S.K. asks from Cleveland, OH on October 18, 2008
Autism? - Cleveland,OH
Can anyone out there tell me any more about Autism. Either first hand or educated. I just keep googling and I'm not getting anywhere. Most of the symptoms are also signs of the child being a normal toddler. Someone please enlighten me before I call my dr thinking my son is Autistic b/c that's what the internet says. UGH. I'm a worrier.
M.N. answers from Cincinnati on October 22, 2008
There has to be reason(s) that you chose to search the Internet. Just keep in mind that not all site are reputable and reliaable - many are people's personal rants on a subject. Go to www.WebMd.com or www.Medlineplus.gov or www.CDC.gov for specific questions to be answered and links to a specific subject. Autismspeaks.org is one that was already mentioned that is very helpful on this subject. I found www.CHADD.org to be the best site for ADD/ADHD issues.
R.B. answers from Toledo on October 20, 2008
Autism is a lifelong disorder that affects social and communication. I know first hand...my son is 19 and has had low functioning Autism since birth. It is a tough thing to go through, but the first thing you need to do is get him tested by his physician and a psychologist to determine if autism is the problem. The internet really doesnt say much because Autism is so mysterious. there are so many forms of autism and every individual is so uniquely different. There is speech therapy and so much out there for autism. If you want more information, please let me know and I will be glad to give you what info that I have since I have been there...done that.
M.R. answers from Columbus on October 18, 2008
I have two girls with Autism, and I am also educated (you will be too if this is really an issue for your family) The first place to look is www.autismspeaks.org They have an early check list. Your pediatrician should be screening between 18 months and 2 years.
What is worrying you? There were things that we saw with our daughters very early that we now look back on and see were autistic symptoms. If you want to bounce specific things off someone, let me know and I would be happy to share. The next step, if you really suspect is to make an appointment with a developmental pediatrician, located at any large children's hospital or other hospitals with developmental clinics.
One thing to remember, if you have met one child with autism, you have met one child with autism. They are all very different. Be careful not to approach this looking for that one thing that will disqualify him, you won't find any one thing and you could be very wrong. Autism is a spectrum disorder, it ranges from severe to mild and everything in between, some kids have trouble in many areas, and some just a few. Language, social, sensory and behavioral issues are what you are looking for. Also, it is tempting to stereotype what you are looking for according to what you have heard about what Autism looks like. You are looking for atypical behaviors and developments in these areas, not necessarily rocking or total lack of language or no eye contact at all.
Take a deep breath. It is not a today emergency, even if you decide that he needs to be evaluated, it will take months before you can get him evaluated. He is young, and if you have something to worry about, you will be getting pretty early intervention.
Beware of people who will tell you that their cousin or their neighbor did the same thing and is now a rocket scientist. If you think that there is a problem, find out for sure from a professional and don't "wait and see." The biggest thing you have on your side is his young age, early intervention is the best you can provide.
3 moms found this helpful
R.R. answers from Canton on October 19, 2008
I have tow Austic grandsons,that I am raising.The web site that I found to be the most helpful is autismspeaks.org They have The eight signs of Autism.
You didn'tsay why you were concerened,are you seeing some delays in there development?How about in there speach?Autism spectrum disorder can be treated with a lot of love and patience.I treat these boys like they have nothing wrong with them.It takes us a while to learn new things,but we get them done.There are at least 150 levels of Autism,My boys are somewhere in the middle.
I hope this has helped.
1 mom found this helpful
A.B. answers from Indianapolis on October 19, 2008
First, don't panic! When you go to the Doc, becasue you need to, they will tell you that it is too early to acurately diagnos autism. Autism is a spectrum disorder so there is no clear cut line of who is autistic and who is not. My daughter falls on the spectrum as PDDNS (pervasive developmental disorder non specific). We started the process early with her about 13 months becsause she just was not hitting her milestones. There are resources available to you at 16 months. You need to go see your doc first. What symptoms ar leading you to believe your child is autistic? Have a list ready so you don't forget anything. I would recommend that you contact your local "Help Me Grow" office. They will be able to put you in touch with therapists, school programs (yes at 16 months), the right doctors etc. Children's has a rediculous wait list for developmental doctors so get your appointment now! Most of all I would say stay calm, remember that any doctor is going to give you worst case senario, and do everything you can to take advantage of resources that are available to you. If it turns out you are the parent of an autistic child, it is not the end of the world. I would not change my daughter for the world except to make life easier on her. It is not easy and the fight and paperwork wading is intense but you have just work the system to best help your little guy and stay strong mommy!
