12 month old not pointing

Chinni - posted on 03/13/2013 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Hi,

Being a first time mom, I am being a bit worried about my son's development. He turned 1 year last week. He still didn't start pointing. He had done it only once. He saw the light, pointed to it with his index finder saying 'light' and that's it. He never repeated it again. However he observes the light and fan on and off switch but never points when asked. He had not yet started walking but tries to stand on his own and walks with support. He babbles a lot and uttered around 5 words till now. He identifies me and his dad and calls us appropriately. He loves to be cuddled, smiles and gets excited when seeing other kids. He tries to imitate a few things like when he sees a phone he picks it up and keeps it next to his ear. One more thing that concerns me he is a bit hyper active and doesn't stay idle not even for a minute. He flaps his arms and legs whenever he gets excited. He likes to play with house hold items rather than his toys. He spins the car wheels but doesn't do it for more than a minute. He responds to his name usually but he doesn't turn when he is in his zone playing with toys or watching tv. He also tires to gain attention from others by initiating his babbling. He also babbles sometimes in a very high pitch. In fact it looks like he is screaming at the other person. He sometimes throws tantrums when frustrated by grunting and closing his fists tight lasting for a 2 to 3 seconds. Are these related to autism? I brought this to the attention of my pediatrician but he ruled out saying baby is normal but a bit active and we will give him some more time to evaluate. Let me tell you that my sister has a speech problem because she was deaf. Is it that my son is more inclined to be autistic due to it being hereditary? Anybody here with similar behavior in your children?

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Lacey - posted on 03/15/2013

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my son is 16 months old and showing lots of the same signs your son is showing. my son still does not point and does not speak at all (including mama and dada). He is being evaluated next week for autism and sensory processing disorder. I will let you know what they have to say.....under that note I had to keep pushing with his dr to get him tested. only you as a mother can be sure of what is going on with your son. His dr is only with him 15 mins and family members are not around 24/7 if u think something isnt right trust that instict. It is better to find out u r wrong now than find out "what if" later

Jennifer - posted on 03/17/2013

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Trust your mom instincts. You should have a local center that can evaluate children who are 4 and under, just ask around. Follow up on your suspicions and if it turns out to be nothing, know that you did the right thing by having it checked out. But also, it is very difficult to detect high-functioning autism in very young children. That's why family members and pediatricians missed it in my son.
He is 7 and has Aspergers Syndrome. He didn't point. He banged his head on the floor and wall when angry. He walked with a funny gait. But we were always told "he's just a boy, that's how they are, you worry too much." He wasn't in daycare, so we didn't see him around other children for extended periods of time and had no way of knowing about his social skill deficits. His kindergarten year was a nightmare. His teacher accused us of raising a spoiled brat. He was very stubborn. He wouldn't go to the bathroom because the fan hurt his ears. He had meltdowns in the loud cafeteria. His handwriting was very poor. He didn't understand why the other kids were mean to him, but he didn't get that he was being mean to them, too.
We had him evaluated last summer by a psychologist and the school (a different school - we moved because of the experience at the last one) just evaluated him again. He is classic Aspergers. He needs speech therapy, occupational therapy, and lots of physical therapy, which he will get for free in school. If we had know to have him evaluated earlier, he could have gone to a special pre-school for free. And he wouldn't be struggling so much now. He will never be "cured," but he could have already learned some adaptive behavior. It's very important to catch these things before they turn 8 - after that, change becomes much harder.
So - I honestly hope that your son does not have Autism - it's not an easy road. But get it checked out. If he does and you know now, it will make life easier for everyone. And if they say "we really can't tell at this age," bring him back at 18 months, and then at 2 years. Best wishes.

Niki - posted on 03/17/2013

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Two thoughts - they sound conflicting, but are not. First, RELAX. All babies develop differently, this is normal. I had some of the same concerns with my oldest - some of them were valid. This brings me to my second thought, TRUST your instincts. Let your instincts guide you to doing as much as you can to intervene for him. Your involvement will do a world of good either way. Encourage speech, read, play, get him moving - read up on ways to help if your concerns turn out to be true. They can evaluate him now, but it will be more accurate in about a year or two. Doctors are not a great gauge of what is normal for your little one. Time will tell.

