Autism: Is My Child Autistic?

What is Autism?
What is Autism? | Source

My husband and I have had an issue with our son for a while now. He is a bright 4 year old little boy but there is a few things we have been concerned about, especially since I've been reading up on Autism lately. For a long time, I wasn't really concerned about these things because some of them I figured might have been just normal for a child his age but some of these things continue and now I'm just not sure. He is due to go for his yearly check-up in a few months but I'm not even sure I want to wait that long. So far I've had the "let's wait and see approach" but as I said, some things haven't changed.. in fact, this past few weeks things seem to be getting worse. I battled with myself about reaching out like this in a hub but I finally have decided what could it hurt? I have met so many knowledgeable people here on HubPages and there are so many others out there who may truly be able to relate so why not reach out. I know that opinions by other people do not substitute having him evaluated by a health care professional but right now I'm just looking for some feedback by other parents, professionals maybe that have dealt with autistic children. I'm pretty sure if you are knowledgeable about the subject, there are certain things to look for and it doesn't hurt to see who may run across this hub and lend some helpful advice. So here is the list of my concerns:

Speech Problems

I remember at his 2 year check up bring it up to the doc that he wasn't talking very much. She said she wasn't concerned, that some kids start later than others. I remember at one point, probably between 2 and 3 years, he wasn't putting sentences together as well as other children his age. So when we went to his 3 year check-up, she said that he was a bit behind and thought he needed a little help so put him in speech therapy. So that helped quite a bit and so his speech has greatly improved. He is still not up to par but he is much better. Other people can understand what he is saying now for the most part and so I'm happy about that though he still has some catching up to do.

Potty Training

I struggled with whether or not to add this here because I really do think all kids are different on this but perhaps it's a common thread in children with autism as a group so I didn't want to leave it out. He is actually doing 100% better. One thing about it that bothers me is that we still have to remind him to go or else he has had accidents. So we still have to remind him lots of times but he will go #1 but he has yet to go #2. I'm not sure whether to be bothered by it since this seems to be the issue with so many other kids out there.

Struggles with Eating

My son is a very, very picky eater but I figured maybe he would grow out of that but he still hasn't. For a good while, he would gag on things if we talked him into eating something he wasn't too sure about. I mean, it was a mess. He would throw up everything so we stopped trying to make him eat things he obviously didn't want. To me, it seemed he had a super sensitive gag reflex. It's not that he won't eat, but he will only eat certain things like macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, whatever it is that he likes at the time, that is all he will want for days. I worry that he's not getting a balanced diet sometimes so we've added carnation instant breakfast and he drinks that every morning and I try to get him to eat as much protein as I can during the day. I try to sneak it in somehow. He is just so picky about things-not just food, it's gotten to the point where I sometimes wonder if he doesn't' have some kind of OCD. We brought this up to his doc at his 4 year check-up and she said that some kids do have a sensitive gag reflex and try not to worry, that kids will eat when they get hungry. Now, when we try and give him a food that he doesn't really want he will at least tell us "it makes me gag on it" My husband and I were talking, wondering if now he is just not using that an excuse to not make him eat. I'm just not sure what to think of it all.

Unusual Play Things

For the most part, Devin hasn't had much interest in kids toys. There are a few that he likes... he loves puzzles right now and he has always been crazy about trains. What is peculiar is that he tends to get interested in other objects and he just stays fixated on them. Its like with the eating, he will find one thing he likes and be obsessed with it for weeks! Here are a few of his interests:

Trains- This one isn't so unusual but it's his obsession with them that gets me. His first real toy love was trains. He loves them.. He would have me draw them for him. Everything he has becomes trains- for example, we have some of those big leggo blocks. He lines them up like trains. He never built things with the leggos, just lines them up like trains. Also, when I give him crayons, he would rather line up the crayons like trains. He has colored with them before but he seems more interested in lining them up like a train than using them to color.

Vacuum cleaners used to big a really big deal for him.. he loved them and looked for them everywhere.. funny thing now, he's actually afraid of them if he hears one now. He used to not be that way but now he says they are too loud. If I'm vacuuming he will run into his room.

Ceiling fans- He became interested in ceiling fans and its all we heard about for weeks. We found a video with ceiling fans on youtube and he wanted to watch it over and over. Then it was fans. We had a small fan that was broke, so my husband cut the cord off of it and Devin carried that little fan around with him for weeks.

Satellite dishes- Somehow he got interested in satellite dishes so my grandma had an old satellite dish at her house they had taken off. One of those small ones. My husband cleaned it up and gave it to Devin and he was in hog heaven.

Signs- Right now he's into signs and as we go down the road he's asking what does that sign say? What does that sign say? He wanted me to print him off some pictures of signs so I did that. Everything is all about signs lately. I love that he is inquisitive, but it's that he is almost obsessive about it.

Don't get me wrong.. maybe there isn't anything peculiar about this.. it's not so much the objects he likes, it's more about his fixation on them that bothers me. He just seems to zone in on one thing and is very closed minded about anything else. Even now, with Halloween on the way, I try to get him to pick out Halloween coloring sheets to print for him to color but he is not interested. He wants pictures of signs... It's still all about signs right now.


