Questions about 17 month old son...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by KatPause, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. KatPause

    KatPause New Member

    In a few days my son will be 17 months old. He has done almost everything on time or early, right down to having multiple consonant sounds at around 9 months old. We were sure he would be speaking in no time as he was babbling, using m, d, b, g....However, as more time passed, he didn't continue to use the consanants at all. At his 1 year check up, our doctor said he should speak soon, just keep talking and repeating things for him. Knowing we have a lot of speech issues in my husband's family, I didn't want to wait. I had him evaluated by our local EI group. At the time, many things he was too young to be doing so he only scored low on speech. We started speech therapy through them once every other week.

    At his 15 month check up, he still had 0 words. Within minutes of the doctor coming in, she brought up his lack of speech. First question was his hearing, which was evaluated at 1. We had it evaluated after my mom noticed he doesn't always (almost never) respond to his name. He was also not always reacting to loud noises right behind him. She did have the report, but was filed in the wrong place on his chart. His hearing is perfect. She then said we should have a full speech evaluation done and see if it would be possible to get him into speech at least once a week. As she was discussing this with me, she mentioned at his age it was impossible to tell if he has a normal speech delay or if it is autism. Autism is something I hadn't brought up, or really even thought of until she mentioned it. We did as she said, and he is currently in the 1st percentile for expressive language in his age group. We have speech 6 times a month right now, from two different locations. At almost 17 months old his communication is pointing if he can see it, signing more, eat, drink and if all else fails, throwing himself down and screaming until we figure out what he wants.

    Aside from the speech issues, which are obvious and easy to see, I wonder about some of the other things he does and has been doing more of as he gets older. Diaper changes for him are usually a huge issue- screaming, running away, kicking, screaming more and I have to pin him down on the floor to get him changed. Bath time is the same way. Water is not an issue, but baths are. If he is in the tub, he is clawing at me to get him out. However, he will play with water in the tub from the outside of it.

    He has always been very attached to me. Usually to the point he will want nothing to do with anyone else. However it can also be, he wants to sit on my lap, but will scream if I touch him or move my hands close to him. He has started, in the past few months collecting things and putting them places. For example, at the gym we go to, he will gather and stack hula hoops and get very upset if someone moves what he has done. Same thing with books if he has a lot in reach. He also has a habit of bringing shoes to people all the time. If you leave your shoes in his reach, he thinks you need to wear them now! He has also very recently started spinning himself in circles until he is so dizzy he falls over.

    I guess at this point I am not sure what to make of any of this. I am not sure what to expect moving forward or what I should really be looking out for if anything.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He's awfully young, but, yay, in my opinion he has a lot of traits of autistic spectrum and I'd keep the interventions going. Maybe your husband's family has some undiagnosed autistic spectrum people there.

    Speech does tend to improve. That doesn't mean the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has gone away. Seems he has some sensory issues too.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    At 17 months, he's a bit young for most testing, but...
    Maybe an Occupational Therapist (OT) could give you some advice and maybe some therapy around sensory stuff?
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Do you live in a large enough place that there is a child development center/autism center around you?
    Maybe look at your state's autism society to see where a good clinic is to start. It absolutely is a goal to have him identified as young as possible and start interventions as early as you can. Since waiting lists for evaluations can be quite long if you get on a list now he may be two by the time he is seen. My son was initially diagnosed Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - not otherwise specified (pervasive developmental disorder not othetwise specified, which is "almost " autism ....) just before age 2. He went to early childhood daily. By age 4 it was clear he was autistic. (In between that he had other medical issues and I adopted him).

    As the others said, an occupational therapy evaluation could be helpful too. The spinning, water issues, touch on his terms only, etc....all red flags for sensory integration problems. My son loved water but not cold. He also hated a swim suit touching his legs when wet.

    My son collected things and stacked or lined them up too. Had /has a special interest in cars and would line them up all over the house. He started putting sentences together around age 4.

    Hearing acuity can be normal but there can be a problem with how his brain interprets sounds. He may not be able to hear which sounds are important in a room of sounds, or he may not be able to understand language sounds under certain situations. He is too young to be formally tested for auditory processing disorders but the types of things you could to in case that is an issue won't hurt, and can support overall learning. Using pictures to say what is happening (bedtime) and a set of pictures with pajamas, book, kiss, lamp off....could help in many ways.

    Could you put a bucket of water in the tub and do naked water play in the tub to get clean? Just a thought :)

    He's a lucky boy to have a mom who is checking and if it's not Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) there is nothing that can hurt him in using Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) ideas to help him.

