Tag Archives: Autism

Question?: Autism Signs In 15 Month Old

Lizzie asks…

Why is my 15 month old not speaking, walking or gesturing?

I’m worried. My 15 month old daughter was 6 weeks premature and has been slow to do other milestones, such as smiling and crawling, and she caught up with those eventually. However, while she babbles and says dadada all day and the occasional mama, I can’t coax her to say anything else. She also wont point to things when asked and rarely waves bye bye. I see she is intelligent. She’ll watch me do something once and mimic it. Yet I tried and tried to teach her sign language and she didn’t go for it. Could she not be speaking, walking or gesturing because I want her to and am trying to encourage her to? I’m wondering if she’s responding to the attention I give her while I try to encourage her. She gets tons of attention all day anyway. I’m a stay at home and I read to her and speak to her all day long. I’m scared for her. What do you think?

admin answers:

At your 18 month check up the doctor will ask you questions about your daughter’s development. I would make a list of things that you are concerned about and take them with you. You do have to remember that because she was a premie – she still probably hasn’t “caught up”.

I think what you’re wanting to know is what the milestones are for speech. By 18 months, your daughter should be able to say 9 words at a minimum. Your dr will count things such as uh huh or mmmmmm… An average 18 month old will say 20-30 words.

If you don’t want to wait for your 18 month check, call your dr and ask him for a referral to the early intervention program in your state. The state will come in and do an assessment free of charge in your home. Early intervention is the key if it is something more than just a speech delay.

Trust your instincts. If you think something is up, it does not hurt to follow those instincts. You are definitely watching for the right things!

Don’t be scared for her. Regardless, she has a loving family and the love that you have for her is not going to change for anything.

I just read the message about autism… It is too early to go down that path… Don’t freak yourself out like I did with doing research. Start looking into early intervention… They are the professionals… Not the idiots who come on here and start freaking mothers out about things that your children may or may not have.

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Question?: Autistic Definition

Carol asks…

How can i help my 2 year old autistic cousin?


I just heard from my aunt that my 2 year old cousin was diagnosed today with autism. I did some research online, and didn’t really find the answer to what I’m looking for. My question is for the ones who’s had experience with autism how can I help? Unfortunately she lives in another country, but I want to help anyway I can.

Thank you for your help.

admin answers:

Hi, I’m a 36 year-old male diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome 5 years ago (unexpectedly) with an autistic older sister and an autistic nephew. I’m not sure if your cousin is male or female, so I’ll just use “him.”

Windy was unable to recall the name of Temple Grandin, just to get that out of the way.

Sensory issues are a very important thing to understand, and yes, it varies from person to person: I have almost no sense of smell (anything I’ve detected with my nose, I hate, so that may be a good thing most of the time) I’m light-sensitive, and very sensitive to many types of noises and frequencies, far beyond “normal” and also tactile sensory issues, where certain things against my skin can cause nasty sensations, from a horrible chill (velvet, at least when rubbed a certain way when younger) to nausea (sunscreen) to also being unable to sense my body’s movements very well (proprioceptive senses are whacked) and having a heck of a time with the coordination, as a result, including that of speech (spent several years in speech therapy, but things degrade a lot during sensory overload [a term you should look up] so it’s much harder to understand me) and then there’s tastes that I react to violently (toothpastes of many types make me gag/vomit strongly, can’t help it much) so that causes a few practical issues.

1. So, first, try to decipher what the sensory issues are.
2. Don’t punish him for his reality of sensory overload: figure out a way to help him recover from it.
3. Frustration/strong feelings can also add to sensory overload: help him figure out how to communicate, in whatever way he can. It’s entirely possible that speech may be outside his ready grasp due to sensory issues (I have a hard time making sense of speech at times, and it’s worse with sensory overload) and keep in mind, being non-verbal does NOT mean lacking intelligence, it just means not being able to process things well.
4. Teach him proper survival skills like everyone else, as feasible for his level of ability.
5. Work with him for developing coordination and training muscle memory: this is something that tends to be very difficult for those on the autistic spectrum: expect that it’s probable what you consider to be a simple mechanical thing to do will take him a lot longer to master. As an example, I started working with computer keyboards and typing on them on a regular basis at a young age, never had a formal typing class (special education department had other plans, and they clearly could never conceive of me programming computers for a living) and it took me 14 years to go from hunt-and-peck-while-looking to doing touch-typing sustainable over 40 wpm (people watching me have said they’ve seen me do bursts in excess of 80 wpm). For me, handwriting is an nightmare, so I’m very thankful for computers being available. I’m also a little dyslexic, too… Also, involve him in as many larger muscle group physical activities as possible: you can’t build balance and coordination from watching on the sidelines, and it’s especially true with us.
6. There’s something called “executive dysfunction” which also affects motor skills planning, and it helps if you can master the art of writing down plans and figuring out the smaller steps, and just master the art of organizing things.