He Gets in a Zone

Speaking of zones and playing.. sometimes he will get up and start running around, making sound effects like gritting his teeth and making sound affects and noises with his mouth. Its kind of hard to explain but anyway, it's like he gets into this zone and doesn't hear us when we tell him to settle down. He will do it for a good 15 minutes sometimes until he either just stops on his own or finally my husband puts him in time out. He also likes to lay on the floor and spin around and make noises too. We thought it was peculiar that he just seems to be zoned out and not listening to anything we are saying. A few times my husband would have to stop him and try and make him look at his eyes to connect and tell him to stop but he would not make eye contact with him. He would just keep on flailing, making the noises and turning his ahead away. He has actually gotten better about this but he still does it. For a long time when he would do this, it would drive me insane because of the loud, repetitive noises he would make and the gritting of the teeth... but since I've learned about "stimming" in autism, I can't help but wonder if that is not what he is doing when he does this.

I have noticed that he will do this after he watches an episode of Thomas or if I get up to do dishes or something or if I get a phone call sometimes he will do it. For a while I thought well, he's pretending to be a train (with the running around and noises) but he would never say he was being a train when I asked him and since sometimes he does it if I'm on the phone, I wondered if maybe he was trying to get attention. Whatever he's doing, he really gets into it and it's hard to make him stop.

One more thing I've noticed that he does that is bothersome is if he gets very upset and overwhelmed about something, he will take his hands and hit them on each side of his head-imagine taking your hands and putting them on your head like if you were covering your ears- he does it like that but he will hit the sides of his head with his hands. (I hope this is making sense) He doesn't do it hard or seem to be hurting himself, it is just peculiar to see as I have not noticed other kids doing that... but then again, I'm not around any children his age so it's hard to make a comparison. The thing is he only does it when he is very upset.

Doesn't do well with change.. control issues about things

Now, I know that all kids are like this to a degree.. they want schedules and for things to be the same everyday and Devin is no exception but he really does not take changes very well-he will usually have a meltdown. He wants things exactly how they have always been. When my husbands schedule at work changes, it's hard for Devin to get adapted. He has a hard time with it because he expects certain things to happen at certain times. When we go to visit my family out of town, he has a really hard time with it because it's not his bed, in his room, etc.. At home, if I am picking up his blocks, trains etc.. he gets really really frustrated, tells me no and tries to take the toys from me. If I try to open the blinds he will throw a fit and say no, he says its too bright. I find this odd because he used to love to have the blinds open in his room because he enjoyed looking out. Just yesterday, he had a meltdown because my husband shut the bathroom door. He has always had a thing with wanting the doors either opened or closed. He just seems unusual to me that he is so particular about things like doors being shut and blinds being closed and other things similar to that. In my mind I'm thinking, do other 4 year olds have as much concern and control issues about things like that?

Thank you for Reading

That's about it with my list of concerns.. I keep thinking maybe I'm letting these things bother me when I shouldn't but I just don't know... Hopefully I'll be able to connect with others about this to shed some light on it. Recently, I was reading a list of symptoms of autism and it bothered me that I had seen some of those symptoms in my son but the thing is I know a kid can have symptoms like this sometimes and be completely normal- I mean I'm sure all kids do these things at one time or another..That's the thing... what is normal and what isn't? That's what I'm trying to figure out. If anyone reads this and can relate.. I would love to get some feedback about it. I don't want anything to be wrong..maybe I'm just being unnecessarily worrisome...I do have a tendency to be that way. I just love him so much and if there is something wrong, I want to know what to do so I can better help him. I really do look forward to your comments and feedback on this. Thank you so much for reading.

Update: 12/3/2012

Just wanted to let everyone know who may be following this hub that I had contacted an Autism Consultant here in the town we live and she returned my call right before Thanksgiving and she was super sweet and helpful and referred me to a lady here in my town who works for the school district who is a PHD and who assesses children for any learning disabilities plus deals in other problems such as Autism, etc. I called this lady and she also was super sweet, very helpful AND encouraging :) She immediately made an appointment for us to come in the next week to give my son an assessment in the areas of speech, etc and also said we would make another appointment to come in at a different time to get him an Autism assessment. I was so happy that we were going to be able to get in so quickly! This was last week.

So, today was his appointment and we just got back. We met with the lady who I spoke with over the phone and also with a lady to assess his speech abilities. We filled out lots of paperwork, answered questions and the speech lady talked to my son and both ladies just observed him while he played and interacted. We were there probably for a little over an hour and it was a great experience and we both feel really relieved that we are on the right track to getting him the help he needs. We now have an appointment to go back on Dec. 19th to have him do the assessment for Autism. We were given papers to fill out with questions.. one is for Autism and the other is for Aspergers and we will turn those in to her when we come back for the assessment/screening. Both these ladies are genuinely interested in helping and said they would get him as much help as possible for any disability or diagnosis that may be found and that there were programs and things we could do to get him ready to start kindergarten. I can't tell you how much lighter I feel right now since I know we are on the right track to getting him the help he needs :)

I will definitely keep updating this hub to let you know how things progress. Thank you to all of you who commented on this hub and for all of your concern.. it means a lot to have so much support :)

Update 12/19/12

This morning we took him back to the school for his Autism/Asperger's assessment. There were three ladies present and two observed while one of the ladies interacted with him. Everything went well and afterwards they indicated that they observed particular behaviors that were indicative of a Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nothing was said in particular, though Aspergers was mentioned a lot. We are waiting for them to call us back (later today) with an appointment to bring him back in as soon as the holidays are over to discuss the diagnosis and and also what the plan will be to help him. They were very reassuring and said that there are programs and different ways to help. She said someone will come to our home to work with all of us, basically show us how to help him and teach us ways to manage his behaviors. She also mentioned getting him into school as soon as possible which I think will be really great for him. That's about it for now.. will continue keeping you posted!

