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if your child has autism what were they like when they were 2 to 3 years

(89 Posts)
ChazDingle Thu 07-Mar-13 21:56:11

won't go into too much detail but DS has been identified as possibly having some signs of autism. I had some very slight concerns before but i'm not too sure and to me he doesn't seem that bad that he would seem that different to children of the same age. There are probably two things that he does that are more unusual and the other things i think aren't unusual for a toddler of his age- such as not yet potty trained, not always responding to name etc. The more unusual things he does is being very good with numbers and humming (although he does this much less now than he used to), oh and he also likes routine.

PolterGoose Thu 07-Mar-13 22:10:46

My ds is 9 now and has Aspergers. 2-3 was probably his best time in terms of milestones and behaviour. I would go so far as to say I was probably a bit of a smug parent as he spoke well, slept well, played well, didn't tantrum, was engaged.

In reality, I now realise a lot of his fancy speech was echolalia, that his playing well was very much alone and obsessive, that he was interested in asking why? but didn't really have any interest in people or children, he probably didn't tantrum because of me opting for an easy life and not pushing him to do stuff like toddler groups because I hated them, so it was mostly just us at home, predictable and safe. He went to nursery 2 days a week, and was fine until nearly 3, and that was when his differences began to show.

emmetbrown Thu 07-Mar-13 22:14:24

At that age the 3 things that really struck me were not responding to his name, not pointing, & not waving.
He also did not speak. When he was 2&1/2 I read a helpful book by Dr Lorna Wing, which details many of the signs of autism & helped me realize that's what was wrong. I can't remember the name of it but I'm sure you can find it on amazon.
I'm sure not being potty training is NOT a sign!
But good luck with finding out more.

Catsdontcare Thu 07-Mar-13 22:14:48

DS was pretty much non verbal at those ages. Responded to his name and simple instructions but not to any questions as such. When his speech developed it was very echolalic. He only wanted to watch tv, very rarely played.

He is a very different little boy now though loves to play and his speech is much improved. He was just over 3 when he potty trained.

moosemama Thu 07-Mar-13 22:33:54

Similar story to PolgerGoose here. Ds1 (now 10) has Aspergers and he was such an easy baby and toddler, that like Polter I was embarrassingly smug proud of how good he was. He didn't go to nursery or pre-school, was comfortable and truthfully, probably pandered to at home, so had very few tantrums. His speech was early and advanced, but then it still is, with his vocab skills coming out well ahead of his developmental age when tested by the Educational Psychologist. What I didn't realise was that yes, he has an amazing vocab, but he doesn't always have the understanding behind it.

What I failed to notice when he was little, with him being my pfb, was lack of pointing, obsessive play, lack of interest in others, rigidity in terms of routines. He also had his own made up words for certain things, was consistent in using them and had a obsession/fascination with/for electronic type toys such as his little lcd laptop.

We only started to realise how different he was when he started nursery at the local school when he was three and a half. He wasn't interested the other children, generally preferring the company of the teachers, but there was one child he was convinced was his best friend and talked about constantly, but apparently never played with or spoke to. confused Teachers pointed out fine motor problems, which confused us, as we encouraged him to do threading, peg boards, playdough etc at home and that's what they were recommending we do to improve his fine motor skills.

He coped ok with potty training during the day - although he only managed it just before starting nursery at three and a half, but it took years for him to be completely dry at night.

He also struggled learning to go up and downstairs and was still going one step at a time, two feet to each step, long after he started school. He couldn't (and in fact still can't) ride a bike, do buttons or zips (still the case with zips) and his throwing and catching skills were (and still are) significantly behind his peers.

PolterGoose Thu 07-Mar-13 22:34:02

Oh ds potty trained at nearly 4.

TheNoodlesIncident Thu 07-Mar-13 22:34:19

DS is 4 and HFA. He started in preschool just turned 3. Then he wasn't potty trained, we only started thinking about toileting about first half-term, which was a bit surprising as he didn't seem interested in the other children (so why he should want to copy them I don't know). At 2 in toddler groups he stayed on his own, didn't speak to anyone, lurked in the playhouse, preferred spinning the bike's wheels to actually riding the bike, cried horribly at song time.

He did tantrum from time to time, especially about going home. He preferred to spend all our time going up and down in lifts. He liked going out to new places and wasn't bothered if I changed what we were doing. He had no interest in routine or structure (that I noticed at the time, but I was very short-sighted through basic ignorance); made eye contact with me - not with other people, but I didn't notice that either - didn't play much, preferring to use the computer; didn't speak much and what he did say was mostly repeated; seemed slightly distant at times. He had NO notion of the world at large, something brought home to me when doing the pragmatic review questionnaire and seeing the interested perkiness of his peers.

