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Author Topic: Worried About Autism  (Read 241 times)

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Offline Rakono03

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Worried About Autism
« on: April 19, 2014, 02:50:16 AM »
Hello, I'm new here, and I have anxiety, depression and PTSD.  I'm a stay at home mommy to a soon to be 3 year old little boy.

I'm really worried he has autism.  He doesn't have any of the glaring "red flags" like speech delay, traditional hand flapping stimming, lining up of toys, rigidity, lack of eye contact...it's little things that he does that make my stomach twist and I get panicky.

He isn't so great with other kids when I'm around.  His preschool teachers say that he is really social...but when I'm around all he wants to do is play with me, no matter how many kids are there.

He doesn't like toys.  He did, when he first turned 2, he was really into duplo and trains and cars.  Now I can't get him to play with ANY toys...besides balls.  The kid is obsessed with sports.  He can turn a stick into a baseball bat, if left to his own devices he will play basketball in our living room, practice his dropkicking, play hockey with his light saber.  He hasnt touched his other toys in months.  I spend hours and hours pitching balls to him in the backyard.

In free play situations, he tends to get overstimulated, and ends up tackling the other kids.

THere's much more.  It's little stuff.  I've had him evaluated by birth to three, a child psychologist, a speech therapist, an OT and a neuropsychologist, all of whom say he is a typical toddler boy.

I'm worried I"m ruining his life with this worry and fear.  I also worry that he is going to be "one of those" cases where he fell through the cracks, and all this little stuff is adding up to something bigger.

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Offline Cattia

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 09:00:02 AM »
Hi,
I wanted to add my support here a I have two children and with both of them have been through the obsessive autism worries. My daughter is four and she is quite a dreamy child and not terribly focused. At ahe two and a half her pre school were concenred about her poor focus and lack of listening. Since then she has moved pre school and her teachers are delighted with her and believe there is no cause for concern. however I constantly analyse her interaction with others and am terrified of her starting school in September.
My son is almost three. His speech is advanced. He has good social interaction and great imaginative play. However he is ver hyperactive, easily over stimulated and also very sensory seeking, constantly making strange noises and needs to be moving all the time.
There is a huge range of normal behaviour at this age, and as you know, the key things to look out for are social impairement which would be evident at his pre school, lack of imagination, and speech delay. It really sounds as though your son doesn't meet those criteria, and the fact that you have already had him evaluated means it is highly unlikely that any problems would not have been picked up on.I have found that autism in our kids is a very common worry for HA suffers, probably because like many of the illnesses we worry about, the symptoms are often vague and overlap with other things, there is a lot of scary media coverage of it and there are a whole host of horror stories online about it, also our kids are the most precious thing to us so it's natural for us to be over vigilant about them.
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Offline snowberry

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 12:18:02 PM »
Some kids are clingy with their parents, or to a particular person. He knows you better than any of the other kids which is why he seeks you out to play with. Kids can also be picky about toys, go through phases and stuff.

You really have to learn to trust the experts. If multiple people have told you he's not showing the signs, you have to start believing them. I know you are his mother, but they know more about autism than you do. You have to trust them on that.

Cattia: If I was born within the last five or six years, my parents would probably be worried about me, too. I was a very dreamy, quiet kid, who didn't always finish her work on time was often unfocused. In fact, I showed all the classic signs of a girl with ADD. It's possible I DO have ADD, as I've never sought diagnosis for my difficulty in focusing/tendency to get distracted. As it is, I was born in the late 80's when autism and ADD/ADHD were still relatively new concepts that many parents weren't aware of. The fact is, I've lived a very normal life (not including the HA, of course,), was considered to be above average intelligence at school, I have a job and some great friends and am about to get my degree within a few short months. Then I plan on working abroad for a year. So I'm sure your daughter will be fine (seriously, she really does sound like myself at that age).
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 07:19:30 PM »
The fact that he socializes when you aren't around means he's just super-attached to you.  I mean, it makes sense if you think about how you're his favorite person in the world!  A red flag would be his not socializing with you or anyone else.

If the experts aren't concerned, I doubt you need to be. 
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Offline Cattia

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2014, 03:37:22 AM »
Thank you Snowberry, that is really encouraging to hear. My husband is severely dyslexic and I expect had he been at school these days he would also have been diagnosed with ADD as he struggled a lot at school to follow instructions and keep up with the work. It's good that kids get more support these days but I also feel that it's a shame that in order to get it they need to whack a label on them. We could probably all be diagnosed with something! I hope when she gets to school she will settle in and do ok. She'll be going to a small school so hopefully they will get to know her more than they would in a really big place.
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Offline Rakono03

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 11:49:35 PM »
@cattia, what kind of imaginative play does your son do?  My son is also almost 3, and he seems to prefer to play dress up and pretend to be a superhero, play with invisible stuff (like cooking at an invisible kitchen instead of his actual play kitchen, etc.), or playing sports.

My main concerns are about how he plays.  He just really isn't into toys, especially toys that other kids his age like.  You always hear about boys loving trains, cars, blocks, etc. and mine just doesn't...he just wants to play sports, or fight the bad guys.  He likes to look through books, and be read to, play games like memory and hi ho cherryo.  He dumps everything else...blocks, trains, cars, dump and scatter.  Play kitchen and food, dump and scatter unless I lead the play.  Doesn't like to color.  Will play playdoh, gloop and sensory bin with rice or beans...also likes his marble run and musical instruments.


