How early did you discover autistic traits in your kids?

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Ana54
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14 Dec 2008, 2:26 pm

Someone commented that my 3-week-old son (who was then about 2 weeks old) didn't make eye contact... his father and I never noticed anything... with that or with anything else... it's probably way too early to see how autistic he is. But I'm curious about what you discovered about your kids and how old they were when you noticed it.


If he's NT I'm going to raise him to grow an autistic extension to his brain so that he can understand us and be one of us as well as being NT!



DW_a_mom
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14 Dec 2008, 2:47 pm

We noticed that our son was "different" pretty much from day 1, but we never connected it with autism, particularly since he is a very affectionate and physical child. People said he showed early signs of "brilliance" and adults were extraordinarily drawn to him.

That he was "different" became clearer, but "why" didn't. We never in a million years would have said "Aspergers." Now, of course, I think it fits perfectly, and can look backwards and see how it all fits.

Little ones just need to be who they are, and to advance at their own pace. Labels don't really matter, I think. All that stuff about how brilliant our son was going to be set us up for a lot of false expectations; I think other assumptions can be equally restrictive. Some things do need to be identified early, but others ....

No child ever understands their parents, so even if your child is NT, I don't it will be much different than most ;)


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leechbabe
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14 Dec 2008, 3:05 pm

Like DW_a_mom I noticed my daughter was different from day 1. The first time autism was mentioned was when she was 18 months old. I was talking to our child health nurse and mentioned my concern over the lack of eye contact and communication, it was something I'd been noticing for months but even with friends who have children on the spectrum it hadn't clicked that my daughter was also. Now I look back at my pregnancy and can see the signs from when she was in the womb, stopping moving whenever we went out to parties or Christmas shopping.



Mage
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14 Dec 2008, 4:02 pm

Probably not from day 1 with ours, but certainly within the first few months. Eye contact was never a concern because I knew newborns didn't make eye contact anyway. Our son threw up a lot, even after giving him just a small amount to drink and then burping him right away. I also had read that babies were supposed to "peak" the crying stage around 2 months and then start to calm down, but he never did. He just cried and screamed all the time, hated everything we tried to do with him, he didn't sleep for very long (maybe got 8 hours a day total, so I got a lot less) and was never happy. He is the reason I will never, ever have biological children again.

But the question of autism never even occurred to me until after his first birthday when he still wasn't pointing or doing anything to try and communicate, and wasn't even near walking yet. I took him in for an evaluation at about 15 months old to find that he was globally delayed, meaning about the developmental age of a 10 month old in every aspect. I'm eternally grateful for California's early childhood development program that was able to provide so many services for him so quickly. He really started making significant improvements after that.

And since we had suspected autism from that point, I actually got myself a diagnosis before we got his. I guess in children they don't like to make a certain diagnosis before 3 when they actually should have some decent social skills and imaginative play.



Marcia
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14 Dec 2008, 4:43 pm

My son was referred for assessment 3 days short of a year ago, and is still to be seen! 8O He was almost 6 then.

I denied it at first, because he is very talkative, affectionate wee boy who enjoys sharing his interests with others. However, I got a book out the uni library on young children with asperger's and read all these case studies of children just like my son. The big eureka moment was reading about a little girl who refused to eat yoghurt with "bits in it"! !! !!

I only have one child and had nothing to compare him to, but I could see that he was "different" in some intangible way when I watched him at mother and toddler groups. With hindsight, yes, the signs were there pretty much from the start. It was the head banging which started us on the route to assessment, and he did this as a very young baby.

My son has got steadily more different as he's got older, though, and I reckon any earlier than maybe 5 would be too early for a diagnosis.



aspergian_mutant
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14 Dec 2008, 4:50 pm

Me and My son's mother both have aspergers so it was expected and watched for from day one.



natesmom
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14 Dec 2008, 9:01 pm

I noticed at around three months. Usually people who are trained in the field or have family members who are can usually tell more quickly than others. I think I may have had some suspicions before three months but thought I was overreacting. Everyone else did as well.

Ana - If he isn't on the spectrum, I am sure you can train him well :wink:

Nate didn't hardly ever cry in the first year. He was almost too good. He also really wasn't interested in people at all. He hardly even looked at me really early on. I remember him looking around and he seemed to be studying how things worked literally around 4 months. Didn't babble or coo and hardly made any sounds at all. Just as content as can be. My son was like Mage's as he got older. He didn't communicate his wants and needs by pointing or gesturing even after he was a year old. I must say, Nate was a hundred times easier than my now 17 month old.



