Need some advice from moms who have been there - Autism in t Thirteen and Boo 1 child; California 6087 posts
May 21st '12

I've posted a few time before expressing a concern about my daughter, because she's been showing early red flags since about nine months onward, and even though it's still too early for a formal diagnosis, her doctor is pretty sure that she's autistic.

She's always been a quiet and independent baby, but she's 20 months now and yet to say a single word. She stopped vocalizing entirely about six months ago, no babbling or anything (although she will laugh if tickled. She's very ticklish). She strongly avoids physical contact or even eye contact with everyone except myself, and she refuses to play interactively with anyone. Being in close proximity to other people, even immediate family, makes her very uncomfortable and if she's not allowed to go into another room by herself or the far side of the room she becomes very distressed.

I know it's not set in stone yet, obviously they can't make an official diagnosis until she's older, but I have no experience with this and was looking for some advice from moms who have been there. What can I do to make things easier for her? What should I be expecting from her in terms of behavior or communication? Is there anything I can do as her parent to keep her from getting so frustrated that she can't tell me what she needs? I try, but I just don't know what she wants sometimes and by the time I've finally guessed it she's a mess, and a lot of time she deals with that by laying face down on the floor and pulling her hair or banging her head on the floor and I feel awful that I did that to her by not getting her what she needed first off.

Plus I work, WAY too much, and so she's left with her grandma for a lot of the day and I know that's hard on her because as much as she loves her grandma it's not what she's comfortable with but I can't just NOT work because we need to eat and pay bills, obviously, so I don't have any other option.

I just want to make things as easy for her as I can, but I don't even know how to do that and I feel like a complete failure as a parent.

*Mrs. Varicose Veins* 5 kids; Chunky, Mississippi 22987 posts
May 21st '12

My son didn't speak till 3. He also had a problem with interacting. Even though I have other kids he would flat out ignore them. He is 3 now and he has outgrown it all. Going to preschool actually helped him come out of his shell..

Autumn Whisper 1 child; Utah 9977 posts
May 21st '12

If you haven't already, push for early intervention services. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc. It will give her the best longterm outcome.

Soon2BeMamaOf2boys 2 kids; Tacoma, Washington 2 posts
May 21st '12

I agree with the early intervention .. my son went through it and it began to help. He is mildly autistic and basically my life revolves around him. If it's something we can't avoid, like an outing to the store etc I try and give him enough warning verbally that we're leaving and show him pictures of what we're doing so he's not thrown for a loop when his sense of security is obstructed. He is now 4 and in special ed preschool, the early intervention services are a great start and it could definately help.

Thirteen and Boo 1 child; California 6087 posts
May 21st '12

Thanks for all the advice and support, mamas.

I've had her in speech therapy for a couple of months now, but so far no breakthroughs.

I'll keep doing everything I can for her, though, and see what happens over the next few months.

mama3trish 3 kids; Ontario 9524 posts
May 22nd '12

I would suggest going to a developemental pedi and telling your concerns. My son had regression as well and the pedi did a series of bloodwork to rule out metabolic issues-like lead poisoning, because apparently they can present like Autism. If you would like to help your child just be sensitive to her environment and try and spend some time observing her behaviors to see if you can determine what she is upset about. We still guess with food, and have communication issues since my son is still non-verbal, but since I took some time to see what triggers his eruptive behaviors the tantrums have lessened. Get into every program you can and keep reading-good luck hun.

user banned Due September 9 (boy); 1 child; Zimbabwe 42927 posts
May 23rd '12

My son had his first autism screening at 16 months and a second at 20 months and was diagnosed...

Where in CA do you live?

She should be seen by EI, they can provide services now, for behavioral, the speech, regression, OT for the sensory issues (head banging and hair pulling as well as avoiding contact)

Suzanne Fillmore Due August 16 (boy); 4 kids; Idaho 294 posts
May 23rd '12

I am pregnany with my 5th currently. My oldest is a girl...followed by all boys. ALL my boys are autistic. They vary greatly on the spectrum. Early intervetion IS the key....but it is very hard to get sometimes. Take her to the school district or call a physcologist and get her checked (remember I've done this 3 times already). They CAN diagnose her PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified) at her age and when she's 3 diagnose for autism. The diagnosis itself will get her the speech therapy and possibly occupational and physical therapy. But, DON'T WAIT. IF she gets the diagnosis PDD-NOS she is eligible for Head Start Program. They will work with her and try to get her ready for the future (school). I couldn't be more serious! My oldest we waited with to see if he would 'out-grow' it...he was 3-1/2 non functioning and non verbal by the time we finally did what we should have done. His progress is REALLY slow and he struggles with alot more. My other 2 boys we were able to catch MUCH sooner. They appear to be 'neurotypical' to people...unless you know what to look for you won't know they are autistic. Big difference.
PS~ Only 1 in 252 girls is autistic....but their symptoms tend to be more aggressive.