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Annieme
Annieme asks:
Q:

Is my 5 year old slightly autistic?

My 5 year old does not speak well. He can converse with you but it is difficult at times. He doesn't always understand what you are asking him. Also, if he asks you for instance, "Mommy can I have some juice?", and I respond "You want juice?" He says, "Awww, thanks mom!" As if I told him he could have it. That happens with most things he wants. There are a lot of things he misunderstands. Also he wants to line things up. If he sees his belly button he wants to match it to yours. He likes to match up body parts which is really odd to me.
 
When he was younger he stacked things and lined them up over and over and over again. He seems to be out of that now, though. But he has always liked to match up his body parts. Another thing, every since he was a baby, he would just look at you as if you spanked him or scolded him and start crying and run out of the room and hide from you!

And 99 percent of the time it is completely unfounded! Just out of the blue he will cry out and run away and hide from you as if you are a monster! Other than that he converses OK, not like he should for his age, but OK. He is happy most of the time except when he has the weird fits I described and he is learning to count and spell his name and the alphabet and loves school work even though he has not  yet started school due to his birthday being late in the year.
In Topics: Autism & Aspergers Syndrome
> 60 days ago

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Expert

ChildSpeechLanguage
Dec 2, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

It is difficult to diagnose something like autism without having a trained professional spend time with your son and evaluate him. Based on your description of his behaviors, he may possibly have language needs that could be addressed by a speech-language pathologist (aka “speech therapist”).

If he has not been evaluated by a speech therapist, you may wish to go this route first. A speech therapist will be able to evaluate his speech and language skills and give you an idea if your son has difficulties in those areas.  It will be important that you explain to her the different types of behaviors you have concerns about as well as your concern that he might be autistic.

The speech therapist should be able to provide you with recommendations as far as the need for speech therapy.  He or she will also be able to give you ideas of what the next step should be in the evaluation process. Also, ask the speech therapist and your child’s pediatrician to refer you to a center with a comprehensive diagnostic team who can help determine if your child has autism.

Once you have a team of people working with your son, you will better be able to get him the help he needs. 

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Additional Answers (2)

Beth2
Beth2 writes:
Hi.
     Any concerns regarding your son's development need to be communicated to your pediatrician.  There are screening tools to determine if your son demonstrates behaviors that can be related to autism.  These are made up of questions you and any other close care-givers answer.  If your answers score high enough in certain areas, your pediatrician should be able to recommend some 'next steps'.  Your 'matching up body parts' might get him into some trouble with peers.  You said you thought it was wierd, and you love him.  His friends might shun him if he persists in behaviors that are off-putting, like the closeness that would result in matching up belly buttons.  On the other hand, the willingness to be in such close proximity to another person could be viewed as a good sign.
     Lately I've been doing a lot of reading about autism...many of our best inventors, writers, artists etc. have demonstrated behaviors that, in present times, would have had them diagnosed as 'a little autistic'!
Good luck.
> 60 days ago

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sirenssong
sirenssong writes:
I highly recommend in addition to the pediatrician to seek out an Occupational therapist.  They can screen for autism, autism spectrum, aspergers as well as something called Sensory processing disorder.  Many times SPD kids have fits that are unexplained and last for long periods of time.  There are therapies available and early intervention can allow a child to compensate.  He may also have some receptive and expressive language issues, and you can have him screened for that with a speech Pathologist.  
 Your local school district can screen your child for free, (from age 3-21) and will also provide therapies at no charge.  The school district will have diagnosticians, licensed speech and occupational therapists, as well as physical therapists if it is deemed necessary.  Call and request screenings with the special education department at your local school district.  Best wishes for you and your son.
> 60 days ago

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