reading a picture book and looks at me when he cannot recognize a picture for help
he says help me when he needs help with something
he brings me things that he likes to show them to me like a turtle sticker that he was given at school

he knows alot of things like fruits , animals and other objects in picture books
he knows the alphabet
he navigates the ipad and the iphone easily.
He uses words like this and that in addition to pointing and eye contact to ask for for what he wants
he waves bye and blows kisses sometimes spontanusly and sometimes when asked to do so ..he imitates my face
He understands bring me the remote..the phone..turn off the tv..turn on the tv..the computer ..and the iPad and other things that i ask him to do...he likes to play hide and seek...he likes to tickle..he does pretend play...he plays appropriately with toys...he loves his sister and likes to hold her and feed her and looks for her when she is not in the room...he recognizes faces and knows everybody by their name....he likes to shower and does have a light resistence to wearing new clothes...he understand when I am angry ...he is afraid of time out....he likes to be around us and does not like to stay alone....he can use sentences in context to request something ,like he would look at me in the eyes and say please mama give me the IPad..he can ride his bycicle...he likes to play in the playground and likes to climb and slide..he asks to go potty when he needs to ......he likes to share his interest in books with us...he shows excitement when he sees his best friend and when we have guests...he can follow simple directions..
he has a vey good memory...he smiles and laughs..

he says good bye to his teachers and does hi five
he knows the difference between upstairs and downstairs
He corrects himself when addressing someone as somebody else
He did hi five to a girl his age in school the first day he saw her

he likes to read picture books with me or sit next to me and his sister...
He looks at me when reading his favorite book to share his interest with me
He likes to play doctor pretend play and include me in his play as the patient
he likes to play pretend birthday party
he pretends to be talking on the phone with my dad or his uncles
After four days at school he follows his teachers instruction and knows to clean up and sits on his chair for circle time and for feeding
he knows how to take off his shoes and how to wear his pants..
He grabs my face and turns it toward him when he wants to show me something or tell me something..in other words he tries to get my attention
he responds to his name most of the time
he maintains good eye contact


on the other hand

he repeats words and sentences

He cannot answer questions or engage in a conversation
He touches his ears alot

He likes to watch some things again and again

he plays with the kids we know but ignores strangers children and adults

he can ask me the same question again and again sometimes for example he would say lets go see jonathan.. he is his best friend the same age..even if i explain to him that we cannot go or that we will go later..its like he does not understand my answer to his request ..he can repeat that phrase for half anhour..
sometimes its hard for him to transition easily
sometimes he would seem isolated and do not respond immeditaly when I call his name
he is very hyper most of the time and likes to be the center of attention
he shows some unexplained anxiety in some situations like when we take him to his doctor or to get a hair cut

he would keep running around in stores and restaurants and its hard to get him to sit still..
he is a very picky eater and would only eat milk and cereal and drink orange juice all the time
he is constipated most of the time and deos not like to drink water..also he has circles under his eyes and looks pale

his hearing was tested when he was 2 years and three months and he passed ..he had a very bad cold before he turned three and we are suspecting that he has fluids in his ears because he put his finger inside his ear alot ..and thinking about getting his hearing tested again.

thank you so much for your help ..his symptoms are very confusing and we still have at least two months to get a second opinion
the school people said that he has mild autism

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Ev - posted on 09/28/2013

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From all that you posted here, and I have read it, he sounds very normal to me. You need to set some limits for him though in the food department and when you go in public for the right sort of behaviors. You need to make sure he understands you are the parent. But I quoted you and then left my comments on each thing that you posted. Just because he shows some signs of Autism does not mean he is. We all have tenandencies of some things like Autism but that does not make us have the issue. Just keep an eye on him and have him thoroughly tested by an expert in the field to make sure he does have this or something akin to it.

Here is what I put to your postings:

here is a list of what my son does:
points to things like school bus..truck..car...window ..airoplane-Normal for his age.
points to objects when reading a picture book and looks at me when he cannot recognize a picture for help—Normal for his age.
he says help me when he needs help with something—Normal for his age.
he brings me things that he likes to show them to me like a turtle sticker that he was given at school—Normal for his age.

he knows alot of things like fruits , animals and other objects in picture books—Normal for his age.
he knows the alphabet—Normal for his age.
he navigates the ipad and the iphone easily.Normal for his age.
He uses words like this and that in addition to pointing and eye contact to ask for for what he wants—Normal for his age.
he waves bye and blows kisses sometimes spontanusly and sometimes when asked to do so ..he imitates my face—Normal for his age.
He understands bring me the remote..the phone..turn off the tv..turn on the tv..the computer ..and the iPad and other things that i ask him to do...he likes to play hide and seek...he likes to tickle..he does pretend play...he plays appropriately with toys...he loves his sister and likes to hold her and feed her and looks for her when she is not in the room...he recognizes faces and knows everybody by their name....he likes to shower and does have a light resistence to wearing new clothes...he understand when I am angry ...he is afraid of time out....he likes to be around us and does not like to stay alone....he can use sentences in context to request something ,like he would look at me in the eyes and say please mama give me the IPad..he can ride his bycicle...he likes to play in the playground and likes to climb and slide..he asks to go potty when he needs to ......he likes to share his interest in books with us...he shows excitement when he sees his best friend and when we have guests...he can follow simple directions..—Normal for his age.
he has a vey good memory...he smiles and laughs..—This is great and normal for his age.