Diana - posted on 03/18/2013

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At age 1 it's a little confusing as to what to be worried about, some kids just develop faster than others, but if your anything like I was you don't want to hear that.
My son was about 1 1/2 when I started to worry, His first word was car, he said it once or twice and never repeated it again. All he did was babble for a while. When he finally became verbal it was one word for everything. He did flap his arms, eye contact was minimal, Had his moments when crying wouldn't stop , and was obsessed with the wheels of cars or trains. I observed him day and night. He didn't line up his toys like autistic children, he was so friendly with kids, he loved to hug and kiss, think I was being a little in denial. First doctor said He just had a speech delay, but I wasn't convinced. Went to a second doctor asked to be sent to a neurologist he put my child in a room with toys observed him a while called his name2 or 3 times, no answer. Turned around and said he has moderate autism. I can,t explain the pain and fury I felt . How can you determine that by just calling his name? Man did that hurt, but it wasn't a surprise.
The best advice you've gotten here so far is "to follow your gut instinct". Unfortunately what deb says is true most help is offered when the child turns about 3 and can go to preschool. I didn't wait I made up my own preschool at home , I got him to speak two word sentences, he knew colors , shapes ,abc's and when old enough made sure he had aba help (fighting for your son is most important). It is in no ways easy but worth it. He is 6 years old now , still getting aba help ,but loving every argument he has with me, every joke he tries to tell, we love to see him socializing with children and we just cant get him to shut up some times. My point is nothing compares to a mothers instincts, go ahead with that second opinion, and keep observing your son. Hopefully it's nothing to worry about. Best Wishes.

P.S
I Also have a niece with sever autism, but it has not been proven to be hereditary.

Diana

Linda - posted on 03/19/2013

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We had a similar situation...at 12 months our son wasn't answering to his name, wasn't poinlting at anything, had even stopped babbling...we had him tested for early signs of autism (Denver II test), although they tell us you can't really have a autism diagnosis til age 2.5. He seemed quite self-sufficient - could play by himself, liked to watch tv...in fact, I think tv was the main culprit. The tester asked us about our babysitter and whether or not she had the tv on a lot. She did, sometimes for background noise, sometimes baby tv, sometimes her own (when he was sleeping). THey told us to turn it off - cold turkey and leave it off for at least 3 to 4 months and see if there was a difference. To fill the tv time, they asked us to have our babysitter use running narratives - look now I'm gettting out the carrots. Can you feel them? They're cold. Brrrr. And look, they are orange. And look, there is some orange juice as well......

After 2-3 months we have definately seen an improvement - as have our friends and neighbours who see our son less frequently. I never had a problem with tv and our now 5-year old daughter, but boys are completely different. So before panicking, turn off the tv and turn up the one-on-one play. THey say even 20 minutes at a time one-on-one makes a daily difference!

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Chinni - posted on 03/21/2013

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Thanks Amber Ervin, Linda Bruce-Ozdemir and Lysbeth Grimm! What you guys said really meant alot for me. I had him evaluated for ASD with ped neurologist and he just turned off saying baby is doing fine. And the flapping my kid does is completely different from the one with ASD. We were relieved so much after his assertion. Thanks to everybody for your valuable guidance and definetely they mean alot to me!

Amber - posted on 03/19/2013

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Your son sounds like a healthy 1 year old. I have four children. 12, 8, 4 and 13 months. Our Mara only says mom and dad... points randomly and is very active! She squeals and does the the arm flap you were referring to. Our 4 year old did not talk until he was 3. He did not walk until he was 16 months. He was very shy around other children. We had several family members tell us they thought he might be autistic so we eventually got him checked out. Four test... all result came back as no.. just laid back. Which he is. He now talks all the time. He is a healthy little boy, nothing in the world wrong with him! Enjoy your son. No matter how he grows or develops ... just enjoy his uniqueness! Children are a blessing. All shapes, sizes and personalities. : )

Lysbeth - posted on 03/19/2013

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My son didnt point till he was almost two and he is an extremely Intelligent Littleboy. Every child does things at their own pace I feel like my son just didn't feel it necessary to point and now he points at everything please don't worry and don't let doctors or anyone else make you think there is something wrong!