I started the assessment process on comparing him with his peers at preschool. It hit me then that I couldn't pretend there was nothing wrong any more.

PolterGoose Thu 07-Mar-13 22:35:53

moose I am so glad I am not alone in my early smugness, thank you grin

moosemama Thu 07-Mar-13 22:37:58

Sorry, should have said, as you mentioned it in your post, that ds didn't stand out as significantly different from his peers at that age.

He didn't obviously stand out and although the 'flags' were there and in some cases even recognised and commented on by his teachers (although not in relation to them thinking he had any significant issues) no-one suspected he might have autism.

As a result he wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's until he was nearly 9 years old.

PolterGoose Thu 07-Mar-13 22:40:35

I recently re-visited a report done by the early years SENCO when ds was 3. Now I know what I know it is glaringly obvious that he was on the spectrum.

moosemama Thu 07-Mar-13 22:45:04

Polter, you're welcome - it's come back to bite me on the backside big-style since then - so I reckon I've paid the price for being a smug 'pfb mummy'! grin

I don't think it was glaringly obvious with ds, but all the signs were there if you knew what to look for. I think I'd definitely have been able to spot it if I knew then what I know now, iyswim, but it was missed by all the professionals we had contact with, mainly I think, because he didn't cause any trouble at school. Well, that and the fact that their SENCO at the time did pretty much nothing but hide in her cupboard office all day.

Catchingmockingbirds Thu 07-Mar-13 22:48:51

Hardly talked, would spend hours building intricate bridges with anything he found lying around, he had awful tantrums and wouldn't engage with other children, and was violent to other children and nursery staff. He was also a slow walker and took longer to toilet train than usual.

Catchingmockingbirds Thu 07-Mar-13 22:51:08

blush no idea how I didn't notice something was up. He was my first child and I didn't have any young cousins or other babies around me to compare but I still feel bad that he didn't get any proper support or a dx until he was 5 as I didn't think anything was wrong, I just thought he was strong willed with his own little character sad.

marchduck Thu 07-Mar-13 23:17:56

DD did have some language very early on; the thing I remember most was the numbers. She could count to 20 before she was one. She lost her words at around 14 months. She has dx of asd and speech & language disorder.
She still loves numbers and shapes (not my biased view - the pre-school staff brought it up!). No idea where she gets it from because DH and I are both terrible with all things numerical. She isn't bothered by change in routine, but prefers sameness, if that makes sense.
chazDingle - someone may have mentioned it already, but has your DS had a recent hearing test? It is possible to hear certain sounds, but not others - would be worth ruling this in or out as a potential factor.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 08-Mar-13 00:17:53

My DS2 did stand out from his peers at 3. He had very little speech, didn't play with toys appropriately unless they were cause and effect toys, eg pop up animals, or ball heater skelters. He would open and close doors obsessively and do up the straps on any abandoned car seat. He'd play with flip top bins. He would never push a car along and say broom broom. He liked cars/trains which moved if you pushed the driver down, etc. He wouldn't answer to his name, his eye contact was slidey. He'd glance at you and away. He wouldn't try to share anything with me, no looking back at me to show me what he was doing etc. he loved pressing the buttons on his toy phone, but wouldn't pretend to talk into it.

He would sit to eat his food, but was rather fussy. He couldn't wait for anything, in a queue or a waiting room etc. he didn't play or interact with other DC at all. His speech was very repetitive and echolalic. What he said bore little relationship to what we were doing. He loved action songs and he watched the same videos over and over, copying the actions. Nice and visual and safely repetitive. He didn't point, if he wanted something he would stretch his hand out as if to grasp the object out of reach.

His few words were all concrete, numbers, colours, shapes. He could say 'square' before he could say 'drink', he could say 'cylinder' before he could say his brother's name.

He was DXed at 3.5. No doubts there whatsoever! grin

He is 13.5 yo now, high functioning and in MS school with a statement of SEN.

