Can NT children show Autistic traits in their early years?

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Joe90
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27 Jan 2011, 1:14 pm

My brother is 3 years older than me, and he is NT. But my mum always says that when he was just 2 years old, he knew exactly how to work the TV and the video-player, and he used to put the same Thomas the Tank Engine video in and watch it over and over again. As soon as it finished, he would rewind it himself and watch it over again. He used to play with his toys whilst having it on all the time, and soon the video got really worn out and didn't work in the end.
He was a very placid toddler aswell. He hardly ever threw tantrums, and he was never naughty. He only cried when he wasn't very well.

And don't say that my brother might be on the spectrum, because he is not. I know my own brother.

But, ironically, I never once showed any Autistic traits, until the very day I started school, which was aged 4 years and 4 months. So for 4 years and 4 months of my life, I was just like any typical child. I mixed well with other children in my peers.

But with my brother, he was very clever to know how to work the video-player at 2 years old, and there is a bit of repetitive behaviour hidden in with the ''watching the same video over and go again'' part.....
But, I suppose all children are funny things, really. My brother's friend didn't learn to crawl 'til he was about 15 months old, and his speech was very delayed. But he turned out NT. And my NT cousin used to push other children away from the toy she was playing with when she was at nursery. She always wanted the toys to herself, and she wasn't an only child either.
I don't think there is no telling in whether a child has AS or not, until they start school, really. Well, I don't know. Any thoughts about children showing symptoms of Autism when they turn out to be NT?


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Last edited by Joe90 on 27 Jan 2011, 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Verdandi
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27 Jan 2011, 1:17 pm

League_Girl
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27 Jan 2011, 1:40 pm

My little brother had certain attachments to certain objects. He was also a picky eater and wouldn't eat lot of things our mother made. He also wanted things done a certain way so he used to say "start over start over" and he didn't like being touched.

But he outgrew these. He even stopped being a picky eater when he was eight because my mother fixed it, she also fixed the "start over" stuff too. She just started having him eat the same thing every dinner and she have him make it himself and he got sick of having corn dogs for every dinner so he started to eat what our momma made. The "start over" stuff, our mother used to say "No start overs" and refuse to do it over his way and just let him cry. Then he got over it. But he still has the sensitive smell but he doesn't whine about smells anymore.


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Joe90
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27 Jan 2011, 3:55 pm

Verdandi wrote:


But my brother doesn't show any Autistic traits now. He has normal social cues, and has no trouble with making friends. He was popular at school. The explanation for BAP says that it includes having trouble with making friends and abnormal social cues or something.


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jmnixon95
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27 Jan 2011, 4:01 pm

Yes, because it's a developmental disorder. Plenty of little kids can't communicate and throw tantrums (both ASD symptoms), but they grow up to be neurotypical because they "grow out" of those stages. Also, stimming.



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27 Jan 2011, 4:10 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Verdandi wrote:


But my brother doesn't show any Autistic traits now. He has normal social cues, and has no trouble with making friends. He was popular at school. The explanation for BAP says that it includes having trouble with making friends and abnormal social cues or something.


It says it may include those to a mild degree. It may also or instead include other things such as preferring routines. The description that you gave of him as a toddler was of somebody who preferred routines.

I also preferred routines as a child and still do as an adult. I never had trouble with social cues or making friends but was sometimes teased by those friends for being "stuck in a rut". At various points in my life, various friends have made it their mission to get me out of these ruts with limited but still some success. This "preference for routines" is one reason why I call myself BAP here, although I would never have even heard of the term if I didn't have an autistic daughter.


You say your brother shows no autistic traits now because he has normal social cues and no trouble making friends. But does he still have a preference for routines? He might be like me.



Yensid
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27 Jan 2011, 4:11 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Verdandi wrote:


But my brother doesn't show any Autistic traits now. He has normal social cues, and has no trouble with making friends. He was popular at school. The explanation for BAP says that it includes having trouble with making friends and abnormal social cues or something.


These are things which might be true, not things that always are true. How a person turns out depends on the way that different factors combine and on things like upbringing. There are a lot of NTs with some ASD traits, but who have no problems socializing.

