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Looking for advice and opinions on cousin's DS aged 3....sensory seeking and social interaction?

(31 Posts)
NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 15-Mar-13 19:44:06

DS is 3 years and 2 months. He spends a lot of time with us due to my cousin suffering from MH issues. She just isn't coping with anything and we're helping out.

He's been coming to me almost daily for 6 months now and I'm more and more concerned daily.

He is very echolalic and has no other speech apart from learned phrases...some of it is from tv and other bits are what you've just said to him...no waving or pointing...but he is sociable and loves my DC for games like jumping on the trampoline.

He seems to be unable to approach other DC in a "proper" way...I've been taking him to a Mothers and Toddlers recently and he has this way of pushing his face into other DCs faces and also putting his hands into their hair and kind of...twiddling his fingers very fast.

It's making me sad as he smiles and is pleased to see the DC but he can't read their reactions or something as he just keeps doing it and it's got to the stage where I have to constantly jump up to remove him from another child's hair.

He wont use a spoon but used his hands and no matter how hard I try, he just won't do it.

(I have googled ASD a LOT and am becoming more convinced he is on the spectrum...he's got poor eye contact and doesn't answer to his name. He also has the odd vacant moment though these seem to have become less lately.

He doesn't/cannot ask for anything...no "Where's Daddy?" or "Hello Neo!"

and is still in nappies...no sign of wanting to potty train and cousin doesn't want me to try as she's just not there in terms of supporting him at the moment.

He is excellent with numbers and can count to about 100...he also can name all letters of the alphabet....he loves being read to and playing on the computer and watches TV for hours id I'd let him. If I ask him what a certain picture in a book is, he will often tell me..."Train" he loves trains and cars. When he plays, he doesn't play if you know what I mean...he moves things around a lot and empties stuff out or bites things. Unless it's a computer!

I have managed to get his Dad to enroll him in preschool but he's not starting for a month....I suggested they get his ears checked but Dad has not made an appointment. sad

He's a good Dad but VERY stressed...abuot my cousin and about the DS...I think he's suspecting something is amiss with DS but stuicking his head int he sand about it. sad

MareeyaDolores Sat 16-Mar-13 13:32:36

See, the HV may think 'poor delayed dc, all due to poorly mum'. Which really isn't true, by the sound of it.

Its not unheard of for the (underlying, not acknowledged) realisation of a child's ASD to actually spark off depression in the first place.

MareeyaDolores Sat 16-Mar-13 13:28:51

Your cousin and her husband will soon be looking at a social services appointment if they fail to act when nursery tells them to check this stuff out. Better it's you simply asking the health visitor to pop in.

It's perfectly possible to get on all the right waiting lists now, start the early intervention input (such as it is) and not get any diagnosis for a year or two. So their need to stay in denial needn't conflict with your dn's need for action.

MummytoMog Sat 16-Mar-13 11:18:44

My theoretically NT DS is just two and you couldn't have a conversation with him - your friend's son sounds very advanced smile. I've known two year olds you could have a really lovely rational conversation with, but not many. DS knows some colours and has a good vocabulary of animal sounds, but doesn't talk.

DD is still non-conversational at three and a half, but she can communicate lots of useful things now about her needs which is such a relief!

MerryCouthyMows Sat 16-Mar-13 11:05:49

And the mind numbing monologues are a daily thing with DS1. He gets really angry if your mind wanders after half an hour of listening to how to play a particular level of a particular computer game.

He spends as much time spouting monologues AT me about his game as he does playing it...

MerryCouthyMows Sat 16-Mar-13 11:03:50

Biyali - that is my DS3. And my DD. And my DS2. Not one of them could have a back and forth conversation at 2yo.

Today I'm celebrating 25mo DS2 saying his first proper 2-word sentence - "telly on". It's the first time he's actually asked for ANYTHING. He COMMUNICATED because he wanted something. Even that is a cause for celebration.

My friends NT DS is a month younger - and I can have a conversation with him about what animals he saw at the zoo, and which one he liked best, and what his favourite TV show is, and why he likes red clothes.

DS2 couldn't name a single colour or animal right now.

bialystockandbloom Fri 15-Mar-13 22:00:13

She once talked for 20 minutes about crisp flavours to one of Dd2's teenage friends

Lol grin I bet the teenage friend was really patient too grin

bialystockandbloom Fri 15-Mar-13 21:58:49

Well in my ds's case, he had a big vocabulary, and would have met milestones for putting words together, making sentences, etc, but you couldn't have the kind of two-way, back-and-forth conversations you can have with a nt (neurotypical) 3 year old.

eg my dd at the age of 2yo might have not have had the words to articulate fully, but you could have had a 'conversation' with her. Ds would have said "i want some juice" at that age but couldn't have answered you if you asked him what his name was. Does this make sense?

Ineedmorepatience Fri 15-Mar-13 21:51:12

My Dd3 talks for hours about what she is interested in but has little interest in others interests.