PolterGoose Fri 08-Mar-13 00:25:44

Ellen I wish I could remember more. I do remember that ds said 'Hyundai' before he said 'mummy' and learned and used 'yes' for quite a long time before he learned 'no'

defineme Fri 08-Mar-13 00:31:14

|Ds1 (initial dx of as at 4 yrs but at age 11 we feel it's just asd) was a friendly cheerful 2 yrold. The concerns that I went to the hv with were his pronoun reversal (his speech was good and clear but was about 90% questions) which meant 'you' and 'I' were reversed which was confusing all round(it went at 6yrs).
I was also concerned that he was very fussy about food (peeled fishfingers anyone?) and didn't really understand what playing with other children was about at all.
I knew he was harder work than other people's toddlers eg I put huge huge effort into keeping to his routine and pandering to his every wish.
I totally missed the fact that he'd never pointed and wasn't really concerned about his toileting -I was at 3 when he started to treat his poo like it was playdo! I didn't realise his desire to watch the same bit of programmes was a sign either.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 08-Mar-13 00:35:24

Polter, hearing him burbling to himself while threading beads at his SS is imprinted! 'Cylinder, sphere, cube!' Other DC were saying , 'Tube, ball, block or even bead, bead, bead!' He was 3, he didn't say DS1's name until he was 4.5 or so. It was due to an educational CD ROM I let him play with on the computer.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 08-Mar-13 00:37:29

Forgot about the pronoun reversal. Yes, he'd repeat what I said. 'Do you want a drink?' He'd reply, 'You want a drink.' This went on until he was well over 4.

OhYeaBaby Fri 08-Mar-13 05:25:55

Oh Lordy - another self- deluder here - he wouldn't cooperate at all when he went to the test the health visitor does (is it at 2 years old?) where they want them to stack shapes, and point at a bird in a book and say "bird" etc. He spent most of the time trying to turn the light on and off. She says "is he usually like this?". I say "sort of but he is worse when he is somewhere he isn't used to". He wouldn't stand on the scales to be weighed...So SHE says - "well if you are concerned, I can get the gp to refer you..." me - still completely oblivious (I just needed to be stricter with him obviously)
He was obsessed by traffic lights. Failure to follow certain routines caused a crisis. He was more upset by a commercial that showed a car being crushed than he would have been if another human being had been injured. Pain just didn't register - even when he had a burn that was bad enough to go to A&E with there was no reaction. He was very easy to wean - he ate anything and everything - and then one day would only eat white foods.

streakybacon Fri 08-Mar-13 07:10:04

Very similar to Polgergoose and moosemama - I admit to being smug too blush.

He did stand out significantly from other children his age, and there was a certain amount of jealousy from other parents at how far ahead he seemed to be developmentally (ironic). Everyone commented on how bright and advanced he was, even sociable and outgoing (which I suppose he was for a 2-3 year old), he hit all his milestones way ahead of his peers, and problems didn't begin to surface properly till pre-school when I noticed that socially he didn't interact the same way as the other children did and his reactions to situations he didn't like were a bit extreme. Nursery staff didn't have much to say about it, thought he was just a bit behind in those areas and would catch up. Major problems didn't really start showing until he got to school (he was nearly 5 - November birthday) then it all went tits up.

He has made loads of progress over the years, but I'd just like to add that he's 14 now and puberty is crap smile.

chubbymomie2012 Fri 08-Mar-13 07:27:12

oh Gosh. I have found this thread interesting, helpful and upsetting all in one go. my very precious DS2 is suspected ASD he is 26 months. we were concerned initially as his speech stopped around 18 months. He is my 3rd of 4 children and was by far the best baby. however its becoming apparent now he has differences. He has obsessive play patterns major speech delay. Ignores us if we call his name. doesnt point but has started to wave. he has lots of other little quirks too so we decided to have him refered for investigatin the wait here is 6-9 months so we paid privately to have him see a speech therapist who confirmed in her opinion he is defo ASD. I know we need to wait on the developmental teams assessment for a definative diagnosis but this is enough for us to accept that we need to work with him to help him.

Today i am heartbroken for him, up until the last couple of days he would eat and drink anythng and was a pleasure to feed, however 2 days ago he just stopped eating and yesterday he started this moaning noise. i cant pin it to any behaviour or event it just seems nonsensical and random.

i suppose its all seeming more real now. did any of you mmmys have periods like this were u feel so sad for your dc?

ArthurPewty Fri 08-Mar-13 07:47:58

Both of mine have HFA - they were both very, very difficult at 2-3. It was the worst age so far.

defineme Fri 08-Mar-13 07:52:17

chubbymomie2012 have you posted a thread about your ds2? I think there are a lot of mnetters on the special needs board who will have a ton of advice about ways to help him.

Crawling Fri 08-Mar-13 07:54:13

dd didnt smile much she didnt point or wave. Dd was non verbal had awful tantrums and disliked being hugged.

Dd spent most of her days playing quietly alone and if she was watching telly she didnt realise someone had entered the house. She didnt respond to her name and if we had guest she hid under the table. Dd had a very high pain threshold and cried at loud noises.

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