As an example, my sister has a lot of ASD traits. You could write a life history of her that sounded Aspie. You could also write a life history of her that sounded perfectly NT. What she is, and probably what your brother is, is an NT with some ASD traits.



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27 Jan 2011, 4:15 pm

I wouldn't call those autistic traits exactly. Sure, in combination with clear autistic symptoms, they might then be grouped with the other traits, but watching a favorite video over and over is pretty typical of young children (little kids LOVE repetition), and knowing how to work the VCR could indicate giftedness or natural mechanical aptitude, or perhaps just growing up in an environment where he had the opportunity to learn how to use it. I remember baby-sitting for a 2 year old once who knew how to put computer games into the CD drive on the computer and start the games, and she was not autistic.

Many behaviors which are considered normal in very young children, such as flapping or preference for repetitive activities, are considered "autistic" when they persist past a certain age.


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27 Jan 2011, 4:56 pm

I've heard it's very common in two year olds to watch the same things over and over and I recently read in a parenting magazine that toddlers tend to have narrow interests and spend all their time with it and ignoring everything else they have.

I guess that's why lot of doctors refuse to diagnose AS in toddlers and say they are too young for the label. They want to see if the traits go away first by waiting till the child gets older before placing the diagnoses.


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27 Jan 2011, 5:26 pm

asd traits are not traits unique to only asd individuals. they are human traits, often taken to an extreme, that when grouped together in one individual usually indicate asd. NTs may stim, feel anxiety in social situations, have black and white thinking, be literal thinkers, have narrow focused interests, have language delays, etc. NTs may grow out of their traits, or may continue to exhibit them throughout their life. the main difference is that NTs dont exhibit all or most of the traits concurrently like autistics do, and often not to the same degree.

my youngest showed his traits starting from birth. most of the earliest things were sensory issues like requiring body contact to sleep or tactile sensory seeking behaviors with his fingers. he didnt smile as a baby, didnt babble or point to things of interest, etc. of course, he isnt as but classic autism. my oldest more closely fits as or pdd-nos, and his traits too have been present since a baby. again, earliest things were sensory related, and his traits are much more subtle, but they were there long before school started.

i think one reason we often see things increase once school starts is because suddenly there are expectations that werent there before. my oldest did mostly fine in school until he entered a gifted school in 7th grade, then suddenly the expectations exceeded his abilities. thats when his serious issues with executive function showed themselves.

i was happy to see this kind of thing accounted for in the new proposed diagnostic criteria:
"C. Symptoms must be present in early childhood (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities)"


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Verdandi
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27 Jan 2011, 5:42 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Verdandi wrote:


But my brother doesn't show any Autistic traits now. He has normal social cues, and has no trouble with making friends. He was popular at school. The explanation for BAP says that it includes having trouble with making friends and abnormal social cues or something.


Those are examples of possible autistic traits someone who is BAP may demonstrate. They could have anything, but simply be subclinical.



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27 Jan 2011, 5:52 pm

I would say yes. My brother would have a fit if anyone moved one of his neatly lined up toy cars. If you took off his hat, lord help you. He is definately NT. Back when we were in high school my mom would ask me why I didn't go to parties like my brother.



Joe90
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28 Jan 2011, 6:59 am

But NTs don't all prefer no routine at all. In fact, my mum said that every woman at her work have their own set routine in the mornings, when they get up (even she does). Most people have routine and get caught up in a rut. That's why some people are reluctant to leave their job if they are being bullied, or are reluctant to leave their husband/wife is they are beating them up. It's mostly because they've set themselves in that life and are not ready to hoist themselves out of it. My uncle has gotten into a rut, by coming round ours for a cup of tea every Thursday evening. Some jobs they set a certain rota for each day, so the workers can know what they're doing each morning. If nobody stuck to routines, this world would be in a mess.


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doeintheheadlights
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28 Jan 2011, 7:26 am

I think that's pretty normal behaviour for a toddler. I have 3 young cousins and they all do/did things like that and had pretty limited interests when they were toddlers. One of my cousins, for example, always had to wear a superman t-shirt everyday, and if he didn't get to wear it he would throw a huge temper tantrum. He eventually grew out of it though, and my aunt thinks that he did that because everyone would always go up to him and make comments about how cool he looks and if he's the real superman and stuff like that. He also had a phase where he loved trucks and heavy machinery, and would go totally nuts whenever he saw one. It always reminded me of me when I see a dog (my special interest). All 3 of my cousins also loved watching the same shows and movies over and over again. When my sister was younger, she used to watch Matilda every single day after school for about 2 years when she was 4 and 5. She's 14 now and 100% NT.