She will change the topic of conversation to what she wants it to be. She once talked for 20 minutes about crisp flavours to one of Dd2's teenage friendsgrin

She also doesnt use social greetings very often, although she does occasionally say hello to one of the TA's from her school. I always have to say "say bye to xxxx" and then she will echo it.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 15-Mar-13 21:46:07

So was my Dd3 bialy and no language delay. She does have great difficulty with social communication though.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 15-Mar-13 21:45:20

what is social language please?

bialystockandbloom Fri 15-Mar-13 21:45:11

Merry i would definitely mention that at the assessment. It's the kind of stereotypical, repetitive activity that can be common. My ds would also pour water from watering cans/buckets over and over again - in fact often over his head again and again and again. (God I'd forgotten about that until now!)

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 15-Mar-13 21:44:48

No that's clear thank you. It makes sense really to call it the same thing and accept that the spectrum is a wide one. Because people are different then no person with ASD is the same.

bialystockandbloom Fri 15-Mar-13 21:43:13

Also to add - my ds didn't have a language delay (though at the age of 3 didn't use social language), but was still given a diagnosis of generic ASD.

bialystockandbloom Fri 15-Mar-13 21:42:11

x-posts. Ah, the million-dollar question!

Generally, ASD is most often given as an umbrella term. Asperger's has in fact been faded out as a diagnostic term. Basically because the 'spectrum' is so wide and varied, and it's not quite as simple as a linear mild-severe kind of spectrum. A person can have severe impairments in some ways but not in others, and even a person who might be thought to have 'mild' autism can have a difficulty that, even though perhaps isolated, might be debilitating in itself. It is also so hard to predict outcomes at a young age, so giving a specific 'place' on the spectrum is kind of meaningless.

HTH and hasn't confused you more smile

Ineedmorepatience Fri 15-Mar-13 21:40:28

Yes merry it is repetetive play if he is doing it over and over again.

I know a small person with Asd who spends an aeful lot of time taking objects out of boxes and putting them back in.

neo If there is a language delay then Aspergers is unlikely to be diagnosed. Having said that under the new criteria they are only supposed to be using Asd now.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 15-Mar-13 21:39:40

Thank you Bialystock....because his Mum is unwell I feel such a responsibility towards him to get him seen by someone and get him some help...as that's not possible I feel I have to do it myself as much as possible.

What can I do though? I find myself trying to arrange things for him so it's easier...but things crop up that upset him or make him stand out more.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 15-Mar-13 21:37:51

I understood it to be non-typical play Merry...repetetive and at the age of 3 something they should have more or less moved on from.

bialystockandbloom Fri 15-Mar-13 21:37:41

Having the desire to play and interact is a brilliant place to start. Hopefully with the right support and intervention he can learn 'how'.

We have put in over two years of relatively intensive support to work on ds's skills in play and communication. He is not 'cured', and still has autism, but is somewhere where I never thought he'd be. Around the time pre-dx but when I knew he had asd, my biggest sadness was at the thought he could never join in, be part of things, be sitting in a corner staring at a piece of string or something. But it's nothing like that. Lots of other hurdles and difficulties (and sadness) but so much 'less worse' than I thought, iykwim.

MerryCouthyMows Fri 15-Mar-13 21:34:26

Is emptying & refilling things anything I should be mentioning to the Multi-disciplinary team in May? I didn't think about that being unusual?

But DS3 empties his toy boxes (even his tiny cars basket), sits in it for a bit, then gets out, refills it, and then starts over. He can do that for ages, and always has done, since he could roll over.

Did I miss this as something that might be significant?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 15-Mar-13 21:31:49

Can I also ask, if he's similar...is ASD more likely than Aspergers? Are they different? Which is more severe if any?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 15-Mar-13 21:30:57

Is he bialystock? I worry about him socially more than anything...because in life, we all want to have decent relationhips with others don't we? And he seems keen with other DC but just doesn't know how...your little boy has friends does he now?

bialystockandbloom Fri 15-Mar-13 21:26:24

Have to say there are stark similarities with my ds at that age - the echolalia, lack of interaction, emptying/refilling things as 'play' - and I think you're right to be concerned.

It's very hard, as at that stage myself, I was in massive denial and would have resented 'interference' from a relative. But I think if you can find any way of getting things going with further investigations it would be the best thing. They are indeed lucky to have you around.

Btw my ds was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 3.6. He is now almost 6yo, at mainstream school, is great academically and socially, and is a lovely, funny, interactive, kind boy with friends, interests, and a joy to have most of the time.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 15-Mar-13 21:04:39

Yes definitely do it here, there are lots of people around who will be able to give you ideassmile

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 15-Mar-13 20:26:52

Thank you Moosemama...it is hard because I love him and feel so sad for him sometimes. I can see he is bright...that he needs intervention. I can't make them do it though.

I will start a new thread....shall I do it here?

moosemama Fri 15-Mar-13 20:23:46

It sounds like a really hard situation to be in Neo - I don't envy you at all.

If you are looking for specific strategies you could try, it may be worth starting a new thread with something in the title saying you are looking for strategies to help a toddler develop appropriate social skills. You could link to this thread for the back-story, but I think you'd get more traffic if it was in the thread title.

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