Autism? 18 months old

MamaAl27

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Hi all,

So I’m a FTM and I was just wondering if you would find the below autistic traits?

  • can be fixated on wheels for around 10 mins
  • doesn’t really interact with his peers, nursery have said to us a lot of the time he will just walk over the other children
  • doesn’t really say many words
  • Can usually have a good understanding of things I.e. goes into the bathroom stands next to sink, rubs his hands together and will come out to point to his highchair when it’s dinner/breakfast/lunch time. But will sometimes ignore when we say to go grab his shoes
  • nursery have said sometimes he isn’t aware of surroundings and will walk through things

He can however, do the actions to nursery rhymes, build blocks, clap, wave and blow kisses, points at EVERYTHING! Eat with a spoon and fork, is fine in new environments, always looks round to us for reassurance in new places, always brings a toy to us to show or help with, is aware if we have left the room and will look when someone leaves or enters, takes his top off and knows what to do with a shoe and sock. He is very sociable with adults and older children.

I would just like to hear others thoughts.
 
I don't think there is anything to worry about. At 18 months old it is not abnormal to not have that many words yet, this is not a sign of autism. I also wouldn't worry about him not playing with his peers yet. At that age paralel playing, rather than playing WITH other kids is perfectly normal. I would worry more of he seemed oblivious of you and his peers, never looked for you or had poor eye contact, didn't pointed at things and did repetitive hand movements (stimming).
I know it is hard not to worry as a mum, first time or not, but I really do think he sounds perfectly normal for his age :)

Btw one of my twins is on the spectrum and it took till last year to get a diagnosis. However I am still not convinced of it cause he also has ADHD and some traits are kinda similar to ASD.
 
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Hi, I can’t really offer too much help - I have a son who’s 26 months old and I was a bit worried about him from about 18 months plus. He didn’t say many words at all, but had fantastic understanding and was very sociable. I’ve spoken to my health visitor and other parents and I think every child just develops in their own way and at their own rate - for example, my sons speech is still delayed, but he’s very good at riding his balance bike, can climb on climbing frames, he was potty trained at 22 months, loves other children. One of his ‘friends’ speech is so much better, he also has good understanding, but he’s not interested in other children at all. He would much rather play on his own and tended to ignore the children who were playing together until recently (he’s just turned 2). I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think anything you’ve said is a concern at all (but that’s just my opinion). I went through the exact same worry and my son is absolutely fine. I’d say from 18 months - now I started seeing him develop more and stop doing things that were ‘red flags’ for me, such as rubbing my elbow and fixating on it!
 
Hi! So I had my son evaluated and diagnosed with ASD when he was 18 months. I had noticed some concerns as early as 6 months, and (as an elementary teacher) I see firsthand the benefits of early intervention. So I had him evaluated.

The first thing that I suggest, if you have not done it already, is to do an online MCHAT-R. It’s like an ages and stages questionnaire, but it’s designed to identify specifically the risk of autism in toddlers. When I did it for my son, I believe his risk was moderate.

The trouble with diagnosing an 18 month old with ASD is that ASD is a spectrum, and many of the traits that are associated with ASD can be typical toddler behavior. When my son was diagnosed, the developmental pediatrician was very clear that some of his behavior could be developmental, could be trauma based (my ex was abusive), or could be ASD. I wanted services, and since trauma involves therapy (too young) and ASD would give him access to ABA (which frankly any kid can benefit from properly run ABA), I said sure go ahead and diagnose him. He scored mild on the spectrum. There were a lot of yellow flags (didn’t interact with peers his age, speech delay, only playing with the same toys, inconsistent eye contact, eats the same foods all the time) and then ultimately the diagnosis was made because he bangs his head when he’s upset or overstimulated and his need for routine. My son has been on an internal schedule since he was a kid. But if I rearranged the furniture, he wouldn’t sleep for days and be upset. If my mom went on vacation and we didn’t see her for a few weeks, he would ignore her for over a month. So these big reactions to small changes really pushed her to confirm the autism.

As far as your specific list, those are definitely things associated with ASD. I’d suggest having him evaluated. The reason why is that developmental pediatricians are hard to come by, it took 6 months for my son to get his evaluation not just because of the age but because the schedule was so impacted. It also will then take time to get set up for services. That was almost another year before he was getting speech and aba. You can have the diagnosis and medical confidentiality, you don’t have to disclose that. I tell everyone about my son’s diagnosis, but you don’t have to. You don’t even have an obligation to tell the school if you don’t want to, but obviously it does help is to meet his needs better. I do tell parents though that if you know 100% you would never accept services for it, then there’s no real benefit to getting the evaluation and not to feel guilty if you skip it. Just my two cents.