7. Keep him away from such terrible sites and groups as “Defeat Autism Now,” “Cure Autism Now” and “Autism Speaks” because they only have the goal of eradicating autistics off the face of the earth by any means necessary in a politically-correct sheep’s clothing format. They see autism as a disease and an epidemic, spout horrible things, etc. And don’t do anything good towards those that are actually autistic: their definition of success is an autistic that acts as a neurotypical person, never mind that the autistic person can’t function properly that way, it’s stressful, and bad for self-esteem to live that lie. Ask yourself: would you want any group speaking for you and insisting on you doing things, if you yourself (part of the group they presume to speak for) would never be allowed into their leadership? There’s a reason they don’t want that: they’re afraid of it, and for good reason. Whenever anything of a “Therapy” or “Treatment” is proposed, consider if you’d want it done to you, if you had a choice. Many autistics are forced into such things that they’d never agree to as an adult. Speech therapy and Occupational therapy are good ones: ABA is often a horrible thing, and wouldn’t be allowed on normal kids because it’d be considered cruel.

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Question?: Autistic Adults

Joseph asks…

Is anyone with autism on medication trying to reduce the learning problems?

To you autistic adults out there, do you take any medication to reduce your learning problems. And to the parents of autistic children, do you give them any medication to try reduce their learning problems?

admin answers:

I’m not an adult, but close enough to one to be able to answer your question. I’m planning on going on some medience because of my anxiety/depression, which is really not lighting up on me, and it’s been two years. I don’t have any learning probelms persay though, so I can’t really take any. I found that resipodal was really helpful when it came to giving me more attention, and it didn’t make me feel drugged out. It has a couple side-effects (like low blood pressure), but if you have a low dosage, you shouldn’t have it as much
I have to go to school now, but I hope this helps.

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Question?: Rett Syndrome Treatment

Laura asks…

My 2 year daughter is severely developmentally delayed. We got the results of the MRI.?

The Dr gave me the full report but said it doesn’t explain the medical reason for her symptoms- hyponotia dev delayed globally- pectus excavatuum- feeding and swalloing issues drools all the time non verbal and presents as a child with cp and autism.
Small confluent areas of increased T2 and FLAIR signal abnormality within pertrigonal parietal white matter as well as mild cerebral volume loss. Can anyone possibly explain this to me ?
Thank you to all who have responded so far. We did have bloodwork taken in jan 2010 and still awaiting the results. They are apparently only testing that for rett angelman. We have been to a paed dr and he said she does not have autism but still displays many symptoms. My biggest issue right now is being undiagnosed. I am in Southerm Ontario. I do have a therapy team and medical team. We have more appointments in dec and jan coming up to go over her progress and do another checklist of behaviours.

admin answers:

With what you’ve defined, have they done any genetic testing, I’d visit a genetic counselor if only to rule out conditions like Rett Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome or Angelman Syndrome.

The right diagnosis is so very important to model treatments, therapies and known medical problems that could affect your child’s health and/or other members of your family.

Rett and Angelman Syndromes could be identified I believe by a chromosome or microarray analysis, Fragile X needs to be tested through a FMR1 DNA test (important that the run the correct test, this test is 99% accurate.) A genetic counselor with be more up-to-date on how to test for these conditions, better than many dev. Peds or neurologists who still try to use a chromosome analysis for fragile X, when the gene was discovered in 1991, and the DNA test was created shortly there after.

Big Hug, if you have any support groups in your area,, local or cyber you might find them helpful, I allow e-mail through yahoo and if you’d like me to try to help you find one just send me an e-mail, let me know where you are located.

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Question?: Autistic Savant

Robert asks…

How are autistic people portrayed/stereotyped in the UK media?

I’m doing a college presentation on the way autistic people (young or old) are depicted in the British media.

admin answers:

We are rarely shown, generally stereotyped.

I was diagnosed w aspergers syndrome, AS, 2 yrs ago. Since then ive seen 1 bbc 3 documentary abt young people w AS., cant remember the title, srry.The second gen of skins had JJ, who was diagnosed AS in the series. Louis theroux did something this year on parents of autistic children. Also something about savants, tho that mayve been before i was diagnosed.
Thats it.

