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Author Topic: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.  (Read 542 times)

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Offline Cattia

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I have had this same fear for probably six months now and it is honestly runing my life. I am terrified that my son who is 20 months old has autism. I have no idea why I am so afraid of this. I guess I am scared for his future. I have done so much reading on this that even if I never looked on google again I have already memorized far too much. He is 20 months old and he doesn't point with his index finger. He never has and won't even if I try to gt him to and I have read in so many places that this is a major indicator of autism.
In addition to this, he has always been into matching things up. He will carry two matching toys around and put groups of matching toys together although he doesn't line things up.

He also has a lot of sensory seeking issues. He runs from one sofa to the other. He shuffles, jumps, gallops, runs from one end of the house to the other and seems to crave constant movement.
I know there are a lot of positive things he does. He likes playing with other children, talks in dull sentences, can be affectionate, very interactive, imitates well, initiates games etc etc etc.

However I must have read a million stories of people saying 'oh yeah, my child was really social and had great eye contact but they were still diagnosed with ASD later on and not pointing at things was the firat sign'.
I have taken him to the health visitor who wasn't worried but said she would see him again when he's two. Because his speech is so good they won't refer him to anyone.

My anxiety about this out of control and way disproportionate to the actual problem even if it does exist. I am not sleeping because of it, I am a nervous wreck and it's another four months until he gets seen again so there is literally nothing I can do other than wait it out. It's killing me. We were hoping to try for another baby this year but there's just no way, and as I am 36 this year I don't have heaps of time on my side. We have two children already so maybe I just need to be content with that but we would both like a third and I feel like my anxiety is stooping that from happening as well.
 
I don't know what else to do. I can't deal with feeling this bad every day, I have tried to rationalize it. I have CBT and it didn't help. I am out of ideas on how to deal with this.
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Offline gcalex

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 07:21:42 AM »
As someone with very personal experience with SEVERE autism, as in no speech no self-regulation, etc., I understand your concern.  But.... ASD is a label that is in vogue these days -- it is applied to an incredibly wide range of individuals many of whom are very high-functioning.  In my opinion and experience, it's essentially meaningless, and what matters is the individual.  If in the worst case your son was diagnosed with ASD at some point, and I am NOT saying he will be because he sounds pretty normal to me based on your description, the world will not end, it's just a label that countless thousands of kids you couldn't pick out of a crowd have.  And I would not get hung up on whatever people on the internet say about first signs and all that -- you will just drive yourself crazy.  I've seen those parent forums -- people there say anything and everything  and there is all sorts of contradictory information there.  Try to enjoy your son for who he is, don't keep monitoring him the way some people with health anxiety monitor themselves. 

It can be a terrifying thing to have a child, for an anxious person, even one who doesn't give you the slightest cause for concern.  The world is full of uncertainty and what ifs.  The best way through that is to find the peace of mind to live in the present, and to try to let go of things that are not within our control.  This is not easy, but there are many ways to work towards that goal.  I will try to elaborate later.
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Offline marc

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 01:43:27 PM »
What has the pediatrician said in regard to this?
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
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Offline Cattia

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 02:04:53 PM »
Thanks for the replies. The health visitor has said she isn't concerned but will see him again when he is 2. The Dr would just refer us back to the health visitor as they are the ones who deal with that sort of thing. I wouldn't be able to see a paediatrician unless they thought he needed to be referred on one, which they don't.
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Offline gcalex

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 02:18:10 PM »
I hope you are able to find some peace of mind.  Your description of your son certainly does not sound like an autistic child to me. 
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Offline Cattia

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 02:30:38 PM »
Gcalex, thank you. I believe that even if he were diagnosed with ASD he would be very high functioning because of his levels of speech and interaction. I don't know why I can't get past this. It's destroying my yime with my family and affecting my relationship with my son. My rational mind tells me that there are lots of things that suggest he is developing normally and even if he was high functioning ASD it wouldn't be the wnd of the world. Emotionally though, I feel destroyed by this for some reason. I have read so much that has convinced me he has all these signs. I guess I am worrying about how he will be when he is older. I know this is more about me than him, in many ways.
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Offline laura124