Update 1/8/2013

This morning we met back at the school to get the assessment results and plan of action. We walked in and there were like 11 ladies in this room! I was surprised yet impressed that everyone was pulling together like this for one little boy. It gives me A LOT of confidence in our school system here. We were told that they have concluded from the assessment that he indeed does have Autism. I felt sad but at the same time relieved that others had seen the same thing I had seen and that he will now get the help he needs. That is all I wanted. Also, they said his speech and language is not up to par,which I already knew so he will now be getting help for that. First thing, they want him in school so we are enrolling him in Pre-K and he will be starting ASAP-this week for sure. Under normal circumstances, there are a limited number of spots of Pre-K but because of his disabilities, early intervention is vital. I personally feel like school will be a tremendous help for him. I want him to be as ready as possible for Kindergarten. As for help with the Autism in particular, someone is going to come to our home and teach us how to better help Devin with every day living and certain behaviors. I am hoping there is some other help that may be available and I will be looking into it.

I sincerely thank everyone who has commented and followed this hub. It was in large part because of this hub and the suggestions and feedback I received that pushed me to take action instead of just waiting. You all had a part in that and I'm very grateful.

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Comments 49 comments

Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 2 years ago from Texas Author

grand old lady- Aww.. thank you so much. I really appreciate your kind comments :) I should probably update the hub as it's been a while. He is actually now in first grade and has slight difficulties in certain areas but all in all he is doing really well. I'm super proud of him!! Again, thank you for your kind comments. I really appreciate it!!


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

Hello Jamiebrock. How wonderful of you to share your journey with your child with all of us readers. You are such an observant, loving and caring mom. You are on the right track and have given him early intervention. I'm delighted to know that he is now in kindergarten full time. You have made his future bright. Bravo.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 2 years ago from Texas Author

Rebecca E- Thank you so much.. He is actually doing very well. He was chosen to be in a special communication class with 5 other autistic children in the school district and he was going to this class part of the day and then going in the regular kindergarten class part of the day but he has progressed so well, he is going to regular kindergarten all day! His teachers are so proud of him. He is still doing speech therapy though and will be doing that for some time to come. Around other kids he likes to keep to himself and in general he is very rigid about the things he wants to do... it's very hard to sway him from things he is interested in. Oh and he still is not going #2 on the potty which is VERY frustrating but I keep thinking that surely, eventually it will click with him. Thank you so much for asking!


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 2 years ago from Canada

well written and informative. How is he doing now?


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

hippymom- Thank you for letting me know this. You make some valid points here...Everything you said makes total sense. I would hate to see him struggle like that.... if it's OK with you, can I print your post and show it to whoever I may need to show it to. I feel I may try to be talked out of it if I truly thought he wasn't ready, since they were so focused on getting him into pre-k right away.. and they said it was because they wanted him to be as ready as possible for kindergarten but I'm not quite sure he would actually be ready... like you were saying. Your experience is good to know, being a parent of a child with ASD and also working in the school system, and I may actually need it to back me up. Thank you so much for letting me know this!!


hippymom83 3 years ago

Jamie Brock~another word of advice: don't be afraid to wait an extra year to send him to kindergarten if you think he may not be ready at 5-years-old. My son has a late birthday, so was a very young 5 when school began. I wondered if I should wait a year to send him but felt guilty at the idea for some reason and chose to send him {at the time, I didn't even realize he had Aspergers or was in any way unusual}. He was a little bit behind on learning his alphabet, but otherwise seemed perfectly "normal" to me. Unfortunately, I have regretted my choice every year since! And the school refused to keep him back a year after he had already started! Academically, he is perfectly capable of the school work, but socially......that's another thing all together. I sincerely wish I had waited another year, because he suffers every day from my decision when the other kids pick on him for his immaturities. Also, from a professional standpoint: I work as an elementary school secretary now. The school I work at has a pre-screening process every spring for the kids who intend to start kindergarten in the fall. If the teacher feels the child isn't ready for kindergarten, then they recommend the parents put them in pre-k for a year first and then start them in kindergarten at age 6. We have had several parents who refused to listen and put their kids in kindergarten anyway, and EVERY ONE of those particular children have struggled socially ever since. And just like my boy, they show signs of one or another social/emotional disorder such as ADHD, aspergers, etc. I feel badly for those kids when I see them struggling to get along with their peers, and wish that I could have shared my experience with their parents before hand. But as a member of the administrative staff, it is not my place. At least on this blog I can share my own experience with anyone who reads this, and if they find themselves in the difficult position of having to choose.....maybe this will help them decide. There is NO SHAME in allowing your child to mature a little before throwing them in the "lions den" that is public school. Think of it as one more year of innocence before the other kids start teaching them swear words and naughty limericks. :)


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

emilybee- Thank you for the sweet comment! We took him to a local school to have him assessed by a speech pathologist (I think is what she was) and also a lady who assess from Autism. There was actually a whole group of people involved.. it was a bit overwhelming but It was found that he was speech and language disabled and they said he had Autism. Good thing is he started pre-k last week so they are supposed to be working with him to help improve those areas and get him as ready as possible for kindergarten. Thank you for the encouragement. Right now I'm feeling some guilt that I didn't take action sooner. I kept telling myself that we would just wait and see. I guess there is no point to beating myself up about it. I believe we are on the right track now and that's all that matters.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

Sueswan- Thank you for this link! I will definitely check it out :)


emilybee profile image

emilybee 3 years ago

Some of these symptoms can be indicative of many children. As a child I wasn't talking yet when other kids were which was worrisome for my parents. Eventually I had to take a lot of speech lessons and be pulled from class frequently for special speech therapy classes. My friend's son sounds a bit like yours. He too, adores vacuums. They were also trying to analyze and learn if something was askew with him, he's a lovable adorable boy as well. Good luck Jamie, I know everything will work out for your family :)


Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi Jamie,

My sister was diagnosed with high function autism as a young adult. She has many of the behaviors like your son.

