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Autism/Pointing Waving Clapping

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Question
My son is 9 months (in the 4th) week.  He is not yet pointing waving or clapping.  He seems fine in all other areas of development.  He rolled over at 4 months crawled at 6 months.  He pulls up to a stand and is starting to cruise.  He makes good eye contact and laughs and smiles all the time.  He babbles and says mama dada and says hi.  He moves objects from hand to hand and bangs things together.  If I point to something and say look he looks at it with me.  If I say where is daddy or grandma he looks at the proper person.  He also loves to cuddles and gives kisses.  He imitates sounds as if we are having a conversation.  I have been waving to him for six months and he just looks at me.  I practiced clapping and he has brought his hands together but no real clapping.  He holds out his pointer finger but doesn't really point to anything.  I have noticed he is using his pointer finger more (pushing buttons on a toy) but not pointing with a purpose.  I am getting very concerned.  Many of the milestone charts say he should be doing these things by now.  He does reach for things with his whole hand and will try to get things out of reach.  He also gets out attention by yelling or banging his palm or fist on something.  Am I over-reacting or is this cause for concern.  By the way this is my second child and my first hit her milestones on time. Thanks for your assistance.

Answer
Hi Pam,

Good to hear that your son has met most developmental milestones. You've listed some real positives:
- good eye contact
-laughs
- smiles
- babbles
- enjoys cuddling
- reaches for objects
- wants your attention and will do actions to get it
- imitates the rhythm of conversation
- says some words

Other good things are that he'll follow your point and he associates names with certain people.

The things that concern you are the lack of clapping and pointing. Given all the positives you've listed, I don't think I'd be overly concerned about these. If he was unable to ever imitate anything, then I might worry more, but he's imitating sounds of language - a good sign.

Yes, most kids do develop the ability to point, but do you think he could be getting your attention in other ways so that he does not have to point? How is his hand strength? Is he able to separate his index finger from hi s other fingers?

From what you describe, he sounds like a happy, social child with nicely developing language and social skills. Given all these positive indicators, I would not worry as much about the pointing and clapping. But at your next medical appointment, it would not hurt to mention your concerns. If nothing else, that might put your worries to rest.

Best wishes

Autism

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Dr. Sharon A. Mitchell

Expertise

Sharon can help with parenting and educational concerns. She has worked in teaching, special education, counseling and consulting for over thirty years and gives workshops to educators and parents on working with kids with autism spectrum disorders. Sharon speaks from both the education and parent points of view, having an adult son with Asperger's.

Experience

Sharon has spent decades as a special education consultant with a school district and autism consult for the province's Department of Education, giving workshops and individual consults. Currently she works as regional autism consultant for a health district in between teaching university classes. She is an Amazon bestselling author or a series of novels, each depicting a child who has an autism spectrum disorder. Sharon's Master's thesis looked at the long-term outlook for persons with high functioning autism and Asperger's. Her Doctorate focused on strategies to help those with autism spectrum disorders.

Organizations
Website at http://www.drsharonmitchell.org and sits on Autism Today's Panel of Experts (www.autismtoday.com)

Publications
Author of "Autism Goes to School" - a novel about autism that that became an Amazon bestseller. Get this Amazon bestseller free at http://www.drsharonmitchell.org. In the next book, Autism Runs Away, Ethan is only in grade one and already has been kicked out of one school due to his tantrums and pattern of running away when in a panic. Now in a new school his mom remains glued to her phone, waiting for the call to tell her that they don’t know what to do with a child who has autism. Sara is about to learn if this new school is up to the challenge. (https://www.amazon.ca/Autism-Runs-Away-Book-School-ebook/dp/B01FCYQ7DC). Autism Belongs is the 3rd book. Manny's life has shrank to the confines of their house. His parents are desperate not to rock his world because the aggression has gotten to much worse. Where will this lead? Is there a chance that Manny could actually belong out in the world? You bet! Get a free sample at https://www.amazon.com/Autism-Belongs-School-Daze-Book-ebook/dp/B0184ZQMI6. Book four, Autism Talks and Talks, is about a 12 year old girl who has Asperger's. She's bright, inquisitive, highly verbal, but lacks social skills. Try a free sample at https://www.amazon.ca/Autism-Talks-Book-School-Daze-ebook/dp/B01IIUZH3S Book five, Autism Grows Up features Suzie, a bright, twenty-one year old whose life collapsed after she finished high school. Now, she lives in her mother's basement, spending nights on her computer, afraid to broach the world outside their door. Autism Grows Up is found at https://www.amazon.com/Autism-Grows-School-Daze-Book-ebook/dp/B01JB8QW3U. Prefer a boxed set? Get the first 3 books bundled together at https://www.amazon.com/Autism-Box-Set-School-Books-ebook/dp/B01KBEHJ08. Co-author of Amazon.com bestseller, The Official Autism 101 Manual (http://autism101manual.com/).

Education/Credentials
B.A. in Psychology, B.Ed. in Special Education, M.A. in Educational Leadership PhD. in Psychology Management, specializing in autism.

Awards and Honors
B.R.A.G. Medallion for the novel Autism Goes to School - Book 1 in the School Daze Series. (http://www.bragmedallion.com/medallion-honorees/2013/school-daze-autism-goes-to-school). Like Autism Goes to School, the third book in the series, Autism Belongs, also ranked #1 on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Autism-Belongs-School-Daze-Book-ebook/dp/B0184ZQMI6). Manny is not like other children. He doesn’t talk. He doesn’t leave the house. His parents desperately try to arrange their world so that Manny does not get upset. Because, when he does, well, the aggression was getting worse. At ten, Manny was becoming difficult to handle.

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