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KakashiYay
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13 Dec 2011, 10:56 am

Did/do your young ASD kids point?

V (speech and social delay, no dx yet other than speech) just turned 2 yesterday and points but doesn't do any gaze-checking: if you ask "where's the cat?" she'll point at it while only looking at the cat. She also points out things to label: tree, car, airplane, etc, but again, doesn't look at your face to see if you're paying attention. She doesn't check in with others when playing and she doesn't seek reassurance when met with novel or startling events.

She can follow a point from others at very close proximity, but if you point across the room, she (very cutely) just looks allllll over. If you use verbal cues- "look at the red ball!" she'll eventually see what you're pointing to, but if you just say "hey, look at that!" and point 2-3 feet away or more, she's stymied.

I get the feeling that it's atypical for both typical kids and ASD kids- perhaps it suggests that she's on the high-functioning end of the spectrum?

We'll be getting a referral for a formal evaluation on Thursday. This is more out of curiosity.

Thanks!


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Mama_to_Grace
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13 Dec 2011, 12:19 pm

My daughter did not point or follow a point until around age 3. She did have joint referencing but not with pointing. She didn't really look at faces at age 2 (she was non verbal at that time) but did take me by the hand to show me something or have me do something. She would look at me when I did a game with her at that age but it had to be very intense one on one interaction.

Failure to point was of some concern at that age but not as much as the other issues. She was not diagnosed as ASD until age 5 so even with the issues mentioned above, because she had some joint referencing they were not willing to give an ASD dx at that time. Later, when her differences became more pronounced, a diagnosis was given.

Usually with a high functioning child, the diagnosis is not able to be firmly made until after age 5 or so. It is very difficult to assess the two criteria regarding reciprocity at age 2 because usually, especially with a high functioning child, they can get some shared interest and social reciprocity with intense one on one interaction. Once my daughter was a bit older, she clearly met the (lack of) nonverbal gesture, gaze, facial expression and (failure to develop) age appropriate peer relationships criteria.



KakashiYay
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13 Dec 2011, 1:47 pm

Thank you for your reply!

How interesting about your daughter- at this point I'd trade her pointing for face-checking in a heartbeat. I miss her little face!

She presents as being such an advanced kiddo to other parents, but they don't understand that her "ability" to name everything she sees is far, far less important than the million little things she doesn't have, like the ability to ask for more juice, ask for help, want to be comforted/assisted, care if I'm even in the room, etc. Yeah, fantastic, that's a helicopter alright, but you're shivering and turning blue, so how about asking to get out of the tub already?


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DW_a_mom
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13 Dec 2011, 2:16 pm

My AS son pointed on schedule. He did all the obvious things on schedule. He was, just ... different, anyway.


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Gnomey
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13 Dec 2011, 2:48 pm

I actually looked for pointing with my child because I understood it was a sign of autism. Well she pointed and talked at the appropriate time but she still ended up being different. She was diagnosed with High Functioning Autsim/AS when she was nearly 4 years old.



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13 Dec 2011, 3:13 pm

My daughter was the same as Mama_to_Grace, No pointing, waving, looking where I point, eye contact or even responding to her name. She also would not laugh at us but at objects, she would laugh if we tickled her but she was very sensitive about who and where you touched her. She still does not like anyone touching her face. She would also use my hand as a tool, take me by the wrist and put my hand on what she wanted or she would just get it herself unitl she was between 3 and 4. We finally got her to wave when she was 4 but she did it backwards but it makes sense since what she sees when people wave is the palm of their hand so she would look at the palm of her hand and wave. She also spend many hours spinning, flapping and lining up toys. She had no speech other than the word "Ice", that she used infrequently and animal noises until she was 3 and did not start putting together sentences until she was 4 but is now learning French (we moved to France a year and a half ago) and can add, subtract and multiply numbers. She has a photogenic memory so she can write words but will not really understand what these words are. She has beautiful cursive handwriting as well, she is 6 now (will be 7 in April). She has classic Autism.
My son did the pointing and waving but little eye contact and constant running back and forth making noises, flapping. He had a huge vocabulary by age 2 and was very literal and like his sister had a lot of sensory problems and anxiety. Will still not wear underwear, does not like tags, smells, loud noises and is very picky about eating. He also has a unique way of looking at the world. When the psychologist assessed him when he was 6 years old (he is now 9). She asked him "what was wet and fell from the sky?".....he replied "a duck" When she asked him why he said "A hunter shoots a duck and it falls in the water" ;). He also told her that he had to be careful because you never know when you might get hurt (showing that he had anxiety). He has Aspergers.
I also have Aspergers and one of my older kids as well. What Im trying to show you is there is a spectrum and you child may or may not fit in this spectrum. The only thing you can do is have her assessed if you have concerns.

Editing again :lol: its very common for kids with ASD's to have difficulty in asking for things. Our therapists are working with both of my kids on this. Last weekend (I am very ill with a bone disease and in bed a lot and my husband wasnt paying attention to how many times my son went into the fridge). Anyway, my son ate 10 tomatoes, certainly not bad for him but he did get a rash around his mouth and an upset stomach. Also when they are upset they are at a loss for how to explain. I can get my son to talk but my daughter it is easier to use pictures and as little words as possible. Even though my son has a HUGE vocabulary he has a lot of difficulty communicating. We are happy this year that he is in a school with other aspies. He had some issues with one little boy but another boy has come to the school that my son just fits with, they have the same obsessions so they get along really well. Also I have noticed that my son is typically very good with the children in the therapy center who, even though older than him, are non verbal and have classic autism. It may be from being around his sister or it just may be that he is autistic as well. Like one time one of the kids bit him and I asked him why he didnt tell the therapist and he said, "he thought that I killed his top and he cant talk so he bit me".
He understands the difference between himself and his sister but he also understand that they both have autism, just in different ways.