My son is 4.5 now and a lot of my early concerns are gone. If I do the MCHAT now, it's low risk. But I do still see that he has trouble with routine/changes and he does still bang his head and he does still watch/eat all the same things and his speech is still delayed. However, he loves school. He knows his letters, his sounds, he has several books memorized, loves to sing and dance and play sports, and he actually has friends at school that he plays with. But yeah that's my long post on ASD evals.
 
Hey

Iam in the process of having my 2.5 year old assessed for ASD and food sensory issues .

We are currently on the waiting list for a pead . Looking like a 6-8 month wait at the minute . We are also awaiting a dietician appointment which is currently a 3 month waiting list .

Few things I noticed since he was 1-1.5 years old and some have just started to become more apparent lately

He’s a very social child . Loves to play with the children at playgroup . I’ve no issues with his interaction .
It’s very confusing as Dobby said . Sometimes it’s just normal toddler behaviour other times not. I think with lockdowns and many childrens centres and playgroups still closed or limited places this has impacted childrens behaviour after all they learn from others .

I would be seeking a referral giving the current waiting times and see how things go in the mean time. .
 
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Hi sorry to jump on your post but i too have concerns about my 2 yo. He goes by routine too….in order to leave the house HE has to turn the tv off, turn the light off (if its not on he has to turn it on then off again) then do the same with hallway light, this isn’t something i’ve taught him its what he’s picked up we do and now he has to do it instead haha if i do it by not thinking he has a meltdown! He’s not a great sleeper at all :sad2: he has constant meltdowns if things aren’t done his way or is told no. He’s violent towards us and himself, he will repeatedly hit his head on the floor even after hurting himself, he rocks all the time when in highchair or sat on sofa, his speech is behind but starting to come on a bit now. He’s also very clever in some ways too! He absolutely LOVES music which is great. Again these could be typical toddler behaviour BUT he’s my 3rd child and sometimes you just “know” something isn’t quite right. The thing i want to ask is how do you go about seeking help or even get a diagnosis?
 
Hi sorry to jump on your post but i too have concerns about my 2 yo. He goes by routine too….in order to leave the house HE has to turn the tv off, turn the light off (if its not on he has to turn it on then off again) then do the same with hallway light, this isn’t something i’ve taught him its what he’s picked up we do and now he has to do it instead haha if i do it by not thinking he has a meltdown! He’s not a great sleeper at all :sad2: he has constant meltdowns if things aren’t done his way or is told no. He’s violent towards us and himself, he will repeatedly hit his head on the floor even after hurting himself, he rocks all the time when in highchair or sat on sofa, his speech is behind but starting to come on a bit now. He’s also very clever in some ways too! He absolutely LOVES music which is great. Again these could be typical toddler behaviour BUT he’s my 3rd child and sometimes you just “know” something isn’t quite right. The thing i want to ask is how do you go about seeking help or even get a diagnosis?

hey! I’m in the US and I have Kaiser. I told his pediatrician, who put in a referral for an evaluation for speech, occupational therapy, and the developmental pediatrician. Once they are school age, important to know you need to request evaluation through the school district if you want services at school. Having a medical diagnosis does speed things up though
 
Hi! So I had my son evaluated and diagnosed with ASD when he was 18 months. I had noticed some concerns as early as 6 months, and (as an elementary teacher) I see firsthand the benefits of early intervention. So I had him evaluated.

The first thing that I suggest, if you have not done it already, is to do an online MCHAT-R. It’s like an ages and stages questionnaire, but it’s designed to identify specifically the risk of autism in toddlers. When I did it for my son, I believe his risk was moderate.

The trouble with diagnosing an 18 month old with ASD is that ASD is a spectrum, and many of the traits that are associated with ASD can be typical toddler behavior. When my son was diagnosed, the developmental pediatrician was very clear that some of his behavior could be developmental, could be trauma based (my ex was abusive), or could be ASD. I wanted services, and since trauma involves therapy (too young) and ASD would give him access to ABA (which frankly any kid can benefit from properly run ABA), I said sure go ahead and diagnose him. He scored mild on the spectrum. There were a lot of yellow flags (didn’t interact with peers his age, speech delay, only playing with the same toys, inconsistent eye contact, eats the same foods all the time) and then ultimately the diagnosis was made because he bangs his head when he’s upset or overstimulated and his need for routine. My son has been on an internal schedule since he was a kid. But if I rearranged the furniture, he wouldn’t sleep for days and be upset. If my mom went on vacation and we didn’t see her for a few weeks, he would ignore her for over a month. So these big reactions to small changes really pushed her to confirm the autism.

