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Name: KB
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My son is 3 1/2 and his language and commuication skills are lacking in the "give and take" category. He does't seem to be able to answer questions like "what did you do today" or "do you like your new toy". And he never asks "why". He will answer yes and no questions and is verbal about wanting to or not do things - things that require one or two word answers. He has always been what we call a "parrot" he will repeat the last few words we say since he was very young. At first we thought it was cute, but after reading some of the postings I'm not sure. But he does recognize family members and loves to play with both with family and friends. We have not had him in pre-school since I was lucky enough to have my parents watch him since he was 4 months old while I work full time. He does engage in pretend play, and has a large vocabulary of words and can say small sentences. When we read books he can point and say all of the objects and knows most of the story books by heart. We have read to him since 6 months old and now he will bring books to us - and although he can't read the words he can tell you the story page by page. The odd thing is that out of the blue he will run back and forth in the house and repeat entier stories or entire videos he likes. When he really likes something he wants to do it over and over again with or without our help - this will last for days until he finds something else he likes. Just the other day, he was running through the house saying the alphabet and then he said it backwards. I was stunned - even I can't say the alphabet backward without stopping to think about it. But other responses like "say bye to Grandma" need to be prompted, and he will repeat, but he will also turn around and wave to her. He will also add his own endings like "see you tomorrow", but not all the time and most of the time if he has heard it before. He is also fascinated with commericals (only certain ones) - he will stop doing whatever he is doing and run out to watch it on TV. He also has a fascination with music - just loves classical tunes. He immitates all of the instrument sounds (i.e. symbols) that my husband and I don't even notice and he waits for them and is right on the beat - and they sound pretty close to the real thing. He also sings full songs like "She'll be coming around the mountain", "The farmer in the dell", etc.The latest thing is he wants my husband or I to draw on his easel. He asks us to draw a fish, cat, apple, etc. and is very excited when the drawing of the object is over. At other times when he is excited he raises his arms in the air over his head and twinkles his fingers - we used to laugh and say it looked like he is putting spells on people. Could this be a sign of autistic behavior? Also, he will only eat certain things and puts certain foods to his mouth or smells them before he eats them to make sure it isn't something too new. He eats pizza, peanut butter and jelly, chicken nuggets, yogurt, fish crackers, etc., but when we have tried to introduce pastas or mashed potatoes he has a tantrum and gags and sometimes throws up. He will smell fruits like apples, oranges, etc. and likes to touch them smell them, but refuses to try them. Although he knows the names of all the different food items. He will only eat baby food fruit and we let him since he needs the vitamins. We thought he was just a very picky eater as I was at his age, but he only weighs 30 pounds at 3 1/2. I have always felt that there just wasn't someting right in his development and have since met with the school district in my area and have started the evaluation process for diagnosis. They say he will have to go through a battery of tests from the district social worker, a psychologist, special ed teacher, etc. Does anyone know what these tests are like or what I should expect? He knows all of his letters, numbers, shapes, colors, animals, etc. and can tell me what he wants for dinner, etc. But he is exhibiting some of the strange behaviors I've been reading about on Autisim Spectrum Disorder websites. I feel like the more I read and learn the more I feel he may fall within the autistic spectrum. He has been able to repeat full stories after hearing them only a couple of times, but wants us to pay attention to him as he is doing it. He can also sing full songs after hearing them just a few times as well. I also visited a special education classroom for 3-5 year olds and was convinced my child didn't belong there. Is there such a thing as mild autism that he will eventually outgrow? I guess I'm just anxiously awaiting the tests and evaluations so I know what I may be dealing with and am sincerely hoping that this isn't happening to my little boy.
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Name: pf | Date: Feb 4th, 2006 2:40 AM
Kb-Remember I am with you 100% on this. Whatever the results are, we are in this together. I was so lucky to be there to witness this beautiful child be born and I will always be there for him & you. I hope that other people here read your plea for help and support and answer you. I think talking to other parents with autistic children will be so helpful and comforting to you. My children are not autistic yet, I am trying so hard every day to learn as much as I can about it. If anyone reads this...please send a message back to my friend with your experiences-she is doing the best she can right now but, needs opinions that YOU can give her first hand. I so wish I could do that but, I am simply learning and don't have the expert advise YOU can give her. She is trying so hard and needs some people to talk to that are going through this. Thanks, Pf 

Name: knelson | Date: Feb 4th, 2006 5:41 AM
You just described my daughter, also 3.5. I am also very, very, very concerned with autism. Only because of what I have been reading online. I need to stop, but I canít. I am trying to find "all the answers." If you need to talk sometimes, e-mail me. [email protected] If you have had any feedback yet, I am interested in how it turned out. I will be seeing an evaluator in the local school district this month. If you are interested, I can let you know how it turns out. Also this month I am taking her to a neurologist. I think my daughter is great, very loving, always smiling, and talking --- but, its the same way your son talks. I donít see her lacking in any social skills...its just the language and her finger flapping that is making very uneasy... 

Name: KB | Date: Feb 12th, 2006 3:04 AM
Hi Knelson - I have emailed you - hope to hear from you soon! Take Care 

Name: Susan | Date: Feb 12th, 2006 5:43 AM
My son is 2 1/2 years old and I have known since about 12 months old that something was wrong. Looking back now, I realize that there were signs since birth, I just didn't pick up on them (new mom).
My son displays autistic behaviors, but I'm not sure that's what is going on. Unlike most, he didn't have a sudden regression. Also, he is extremely physically affectionate. He does make eye contact, though only when he's interested in what we're doing. He is non-verbal. Occasionally, a word will pop out of his mouth (maybe not perfectly pronounced, but we know what he means). Unfortunately, we rarely hear a word more than once or twice, then it seems to disappear from his memory. He definitely prefers to play with us. He gets upset when he has to play by himself.

His speech/occupational therapists puts his cognitive level at 9-12 months of age. Emotional level is at 30 months (his actual age). gross motor skills are fine. fine motor skills are delayed, though not by much.

He seems to fit the medical definition of autistic, but I have never talked to or heard of another autistic child with quite the same characteristics as my son. I'm thinking severe ADHD? Any thoughts? He hasn't been officially diagnosed with autism spectrum due to his age. On paper, he has PDD-NOS. Anyone else have a child affected since birth, rather than a sudden regression during the toddler years? 

Name: sophie | Date: Mar 22nd, 2006 8:35 AM
reading your posting sounds my son to a tee.He is almost 3 and without fail stacks up to your decsrciption of your littlie.
my advise is dont be scared,visit your local develpoment center and get him evaluated.They talk to you to get an idea of what your littlie does and i reckon you print out this page and show them what you have expressed.Good luck,and remember the early diagnosis helps you all in the long run.We are just getting used to the "label"of ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and frankly people in my family say "he'll grow out of it" stuff like that.Even his Grandma!The all need educating on what it is and how it effects children at different levels.all the best 

Name: Chequita | Date: Mar 22nd, 2006 1:17 PM
WOW! You described my son to a tee also! I was actually a little freaked out reading it, b/c I could've written that! Just 2 days ago he said the alphabet backwards without hesitation!!! His memory is unbelievable! The foods.... the fruits.... same thing! The stories... the songs.... the letters... numbers... shapes... colors... animals... ALL THE SAME! Not real social.... I would really like to know what the professionals say about your son. I don't even know where to start! I've always thought something was a little different, but everyone convinced me I was overreacting. Thanks for sharing your story & wishing you all the best! 

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