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Abysmama
Abysmama asks:
Q:

Is my 18 month old daughter autistic?

*I posted this somewhere else on this site but wanted to post it here too! Sorry if this double posts!*

My daughter is almost 18 mo old and we have wondered for a long time whether or not she might be autistic. The main signs that we see every day are: screaming constantly instead of talking or trying to say words, throwing herself on the floor and banging her head against the floor, wall or door (whatever shes near) when things dont go her way, she only says about 4 words (mama, "ni-ni" for night night, baby and daddy, although, we dont think she really knows what daddy means), she didnt start walking until she was about 14-15mo old, she is never happy, shes extremely clingy, hits and scratches out of frustration and so on. The doctor said that she does have some symptoms but also that she does things that some/most autistic kids dont do. I dont know what to think but Im very worried. My oldest has ADHD and my son has MANY health issues, this is the last thing that I need right now. Does anyone have any advice or anything for me? Thanks!
In Topics: Autism & Aspergers Syndrome
> 60 days ago

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Expert

LouiseSattler
Jul 1, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Many of the people who responded have addressed the needs of your child. I read your post and quite frankly I am equally if not more worried about you.  

You have so much to handle and I think it might be in your best interest to reach out for support.  There are many organizations that can help you through parent support networks.  Also, if you are so inclined try talking to your religious leader, a counselor or a psychologist in your area. I only make these recommendations to help you during these difficult times.  

Start with your home school district and ask if they sponsor parent groups/ support networks.  Also, ask if they have parenting classes that can help with strategies to assist you and your children.  All parents need help from time to time.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  

Here are some useful links and why I think they may be helpful.

www.eparent.com    This is a website with national information for parents with exceptional children.  Their links are for parents with children who have ADHD, health issues, autism and more.  They can be a good start.

www.CHAAD.org   This organization supports children and adults with ADD or ADHD and those who live with them (and of course, love them).  They have numerous groups throughout the United States and hold meetings to help parents.  

www.Autismspeaks.org   This website offers a plethora of information and support for parents and those living with autism.

www.kylestreehouse.org   This website was started by a parent of a child with autism and has many resources included.  She also includes a parent forum and has a page on Facebook for parents to share information.  

Good luck and I wish you the best during these difficult days.  Stay strong.  I commend all of your efforts.

Louise S.

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Additional Answers (5)

Wolfgaze
Wolfgaze writes:
I am there with you.  My son is 2 1/2 year old with Scensory processing disorder which is a symptom of Autism.  Here is what we are doing for him.  Find a Pediatric therapy office that can spend more time evaluating her symptoms.  Call the early steps progam in your area to see if you qualify for thier assistance even if you don't they may be able to guide you through some steps.  Get ready for lots of doctors appointments.  Check to see if there is any Autism evaluation professionals or centers to take her too.  Try to do this as early as possible from what I was reading about all of this the sooner you can pinpoint the problem the better her chances are for development although there are no cures for autism there are programs that will help offset the things that make their lives and yours more difficult.
> 60 days ago

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thenebs
thenebs writes:
Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I have 3 teenage boys, my youngest is 15 and diagnosed with autism at about 3 years old. My others are 16 & 17. So when we were told that I said the same thing. Well, he is now the sweetest, most loveable young man.   There is a wide spectum of autism.  From mild to savere, with many thing to overcome and get through no matter where on the scale they are.  For example when my son was about 5 and we started to take him places he would have to wait in line, like Six flags at first I would have to litaraly bear hug him through it so he could get up there and see how much fun was at the other end of the line. Yes he screamed and people looked at me like let him go if  he does not want to do that, Well he did want to do that, He just did not know it yet!
> 60 days ago

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Wayne Yankus
Wayne Yankus writes:
You have received great advice from Wolfgaze and Tina.  I would add that in addition to early intervention programs that you add to the team a child and adolescent psychiatrist who is expert in pharmacology or medications.  You can find such a person by calling your medical home, the hospital community outreach department, or your school.

At the age of 18 with an adult child with autism spectrum or other mental health issues, many decisions for the future will require expert input.

I wish you and your daughter well in the journey.

Wayne A. Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
> 60 days ago

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purpleheart
purpleheart writes:
Hi!  I feel for you.  I have a son who was diagnosed with ASD when he was 5 years old.  We took him to a DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICIAN and among things she recommended was theraphies fors SPEECH, and OCCUPATIONAL.   We, however, did not take that path since we are financially down. Here in our country (Philippines), therapies are so costly. anyway, I strongly suggest you take your child to a DEV'TL. Pedia... he/she could help out in this predicament of yours.  Its not too late, your child is still young. Early intervention could do a lot of improvements for your child.  Also, browse thru the net where you could read materials about ASD. I would strongly recommend the following: Autism Society of America,  National Autistm Society in UK.  I am sure you could find many other websites where you could get help.  Some of your respondents gave good advise.

Be strong for your child.  That's the most strong SUPPORT you could give him/her.

Take care.
> 60 days ago

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missyreed30
missyreed30 writes:
My son was the same way at 18 months old. he made no eye contact, had no self care skills eventhough I taught him EVERY day the same things.His right side of the brain shut off. seriously. but I got him in speech n occupational therepy at Kids on the Move, our therepy center for disabled children in this area. he was in therepy for 1 year before he was diagnosed as a 9 on the autistic spectrum.  I was SO devistated even though I new what the outcome would be. Today he is 5 yrs old and a 2 on the spectrum. ADVICE: if ur daughter isnt communicating try sign language first.  U and her can learn quickly with a video tape called SIGNING TIME. ur local library will have it. my son used sign language for 3 months then started talking. He was 3 at the time. Look in to a therepy program for occupational and speech. that should get u started. Good luck. in the mean time look into a Child Development Clinic in your area. that will help u get her diagnosed.

mom in vermont.
> 60 days ago

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