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 02:35:03 PM »
Your son doesn't sound autistic.  What you are describing for a 20 month old child sounds normal.  I have a degree in speech pathology and worked with children on the spectrum.  Remember,in a typically developing child, RECEPTIVE language comes in before EXPRESSIVE language.  Is your son able to understand simple commands?  An autistic child is often first evaluated for a hearing impairment.  Their receptive language doesn't develop and subsequently neither does their expressive.  In the case of Aspergers Syndrome (also on the autism spectrum), language is not a problem at all but rather severe social deficits.  In either case, your child would probably not engage in social activities with other children, be interactive, or initiate games.  I have seen and interacted myself with many children on the spectrum.  Try to enjoy your son and put your worries aside.
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Offline Cattia

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 02:44:39 PM »
Thank you Laura. Yes, he understands and responds to everything we say to him. If I call to say dinner is ready he'll shout 'I coming' from the next room. If I ask him who lives at our friends' houses he will tell me the names of the people who live there. He goes and collects things when I ask him to and when we read stories together (he brings me books to read) he will talk about what's going on in the pictures. I guess I have worked with quite a number of high functioning kids in my job (I'm a teacher) and I see how hard college can be on them socially and how they struggle to have friendships with their peers. I think I am also scared that he won't relate to me emotionally if he has ASD so part of this is also about my emotional issues as well. I really appreciate your input. I know that somehow I have to get past this as its making me feel like a terrible mother.
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Offline gcalex

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 02:45:25 PM »
Gcalex, thank you. I believe that even if he were diagnosed with ASD he would be very high functioning because of his levels of speech and interaction. I don't know why I can't get past this. It's destroying my yime with my family and affecting my relationship with my son. My rational mind tells me that there are lots of things that suggest he is developing normally and even if he was high functioning ASD it wouldn't be the wnd of the world. Emotionally though, I feel destroyed by this for some reason. I have read so much that has convinced me he has all these signs. I guess I am worrying about how he will be when he is older. I know this is more about me than him, in many ways.

Yes part of it is your approach -- you are fearing the worst rather than hoping for the best, and thereby letting your worry about the future distract from the joy of the present.  That is where you need to do your work -- not researching ASD.  Cross the bridge when you come to it, don't think about crossing it 100 miles before you get there.
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Offline legs11

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2013, 04:54:07 AM »
Hi there,

Many children do quirky little things. My now five year old son used to line up lollies according to their colour and shape and he is NOT autistic. The autism spectrum is so wide I'm sure all mothers could tell you about a behaviour of their child that someone told them was on the "spectrum". If your child is communicating and showing affection I would not be worried. I am a primary school teacher and have taught many children who are autistic and they all display far more concerning behaviour than your child. Good luck and don't waste time worrying and just enjoy him being a 20 month old.....he will be all grown up soon and you will be wishing he was little again. :yes :yes:
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Offline oregoncoastlady

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 06:40:53 AM »
My son has autism. He was diagnosed when the statistics were 1 in 100,000. Now it's 1 in 88 kids???? I think the spectrum has been diluted by over diagnosing. Now every quirk is being examined. When I see parents saying their child was "cured" of autism I know that the child never had autism. There is no cure.

I never had time to worry about my son having autism because i was too busy dealing with my sons special needs. I still am, and he is 19 years old. It seems a terrible shame that you are missing out on the joys of parenthood because you are worrying about this. My son didn't speak any understandable words until he was five. Was not, and still isn't affectionate. Does not, and never did, play with other children. Never initiated any sort of play with others. He lined up all the silverware on the window sill. Removed all shoes from the closets and lined them up in the hallway. Sensory issues? He would scream if a smoke alarm went off in the neighborhood...his hearing is that sensitive. Has an aversion to light.  Cannot stand the feel of clothing. Too many words overwhelm him. The list of characteristics is endless. He needs round the clock care.