Also, if speech is an issue for your son, start the sign language now! At 6 it is my daughters only form of communication and her strongest signs were learned before 3 y/o. Oustide of Austismspeaks.org, stay off the internet for now, it will only scare you! Best of luck.
1 mom found this helpful
C.B. answers from Evansville on October 23, 2008
Does your baby make eye-contact with you?
Does he respond to his name?
If you can answer yes to both of these questions, stop worrying, but talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. If you must answer no to these two questions, run, don't walk to your pediatrician! Tell him your concerns. He/she may tell you that your baby is too young to diagnose. That is probably technically true, but if you have legitimate concerns, the earlier the baby begins getting treatment, the less severe the disability is. Find someone that knows how to work with autism - has had training in this area.
If the concerns are just with talking and answering to his name, check his hearing. Boys are usually slower with speech development than girls. Also, many todlers don't like strangers and are not very social.
Get more and better professional information before you stress.
L.M. answers from Cleveland on October 19, 2008
He is very young still, unless you have major developmental concerns then I would stop worrying. We are getting an official diagnosis for our 3 1/2 year old this week. He is either PDD-NOS or Autistic (both on the spectrum) but we did have several genetic tests done prior to figuring it out. Our son was not walking yet at 18 months and had delayed motor skills in general - so we had reason to be concerned.
E.W. answers from Cleveland on October 19, 2008
Yes I have to say you are a worrier.Your child is 18 months old and you are already concerned about autism. I have a child on the autism spectrum and he was identified at 2 and a half. He was tested at age 3 and was diagnosed with speech delay.I did not notice anything as early as 18 months but I would have to say there are severe cases where it is obvious early. Please do not spend your time worrying or looking for things wrong with him because every child has some type of disability even the normal ones.I'm sorry to come across impatient but the news media is trying to create fear in all of us about a million things especially autism. Please enjoy your child and discuss your child's milestones with your doctor at each well baby visit. By doing this you will know if your son is developing the way he should be. BUT please do not stress yourself over something that your child may not even have. I am a 45 year old mother of 4 and I hope I have learned a lot through all my kids.But please know that you may find somethings that seem like autism but are just normal development. Children who do not have autism have simliar issues to children that do have them. You can't focus on the diagnosis but see if there are certain skills your child is behind in but at your child's age you can't compare since everyone develops at different paces. There are many websites available but if you start reading them trust me you will find something wrong with your child maybe or even yourself. My husband and I have read many books and beleive me we talk about how we think we see in ourselves certain things. Please be cautious how you proceed. I hope you understand my suggestions come from a mom who has been there and done that.If you still feel you need more info I can suggest many books and websites. My youngest son is 10 and has PDD-NOS a subset of autism and I have a son with ADHD who is 25. Plus 2 other children who seem to be normal (sometimes). Please letme know if I can be of any help.
B.S. answers from Indianapolis on October 21, 2008
HI S., I have a 9 year old son with Autism, he was just a few days shy of being 2 when he was diagnosed. He hit all his milestones, talked alittle, walked at 10 months, the 'normal's stuff, he started to regress after his shots, I know they say it isnt the shots causing Autism, but my son changed after he got his.....anyway we took our son to Riley Hospital for Children, they pretty much looked at him and said 'yes he is autistic, have a nice day.' We took him to Cinn. Children's Hospital in Ohio. Dr Manning is AWESOME! THey did hearing tests, they did an ADOS test and actually spent time with us and finally diagnosed him AGAIN with Autism. It is a hard thing to live with but with the right supports it is alittle easier. I know you were actually wanting to learn more aboiut the symptons and I got off on my sop box. you can try www.autism-society.org, www.autism101manual.com, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/ddautism.htm. Here are a few that I still find helpful. If you would like to tlak about it just send me a message. I hope your little boy is not autstic but if he is you can find all kinds of things to help him make it in life. Good luck!!
B.T. answers from South Bend on October 19, 2008
First, remember that 16 months is a little young to determine anything for sure, because a lot of signs of autism are how the children act in social situations.
Second, if you want a professional opinion, have him evaluated by someone in the field! Friends, family, the Internet - you can hear all kinds of things and each thing will make you worry more! So if you can't get peace of mind over this, you can look for a professional to help you.
In Indiana we have what's called First Steps, and at no cost to parents, they come and watch the child in his own environment, and then they make recommendations.
If you don't have a program like this, and you still want him evaluated, ask around and see who can do this for you. You might start by calling the school system where you live.
Since you're a worrier, then the sooner you have him looked at, the better you will feel, either way. If it's nothing, then you will know it's nothing. If it MIGHT be something, then they can tell you what to look for during the next couple of years. If is IS something, then he can start getting help right away.
Keep us posted, okay?