DW_a_mom
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14 Dec 2008, 9:34 pm

natesmom wrote:
I must say, Nate was a hundred times easier than my now 17 month old.


It's interesting how some AS babies are really easy and others ... not so much. Mine was really, really hard. He demanded interaction. Constantly. And slept far less than average. And. yes, the sensory issues ... a shower? Impossible. Sigh.

He still seeks interaction constantly. Whether it be with someone or just an object, it's still interaction and it's constant.


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leechbabe
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15 Dec 2008, 2:05 am

The not sleeping and the constant crying I can so relate to. Heidi would not sleep unless her head was on my chest - which I think was where she could hear my heartbeat. After 6 weeks of no more than 2 hours sleep in a row we called in a sleep nurse who established a sleeping routine that we still use to this day when Heidi is having trouble settling (thats almost 4 years later!).



ster
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15 Dec 2008, 9:47 am

although we noticed early on ( around 1 1/2 years) that son was "different" .....we just wrote him off as being just like dad- turns out he was....they both have AS



MommyJones
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15 Dec 2008, 11:28 am

My son was diagnosed when he was 3. He was very premature so I knew he would have some developmental issues. He didn't speak a word or imitate anything until he was 3. He used to do things that I knew were atypical and very autistic like but the school insisted he was only language delayed. I finally got him evaluated because I suspected autism, and I was right. In hindsight, when looking at symptoms of infants on the spectrum I realized they were all there. He was fortunately an easy baby, coming out of the hospital after his first 3 months already trained in a eating/sleeping routine. He's doing great now, you can't really tell unless you know what you are looking for, except for the language. He has a long way to go for that. I attribute that to all private school and services. The schools didn't do much for him, and I am very lucky to have the resources to do things myself.



Ana54
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15 Dec 2008, 11:28 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
natesmom wrote:
I must say, Nate was a hundred times easier than my now 17 month old.


It's interesting how some AS babies are really easy and others ... not so much. Mine was really, really hard. He demanded interaction. Constantly. And slept far less than average. And. yes, the sensory issues ... a shower? Impossible. Sigh.

He still seeks interaction constantly. Whether it be with someone or just an object, it's still interaction and it's constant.
That sounds like me when I was understimulated and had black holes in my head that I was afraid I'd fall into if I didn't get constant stimulation...



bastiancontrario
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16 Dec 2008, 1:03 am

I had my son referred at age two after receiving info confirming my suspicions from his preschool. The loud sounds and organized chaos of preschool were too much for his senses. He is an extremely energetic and loving boy. He loves everyone except that kids his own age are a mystery to him.


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tigerlady
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16 Dec 2008, 10:48 am

My son was diagnoised at age 6 with ADDH and at age 10.75 with Aspergers. We waited until the end of 4th grade to get him evelated, Because school was ending soon at that point. We felt it was better to have him in school, than to pull him out for a evalations. School said her had a difficult time interacting with his peers and had alot of antiety. I use the internet to help me figure it out! My sister,who is a teacher also recoginized the signs of Autism. He is now 14yrs old and during well in school( He has an IEP). He is aware of being an Aspie and accepts himself. He is a very social Aspie. He has a history of relating well with Adults, more than his peers. At this time he is interacting well with his peers and has a very close friend. He is on medication to help him concerate and for ADDH.
There is ADD on my husband's and also on my side of the family
!



Meatballs_Mom
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16 Dec 2008, 2:05 pm

At about 3 months old my son started "bumping" when he would get upset. At 1 month shy of 13 years, he still does it to relax & calm down. We use to say he was recharging his batteries. This ofcourse was before he was diagnosed at 10 as an Aspie. Looking back, as early as 2 yrs we found that if there was a choice in colors & he didn't get a green one he would meltdown, but didn't know.


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RudolfsDad
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19 Dec 2008, 10:09 am

When my son was less than two years old, he started pointing to letters of the alphabet and identifying them. It turned out that he knew most of them before he was two. By 2 1/2 he knew the sounds the letters make, colors, could count to 20 well and knew shapes like "pentagon".

When he was 2 1/2 I noticed that he liked to wave his hands in front of his eyes and liked to rotate his eyes as far to one side as he could and rotate his head (doing this causes the visual scene to get "smeared" into little streaks).

He also didn't pretend very much and had some motor delays.

At the time, I didn't know enough about Asperger syndrome to recognize it, but the signs were there.