I found the following website that talks about natural ways to deal with autism very interesting.

http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/autism-sympt...

Wishing you all the best.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

btrbell- My goodness.. I never have even thought about how scary it would be to have a preemie. Oh I bet it was bitter sweet when he didn't need the help anymore.. I'm sure you got to know everybody and they were just like family to you. I believe it takes a special person to work with babies and children for sure and I know you will be forever grateful for them.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

My pleasure, Jamie. :) I am so glad you are feeling confident! That is most important! Because Ben was a preemie, we started therapy almost immediately. I felt very close to all his therapists and everyone worked as a team. It was, needless to say, a bit bittersweet when he didn't need all of those services anymore! Good luck with everything!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

btrbell- That is great! I'm so glad to hear that the early intervention was helpful for your son and that he's doing so well. I knew the minute I spoke with this lady on the phone from the school district that she knew what she was doing and I could tell she had a sincere desire to help. I just wish I had known about it and made the call sooner. I always just assumed that unless he was school aged, that the school district wouldn't help and she said that was absolutely not the case. Talk about relief! I feel so much better now that she is involved and we have a direction to go in. Thanks so much for dropping by and for your encouraging comment :)


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

How great that you are on top of this. My son has had a variety of diagnosis but one thing I am certain of: The early childhood assessment, care and therapies he received, helped form him to the amazing young man he is now! You are absolutely doing the right thing for Devin. No matter the reason for his delay, he can only benefit from the skills of the professionals! BTW, My Ben just graduated with his bachelors degree!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

Hippymom- I so agree! It is refreshing that this lady took me seriously even right away when I spoke to her over the phone and immediately got my son in. I brought up certain concerns to his old pediatrician and she blew us off saying these things were perfectly normal. Unfortunately, these two ladies we saw yesterday were not surprised... it is sad that apparently this thing happens often. Thanks so much hippiemom for all your comments and concern.. I will be updating this as things progress.. Happy Holidays to you and your family :)


hippymom83 4 years ago

Glad to hear things are going well! :) It's truly is a relief when you know you are on the right track for a helping hand. And just in time for the holidays too! :) Best present you could get. :)


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

Just wanted to let everyone know who may be following this hub that I've updated it today with a report of our latest progress :)


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

hippymom- Thank you :) I will keep the scholarships in mind.. I didn't know about those either... If something happens that I can't get the insurance to cover this therapy that may be another route. I am going to ask the consultant about that as well. You have been so nice...thank you so much for all of your helpful suggestions :)


hippymom83 4 years ago

I'm really glad that you found someone to help. :) We had in home counseling as well, and it worked better than anything else! And we have tried all sorts of things over the years. Some organizations offer scholarships or financial aid when insurance refuses to pay. Definitely something to look into if you run into that. We have had to use scholarship funding for a lot of my son's treatment. I mentioned the meds because I have found that many psychiatrists want to write a prescription as the first order of treatment, and -in our case- meds were not a good thing for our son. (except for the one he takes now) Autism specialists have a much better approach in our experience.

Sounds like you are on the right track! Wishing you and your family the best!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

hippymom- Gotcha.. I hadn't thought about meds but it doesn't sound appealing in the least and agree with what you said.. it's the behavioral therapy that will really help in the long run. I forgot to mention to you (and actually need to update this hub I think) but I finally was able to talk to a "Autism Consultant" here in the town we live and she was extremely helpful. She actually works with a team of therapists that come to the home and work with the kids a few hours a session so many times a week..it sounded like my son would definitely benefit from this therapy because it's speech therapy and things like that that he really needs right now. Only thing is that the insurance may not cover it unless he is positively diagnosed with the disorder. So, I think that is going to be the challenge. Seems like it should be easy to do but apparently it's not. The consultant was helpful and gave me some names and numbers to call. I need to get busy on that as soon as possible. Thank you for all of your helpful suggestions.. I am glad you brought up the meds because I hadn't thought of it but I would do everything in my power to keep him off of any medications... Thank you again.. I really do appreciate it :)


hippymom83 4 years ago

If you take any advice away from the bloggers here, I think it should be to make medications a last resort. We found soooo much help from behavior therapy that worked MUCH better than meds. Once we took Jacob off of the meds we had him on, he came out of his shell sooo much. (He still takes Paxil for OCD symptoms, but that is all). Also, when it's time for your little guy to start school, ask for IEP assessment early on. IEP stands for Individual Education Plan. My son's IEP includes extended time to work on assignments, shortened assignments, Speech Therapy, social skills counseling, incentive programs for good behavior, things like that. My son has an IQ near genius levels, and can understand any assignment given to him, but getting his thoughts out into a written form is extremely difficult for him. So is focusing on the work if it's not something exciting to him. When he gets overwhelmed, he just shuts down completely and accomplishes nothing. So the school has to handle his education needs differently. He's still in regular classes, but gets accommodations that are geared toward his unique way of learning and working. Since the IEP came into place, he has been sooo much less stressed and able to be a kid again. :) It's been a real blessing! I'm sure you are getting bombarded with info from every direction, but I think that's the biggest thing to consider: try behavior therapy before meds and be sure to get help in school. I'm certainly not anti-meds (everyone in my family is on one or other prescription), but in kids with Aspergers, I truly believe that finding the right approach to therapy works much better than drugs for most of their problems. Think of it like training a stubborn puppy - a prescription wont teach him how to sit, stay and roll over - only the proper training over time will teach him how to behave. Meds work for some of the symptoms that therapy can't fix (like extreme OCD in my son's case).