I did a week of student teaching at a preschool two years ago, and always thought it funny how many AS traits toddlers have, like the special interests.



Joe90
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28 Jan 2011, 10:28 am

doeintheheadlights wrote:
I think that's pretty normal behaviour for a toddler. I have 3 young cousins and they all do/did things like that and had pretty limited interests when they were toddlers. One of my cousins, for example, always had to wear a superman t-shirt everyday, and if he didn't get to wear it he would throw a huge temper tantrum. He eventually grew out of it though, and my aunt thinks that he did that because everyone would always go up to him and make comments about how cool he looks and if he's the real superman and stuff like that. He also had a phase where he loved trucks and heavy machinery, and would go totally nuts whenever he saw one. It always reminded me of me when I see a dog (my special interest). All 3 of my cousins also loved watching the same shows and movies over and over again. When my sister was younger, she used to watch Matilda every single day after school for about 2 years when she was 4 and 5. She's 14 now and 100% NT.

I did a week of student teaching at a preschool two years ago, and always thought it funny how many AS traits toddlers have, like the special interests.

Yes, this is it. :) You are right.
I also worked in a preschool for a year when I had just left school at 16, and the toddlers there had their own special interests, but I didn't look at them and think they were all Aspies. One loved his blanket so much that he would cry if someone took it away from him.

It's annoying when some Aspies on other threads say that little children with AS get scared of certain parts in films, or they believe in some films. They're right and they're wrong. The right part is yes, they get scared of some films and/or believe in some films. The wrong part is, ''Aspie kids are more likely to get scared of believe in certain films than NT kids''. That annoys me because it's not only Aspie kids who do that, and they don't do it no less or no more than any NT kid. My NT cousin used to be scared to watch Michael Jackson's music videos when she was about 3 because she thought they were ''scary''. By the time she was 5 or 6 she watched one of his music videos and she realised it wasn't scary at all. My NT friend said she used to be scared of something on a Disney film when she was small. It's so normal in all kids.

Also, all kids stack or line things up. That's what some toys are for. Also they like to spin things. When my NT cousin was three, she once got hold of my globe and kept on spinning it for ages. In the end her mum had to take it away from her because she might have broken it (she was a heavy-handed child). Now she is an adult and is definately NT.


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Joe90
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28 Jan 2011, 10:43 am

Quote:
asd traits are not traits unique to only asd individuals. they are human traits, often taken to an extreme, that when grouped together in one individual usually indicate asd. NTs may stim, feel anxiety in social situations, have black and white thinking, be literal thinkers, have narrow focused interests, have language delays, etc. NTs may grow out of their traits, or may continue to exhibit them throughout their life. the main difference is that NTs dont exhibit all or most of the traits concurrently like autistics do, and often not to the same degree.


Oh, and I love the way you put this. This is what I've been trying to explain on lots of other threads, but I just couldn't get the right words. You've worded it just right.
This is why some Aspies are hard to diagnose. I was thought to have Autism when I was in my first year of school, and I had to be took up the doctors endless amounts of times, but they then changed their mind and said that I am nowhere near the spectrum. But because I did find it hard to cope at school (apparently), they then thought I had ADHD, and they all looked into it. Then they realised I didn't have ADHD because I wasn't a hyperactive child, so they then looked into me more, and gave me lots of tests, then figured out I had Dyspraxia, and was diagnosed with that at age 8, but they also said my Dyspraxia might be overlapping mild AS. So to this day I don't really know how to explain my diagnosis, and it's difficult in interviews because although I can hide my Dyspraxia and AS, I sometimes do or say stupid things which makes people seem to define some sort of ''weirdness'' about me. So this is why I need to tell people in job interviews beforehand, so they will know that the frequent mistakes I do make aren't intentional or aren't that I am daft or stupid or weird, but are just because I have a condition.


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