I have one child. I would give my left arm to experience any of the "normal" joys and milestones that a parent experiences. Why would you waste even one of those precious moments to worry because he isn't pointing at things? That is beyond sad. I hope you will try to reel in your worries and spend more time enjoying what you have. 
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Offline Cattia

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2013, 06:40:12 PM »
Thank you so much for your replies. Oregoncoastlady thank you for sharing your experiences with your son. It must be hard and frustrating for you to read a post like mine, and I really thank you for taking the time to reply. I know I have to find a way through this. Every time I manage to get a rational handle on things it seems to last about five minutes until I start to experience this horrible sinking fear and dread again. I don't truly know what it's about but I know it isn't healthy or right. I don't have a way forward other than to try to keep rationalizing it and hopefully saving some money for some decent therapy as I was offered telephone CBT and it didn't work for me at all. I have spent so many years of my life suffering with anxiety about all sorts of aspects of my health, but worrying like this about my children feels even worse as their lives mean even more to me than my own.
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Offline sixpack

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2013, 06:52:24 PM »
Quote
My son has autism. He was diagnosed when the statistics were 1 in 100,000. Now it's 1 in 88 kids???? I think the spectrum has been diluted by over diagnosing. Now every quirk is being examined. When I see parents saying their child was "cured" of autism I know that the child never had autism. There is no cure.
 

I sooooooo agree with this.

Quote
I never had time to worry about my son having autism because i was too busy dealing with my sons special needs. I still am, and he is 19 years old. It seems a terrible shame that you are missing out on the joys of parenthood because you are worrying about this. My son didn't speak any understandable words until he was five. Was not, and still isn't affectionate. Does not, and never did, play with other children. Never initiated any sort of play with others. He lined up all the silverware on the window sill. Removed all shoes from the closets and lined them up in the hallway. Sensory issues? He would scream if a smoke alarm went off in the neighborhood...his hearing is that sensitive. Has an aversion to light.  Cannot stand the feel of clothing. Too many words overwhelm him. The list of characteristics is endless. He needs round the clock care.
 

sounds a lot like my daughter.  she is 25.  she has a significant brain malformation.  so is she autistic or is it her low brain function?  IDK but doesn't really matter does it?  She is who she is. 

Quote
I have one child. I would give my left arm to experience any of the "normal" joys and milestones that a parent experiences. Why would you waste even one of those precious moments to worry because he isn't pointing at things? That is beyond sad. I hope you will try to reel in your worries and spend more time enjoying what you have.   

that is what is so sad about dx'ing every kid with a quirk as being on the "spectrum".  It makes parents nuts worrying over nothing.  It makes an otherwise normal or shyer kid into something they are not.  AND the parents with kids with REAL autism dreaming of having a child who has  the "quirk autism".
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MOST anxiety occurs on a subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state

Offline gcalex

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2013, 07:29:03 PM »
At the rate the DSM people are going every single person in the world will be diagnosed with some damn disorder or other.  With a son who cannot speak or regulate his own behavior, I find it really hurtful to see the diagnosis of autism extended to kids with a few behaviors.  It's a BS label that enables school districts to get funding and psychologists and "DAN" doctors to get business.  As for the OP, I'm very sorry you are unable to put your son's issue (if he even has one) into proper context. 
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Offline oregoncoastlady

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Re: I can't get past these fears about my son, it's ruining my life.
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2013, 04:20:13 AM »
So true, six pack and gcalex. I don't even like to say my son has autism because it is almost joke of a diagnosis now. Remember when adhd was being diagnosed like crazy? If a kid had too much energy they were hyper active. I live in a small town and school district.  The kids with "autism" at the high school are able to go to regular classes without an aide helping them. My son had school two hours a week...90% of the time it was at home with a tutor and that was still torture for him. We tried doing two hours a week of the life skills class briefly with the other kids with "autism"...but it didn't work out. The whole autism diagnosis needs to be revamped. Autism is intense and challenging and exhausting. When i see people like Jenny McCarthy  discussing how she cured her son???? It is crazy making nonsense. If the school districts try to "cure" all the kids with quirks it is going to make for a very boring society.
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