    I hope you stick around, I'd love to hear how things are going. All of us have been through early childhood and that time wondering if it's autism or not. It is a hard thought. In the end, if the answer is yes it often opens more doors for help. Your son sounds like he has some nice skills and if taught in a manner that matches how he learns, he could do very well! Many hugs to you......
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    It never hurts to ask questions and seek evaluations when you think something is off.
    He is so young, you might not get a clear answer yet, but like Buddy said: a lot of intervention geared to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) would help even typical kids.
    My youngest son is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and I knew from day one that something was off. Like you said, speech issues *can* be easy to pin point. The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) part, not so much.
    I'm glad to hear that your son is already in EI. They should be able to help you with ANY concerns you have. Be sure to share with his case coordinator. At the very least, it will be in his file and documented. It will be precious info for the future.
    As much is a diagnosis important, it is even more important to really pin point his strength and weaknesses and work on those. Sign language, pictures, be at eye level when you talk to him, gentle tap on shoulder to get his attention, teaching back and forth / give and take games. Follow a strict routine, specially for morning and night.
    Kids are being diagnosis younger and younger, but sometimes it takes time. It was the case for V. I think the higher fuctioning, the later the diagnosis. But it does not mean that the parents worry for nothing or that the child is not significantly impaired... Just harder to see for people who don't live with these kind of kiddos 24/7.
    Stick around, you will get some good advise on this forum.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Ditto the other replies you received BUT :) in college I dated a guy named Jeff. He was really eager to "claim me" and early on took me to his home to share an evening with his parents. Since I was the first girl he had brought home his Mother was eager to share photo albums and stories etc. You know what she told me? She told me that Jeff never said a word until he was FOUR years old...and then...he opened his mouth and spoke in complete sentences. Really!

    She shared that cried into her pillow every night because her beautiful son so obviously was delayed. Jeff "followed the beat of a different drummer" but his IQ was high and he became very successful after earning multiple degrees.
    SO...the moral of this story is...explore enhancements if available but don't forget that all kids (just like all adults!) are not exactly the same. A psychiatrist told me in the 1960's when I had my first difficult child "don't panic..Einstein didn't learn to read until he was eleven!". Welcome! DDD
  7. KatPause

    KatPause New Member

    Thank you for all your replies and advice! I am very lucky where we live, we have a wide variety of autism clinics, including university run and children's hopsital run locations. It's something I hadn't looked up before, but it's nice to know there are a lot within about 30-40 minutes of our house. I will probably wait and see once what our doctor says at his 18 month check up since it is only a little over a month away before contacting any clinics. I am just happy we have a doctor who is actually picking these things up now, I didn't expect to have her say anything until he was over 2 about the speech.

    I love the idea about using a bucket in the bathtub! I am definately going to try it and see if it will work. Anything to get him cleaned up a little would be a good thing.

    My husband's family has a variety of speech issues, everything from just pronunciation to apraxia (4 year old nephew). There is also one niece who has hypotonia and sensory issues, though I don't really know much about everything involved, I remember the issues with loud noises, bugs and dogs. She also tends to be apart from everyone else, though plays well with my 5 year old daughter, and rocks herself back and forth on a regular basis. Her mom would have been the best one to talk to I think, but she passed away 3 years ago. Even the adults all have a variety of issues really, though who doesn't? My husband cannot stand to use bathrooms away from home, and if possible will clean them. One of his brothers had trouble in school focusing and still gets stressed about classroom work at his job.

    I do know he understands what is being said to him. The other day I couldn't find a pair of socks for him to wear and said something and my little stinker walks over, and pulls them out of a hiding place he decided was the right place for them to go.

    I'll definately be sticking around here for awhile and keep everyone updated on him. Thanks again for all the advice :)
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    My aunt tells that same story about my cousin who is developmentally typical. But, he had no other signs. No sensory defensiveness (touch) or seeking (spinning) no stacking, lining things up, etc. Always best to give it all you can and hope you get to tell the same kind of story some day!
  9. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Sometimes there are waiting lists for autism clinics or preschools. You might want to get his name on the list now.
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello Kat and welcome. I'm going to go out on a limb here... I think sometimes one can see REALLY early on that a child is wired differently. Sometimes it's just clear. And things don't change over time or go away or turn out to be nothing at all, the way so many people like to reassure us. I knew from the very beginning that there was something different about my son. I remember talking about ADHD from when he was a year old, or perhaps 10 months. So many people told me that it was too early, there were so many other factors to take into account, etc, etc... I wonder where the wise person was who could say "Yes, this child looks like he is ADHD and in all probability is"?
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Kat, I just want to add a note. You are so very lucky to be in a community where services are available. So many of our family members are in locations where specialists are unheard of. I wish you the very best of luck. Your son is a very lucky little boy. Hugs DDD