he says good bye to his teachers and does hi five—Normal for his age.
he knows the difference between upstairs and downstairs—Normal for his age.
He corrects himself when addressing someone as somebody else—Normal for his age.
He did hi five to a girl his age in school the first day he saw her—Normal for his age.

he likes to read picture books with me or sit next to me and his sister...—Normal for his age.
He looks at me when reading his favorite book to share his interest with me—Very good and normal for his age.
He likes to play doctor pretend play and include me in his play as the patient Normal for his age.
he likes to play pretend birthday party—Normal for his age.
he pretends to be talking on the phone with my dad or his uncles—Normal for his age.
After four days at school he follows his teachers instruction and knows to clean up and sits on his chair for circle time and for feeding—Normal for his age.
he knows how to take off his shoes and how to wear his pants.—Normal for his age.
He grabs my face and turns it toward him when he wants to show me something or tell me something..in other words he tries to get my attention—Normal for his age.
he responds to his name most of the time—Normal for his age and kids will tune out when they do not want to respond to their parents for their own reasons.
he maintains good eye contact—Very good and normal for age.


on the other hand

he repeats words and sentences—This is normal as he is learning to say those words or sentences and he is learning to pronounce those things and even try to understand what they may mean.

He cannot answer questions or engage in a conversation—At this age what you call conversation for a 3.5 year old is not. His conversation will consist of the words that he knows and understands. Just because he does not answer a questions or engages a conversation does not mean he is Autistic. It may be the way he is as a person. But watch it just the same.
He touches his ears a lot—Can be a sign of Autism but not necessarily means he has it. Does he have ear infections a lot and tugs at his ears because of pain?

He likes to watch some things again and again—Both of my kids loved to watch a lot of the same shows/movies over and over because they liked them. This could be normal for him too.

he plays with the kids we know but ignores strangers children and adults—My oldest was not certain of strangers be they kids or adults. But she was his age and did not want much to do with them. And you said that the first day he did Hi fives with a girl he had not known yet and she was stranger to him. So I think he is fine in this area.

he can ask me the same question again and again sometimes for example he would say jonathan is his best friend the same age..even if i explain to him that we cannot go or that we will go later..its like he does not understand my answer to his request ..he can repeat that phrase for half anhour..—A lot of kids repeat things like this because they can. He could also be tring to get you to say yes too. This could be a normal thing or a sign but then again its not necessarily meaning he is Autistic.
sometimes its hard for him to transition easily—A lot of kids again have problems transitioning easily when it comes to separating from a parent. It is natural for this to take place as they have to learn to deal with this separation and depend on others and learn their independence. Normal for this age.
sometimes he would seem isolated and do not respond immeditaly when I call his name—Again, he could be tuning you out and not wanting to do things you have in mind. He could be in his own world and not have heard you if he is playing good. Again could be a normal trait but also one of Autism…just have to watch it.
he is very hyper most of the time and likes to be the center of attention—Very normal for any kid.
he shows some unexplained anxiety in some situations like when we take him to his doctor or to get a hair cut—For some kids going to a doctor or getting a hair cut can be quit scary. Its normal for a child to be scared of a lot of different things. At a doctor’s office they can get shots for say vaccines or meds and what kid likes to get a shot? A hair cut at the barber an be scary as the noises from the cutters are loud.

he would keep running around in stores and restaurants and its hard to get him to sit still..—You said earlier he was hyper and going to a store and letting him run loose is not a good idea as he can get lost. You need to keep him in a stroller or in hand and teach him he can not run wild. Also in a restaurant have some activities to keep him occupied and in his seat such as coloring books, books to read, toy cars or animals, your phone.
he is a very picky eater and would only eat milk and cereal and drink orange juice all the time—This can be normal for him or he is testing the limits. Again, you are the parent and therefore you set the tone as to what he should be doing. Start introducing foods and let him try them to find out what he likes and does not like. If his is testing, then make one meal and if he does not eat that, save it in fridge and give it to him later to eat so he has something. Eventually he will eat. Otherwise he is going to walk all over you later.
he is constipated most of the time and deos not like to drink water..also he has circles under his eyes and looks pale==This could relate to the upper comment on his intake of only milk, cereal and juice. He needs a mix of things in a healthy diet to change that or you need to get him to the doctor.

his hearing was tested when he was 2 years and three months and he passed ..he had a very bad cold before he turned three and we are suspecting that he has fluids in his ears because he put his finger inside his ear alot ..and thinking about getting his hearing tested again.—Again this is a good idea to make sure he is hearing well and can understand things so if he does loose the hearing you can get the help he will need to learn to be able to handle the issue.

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