Wreck-Gar
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13 Dec 2011, 7:45 pm

The first time I saw my son point to anything was around his second birthday. We brought him to the aquarium and he pointed to some of the bigger animals/fish. He still loves fish to this day.



angelgarden
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13 Dec 2011, 9:19 pm

My son is 4 1/2. He points but refuses to point with his pointer finger--only his middle finger, which is kind of funny. Not sure why he does that.

He also has had trouble 'following' someones pointing--he will look all around but not where we are pointing too! He's getting a little better at that. We keep saying--'follow my finger!'



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13 Dec 2011, 11:23 pm

Oh dear. :lol:
I'll be 28 years old on Monday and I still don't do gaze checking. Until I read this post, it didn't occur to me that I was meant to.


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14 Dec 2011, 12:08 am

That sound pretty familiar for kids on the spectrum. She may just think that you know what she knows, so there's no reason to confirm it.



KakashiYay
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14 Dec 2011, 9:50 am

Thank you all for your input!


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misswoofalot
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14 Dec 2011, 11:39 am

My son didn't do much pointing, and if I pointed would just stare at my finger and not the thing I was pointing at. It is an aspie trait I was told when he was dxd.



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14 Dec 2011, 1:35 pm

There are different kinds of pointing.
Protoimperative pointing: pointing to obtain an object (often used with I want.. or gimme...)
Protodeclarative pointing: pointing for shared interest (often used with look..)
Referential pointing: pointing used to identify or name an object as separate from another object (answers question which one... point to named object... and point used when alone)

Pointing in children with ASD is often delayed (with NT's starting to point before their first year and being well developed by 18 mo). There is no all-or-none in ASD, so some children with ASD do all three types of pointing, but they are often delayed. However some children with ASD do all three types of pointing on time. The most common type of pointing is Referential, and almost all children ASD and NT do this type. Protoimperative is the second type that occurs often. Although children with ASD often point to a desired object without ever looking to see if the caretaker is paying attention. They may also just stare at the desired object rather than point. They may also take the caretakers hand and guide them to the object more often than NT children. Protodeclarative pointing is the most common type of pointing that is used for diagnostic purposes. This begins with looking where a parent is looking. So if a parent is looking at an infant 6-12 months old then looks up and makes a happy/surprised face, the infant will often look where the parent is looking. As they get older, the NT child points to share and interest, and looks back and forth between the interest and the person they are sharing with to see if that person is looking.

I hope this is helpful



Eureka-C
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14 Dec 2011, 2:02 pm

I thought this would be a good place to talk about gestures as well. Pointing is just a type of gestural communication.
There are also three (maybe more) broad types of gestural communication.
Deitic: pointing (as mentioned in previous post)
Instrumental: gesture with specific meaning to get someone to do what you want or gain something (wave goodbye, index finger curling "come here", flat hand palm forward "stop", shrug "I don't know" and many others)
Expressive: gesture with intent of showing emotion, empathy, comfort, or aggression (hand on shoulders of person crying, pat on head, covering face when embarrassed, aggressive posturing - shoulders back, chest forward, fists)

Again, people with ASD use gestures to varying degrees, but are often delayed or have to be deliberately taught the gestures. Expressive gestures tend to be the most difficult and least likely to be spontaneously initiated even when clearly understood. Whereas, NT children and children with MR but no ASD are more likely to learn these gestures without instruction and use them spontaneously.

Please remember. This is not a singularly defining characteristic and may exist to varying degree in people with ASD with some having no difficulties in this area.



KakashiYay
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14 Dec 2011, 2:42 pm

Eureka-C, this is fascinating!

My girl points to things she wants that she can see, but her point is more vague the farther away from the object she is- 1-2' seems to be about the distance where she's really clear, anything beyond that is more general.

She doesn't wave, nod or shake her head (she just turned 2 and is just now starting to say "no" at all, though she doesn't use it meaningfully at all.) She sort of understands gestures, but I seldom use gestures without words- I'll pat the seat and say "come here," curl my fingers in and say "may I have that?" etc. Most often if we rely solely on gestures she's clueless. She also doesn't imitate facial expressions- won't smile when smiled at, won't (maybe can't- we haven't ruled out apraxia with her speech) stick her tongue out when you make a silly face. She also has a very small range of facial expressions and doesn't understand (or care about?) a silent, disapproving scowl.

The most she'll do is point to things she's naming or sometimes things she wants- if her body is already facing you she'll usually look at your face, especially when requesting favorite things, like cake and chocolate. If she's engaged with her baby sister she'll sometimes (like, once a week, tops) hold her arms out to ask to hold the baby. She's never offered a hug, though will sometimes offer a kiss if you literally put your face 1" from hers. She doesn't offer comfort to anyone, and doesn't seek it from anyone.

Ug- I hate listing this stuff. She sounds *so* much worse on paper than she is. She's "easy," compliant, cheerful, clever, curious, and beautiful.

Thank you for your thoughtful and *very* interesting posts!


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