25 answers

Son Doesn't Respond to His Name

I have a 10.5 month old son that most of time doesn't respond when his name is called. I have shrugged it off as being nothing since he is doing well in all other developmental areas. He's crawling and can walk while holding onto something, babbles (says da da and ma ma but doesn't know meaning yet), laughs a lot, makes good eye contact, claps his hands to happy and you know it... I know his hearing is fine (he wakes to slightest noise). So I was thinking he's just so into playing and is just so used to our voice that he is just ignoring us when we say his name. Well, over xmas at my family's house he didn't respond when his name was called most of time. Also, yesterday when I went to pick him up from daycare his back was facing me so I called his name 3 times and he never turned around. So decided to google this and it says it's a symptom of autism. But he is doing fine in all other areas... Just wondering if anybody else child didn't recognize name till late. It is really worrying my husband and I.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for your responses!! Since we were worried we took our son to his pediatrician on Friday. The pediatrician went through a check list of everything my son should be doing at this age and he passed! She rung a pretty loud bell on each side of my son and he turned his head both times. She recommended a ENT that I could take him to so I'm going to do that just to rule that out. I also called Early Intervention and they did screening over the phone (asked a bunch of questions). He passed every category. They also recommended taking him to ENT and said that if he doesn't respond to his name by 12 months then I should be worried. So my husband and I are calling his name like a hundred times a day now. We will also do the 12 month screening with Early Invervention so hopefully we will be reassured everything is okay!

Featured Answers

I wouldn't worry too much. I had the same concern at around 11 months with my daughter and I too scared myself by researching autism. However at 13 months she is now a lot more responsive to her name. It's just one of those 'every child is different' developmental things.

My daughter is 9 months and half the time she won't respond to her name either. If you are worried, talk to the doc about it but for the most part, I wouldn't worry about it at this point.

More Answers

Not to minimize your worries, but have you given thought to how often you've actually used his name when talking to him? It could be that his name isn't a word he recognizes because you don't use it as often as a nickname or pet name. My husband and I often laugh that our 5 month old daughter will think her name is "Boo" because we rarely use her name when talking to her. We've had to make a conscious effort to use her real name when talking to her. I also have a niece who thinks her middle name is Lou, because we always call her "Lyndsay Lou" even though her middle name is Elizabeth. Just a thought - if you're truly worried, though, talk to your doctor. Good luck! :-)

I think I actually posted the same request when my son was that age! If it's truly concerning you, I would talk to the pediatrician or an early intervention person, just in case. But honestly, don't worry yourself. If he's doing fine in all other areas, I'd bet it's just selective hearing - he's so used to hearing his name that he's decided to ignore you. From what you said, it seems like he's connecting with people (laughing, smiling, clapping) and a big part of autism is the child's inability to connect with others or process their environment. If he's interacting well, he's probably just doing to you what my son did to me. He's got so many cool things to see, touch, experience, etc., that responding to mommy every time she calls is just not high on the priority list. If you start seeing other indicators, then I'd definitely talk to his pediatrician. Otherwise, I think this is just normal behavior at that age. :-) Good luck!

Sounds just like my son! He is 13 months now, but when he was your son's age, I also became a little worried, despite his development being on track in other areas. Then it seemed out of the blue, around his first birthday, that he finally started responding to his name.
No worries!
To help him learn his own name and mama, I would pat him and say his name, then pat myself and say mama, and that seemed to help too.
Good luck!

You have so many answers I couldn't read them all... so I hope I'm not repeating anyone. My son has the same problem at 17 months. He just had a perfect hearing test. His evaluation by Early Intervention, however, showed that he is hyper focused. If he's focused on something you can shout his name, clap, wave your hands in front of his face, etc. and he will not shift his focus to you. I would recommend getting an Early Intervention evaluation done.

Here's the info... Help Me Grow/Future for Kids helpline
1-800-323 4769. Good luck hon! :) (the evaluation is free by the way)

I wouldn't worry, especially since he's hitting all other milestones. Truthfully, he may be using "selective hearing". If you call him by a variety of other names "honey, sweetie", etc. he simply may not be tuned in for just his proper name. Christmas is overwhelming; he was probably busy in his own little world.

I wouldn't worry too much. I had the same concern at around 11 months with my daughter and I too scared myself by researching autism. However at 13 months she is now a lot more responsive to her name. It's just one of those 'every child is different' developmental things.

I wouldn't worry too much. My daughter is almost 2 and sometimes still won't respond to her name if she is involved in something she likes. I'd talk to your pediatrician if you are really worried. I used to chalk it up to her trying to be independent. As for the autism factor, I think it's too early to tell, but again you know your child better and that is another question for your doctor.

Best of luck and let us know what happens.

Don't worry. He is still very young. He is on track with everything else, he is fine. While autism is a spectrum disorder, his cognitive abilities otherwise are in tact. Hang in there and try not to read too much into things. Congrats on your baby. Enjoy him while he is still small. They grow up too quick!

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