Is my son Autistic or just delayed/different?

Nicole - posted on 04/10/2014 ( no moms have responded yet )

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I have a son that is now four years old. As a baby he did not talk when he was should have. The pediatrician say "we'll give it some time" and that since my older child was a big personality (they are 18 months apart) that my son may just develop later. I had a normal pregnancy, easy delivery, he did have jaundice at birth. We stayed in the hospital for an extra week and took the Billie light home for about another week. As a baby he would make eye contact, smile and laugh when he should. He LOVES to cuddle and sit on your lap or right next to me. When he was little and we would sit together on the couch to watch a movie or TV show he would reach out and hold my hand. Right before he turned 2 the pediatrician recommended that we have a screening to make sure it was not something more making him not talk. So early intervention services came to the house and tested my son. He failed in all areas. Even though some of the things they were tiring to get him to do I knew he could do but he would not do it on command for these people. My son has always been easy going. He does not care about routines or if you change anything about them. He has always been interested in other kids. He and his sister play together (peek a boo, hide and seek, pretend play).
When the first speech therapist came to our house she with in about 20 minutes said that Jayden does not seem to be autistic. She said she had worked with many autistic children and Jayden did not act like that at all (eye contact, quick to warm up to her, etc.). I had a lot of ear/hearing problems when I was a kids. I had tubes put in at 10 months and the doctors said that there was already scar tissue on my ear drums from them rupturing. I do have hearing aids that I got when I was 18. I have a hard time differentiating sounds when there is a lot of noises and I can not hear high pitch noises. This speech therapist told me to have Jayden's hearing tested and recommended me to a local ENT that she had taken her kids to when they were little. So I did and Jayden scored great. The nurse said he could hear better than most kids his age that they test. So we continued speech and Jayden quickly started using small words and some sign language. He quickly gave up signs for words and talks very well today for starting so late. When he first started talking he sounded very monotone and raspy. The same speech therapist said he may have apraxica of speech. But she also said that it was very hard to have it diagnosed in a child so young and that even if he did have it we were doing all of the steps already to treat it. I did look up apraxia in children on you tube and there was a little boy whose mom posted a lot of videos of him talking. This boy sounded just like my son. He could say sponge bob's squarepants and sing the theme song but could not say Dada.
During the time that the speech lady started we had an OT come out and she stayed about 15 minutes before she looked at me and said "I don't need to be here he is doing everything well". So that was our one and only OT session.
We also had a play therapist come out to the house. Again Jayden warmed up to her almost immediately. Would play all the games she brought. He was very good at sorting shapes by shape and color. She had a son that was diagnosed with Aspergers and did say that Jayden reminded her of her son. At the time all of this was going on the DSM was being redone and aspergers was being removed from the book. So even if my son has aspergers no one would diagnose him with that.
My son likes cars a lot. But he has never been into cars more than any other little boy I have know. He does not line up toys and is actually a bit messy with his toys.
When my son was about to turn 3 he was evaluated again. He was aging out of the infant toddler program and was going to move to the pre K program. So we went to get evaluated. Jayden was tired and did not want to do a lengthy test that day. So again my kid failed and would not do things on command (even though I know he can do it). Both the speech therapist and the play therapist that have been working with Jayden for a year now disagreed with the report. We agreed that Jayden just had an off day. So after that evaluation I had to meet with the wake county public school system that is who runs the pre-K program. During the interview Jayden began playing peek a boo with the lady. She said that that was not typical behavior that she sees in her office. He did get in the preK program on the basis of autism (from the evaluations given). But the main focus seems so be the lack of language. During this assessment one of the women (an OT) that was present asked Jayden to string some wooden blocks for her. He did this with out a problem. She then said to me that she wanted to see if he could do it because the evaluation (the one that he was having an off day) said that he could not.
In the evaluations that I have had done it is mostly low scores because of language delays. Most of the evaluations he would be in the "normal range" if he had more language.
My child is aware of others emotions and will stop and say sorry or give a hug if he sees you are upset. He will share toys/food with others. He greets and encourages the neighborhood kids when they play together.
I did participate in a trial study with the NC SEED program. In this trial they do some over the phone interviews to get background about your pregnancy and family history. They then meet with you and your child and test him using 6 test. ON the Mullen scales of early leaning Jayden scored average in visual reception and then below average on fine motor and receptive/expressive language. On the autism diagnostic observation schedule (ados-2) he did meet the criteria for autism spectrum disorder. On the child behavior checklist (cbcl) said he was not showing any problem with internalizing or externalizing behavior problems. On the vineland adaptive behavior scales (vindland-2) he scored average in communication, daily living, socialization, and motor skills. Then on the autism diagnostic interview (adi-r) he did not meet the criteria for autism spectrum disorder.
He is now in the preK class and is doing very well. I wonder if there is something else going on with Jayden. Should/Can I have him retested for autism? Is it aspergers or just a sensory processing disorder? Or was it apraxia of speech? I am not sure where to go from here and would like to have a more narrowed down diagnosis.
If anyone has a similar situation or could offer some advice that would be great.
Thank you.

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