Tag Archives: Rocks

Question?: Autism Symptoms Toddler Boys

Jenny asks…

odd toddler behavior?

my 18 month old girl, does something odd – she sits on the floor and puts her hands on the floor in front of her and rocks front to back. is this abnormal behavior, she is my first girl my other kids are boys and they never did this.

admin answers:

I studied early childhood development in college and sometimes you may see this behavior early on with children that have autism. BUT, don’t get worried right away since autism comes with a lot of other symptoms and behaviors.
As long as she is developing normal on the other milestones for her age (walking, trying to talk, etc…) I wouldn’t be worried about one thing.
Some babies also develop different ways of self soothing, a tiny step into their “independence”.
Keep watching her and take her to the pediatrician if it concerns you anymore.
Happy parenting and best wishes!

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Question?: Autism Signs In 3 Year Olds

James asks…

Does this sound like Autism in my 3 year old?

We waiting to go to the Children Hospital.For another opinion. But this is my DD actions everyday…
_rocks and spins toys.
_ Like to play by herself.(not with siblings or kids in school)
_no eye contacts.
_don’t like being touch.
_have no speech what so ever.

admin answers:

The speech delay may be an issue, but mainly you need to check if she is making an effort to communicate with others.

Rocking, spinning, playing by themselves, not making eye contact, and not liking to be touched are NOT signs of autism.

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Question?: Autism Signs In Children

Ruth asks…

How do you tell someone to get their child evaluted?

This family has one 5 year old with PDD a 18 month old who can’t sit up and rocks back and forth while on the floor, Dad wants him evaluated, but also has a 3 year old who has deffinate signs of autism too. Dad thinks he’s a genious bacause he is so drilled. How can we get Dad to see the light?

admin answers:

Try putting it to him like this since , since the other two do and seem to have autism It is a precautionary thing to have the middle child evaluated too. Explain that there are various degrees of autism and that some people w/ as are brilliant. Advise him that it is more likely for his middle child to have autism because his siblings do than some one who’s siblings don’t. As a parent of autistic children he should understand how important early intervention is. If all else fails ask him this. If there were even the slightest chance that his child had a life threatening disease like cancer he would have the child tested wouldn’t he ? The eval is just a test If the child doesn’t have autism what will it hurt?

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see thee more clearly


I had to walk away from Huff Po yesterday. Despite many thoughtful, sensitive comments, there were some others which were anything but. The irony of leaving judgmental, vitriolic comments about other parents on a post that begs someone to stop making judgmental, vitriolic comments about other parents appears to be lost on those who just have to throw that one last rock.

It’s not my blog. I can’t police it. But I’m sick that it’s become a forum for even more anger and even more judgment and even more division.

The other day I wrote the following:

PLEASE respect each other and all of our different perspectives in the comments here. To be clear, the only thing that I take issue with in Jenny’s comments from Autism One (as you will see when the Huff Po post is up), is that she is discrediting the choices that other moms make. I refuse to do the same by discrediting HER choices for her son. Please, please – let’s not reinforce the division in this community by reacting to stone throwing by picking up rocks of our own. Thank you. xo

This morning I added this:

Guys, PLEASE do not use this as a forum to attack Jenny or biomed or for god’s sake, each other.

Please read the Huff Po post. Its whole point is that none of us has the right to judge another person’s choices. That goes for Jenny. That goes for me. That goes for all of us.

Please. when we start swinging a bat, we stop talking. When we stop talking, our kids are the ones who suffer for it.

I don’t know what else there is to do.

Last night in the car, my Katie was telling me that she has a really hard time understanding why the girl who targeted her in school this year seemed to get her kicks out of hurting other people. “I don’t get it, Mama,” she said. “I just don’t get it.”

I told her that she didn’t need to get it. That there are people in the world who do things that none of us can ever understand. I made it extreme to make a point. “Honey, there are people in this world who are incomprehensibly evil. There are people who murder other people. It simply doesn’t make sense.”

“But Mama,” she wailed, “that’s just it. It doesn’t make sense! I don’t understand why people need to hurt each other. Why there are murderers and why there’s war and even why there’s kids who somehow feel better when they make someone else feel bad. It doesn’t make sense!”

She was so upset. I love that she sees the world the way that she does. And I hate that she sees the world the way that she does.

“Baby,” I said, “I get it. I really do. I understand the frustration. But you have a choice in how you’re going to handle it. You can spend your time and your precious energy thinking about people like that girl or, you can use your incredible heart and that scary smart brain of yours to figure out how to make the world better. And I gotta be honest with you, kiddo, using your energy thinking about those people is making really, really stupid use of it.”

I was on a roll.

“Do something positive with that energy,” I told her. “Spend the summer figuring out what it is that you can do to make this world better. Pick something. Work on it. Devote yourself to it. Lead by example. Let people see how good it feels to do something positive – to help another human being. That’s my advice,” I said. “DO something.”

I wish I could share the rest of the conversation, but I feel like it needs to stay right where it is. Katie is eleven. Her inner life can’t be on display just because her mother’s a writer.

It’s funny though. I somehow missed the ludicrously obvious parallels until this morning. Amazing what happens when you open a laptop.

So today, instead of trying to duck barbs and douse flames in a war that rages beyond my control, I’m going to tell a story about my daughter. Because that’s what I DO.


Saturday morning

The girls and I are driving to New Jersey to meet my nephew. Katie is in the back seat. Brooke is in her favorite spot in the third row. She has her head against the rear vent window, reveling in the wind on her face.

We are listening to the soundtrack from the Broadway version of Godspell. Katie is singing along. Periodically, she stops to ask a question. “Who sings this one, Mama?” I direct her to her sister. “Brooke knows, honey. Ask her.”

Brooke answers every question, remembers every name.

This is a turning point. Katie turning to her sister for information. Her sister sharing it. The two enjoying this together. This is not small.

Day By Day is ramping up into the chorus. It’s impossible not to sing along.

Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day

We are all singing now. Together. This is not small.

I cock the rear view mirror down so that I can see Brooke. I watch her for a moment, then look back to the road. Then again, I steal a look at my girl. And then it happens. She looks at me in the mirror. And she smiles.


She literally caught my eye and then smiled at me.

I can’t explain this. I don’t have the words. I know that it’s a moment that happens in cars all day long. Mom watches kid, kid glances at mom, smiles. So?

So everything.

It’s a metaphor, isn’t it? This journey we’re on. To see more clearly, follow more nearly, love more dearly. It’s all the same. The mystery of God, the universe, our children, autism, it’s all the same. The journey to understand, the faith to believe in something bigger than ourselves, to believe in possibility, to believe in our children, to believe in each other.

The desperate need for understanding, for clarity, for love. And the divinity of the moments when we see – really see – each other. That is my God. That’s where I find Grace. In the moments of connection, I feel the presence of the Divine.


God is in the car.

We continue down the road, singing as loudly as we can.

Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day

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