Its either- UNUSUAL FREAKS!! Gasp at their amazing maths skills! Or tragic children who cant even say ‘mummy’, or adults in care (abuse in care homes etc). The middle ground; most of us, in fact, is rarely, if ever, explored.
Cure for autism’ type articles appear in the press, but there’s still no cure, so that’s rot.

Obviously having it, i notice its media presence, or absence.

Do consider eg, (gosh, i sound so daily mail, but its true)- why eg the bbc, which makes an admittedly highly fictionalised version of the arthurian legend, Arthur, casts black actors as extras (non speaking) bt has no disabled ones (not that many black ppl in the uk then, certainly not in the south west, certainly not in court or army). Bt there would have been people w visible disabilities- lost eye, limb etc, as medical care was so iffy; where are they? Most of the black actors are extras, so not cast for their acting skill, but rather to be PC. Fine, bt this is racist (done for racial reasons); inclusivity is not extended to women (itd make more visual sense to have women in the army), gay or disabled people.
There are no disabled people on tv- but the bbc in particular is overly PC about black inclusion. Im not being racist- but- disabled? Or gay?? Nowhere. I was pleased to see the directors cast a disabled girl to play a disabled girl in that inbetweeners ep where they smack someone w a frisbee. Thats it. Ugh i do sound horribly like the daily mail- but really. Disability is never seen. So discrimination.

Autism is admittedly a fairly invisible condition, but few VISIBLY disabled people are seen at all on tv, anyway.
Autism doesnt figure; so your question about portrayal would be better rephrased as ‘why never shown?’ thn ‘how shown?’
tho i tire of the ‘eccentric scientific genius’ stereotype, sheldon cooper in the bbt is actually pretty good. Im a girl w AS, + therefore able to hide my AS-ness more (the female presentation is slightly different; women are more attuned to learning social skills than men, anyway) bt his behaviour is certainly stuff i recognise- tho if you met me, you wouldnt suspect til you knew me a while. Flick through a tony atwood book to get an idea on this- hes an amazing authority on aspergers.
We say its like being a spy, as we have to cover our ‘real’ selves, learn the social rules of your world, + ‘act’ a part, conceal our inner sheldon.

Most of what one reads in the media about any type of autism is concerned w children, as though its some Logan’s Run condition, + we all die off at 18, or 20. Obviously, as its life long, there are more over 18 than under, bt thats not what youd deduce from the media. Suicide rates are sky high for autism- it is a hideous condition for many.
For people with AS, we are typically above average intelligence, to off the scale IQs. Newton, da vinci, Einstein, steve jobs, bill gates clearly have/had it; again the eccentric scientist model. But there are just as many muscians, artists, actors and designers w it (one attempt at sub catagorisation of types within AS called one ‘the morrissey type’, ha ha). Its often less apparent in the arts type (me) than the science type (eg, my uncle) but does NOT mean *our* presentation is any less invidious.

This may sound like pointless whining or hair splitting bt thanks to eg bbc’s ‘saints and sinners’ there has been an exponential rise in attacks on the disabled recently. Only ever hearing abt the happy autism stories, or mis-perceiving disability as being visible, usually with a wheelchair etc, means that people with ASDs get told ‘you dont look like you have autism’. If someone cant ‘see’ a wheelchair, they think a disabled person is ‘a scrounger’; a fake.

Contry to what you will read, there ARE physical characterises of autism. Looking much younger than actual age, poor eye sight, a certain type of forehead, poor digestion, inflammatory conditions, hypermobile joints, allergies etc etc. Post a Q anyway, on wrongplanet.net, the most widely used autism forum, bt visit too, astheres an in-site search option so you ca find anything you want.
This is a nother, and uk only, forum~ http://www.asd-forum.org.uk

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Question?: Pdd Autism

James asks…

We have a 12 yr old with PDD/autism and we need suggestions on getting him to mind and stop lying.?

