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Mild Autism? Question and advice. Lock Rss

Hi all! My husband and I are thinking that maybe our 3 and a half year old might have a mild form of autism. We are looking for a specialised paediatrician in the area, but in the meanwhile I thought I'd ask some questions if anyone can relate. In the last 12 months, we have noticed that she has been behaving a bit different than other children, for example she has meltdowns (not very frequently though) if something doesn't go a certain way (for example, she came in our bedroom the other Morning fairly early and asked me to get her socks, I told her to jump in bed with us and warm up and we'd get the socks later, she kept going on about them and just had a meltdown, crying, sobbing and it was hard to calm her down), it takes her a while to socialise with other kids (if there is one kid or two who she has met before, she is ok with it but if it's a group it's a bit harder, sometimes doesn't like parks and play areas if there are many kids, but not every time), she still has some troubles when we drop her off at day care once per week and she is very cautious when doing stairs, going on a 'big kids' swing and trying things out of her comfort zone. She started crawling at 10 months and walking at 16 months, but I am not sure if this matters. Her speech is excellent and so is her vocabulary for her age, has a very active imagination (as well as a couple of imaginary friends!) and is very happy and playful. So... I am just not sure 100%! There are just some traits that correspond to what I have found online, so we will wait for a professional assessment. In the meanwhile, has any of you have a little one with mild autism and how has affected her social life at day care, school, family, etc.? Thank you!
To me, this looks more like your child is either shy or an introvert and not autistic. As for tantrums, hard to say. Sometimes kids are just spoiled or they don't get enough sleep and they are being a little difficult. Be that as it may, check it with a professional. However, be cautious since doctors just love to label. Once your child is labeled it's going to be difficult to sort that out later. All I'm saying is, get the second opinion. Meanwhile, don't worry too much. After all, it might be just a phase in your kid's life.
I agree with mackenzie_fox. Be careful, everything is over-diagnosed these days. In my opinion, It sounds like your child is behaving as expected for a 3.5yo.
Thank you for your input! Actually, I do agree when you ladies say that everything is over-diagnosed these days. Hubby was the first to suggest we should take her in for an evaluation as he had a chat with a good friend of his who has an autistic child. It did cross my mind too but I guess I am not so concerned about her behaviour as I spend more time with her and apart from the odd moment, she seems like a normal 3.5 year old with a bit of added cheekiness... When you talk to people, I believe it's concerning that a lot of them mention their child either has ADHD, or OCD, or whatnot. I have no doubt that many diagnoses are legitimate, but I think that some of those children are simply more challenging because either they are spoiled or simply because it's just their personality. Tough one!
She just sounds like she's trying to push your boundaries, which is what a toddler is meant to do lol. As for socialisation, its ok to be shy. Not everyone will have the personality of a game-show host smile) I can honestly say that if i was a child now, id probably be diagnosed with autism as i was incredibly shy as a child, i just preferred my own company. The diagnosis would have been wrong, as i have turned out to be very empathic and extroverted actually. I just needed time. Some of us are just more introverted when young, or less confident. What are you and your partner like, as that too will influence your child's personality? You could try doing an online assessment which can be a good indicator of autism, and try getting in to see a behavioural paediatrician if you have major concerns. Another source of info is your day care provider - ask them what they think. I used to have concerns about my son, but they said he was just shy and that a few minutes after drop-off is fine with the other kids. Shy, tentative, but fine. Just tell them you have some concerns, and could they keep a closer eye out and get back to you with feedback. But unless there is hand flapping/spinning, aggressiveness, absolutely no social interaction with others, repetitive behaviour, i wouldnt really worry.