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

Hippymom83- Thank you SO much for sharing your experience with me here. I will definitely look into the Easter Seals and see if we have a branch near us. I'm so happy you let me know that!! If there isn't one in our town, we live very close to Dallas and surely it is there. I would not mind traveling a bit if needed to get him help. I was surprised to learn just how difficult it is to actually get a child diagnosed and treated for this. As common as it seems to be now, it's surprising to me. I did read up on Aspergers when someone else had mentioned it here and could definitely relate to some of the symptoms that are listed. If he does have it.. I believe that is probably it. Your son sounds precious and bless his little heart for being picked on by the other kids. Kids can be so downright cruel!! I'm glad you have been able to get him in a group where he has made friends and where he is accepted and loved :) That really is huge!! I'm so happy that it's worked out for you.. thank you so much for your comment here. Best wishes back to you... and hugs :)


hippymom83 4 years ago

I haven't read through the other responses so maybe you've already gotten great answers. My son is 12 and has Asperger's. It's high functioning autism. Your son's symptoms sound like that to me. I did notice one post that said all autism kids don't walk on flat feet. That is not true of ALL autism. Might be a common issue but definitely not all. If you have an Easter Seals branch near you, they are WONDERFUL! My son was misdiagnosed by several doctors before we found Easter Seals. My son attends a social skills/counseling group for boys his age with Aspergers and it is really great. He has a very hard time getting along with the "average" kids at his public school, but does really well with the other kids in group. Has made new friends that we spend time with outside group too. This is such a huge deal to me! We have learned to cope with his sometimes odd behavior but "average" people have trouble understanding him....especially other kids. They think he's weird and call him names. Some kids have even destroyed his personal property....threw his lunch box in a toilet, etc. Having other kids he can relate to is HUGELY important in his social development and self-esteem. I hope you find answers and can find a great social group for your son. It's a difficult and confusing road at times, but certainly not the worst that could happen. I'm thankful every day for the help we have received from Easter Seals and for the fact that Jacob has Asperger's and not cancer or something life threatening. He's my special little man. Best wishes to you!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

IM4Keith4sure- Thank you so much.. I really appreciate all of your comments... I have faith everything is going to be okay. If he does have Autism, I'm positive it is a high functioning form. I have heard of the regressive autism.. that sounds like what you were explaining about your friends little one.. I can't imagine how heartbreaking that must be to watch your child regress and not be able to do things he once did. Thank you again for all of your lovely comments :)


IM4Keith4sure profile image

IM4Keith4sure 4 years ago from Calgary, aLberta ,Canada.

Hi! jaimie. My girlfreind has a lil 6 yr old who also walks on his feet, which I mentioned to her before he was diagnosed. he is smart hates change. He wants to runaway all the time, so if he is near a door he wants to take off. and with that he has seizures which makes it worse. he was doing well, spelling his name, but he has gone backwards and cannot even print 2 letters. he is in grade one this yr. at first he used to run into walls.I think having a pet is good for a person with Autism, it depends on how the child reacts.The earlier they have diagnosed and getting the support the better. They will not make contacts with their eyes. They will line up things in a straight line. if they have continued support even after being adult, they can land a job. They are allergic to alot of foods, which may mean he gags because he is allergic to it. Continue to do the good work with your son, as both you and your husband are doing.I pray and hope that he gets all the support he needs and make it easier for him to suceed in life.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

IM4Keith4sure- Thank you for dropping by.. it looks like your comment got cut off short somehow. Thank you for sharing about your nephew.. It seems like now I do remember hearing something about walking on the toes being a symptom.. I haven't observed that in my son.. he does skip around on his toes a lot but as far as just regular walking, he seems to walk normally but I'm going to watch him a little close now. It sounds like your nephew is doing well in spite of his Autism.. It's so good to hear that :) Thank you again!


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IM4Keith4sure 4 years ago from Calgary, aLberta ,Canada.

Hi! jamie. Autism seemed not in the picture untill the last 2 decades.A person with Autism, always walk on their toes and never there feet are never flat on there feet. That is one of the first thing you will notice. it seems like we never heard anything about it discussed on news or books. My nephew, when only two was talking and interested in everything, so because of that he had books galore, but noone noticed that walking on his toes was not right. at least I thought. He is an adult now, but, he has difficulty socializing and sharing.He is smart in ways, his hearing is extra sensitive, he can hear what we can't hear, like if he is upstairs and we are on the main floor.he doesn't like games like the xbox, but he loves scrabble, because he is pretty good with words. he is an adult now and


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

Aficionada- Thank you so much for your kind comment and positive input regarding my son :) I have decided to go ahead and see what I need to do to have him tested. I've left message with an "Autism Consultant" here in the town I live.. I'm hoping to hear back soon and that maybe she can help us get started with what we need to do or point us in the right direction. I've decided getting him tested is a must. Thank you again for taking the time to read and for being so supportive.. it means so much :)


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Aficionada 4 years ago from Indiana, USA

I wish you all the best as you investigate your son's behavior. He is a very fortunate little boy to have loving parents who care about helping him to develop in the best way he can!

