Autism/29 month old boy

Advertisement


Question
Our little boy was born to me and Mom , she was 44 and first child, and I 46, We have some concerns, he is only loving when asked for hugs, his speech was delayed he just now started putting two words together, he does throw tantrums when he wants something,And can't change from one activity to anther well. He goes to Daycare, they say he is a good child, we have noticed him there not playing with other children much. He wont have anything to do with Strangers and never has, wont even look, always looks away, Is he shy?  He eats all types of food not picky at all.  He hates covers on his legs.  He doesn't like his hands dirty.  My first child did none of these things, so I am very concerned.  Did check list at Ped. office at 2, they said he was not autistic, but he does not act like other children his age at all.  He loves a vacuum , and brooms to a fault.  Now trains and buses, but vacuums have had bad moments with us in home and out at places.

Thanks for your time and advice

Answer
There are a some positive things in what you have described:

- he is now starting to talk
- he will respond to requests for hugs
- he eats well
- behavioral difficulties are not evident at day care

But, I understand your concerns. While most two year olds throw tantrums when they want their own way, it is the frequency, intensity and length of tantrums that might take these actions out of the norm. It would help your physician if you would note these tantrum aspects and give that information to the doctor on your next visit.

You mention that your son's language is delayed. There are two aspects to language development - receptive and expressive. How well does he understand what you say to him (receptive language)? Does he respond to his name? Does he follow instructions? While it's encouraging that he is now putting two words together when he speaks, you are right that most 29 month old children have progressed farther in their speech. Here is a link that explains what is typical of two to three year olds in terms of their expressive and receptive language, plus it lists some things you can do to help his language development: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/23.htm. Most definitely, I would also have his hearing checked do so if ear infections or some degree of hearing difficulty is impairing his acquisition of spoken language.

Are you working with a speech therapist? If not, I would suggest that you contact one. At this link you can find qualified people in your area if you reside in North America: http://www.asha.org/proserv/.

A few of the things you mention are concerning:
- his language delay
- possible sensory sensitivities (does not leg covers on his legs nor dirty hands)
- keen interest in brooms and vacuums
- you don't observe him interacting with other children
- does not transition well between activities

The behaviors you describe could point to the possibility of an autism spectrum disorder, but could also point to other things. Here are two free, online autism screeners that you could look at. They might help put your mind at rest, or they might provide further data to take to your pediatrician:

- http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html

- https://www.m-chat.org/mchat.php

In the meantime, there are things you can do to make life easier for all of you. First, involvement with a speech therapist would help. If you feel that his sensory issues (dirty hands, etc.) are interfering with his life, then talk to an Occupational Therapist. Such people can be very helpful.

As your son approaches his third birthday, talk to your local school district. Most districts can become involved with a child once they are three if there are developmental concerns. Even though your little guy is half a year away from that birthday, it would not hurt to talk to the special education people at your school district. They may be able to guide you to specialists they know who are skilled with toddlers such as your son.

Being able to transition between activities is a key skill for the calm running of any household or school situation. Some children become very engrossed in what they are doing and strenuously do not want to stop. Others may resist change because they have no idea what is coming next nor what might be expected of them. That is where visual schedules come in. A visual schedule could be something you place on your fridge with pictures of what will be happening in his day. Another strategy that might help is a First....Then..... card. If he likes riding in the car, but hates dropping what he's doing, the First picture would be of his coat and the Then picture would be of his car. "First you put on your coat, Then you go in the car. You can apply this concept to any situation and it especially works well when you want him to do a less favored activity before getting to do something he wants. Here's a website that gives more ideas along this line: http://www.do2learn.com/picturecards/VisualSchedules/index.htm. I also give lots of examples of putting these and other strategies into real life situations in my novel http://www.amazon.com/Autism-Goes-School-Series-ebook/dp/B0085HN9HQ/ref=sr_1_1?i.

Best wishes to you and your family,

Autism

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.