Linda - posted on 03/19/2013

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Don't worry over much. As I mentioned before, most doctors admit that they can't give a concrete diagnosis of autism til 2.5 years old. Flapping arms is something all children do when excited, and many a toddler will shake with anger, especially when they don't have the words to express themselves. Go with your gut. Do you 'feel' like your child is autistic? Many times it is a case of mommy knows best. Trust your feelings and instincts, but also follow up with help from your doctors. Give it a lot more than one week as well! We've been about 4 months now from our initial worries and all of my concerns have basically disappeared. Kids develp at different rates, and girls are certainly different from boys (as I mentioned we have a 5 year old daughter as well). Something else you may want to check out are early childhood education classes - where they will do some 1-on-1 guided play with your little one - you can learn a lot by watching how they play & talk to your toddler and then pick it up as a technique yourself. We did 12 sessions, and although it was nothing I didn't already know, it did reinforce that I should be doing it more!
Best of luck & be patient - time will tell. But in the meantime, a little precaution (more play, less tv and some medical attention if necessary) can only help!
Linda

Chinni - posted on 03/19/2013

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@Linda Bruce: Thanks alot! Your post definitely made my day. We had been closely monitoring our baby this week. Completely switched off the tv and spent lot of time with him. And yes we could see lot of improvement in him. He is a bit hyper active but he is definitely listening to what we say though it doesn't look like he is paying concentration. yesterday when i asked give mommy a kiss and yes he did it for our surprise. he started clapping, waving, imitating and his gesturing has improved alot. oh yah I forgot to mention that he started with little bit of babbling as well. The only concern now we have is with his tightening of arms and legs when in anger and hand flapping when he is excited. since these two are the major red flags for autism I am not sure what's going on with him. I am just waiting to get an appointment with the neurologist to clear off my doubts.

Michelle - posted on 03/18/2013

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Honey breathe easy, as a mother of two and grandmother of a live in 12 month old boy, I can tell you your sons behavior is normal. My grandson also has the high pitch squeal and doesn't point, only difference is he has been walking and climbing for the past two months, very exhausting :) but don't worry about that either your baby will learn to walk and talk and you will spend the next 17 years telling him to sit down and shut up! Also don't let drs be too quick in labeling your child, no child grows out of quirky behavior before the age of five, they tried to label my son autistic at two years, now he is eight years and in the gifted program at his school, he didn't walk till 15 months, talk till 30 months, drew circles with his finger for years , he was just an observer, now he's close to genius, still has one quirky behavior and that is his obsession with rulers.

Chinni - posted on 03/17/2013

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@Deb Tiihonen: Did you grandson stop babbling when he turned 12 months or above? What were the symptoms you observed which made you think he has a development delay. I am confused with my baby becuase of his behaviour traits. Today when he woke up I just asked him to say bye to his dad and he simply waved to his dad. Please note that he did it on his own without observing anyone. This made me think that atleast he is listening to what we say. But he doesn't wave all the time. He started clapping as well and I could see him getting better with his gesturing. He plays with his building blocks. But there are few points which concern us alot. He stiffens his arms and legs frequently when he is happy or angry. He flaps his hands alot when excited. He completely stopped babbling from past 1 week.
Did you happen to see any of these with your baby? Thanks alot for your valuable inputs!

Deb - posted on 03/17/2013

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You're getting some great insite from the last couple of posters. My grandson is showing some of the very same signs. He started speech therapy at 20 months. It helped tremendously with his speech.Right now at 30 months he's being evaluated by a behavioral therapist because of night terrors. My suspicion is they will eventually find autism. He has also started hating his shoes. It some times takes two people to get them on him. He screams in pain or terror. Sometimes its just easier to go without!
He also is a smart funny loving boy that gets frustrated when he can't communicate his wishes. He also can quote many of his favorite movies We love to watch him act them out! but he can't answer your question unless prompted what to say by someone else.
As soon as he turns 3 he will be able to get more help from the school system. Its a shame they won't do anything till then.