As far as your specific list, those are definitely things associated with ASD. I’d suggest having him evaluated. The reason why is that developmental pediatricians are hard to come by, it took 6 months for my son to get his evaluation not just because of the age but because the schedule was so impacted. It also will then take time to get set up for services. That was almost another year before he was getting speech and aba. You can have the diagnosis and medical confidentiality, you don’t have to disclose that. I tell everyone about my son’s diagnosis, but you don’t have to. You don’t even have an obligation to tell the school if you don’t want to, but obviously it does help is to meet his needs better. I do tell parents though that if you know 100% you would never accept services for it, then there’s no real benefit to getting the evaluation and not to feel guilty if you skip it. Just my two cents.

My son is 4.5 now and a lot of my early concerns are gone. If I do the MCHAT now, it's low risk. But I do still see that he has trouble with routine/changes and he does still bang his head and he does still watch/eat all the same things and his speech is still delayed. However, he loves school. He knows his letters, his sounds, he has several books memorized, loves to sing and dance and play sports, and he actually has friends at school that he plays with. But yeah that's my long post on ASD evals.


Thank you for this. It is hard to know at this age as you say some things can be developmental. He loves his food and will eat anything, he is fine with change, nothing really bothers him in all honesty, only if he is hungry or he doesn’t get his own way lol. Thank you for the advice for MCHAT; I did this the other day and it came back low.
He is good at knowing what animals are what, makes animal noises when asked, points at his teddy bear and says bear and points at flower and says flower. When he sees an animal he will do the animal noise. If I ask him to show something to Daddy he will go to him and show him, or whoever I ask him to go to. I think my biggest worry is the fixation on wheels, which will take up about 20 mins of his time and the interaction with other children, he will look at them and look them up and down and then just walk away. He will also look at children when they are running around and really take an interest in what they are doing but just won’t interact with them.
 
Hi sorry to jump on your post but i too have concerns about my 2 yo. He goes by routine too….in order to leave the house HE has to turn the tv off, turn the light off (if its not on he has to turn it on then off again) then do the same with hallway light, this isn’t something i’ve taught him its what he’s picked up we do and now he has to do it instead haha if i do it by not thinking he has a meltdown! He’s not a great sleeper at all :sad2: he has constant meltdowns if things aren’t done his way or is told no. He’s violent towards us and himself, he will repeatedly hit his head on the floor even after hurting himself, he rocks all the time when in highchair or sat on sofa, his speech is behind but starting to come on a bit now. He’s also very clever in some ways too! He absolutely LOVES music which is great. Again these could be typical toddler behaviour BUT he’s my 3rd child and sometimes you just “know” something isn’t quite right. The thing i want to ask is how do you go about seeking help or even get a diagnosis?
Thank you for this. It is hard to know at this age as you say some things can be developmental. He loves his food and will eat anything, he is fine with change, nothing really bothers him in all honesty, only if he is hungry or he doesn’t get his own way lol. He sleeps brilliant in day for his 1 nap and bedtime is fine but does wake up at 5.
He is good at knowing what animals are what, makes animal noises when asked, points at his teddy bear and says bear and points at flower and says flower. When he sees an animal he will do the animal noise. If I ask him to show something to Daddy he will go to him and show him, or whoever I ask him to go to. I think my biggest worry is the fixation on wheels, which will take up about 20 mins of his time and the interaction with other children, he will look at them and look them up and down and then just walk away. He will also look at children when they are running around and really take an interest in what they are doing but just won’t interact with them.
 
Hey

Iam in the process of having my 2.5 year old assessed for ASD and food sensory issues .

We are currently on the waiting list for a pead . Looking like a 6-8 month wait at the minute . We are also awaiting a dietician appointment which is currently a 3 month waiting list .

Few things I noticed since he was 1-1.5 years old and some have just started to become more apparent lately

He’s a very social child . Loves to play with the children at playgroup . I’ve no issues with his interaction .
It’s very confusing as Dobby said . Sometimes it’s just normal toddler behaviour other times not. I think with lockdowns and many childrens centres and playgroups still closed or limited places this has impacted childrens behaviour after all they learn from others .

I would be seeking a referral giving the current waiting times and see how things go in the mean time. .
Thank you for this. It is hard to know at this age as you say some things can be developmental. He loves his food and will eat anything, he is fine with change, nothing really bothers him in all honesty, only if he is hungry or he doesn’t get his own way lol. Thank you for the advice for MCHAT; I did this the other day and it came back low.
He is good at knowing what animals are what, makes animal noises when asked, points at his teddy bear and says bear and points at flower and says flower. When he sees an animal he will do the animal noise. If I ask him to show something to Daddy he will go to him and show him, or whoever I ask him to go to. I think my biggest worry is the fixation on wheels, which will take up about 20 mins of his time and the interaction with other children, he will look at them and look them up and down and then just walk away. He will also look at children when they are running around and really take an interest in what they are doing but just won’t interact with them.
 
