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Question?: Pdd-nos Checklist

Steven asks…

Worried! Autism reg flags in 21 month old.?

Hi. We have twins. 1 boy ,one girl(21 months) – they were slightly premature. We are very blessed as they are both beautiful. I know boys develope slower than girls(this is the answer I get from everyone, even our Pediatrician)and I know I cant help but compare, but my “red flag” sensor is gradually building with our son. The things that I worry about the most are:
He walks (started at 16 months) but is still clumsy – he doesnt walk on tiptoes though.
When I come home, my daughter runs over and hugs me shouting dada. My son looks up, will eventually come over, gives me a quick look then goes off again to play alone with some toy. BUT When I hold him or swing him up, or play horsey/rocket ship – he loves it and I will get a lot of eye contact/big laughs. When I put him down he holds his arms up to go again(so there is interaction)
Another problem is the regression of speech – he used to babble a lot and got to the mama dada stage and was saying A O E vowels etc but then stopped at about 17 months – he rarely says anything now except grunts, though I may get a dada out of him if I work hard.
A few times a sudden loudspeaker and the loud cellphone beep in my car has made him explode into screams.
He will spin the wheels of a toy car rather than playing with it like a car. If theres an alphabet button toy he will hit the same letter-button over an over again (interestingly- there was a truck toy with letter buttons all around it-he was pressing the J rpeatedly. I turned the toy around, but he turned it right back around to go for the J again. I dont see any rudementary “prentend games” with any toys. He does NOT stack/line up toys though.
He’s an extremely picky eater. He does the hand flapping and finger flicking, and sometimes curls 1 arm up a bit when he walks. He doesnt spin but I suspect this might be coming. He will sit with a toy/object and study it over and over like he’s a little engeneer/scientist.
He wont use the phone-as-a -phone or brush-like-a-brush like his sister

He’s not a sad child, infact his laugh lights up the whole house, and he will join in with us if we are all playing – but then he’ll wander off alone – then come back in 2 minutes, back and fourth.
As you can see- I’m all over the map with my worries.He actually started babbling first, then stopped, then started again a few weeks later many times in the first 14mths. But this time is much longer (4+ months).
I’m taking to the PED next week – and want to get an evaluation – but Im scared I’ll get the “too-soon-to-tell” speech.
I am more worried than my wife.

concerned parent
I hope im paranoid. Im going to get his hearing checked. Him squealing at the loud noise those times makes me think his hearing is fine. As we all know the internet can be a blessing and a curse. It has a lot of very good info, but also it can make you believe the worst. Twins are like winning the lottery – but if there were one tiny downside is that you see 2 babies develop at different levels. Its X2 fun – but can also make a sane person paranoid too. I will get to the Pedriatrician. Thnkyou for advice everyone.

admin answers:

Sorry, this is a bit long, but I wanted to provide as much info as I could, hopefully it will be helpful and won’t make it more confusing 😉
The main thing with autism is in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. Autism affects each person on an individual basis, so the symptoms are unique to each individual, they can be in any combination and range anywhere from mild to severe. You can have 2 people with the excat same characteristics and they will act completely different from each other. There are also different forms of autism…. Autistic disorder (aka classic autism), asperger’s disorder (some refer to it as high functioning autism), and pdd-nos (pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified aka atypical autism). Each has it’s own criteria for a diagnosis and each form can also range anywhere from mild to severe . This will tell you about what criteria has to met to be diagnosed with the forms of autism: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatis_PDD There are also related conditions of autism, which can have similiar symptoms and/or share some symptoms of autism or can co-exist with autism: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatis_related When someone is evaluated for autism, various medical tests may be ordered to rule out or identify other possible causes of the symptoms because many of the behaviors associated with autism are shared by other disorders.To be diagnosed with autism, they would need to be evaluated by a psychologist; developmental pediatrician; pyschiatrist; or a neurologist. The evaluation they use would depend on who they see but regardless there is certain criteria that has to be met in order to be diagnosed with any form of autism. An accurate diagnosis should be based on observation of the individual’s communication, behavior, and developmental levels.
By what you have listed, I would be concerned, much of what you have stated I have seen in my son (he has autistic disorder, sensory integration disorder, expressive & receptive language disorder, delays in fine & oral motor skills, and oral aversion (sensory to food textures/flavors). It appears he may have a form of autism/and or sensory integration, many of the characteristics you are stating can be considered for both disorders. Your son may not have autistic disorder but rather a milder form such as asperger’s or pdd-nos or a related disorder that shares some of the same characteristis of autism. I would look into him being evaluated by a speech language pathologist since his speech has regressed and is a picky eater..they can help with any speech/language delays, any issues related to eating, and help in other areas if needed. I would also look into him being evaluated by a occupational therapist, they can can help him with any sensory issues and help in him in other areas as well if needed. This will tell of the charcteristics related to sensory disorders http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-processing-disorder-checklist.html
This will tell you of the characteristics of autism: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatis_char
I think you’ll find that what you have listed can be found on these pages..if you check out the link above for criteria for diagnosis, along with the characteristics of autism page, I think you’ll know in your gut if he does or doesn’t. The reason why I state that is because not only did we see much of what you are stating in our son, but we began noticing things weren’t quite right around the age of 2, however we had no suspicion of autism, we thought he was just slow and would catch up. We seen a show about autism and the charcteristics of, and they were describing our son, we had only heard of autism at that time, we had no idea what autism really was and consisted of until we seen that show. That made us do research about it as you are now, I went to the links I have left here in regards to characteristics and criteria for diagnosis among other sources and after reading tons of info about autism, we just knew/felt he had it before we had him evaluated and I feel if you continue to do your research about it, you’ll know in your gut/heart if he does or does not, you can describe characteristics you see in your son to us, but you are the one who is experiencing them first hand. Our son was evaluated for 1 month and diagnosed with it 1 month after turning 3…had we known the characteristics of autism before seeing that show, we would have had him evaluated much sooner..and during his evaluation we actually realized he was showing some signs much earlier than the age of 2 however we had no clue. Even if you have any doubt, as the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry. If he is found to have a form of autism, it is not by any means the end of the world, it has been proven that the earlier they receive help the more likely they will live very normal lives. Many tend to excel in math, music, and art; and many have excellent memory skills. Many can pick up on skills with very little or no help at all. Many with asperger’s have higher than normal intelligence. Even though my son has difficulty in certain areas, my son has a superior memory and is very smart, I think it would really surprise you with what he does know for his age (he’s 5 now), and I find that I don’t think it would of been possible for him to have such a gift without his autism, a gift that I would never want to take away from him. I will admit that you’ll have good days and bad days, you’ll have your ups and downs, etc., but that is typical for any child.

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