Pediatrician, birth to three, neuropsychologist, developmental psychologist think everything is okay.  His speech is great, he takes turns when playing games, very social with us and others...preschool says he does okay with the other kids.  He mostly watches before he joins in with play at preschool, they say, and they say he has friends at school.

I just don't understand why I can't trust the experts.  The psych and neuropsych are both considered experts in the area of autism, and they don't see anything  the matter with his play.  They say play is play, and that if he is pretending to be superheroes and playing sports, he is doing fine.  He speaks really well, which they also count as a positive. 
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Offline Lunatone

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2014, 10:58:21 AM »
It sounds like your kid is simply not entertained by boring, pointless crap.  Toys are boring! They don't even DO anything. They just kinda sit there and do nothing. The things you talk about suggests he desires interactive stimulation, rather than passively playing by himself with no goal in mind.

Oh yeah I should probably tell you I have an autism spectrum disorder and your description of your child's behavior could've easily been a description of mine at that age.
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Offline Rakono03

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2014, 01:44:41 PM »
It sounds like your kid is simply not entertained by boring, pointless crap.  Toys are boring! They don't even DO anything. They just kinda sit there and do nothing. The things you talk about suggests he desires interactive stimulation, rather than passively playing by himself with no goal in mind.

Oh yeah I should probably tell you I have an autism spectrum disorder and your description of your child's behavior could've easily been a description of mine at that age.

So tell me more about yourself at my sons age?  Where do you fall on the spectrum, and how are you/what are you doing now?  How long did it take for you become diagnosed?

It's for reasons like this that I cannot believe the experts.  Everyone has a story of how things were missed by experts, the kid missed out on all the therapies and social skills help, and the parents are worried about how they'll function in society.  I'm afraid to have more kids because of this.  I'm afraid every day when I pick him up from school that the teachers are going to drop the bomb on me.  We just had another two year old over today, and both kids just kind of did their own thing.  I'm just sick with worry about this.
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Offline Cattia

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2014, 03:10:46 PM »
I'm also going through this again this week because my own health worries have triggered a major anxiety episode with me and so I've started worrying about my son again. Recently he has started tiptoe walking and crossing his fingers which are both red flags. He also is quite stubborn and likes things to be done his own way. His imaginary play involves lots of make believe. He does play with toys and does lots of role play like pretending his toys are going on holiday or that they are trapped and need rescuing. He does like building and care but the games he plays with his sister are more like knights and princesses, doctors, builders, mums and dads etc.
I am going to call the health visitor tomorrow and book an appointment to talk about his sensory seeking behaviour. I believe he may have sensory processing disorder but I really hope that he just has that and not ASD. My husband is severely dyselxic and apparently there is a 75% chance that a son will inherit this which can also have accompanying sensory issues. I think the fact that the professionals think that your son is ok is a massive, massive reassurance. I have not had my son evaluated.
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2014, 12:20:31 AM »
Nothing about your son's play seems weird to me - he sounds like any number of little boys I've met over the years.  He sounds really bright, imaginative and creative, and maybe certain toys don't "speak" to him the way they do other kids. 

When I was a little girl, I hated baby dolls.  No interest in them.  No use for them.  I didn't want to be a "mommy" or "play house" and there didn't seem to be much else you could do with them.  Maybe your son just isn't interested in the kind of things kids usually play with trains and cars. 
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Offline Rakono03

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2014, 04:51:11 PM »
I guess maybe he isn't.  He just really likes to...play.  Like use his grabber and see if he can fish a dinosaur off the floor while hanging over his bed.  Or practice drop kicking a ball, or getting out his bat and ball to play baseball.

The things that bothers me is that he doesn't really play with other kids when they're playing with toys.  It's almost like he has to "settle" if you know what I mean.  Like, "fiiiiine, I'll play trains if I have to" if there are no balls or sports equipment or superhero stuff around, or if there isn't anything he can substitute for these things.  Most of his interactions with other kids include chase, playing sports, or climbing on/playing on a climber.

He does have good imaginative play skills.  He can pretend to drive places, plays dress up and role plays fighting the bad guys, pretends to nurse his stuffed animals, puts firefighters in the fire truck and zooms them around, etc. 

I feel like everyone thinks I'm crazy.  Here is what I think is going to happen...he is going to get into 3k or 4k and the teachers are going to bring something up...then everyone will finally believe me.  My life will be *over* at that time....my worst nightmare would have come true.  I don't even know how id function if it came to be that my child was affected by autism.  It scares the life out of me.
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Offline Rakono03

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Re: Worried About Autism
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2014, 04:52:16 PM »
I guess maybe he isn't.  He just really likes to...play.  Like use his grabber and see if he can fish a dinosaur off the floor while hanging over his bed.  Or practice drop kicking a ball, or getting out his bat and ball to play baseball.

The things that bothers me is that he doesn't really play with other kids when they're playing with toys.  It's almost like he has to "settle" if you know what I mean.  Like, "fiiiiine, I'll play trains if I have to" if there are no balls or sports equipment or superhero stuff around, or if there isn't anything he can substitute for these things.  Most of his interactions with other kids include chase, playing sports, or climbing on/playing on a climber.

He does have good imaginative play skills.  He can pretend to drive places, plays dress up and role plays fighting the bad guys, pretends to nurse his stuffed animals, puts firefighters in the fire truck and zooms them around, etc. 

I feel like everyone thinks I'm crazy.  Here is what I think is going to happen...he is going to get into 3k or 4k and the teachers are going to bring something up...then everyone will finally believe me.  My life will be *over* at that time....my worst nightmare would have come true.  I don't even know how id function if it came to be that my child was affected by autism.  It scares the life out of me.
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