Hi, I can’t really offer too much help - I have a son who’s 26 months old and I was a bit worried about him from about 18 months plus. He didn’t say many words at all, but had fantastic understanding and was very sociable. I’ve spoken to my health visitor and other parents and I think every child just develops in their own way and at their own rate - for example, my sons speech is still delayed, but he’s very good at riding his balance bike, can climb on climbing frames, he was potty trained at 22 months, loves other children. One of his ‘friends’ speech is so much better, he also has good understanding, but he’s not interested in other children at all. He would much rather play on his own and tended to ignore the children who were playing together until recently (he’s just turned 2). I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think anything you’ve said is a concern at all (but that’s just my opinion). I went through the exact same worry and my son is absolutely fine. I’d say from 18 months - now I started seeing him develop more and stop doing things that were ‘red flags’ for me, such as rubbing my elbow and fixating on it!
Thank you for this. It is hard to know at this age as you say some things can be developmental. He loves his food and will eat anything, he is fine with change, nothing really bothers him in all honesty, only if he is hungry or he doesn’t get his own way lol. Thank you for the advice for MCHAT; I did this the other day and it came back low.
He is good at knowing what animals are what, makes animal noises when asked, points at his teddy bear and says bear and points at flower and says flower. When he sees an animal he will do the animal noise. If I ask him to show something to Daddy he will go to him and show him, or whoever I ask him to go to. I think my biggest worry is the fixation on wheels, which will take up about 20 mins of his time and the interaction with other children, he will look at them and look them up and down and then just walk away. He will also look at children when they are running around and really take an interest in what they are doing but just won’t interact with them.
 
I don't think there is anything to worry about. At 18 months old it is not abnormal to not have that many words yet, this is not a sign of autism. I also wouldn't worry about him not playing with his peers yet. At that age paralel playing, rather than playing WITH other kids is perfectly normal. I would worry more of he seemed oblivious of you and his peers, never looked for you or had poor eye contact, didn't pointed at things and did repetitive hand movements (stimming).
I know it is hard not to worry as a mum, first time or not, but I really do think he sounds perfectly normal for his age :)

Btw one of my twins is on the spectrum and it took till last year to get a diagnosis. However I am still not convinced of it cause he also has ADHD and some traits are kinda similar to ASD.

hey thank you for this!It is hard to know at this age as you say some things can be developmental. He loves his food and will eat anything, he is fine with change, nothing really bothers him in all honesty, only if he is hungry or he doesn’t get his own way lol.
He is good at knowing what animals are what, makes animal noises when asked, points at his teddy bear and says bear and points at flower and says flower. When he sees an animal he will do the animal noise. If I ask him to show something to Daddy he will go to him and show him, or whoever I ask him to go to. I think my biggest worry is the fixation on wheels, which will take up about 20 mins of his time and the interaction with other children, he will look at them and look them up and down and then just walk away. He will also look at children when they are running around and really take an interest in what they are doing but just won’t interact with them.
 
Thank you for this. It is hard to know at this age as you say some things can be developmental. He loves his food and will eat anything, he is fine with change, nothing really bothers him in all honesty, only if he is hungry or he doesn’t get his own way lol. Thank you for the advice for MCHAT; I did this the other day and it came back low.
He is good at knowing what animals are what, makes animal noises when asked, points at his teddy bear and says bear and points at flower and says flower. When he sees an animal he will do the animal noise. If I ask him to show something to Daddy he will go to him and show him, or whoever I ask him to go to. I think my biggest worry is the fixation on wheels, which will take up about 20 mins of his time and the interaction with other children, he will look at them and look them up and down and then just walk away. He will also look at children when they are running around and really take an interest in what they are doing but just won’t interact with them.

Np! Very common though at that age to either just observe other kids or do parallel play. Some kids are just more social than others or vibe better with certain energies. And like baby said, the pandemic has really thrown a wrench in social development. I know I’m told to view my fifth graders as having the development of third graders, and it’s honestly so true. It’s a lot emotionally to go through the evaluation. So definitely talk it over with your partner, the school, his doctor. There’s also no harm in giving it another year. I know in Cali our public funded resources kick in around 3 I think. I source all my privately though. ABA can work with him to encourage social play, but that comes naturally with time as well. And as far as fixating on a toy. Don’t we all have favorites? And is he fixating on it so much that you can’t get him to do things you need him to do? Like my son’s behavior was impacting his ability to be successful in gym class and at school. If he didn’t need support, I may not have had him evaluated. No right or wrong answers. But I know I ask my son’s periodically to be straight with me about whether or not he’s functioning mainstream.
 

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