He was diagnosed with PDD last year finally and that answered some questions we had. He constantly does things that he knows is wrong and he constantly lies. It is so frustrating for us we just don’t know how to handle this, all the ways we have tried is not working. He is 12 yrs old but his phys. eval. put him mentally at 6 to 7 yrs old. He has ADHD, Anxiety disorder, Dyslexia, Numerical Dyslexia, Definent Disorder, which really makes it bad. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

admin answers:

There are several things to consider.
1. Is he lying to get your attention or to get out of potential trouble?
2. How are you responding to the lying and misbehavior? If you are getting very angry and giving him lots of attention for the behavior, that alone could be reinforcing it.
Things you might do:
1. Give him a TON of attention when he is doing the right thing.
2. When he is caught in a lie, be calm and firm. Do not show angry facial expressions. Impose whatever consequences you have decided to use. Do this every time.
3. These children are highly visual, so take some pictures of him doing the right thing and make a chart. At the beginning of each day, go through the things that are right. Tell him he will get a star every time he chooses to do the right thing. Set a goal for how many stars he needs to get to receive the reinforcer. Show him a picture of the reinforce. Set the goals low at first so he is able to get the reinforcer. Then fade it by requiring more stars. Do this SLOWLY!
4. When he makes the wrong choice, take him to the chart and show him what the right choice would be. Tell him kindly that you regret that he made the wrong choice and that you can’t give him a star. If it is possible, let him try again to make the right choice and then give him a star.
5. Use a highly valued reinforce and make sure you set his goal low enough at first so that he gets the reinforcer. Be sure when giving a star or reinforcer, to praise him lavishly. This will help him pair a tangible with an intangible and eventually, you may be able to fade out the tangible.

I hope something like this works for you.

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Question?: What Is Autism

Helen asks…

What’s the different between Aspergers syndrome and Autism?

I’ve always known what autism is but until the other day I heard someone say about Aspergers syndrome, the symptoms are pretty much the same. What‘s the difference?

admin answers:

Basically asperger’s syndrome is a type of autism
these articles all explain the differences between the two







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Question?: Autism Signs 2 Year Old

Donald asks…

How to potty train a 5 year old autistic kid?

My kid is 5 years old and has autism problem. He is somewhat potty trained but regardless of our efforts he is not completely trained. Any suggestions?

admin answers:

You probably need to elaborate what you are doing thus far… Think about why he is successful when he is going in the toilet. A good way is this, though…
1.When he is home, give him a lot to drink (water or preferred drink).
2.Read signs from him that he needs to go and get him right into the bathroom at that point OR put him on an hourly toileting schedule.
3. When he is successful, reward him with preferred activity/item (but only use that item for toileting; don’t use it any other time).

Basically, by giving him a lot of water, you can begin to gauge when he has to go and take him if he has clear signals (e.g., holds himself, jumps up and down). If he doesn’t have clear signals, take him on a schedule…

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Question?: Autism Signs In Infants

Michael asks…

What to expect at speech pathologist evaluation with 9-month-old?

My son is 9-month-old and he is not babbling (at all). We’ve been signing with him and he’s never signed back, either. He also has problems swallowing thin liquids, but he can drink his bottle because we thicken it with rice cereal. The pediatrician wants us to get an evaluation with a speech pathologist to check language and swallowing. What can we expect? What kinds of tests will she perform? What sort of therapy is possible for this age? Besides reading, signing, and talking as much as possible (which we’ve always done), what else can we do to speed language development?

admin answers:

At 9 months most of the evaluations will consist of the therapist looking at the physical structure of his mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, etc, observing him as he plays, and asking you lot of questions.

As he is not babbling at all you may need to take him to an audiologist who works with infants to have a specific type of hearing screening done. It consists of them measuring what sound is reaching your son’s brain. (I am just assuming that you haven’t already had this done.)

If it turns out that your son is deaf or has autism or is just severely delayed, than getting that diagnosis this early is crucial because it will allow for very intensive therapy for him while his brain is still very plastic.

I am not sure what therpy would look like for a 9 month old child but I imagine it will be a more intensive and targeted version of what you are already doing-talking, singing, reading and interacting as much as possible with your child. The therapist will probably spend a lot of time teaching you what to do for your child at home.

I wish you the best of luck with your child. Although I don’t work with infants, I do teahc special education and have 4 years of experiance with preschool children who are delayed. Please dont’ hesitate to e-mail me if you have any more questions.

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Question?: Autistic Symptoms

William asks…

How do they determine whether a child is autistic?

Is their like a test for it? Does it show up when they do a gene study? Or is it symptom based? I forgot to ask the doctor while i was there and god knows how long it will be for the referall for the actual tests so im just wondering if it shows up in a gene study?

Also when they do genetic testing is there basic things they test for or is it symptom based again on what they will test for?

Ok so the testing would be more to rule out other things then?

admin answers:

Here is a quick test:


You really should visit autismspeaks. Org.
There is alot of valuable info there,

Also another test:

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