Like some other commenters, I thought at first that what I was reading sounded much like most children or like some children I know who have ADHD or other conditions. But then I did see some behaviors that reminded me of autistic preschoolers I have met too.

Specifically, the most noticeable ones were: running around, flailing his arms, making noises and gritting or grinding his teeth; hitting the sides of his head when upset; having a meltdown when things change; having control issues and high sensitivity; finding it difficult or being unable to look your husband in the eyes.

As someone else said, the earlier a correct diagnosis can be made and some treatment can begin, the better it is for a child who has autism. The fact that your son is speaking so that people can understand him and the fact that he has made good progress in toilet training is very encouraging.

It may be helpful to know or be reminded that there are degrees of autism, and one person who is diagnosed as autistic may have a milder or a more severe form than another. There is much more variation in symptoms than people knew about even only a few years ago. And, again as others have said, there is a wide range of possibilities for the future of people who have autism, and some of them depend on getting as much help for the child as early as possible.

Whether your son's symptoms really do indicate autism or not, it is a very good thing to have him checked out. By knowing as much as possible about why he acts as he does, you'll be in the best position possible to help him become the best person he can be. That's what most of us want as parents, isn't it?

Best wishes and prayers for all of you in this journey!


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

givans1980- Thank you for checking back.. so nice of you :) I will definitely update the hub as things progress.. We are in the process right now of getting my son covered by CHIP (insurance).. he was on Medicaid but is no longer eligible because of my husbands job. I was waiting until the CHIP came through but since you mentioned that there is a waiting list for testing, I'm going to go ahead and call and see if there is anything I can do. I was happy to find that there is an actual Autism Consultant here in the town where I live... so have her number written down and on the fridge. I suspect they may first want me to take him to the pediatrician. Guess we will see.. Thank you so much for your kind words and support.. it means ALOT!!!! Let's definitely keep in touch.. God Bless :)


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givans1980@yahoo. 4 years ago from Blackwell, OK

I just wanted to let you know that I've been checking in on this hub regularly; I know just how difficult it can be to feel alone in all of this. I'm so happy to hear that you're feeling more at peace with your concerns and what that may mean for your son. Autism sounds like such a scary word. It does make parenting more difficult at times, but in my opinion, it can also make it so much more wonderful. =) Hope to keep hearing from you as the testing process progresses. (Be prepared for a wait...the lists are often long, but don't fret because nothing is really going to change between now and then anyway). As always, best of luck to you and your son. So glad I took a moment to stop by your hub and hope to connect with you once in a while. =)


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

teaches- Thank you:) I am so happy I decided to write about this..if fact, I'm now wondering why the heck I didn't reach out sooner! The feedback so far has really taken a weight off... knowing there are others out there whose kids who have done the same (Autistic or not) and are leading happy lives and doing well.. it just gives me a lot of hope. Most of all I just feel like there is no need to worry so much and that really takes a load off. I am still going to get him tested.. looking into that now.. but I know everything is going to be OK. Thank you teaches :) Blessings, hugs and prayers to you as well :)


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teaches12345 4 years ago

My heart goes out to you, Jamie. Our children are so dear to us and we only want to see them live a happy, well adjusted life. I admire your quest to seek this life for him. It will all come together are you continue to love him and to apply the proven methods for adjustment. I wish I had the professional background to help you through this, but it looks like some on here are providing you great feedback. Blessings, hugs and prayers sent your way.


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

HoneyBB- Thank you for reading and for sharing your experience... I thought too that these things must have been normal especially since the doc said it... I guess it really could be that he is a late bloomer and a bit more sensitive about things than most kids but I know it won't hurt to get him tested and have decided to pursue that. Ya know, I have heard of Aspergers but haven't really read much on it, in particular. I am going to read up on that a bit... Thank you so much for your comment and the encouragement. I'm glad that I wrote this hub (though it took me long enough!) I do feel very hopeful that either way, it's going to be okay :)


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

givans1980@yahoo- Thank you so, so much for taking the time to read and for your wonderful comment..and for all of the encouragement and positive input. I was very scared to reach out, because like you were saying, sometimes people will blame things like this on bad parenting, etc. and of course, I tried to blame myself thinking maybe it is me, maybe I have done something wrong but I know we do our best and we give him as much love and attention as we possibly can, in fact, my husband tends to baby him too much and I really think that it is actually making the situation worse. I will not do things for him that he can do for himself.. because I feel like I'm harming him in the long run if I don't allow him to do for himself. It's just got to the point that since he is obviously not growing out of these things, there has to be something going on.. and another thought came that if he's not growing out of it, it may progress, so I know it's time to try and get to the bottom of it. You are absolutely right about the testing, it is not going to hurt to get it done so why not, I have nothing to lose. It's like you said, it can't hurt anything- if anything it can help by giving us some answers. I really do appreciate you stopping by and sharing with me about your son. Also, thank you for sharing about Temple Grandin.. I had not heard of her and she sounds like one amazing lady.. will be looking into her story! Thank you again and God Bless :)