Chinni - posted on 03/17/2013

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Thanks alot Jennifer for your valuable inputs. I will have him get evaluated again for a second opinion next week and go ahead with therapy if something needs attention. Hoping for the best! Thanks again!

Jennifer - posted on 03/17/2013

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And also, my son is super loving and cuddly and always wanted to be held. :)if you've met one aspie, you've met one aspie. They're all unique. :)
Best wishes again and hope a professional can put your mind at ease.

Chinni - posted on 03/16/2013

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Lorena: my major concern is he completely stopped babbling from last week. He stopped calling mama dada n simply utters some cooing. There was a clear regression in my baby case which is more worrying us. Just wanted to know if you guys had come across toddlers who were recovered with EI at 12 months

Chinni - posted on 03/16/2013

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Thanks Stacy, that was quite encouraging! @Lacey:: I Had a check up for my baby yesterday and the doctor was also not sure if the baby is normal. He was concerned as the baby is stiffening arms when happy or in anger. This is a major red flag. Also he happened to check the baby walk and it seems he is trying to walk with his toe which is again a major flag. However the doctor was not sure if he has a severe problem because baby started pointing, clapping and waving recently. And one more thing to add is my baby completely stopped babbling which concerned us alot! Since there are 3 red flags he assumes the problem with autism. We are starting to give him a physio therapy tomorrow. Doctor also said by one week we will come to know what is triggering him the issue. Since we are starting him with early intervention we hope he would be having good chances of getting recovered. I just praygod to make everything fine

Lorena - posted on 03/16/2013

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That all sounds like perfectly normal behaviour to me! Every bit of it. Not pointing? Uh, that's not something that every kid does, or needs to do. Boys speak later than girls and yours already has a few words. If he's babbling away, he's going to be talking soon, just because he's not speaking full sentences yet...give him time.
Most children that age cannot sit still for a minute. They are full of energy and exploring their muscles!
Again, I'm not sure what your comparisons are (have you had him in playgroup, and he doesn't behave like the other boys his age?) but all of this sounds like perfectly normal behaviour. Relax.

User - posted on 03/15/2013

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Some things are normal, like not pointing at objects, my son didnt do that for a while. It even took him a while to wake bye bye. Some toddlers dont walk until 14 or so months. My son doesnt stop for anytime either, expecially around that age, he is 2 now, but I still cant get him to sit down hardly. With being very active my son didnt play with a toy for more than a few minutes either, he was on to one thing to another quickly. Its good he responds to the sound of his voice, it does mean he hears that. And its also good that he exploring household things. Mine went through that not wanting toys but eveyrthing he saw me with. Hes learning about new things and they are interested in them. Tantrums are also normal, unwanted but normal. And the response you described when seeing children and other people sounds quite normal.

Dont get yourself worried, you sound like a great mom really keeping a good eye on him. To me he sounds normal, but I am no doctor. I have read and seen children who are autistic and these are somethings that I have picked up on to watch for.
Some not talking.
When some play they only play with certain things and they get very aggravated when interrupted and throw a huge fit.
when playing with colored objects, they sort the colors out seperately
Not smiling back at you
No eye contact
Doesnt reach for you to pick him up
doesnt want cuddled

These are a few things. But if you are still concerned, Just keep an eye on the milestones and remember that every child is different some are quick and some are slower to do things.


I was worried when my son was 1 to 1.5. It was just a phase but it concerned me, Everytime he would run he would put one shoulder up and cock his head to it and wave his arm about. It was the oddest thing, but I guess it was something he enjoyed or learned but he stopped it.

Just know too that if he were to have it or not, worrying does not help anything, enjoy every moment that you have with him, dx do not change anything between you two

Chinni - posted on 03/14/2013

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Hi,

can someone give me your inputs if you had come across toddlers with such behavior

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