Lily2015 thank you for your insight! Definitely no aggressiveness, repetitive behaviours or anything else you mentioned smile My mother in law always points out how similar she is to my husband when he was her same age! Hubby is rather introverted and as a child he was very intelligent for his age and preferred his own company, could play on his own for ages and although shy with other kids, he did enjoy playing with them and his brother. My eldest daughter is very much the same, so maybe it's just a trait? I was very different as a child and my youngest seems to have a personality that resembles mine (very lively and extroverted). I guess I would have never thought of mild autism but in nowadays society they seem to bombard people with concerns over children's behaviour, it just amazes me! The more I read these posts, the less I am concerned actually, which is great! So thank you all! I haven't thought about asking day care, but I might have a quick chat with her teacher next time I drop her off smile
Don't worry about it. Every child had autism nowadays wink

Just put yourself as a parent 'back in the day', when this sort of behaviour went 'undiagnosed', and the child was just a little more exercise for you than other kids might be. She'll be right mate! Her little bit of 'weirdness' being encouraged might well make her rich and famous one day if nurtured and dealt with for the short time it takes her to grow up to be independant. Getting help will only make your life easier, but it might stunt her brilliant creativity and intelligence if she has to make these visits to the doctor, where she will probably shut herself off because she feels different. How horrible if she loses her spark and potential greatness! I am only saying this because it doesn't sound so bad to me. A doctor will say that it is something to worry else will they get paid? Worry about things worth worrying about, not this smile
Good point, Ellebelle-923! Thank you smile As I mentioned, the more I read these posts, the more I think the same thing you said 'she'll be right, mate!' I find it really sad that they try and label every child who doesn't behave textbook like as a child with some sort of behavioural issues. I will have a chat with hubby for sure and I think we might just pass on a doctor's visit for now! smile
Ellebelle-923 i love your post, as its so spot on! Can you believe that these days kids can be deemed "too happy"!!?? As in, actually be deemed mentally ill if "too happy". The poor things just cant win - cant be too happy, too sad, too shy, too extroverted, too opinionated, too anything, or they'll be labelled as something. It's just a money making business that's messing kids up (and doping them up to boot!). Tbh, ive made piece with the whole autism thing, after stressing for 1 1/2 yrs!! I dont think its an issue for our family (but i guess i wont really know until my son is older), but what i do know right now is that my son is: so incredibly sweet, loves his family, laughs all the time, is cuddly, is helpful, has never hit another child (apart from his twin sister, who gets on his nerves sometimes, and vice versa), that i really wouldnt want him any other way. And if he were to be diagnosed with HFA one day, we'd all be there for him. Your girl will be perfectly fine (regardless of what happens), just as she is, and im sure her daycare teachers would have mentioned something by now if they picked up on anything anyway. Just enjoy her, and dont compare her to other kids, or milestone charts, or anything like that. As long as she's healthy and happy, she's perfect! xx
I have 4 kids, my 2nd was diagnosed with autism but he is nothing like what you described. He is 3.5, can only say about 20 words. He rocks, flaps his arms, hits himself in the head when he is overwhelmed. He has meltdowns over the simplest of things. A few weeks ago, he sat screaming on our kitchen floor, for over 4 hours because his biscuit broke in half. He self harms, bites and scratches himself til he is bleeding, bashes his head into things. Sometimes randomly out of nowhere he will just physically attack me. (And boy I tell you, 3.5yos are stronger than they look). He cannot go near crowds at all, our town has 150 or so people and he struggles at town events. We have issues getting him to wear jumpers. He has things he is abnormally obsessed with. He runs around in circles all the time. He's only just sort of starting to copy other kids in their playing, but we put a lot of that down to his fantastic preschool teachers who work with him so well. This is the sort of stuff I would be weary of.
My neurotypical (i.e "normal") 2yo daughter fits your description a lot better. She is the one that cries at preschool drop off, is she, argumentative etc. I think it's just a little girl thing.
Thank you for your input JDFSHandT, although I am aware of the many different 'types' of autism, my daughter definitely doesn't match your description. After reading these posts, I have been taking a close look at her behaviour and although at times what she does/says seems a little odd, maybe it's just her being... her. I guess getting some more info helps understanding what to look for in behaviour and the like and well, I think I may have a very determined and strong minded 3 year old tongue
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