HoneyBB profile image

HoneyBB 4 years ago from Illinois

Hi Jamie, I have two autistic grandsons; and I actually diagnosed my first grandson with autism before the doctors did. They delayed him getting tested believing that he would grow out of it but I insisted to my daughter that she take him to someone else and he went through the rule out test and they found that he was autistic. I am not a doctor by any means but I have been around a whole lot of children during my life and cared for many of them on a daily basis. When I first started reading the first symptoms that you put, I thought he most likely doesn't have autism because things like speech problems, potty training, picky eating, unusual play things, and lining things up are fairly common among boys. My 3 year old grandson who is autistic loves to line things up but my son also loved to line things up and he wasn't autistic. He doesn't sound like he is autistic to me; however, the other symptoms he is having may be a sign of Asperger's or something even less serious. You should definitely have him checked out as soon as you can because if it is a form of autism it is best to have them start therapy as soon as possible. They will most likely have you take him for a hearing test to rule out hearing problems. My six year old grandson doesn't talk at all but he is the happiest boy alive, always smiling. My three year old grandson is learning more and more all the time. He has a much milder form. They are both adorable, happy little boys. Good luck to you! I'm sure it will all be okay!


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givans1980@yahoo. 4 years ago from Blackwell, OK

I want to say, first of all, that you are very brave for sharing this. It's hard to put all of this about your child out there and wonder if everyone is going to think you're crazy. But I think, honestly, a lot of parents with autistic children have the same day-to-day fear of judgment from others. We are the parents with children who scream in the store for seemingly no reason, or the children that have a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store and we have to chase them down or restrain them so they don't run out into traffic. We are the parents that have wondered if we're just crazy because everyone else says there's nothing wrong....

I say, if you are really, honestly concerned about autism, go with your gut. My son is on the high end of the spectrum. We just got a diagnosis earlier this year, but I have suspected autism since he was about two. He never seemed very interested in cuddling or rocking or kisses. Every time I would try and play with him and make eye contact, he would look away. Then, as he started to become mobile, he started to become aggressive towards others and self-harming. His overstimulated sign is much like your son's ear "patting." When something frustrates him or hurts his ears or just makes him uncomfortable, his hands automatically go to his ears. Potty training took until 4 and bowel training took until almost 6. He had language delays, but everyone just assumed it was because of his cleft lip and palate (which he was also born with). The aggression and misbehavior, it all got blamed on me - bad parenting, divorce, bad parenting, not enough boundaries, inconsistent discipline. But I kept thinking to myself, I have five kids - none of them act this way.

If you are truly, honestly concerned that this might be an issue, don't stop until you find a doctor that will have him tested. It took me ten years to find one, but I gave up for a while because I just bought into the whole "I'm a bad parent" thing. Don't buy it. Just keep searching. From what the doctor who finally agreed to testing said, it takes a doctor who has dealt with higher functioning children to get an approval for testing. Honestly, doctors that haven't worked with high functioning autism just don't know what they're looking for.

I figure, if he doesn't have it and you get him tested, what is there to lose? But if he does have it and you don't fight, you could lose years of therapy, help and sanity (because not knowing why your kid does some of these off the wall things can and does drive you crazy - especially if it ends up being a meltdown/over-stimulation thing, which most autistic children experience at least once in a while). It can't hurt to get him tested, but it can hurt to not have him tested.

And, as others have mentioned, there is a very broad range of autism. Some kids communicate better than others. Some struggle with noises, others with bright colors, others crave bright colors. But there are similarities. Stimming (or repetitive motions/sounds), over-stimulation, inflexibility (issues with change or following the interests of others), social interaction problems, concrete thinking, difficulty with pretend play...these are things that you commonly see in the majority of autistic children. As such, they have to meet at least a certain number of those common factors to be considered autistic, if that makes sense.

I encourage you to reach out to any of the members here who have helped you in any way. Parenting an autistic child can be difficult. There are resources out there, albeit hard to find in certain places (like where I live, sigh). But they are out there and I have found that most parents with autistic children are very accepting, loving, helpful people because they understand just how difficult your day-to-day life can be.

Oh, and one last thing before I go...I know others have said it, but I will say it again. Don't worry. Autistic children are some of the most beautiful children I know. They are amazed by simple but beautiful things. They are affectionate in their own way. They are intelligent beyond measure if you give them room to pursue their interests. If your son is autistic, he will be okay. And you will be okay. There are so, so, so many successful autistic people in the world. One that I recommend to all parents with autistic children (and someone may have mentioned her already) is Temple Grandin. There is a film on her. If you ever get the time, watch it. She was severely autistic, but she is a huge advocate and speaker for autism. She is also one of the world's best animal behavior specialists. She found her passion and her interest, she had a mother that pushed her to grow in a way that was loving but firm and she had the room to pursue her passions. She's absolutely amazing and she's not alone. It is thought that some of the world's geniuses were autistic (Albert Einstein, for instance).

Anyway, enough rambling. Best of luck, best wishes and please keep everyone updated. And again, don't be afraid to reach out!


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

kashmir56- Thank you.. it's frustrating because like you said, so many of those things could be considered normal.. I have found a place locally and I'm going to contact tomorrow to see about getting him tested.. From the feedback I've received on this hub so far, it's really made me hopeful that one way or the other, he's going to be just fine. I really appreciate you stopping by! Hope you are having a great weekend :)


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kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend, I am not surprised that doctors are telling you he may grow out of it or he is just lagging behind a little. I'm not a expert on Autism but some of the things you have said seam to point to it. Keep searching for the help you need to help your son . Find the right person that not only will listen but help you and your son has well. Good luck my friend .


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

Gypsy Willow- Thank you for your comment.. I have read up quite a bit on it and have seen a documentary about Autistic Savants.. I think it's amazing.. I have not seen the video you have spoken of though, will have to go check that out. I do feel that if my son does have this disorder, it will be a very mild form... as some of the symptoms I've read about, the social problems in particular, I haven't observed in him- though he stays home with me during the day and hasn't really had to be in a social situation with other kids on a daily basis. He does show affection sometimes and is quite talkative (sometimes too talkative!) in public with strangers... I have tried to tell him please don't talk to strangers unless mommy or daddy is with you. He seems to be the opposite as far as the social aspect of Autism-hope that made sense.. don't know quite how to word it. My mind feels like jelly right now.. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your input. I feel very hopeful about it and have faith everything is going to be okay :)


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Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

These days, Autism is known and talked about. You will have many resources to explore if needs be. The autistic children I know are bright but different. Some are brilliant Savants. You will find out as he develops. Have you seen the video of the young man with perfect recall of scenes so that he can draw the most perfect detail of places he has seen. You may be pleasantly surprised. Good luck.


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

Bill- Thank you.. and you are so right. He will be seeing a doc soon and I'm positive everything is going to be OK one way or the other. I sure do appreciate you stopping by... hope you are having a wonderful night :)


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

Jackie Lynnley- Thank you so much for dropping by and for your input. I honestly thought that many of these things were normal because when I brought them up to his doc, she always would say not to worry, it's normal for this age. I just didn't question it until this past few months.. I really thought some of these things he would grow out of but he just hasn't. We live in a different town now and I'm happy that he will be seeing a new doc. Hopefully we will get to the bottom of it. I really do feel very encouraged by the few comments I've gotten so far. Thank you so much for your reply and for the positive feedback.


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

carol7777- Thank you so much for your feedback and for sharing the experiences you had with your son.. it does make me feel better to know that your son did similar things and is now doing very well. I am still planning to get him tested for Autism but will keep my fingers crossed that he won't have the disorder. Either way, I'm feeling hopeful that everything is going to work out. As always, thank you so much for stopping by and for the encouragement :)


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Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas Author

eHealer- What a wonderful aunt you are! Your nephew sounds amazingly bright.. it's really good to hear that he's been able to secure such a great job and that everything has worked out for him despite his Austism. I also appreciate you sharing your experience with raising him...I can definitely see some similarities between your nephew when he was younger and my son but your comment gives me tremendous hope that even if he does have the disorder, he will be okay and will still be able to achieve just as much as a normal child. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your comment... it is very encouraging :)


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billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Honestly, Jamie, I just don't know enough about this to make a comment. You are the primary care giver, and if you are concerned then it is time to go to the doctor and get an opinion, and a second opinion, and a third. You know your son better than anyone, so don't quit until you hear an opinion that makes sense....but then, you know all that. :)

Best wishes my friend!

bill


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Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

From what you have said about your son it does seem likely he is autistic and the lady above has given some great information and with the positives in your son I believe he can be just as productive, and I am surprised someone has not helped you and your husband find the answer about your son, since of course it must be constantly on your mind and at least knowing you can deal with it. We can handle anything in life, we just need direct answers, and I hope you get those soon. I have seen some really bad cases of autism and I do not think you have to worry about that. Answers now is really all you need.


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carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

As you know there are offshoots of autism..aspergers which is not as severe. My son was strange as a young child..late to talk, walk and wet his bed. He trouble making friends and was obsessive about many things. Not always easy to be around. However, your son seems very bright and interested in the world around him..and he does talk. My son just had a slow developing central nervous system..He is not autistic..He is actually brilliant and plays an important role in our government. So try not to worry..He may just be different and sees the world different..Lets skip these labels until you know for sure. I have a feeling it is all going to be fine.


eHealer profile image

eHealer 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Hi Jamie, I understand your concern because you are a good mom. I can relate with my nephew, who I practically raised since he was 6. He is autistic and is now 22 and has a job with NASA on computer programming. Now, he doesn't talk very much, our conversations are limited, and he doesn't always get along with others, but they respect and even admire his "alternate brain." He has an amazing gift that he's paid for with a lack of social skills and verbal aptitude. But, he's really happy. He is a unique person with his own talents and extraordinary gifts.

When he was a child, he wouldn't eat meat, just chicken, pancakes and chocolate milk, and chicken with stars soup. I was concerned, what kind of diet was that? But the doc tested him and his nutrition was supplemented with Flintstone Vitamins, the only one he would eat, and he grew to 6'2'.

He can't drive a car. He says it too hard to drive and think at the same time. So, he takes the bus or a co-worker drives him. He's okay with that.

He gets fixated on objects and ideas. He was totally absorbed by Mario video games and bowls with sliver balls in them. He would swirl the ball in the bowl for hours and played video games until he passed out. But he slept a few hours a night and rested for a couple. He is still fixated on video games, only now he writes them for NASA.

He hates change. He would get physically upset over change, yet I did not yield to his frustration. He never got used to change, but he did get used to having to deal with change.

Potty training was very challenging, I think his obsessions interfered with his ability to focus on that. He was 4 years old when it finally happened. He was very proud, and suddenly "didn't want to talk about it." It was like he had made that milestone, and he was okay with it.

What I had to learn. I had to realize that my autistic nephew processed the world in his own way and in his own time. I kept him safe and did what I could to let him live his unique world and somehow fit in ours. He is a great kid, certainly he has his problems, we all do... but he turned out the best person he could be, and if is life is a little different, that's okay with him and me. Hope this helps you see the future a little better. I'm sure your son will be fine, because he has you as a mother.

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