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14 Month Old With Very Limited Eye Contact

The law of the sea.

14 Month Old With Very Limited Eye Contact

Postby Julio » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:26 am

Hi,

My son is about to turn 14 months old in a few days and my husband and I have been worried about autism since he was about 6 months old. My sons doctor believes that he is fine but it still seems to be bothering me.  When he was a baby he would constantly be twisting and rotating his wrist and feet but once he started to crawl this has stopped.  The main thing now is he very rarely will look anyone in the eye he is ALWAYS staring at our mouths even when we are not speaking. He will look me in the eye when he wants something like his milk he will point to it and then look at me. But if i ask him to point to the clock he will point to it  but won't look back at me. He loves to go up and down one stair in my kitchen and he will do it for as long as i let him. He also comes to me and grabs my hand and pulls me to whatever it is that he wants. He seems to be fairly normal in other ways like... he is very interested in other children, he points and does follow my gaze and will look at something I am point to, he knows some sign laugage but only does it when prompted to do so. He is beginning to use words. He will say one syllable like for phone he was say ph or sock he will say soc. He will bring me things to show me sometimes but mostly he just drops it off in my lap and away he goes. He has recently started to bite himself and hit himself when frustrated. He does understand one step commands like "go get your ball". He knows a lot of body parts and names of clothing and some shapes. I am worried mostly about the lack of eye contact. Is it normal for a baby of his age to mostly look at the mouth? If he is at risk i want to get him help as soon as possible.

ANSWER: Sarah,

You are quite incredible.  The thought of autism or other development issue doesn't enter most people's heads until a child is 2 years old.  At 6 months old you were already aware.  Let me tell you that if your son has any delay at all, he was born to the right Mom!  You are on the ball and would make a strong advocate!

It's almost impossible to determine if a child has autism before 18 months old, unless the condition is severe.  This does NOT apply to your son.  I will be perfectly straight with you.  Some of the things you mention are concerning and some are extremely positive.  This does NOT mean the concerning items equals autism.  However, I would keep a log of them and anything else you notice.  You seem to know just what to home in on.  I can't help wondering if you're a teacher.

It's unusual for your son to focus his attention on people's mouths rather than their eyes.  It's also concerning that he grabs your hand and pulls you to what he wants instead of pointing to it or trying to express it in other ways.  The repeated behavior of going up and down one step is also concerning.  And lack of eye contact is an obvious concern.  However, it's a really good sign that your son understands one step commands, points, has receptive and expressive skills and is interested in other children.

I advise you to make an appointment with Early Intervention as soon as possible.  Check with your pediatrician on who to call.  Depending on the state you live in, it could take a couple of months until you get a full evaluation.  You do NOT have to pay for this evaluation, it's covered by your state under the IDEA act.  I can't even begin to tell you how much difference it makes to start young if there is an issue.  You couldn't be in a better position right now.  Your son might not get a diagnosis, but still might qualify for services and you will be amazed at the difference after just a few months of therapy.  Congratulation for being so on top of things and please let me know if I can be of further help.

Jene Aviramhttp://www.nlconcepts.com  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Hi,

Thank you so much for your quick response. We have been referred to a developmental specialist by our doctor and are in the process of gathering all information needed to make an appointment.  I was wondering what other reasons besides autism would cause a lack of eye contact? He is still making limited eye contact. Is there a way to help encourage eye contact? We have been watching him very closely over the past 3 days and he doesn't seem to be quite as bad as we thought.  He's really only pulling us around by the hand just for the sake of us walking with him.  He's not obsessively going up and down the stair anymore. He still does it but not often, he may only do it 5 times before he gets bored. He wants us to clap and be proud of him when he does it too. Maybe he just feels like a big boy and once he conquers the step he'll move on the bigger and better things!  Also, he is due for the MMR shot on the 15th which has some contraversy about being a possible link in autism. Would you recomend holding off this shot until he is evaluated?  

No I'm not a teacher. I'm at 21 year old stay at home mother. I've just looked around on the internet about lack of eye contact and I was slapped in the face with this threat of autism.  I've heard that the earlier they are treated the better for them so that is what im tried to do. Early intervetion will help him with or with out autism! I've been worrying myself sick with this and just want an answer. It is going to take a couple of months to get in to see the specialist hopefully by then we will have some answers.

What did you mean by this -->It's almost impossible to determine if a child has autism before 18 months old, unless the condition is severe.  This does NOT apply to your son.(do you mean it could be determined if he has autism before 18 months or that if he does have autism it probably wont be severe?) Thank you so much!
Julio
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:14 am

14 Month Old With Very Limited Eye Contact

Postby Laidley » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:24 pm

Everything you have told me in this recent post is positive.  There is a lot of controversy about the MMR and it's a personal decision.  I always think it's better to be safe than sorry.  The ingredients should be on listed on the label.  Ask your pediatrician if you can check that thermisol is NOT an ingredient.  I can't advise you about whether you should hold off on the vaccine.  Many people do and others prefer to get it done right away.  You can always do it later.

Let me clarify the sentence you are concerned about.  As children grow, they are expected to do more and more.  At 18 months, they are not expected to do that much when you take a typical range of development into account.  This means that some kids develop faster than others in certain areas but it's still considered within the norm if some are further behind.  As a child gets older, they reach more and more milestones and gaps become more apparent in those with delays.  

Therefore, even if your son was on the autism spectrum it would be difficult to diagnose at this age.  I can't say for sure one way or the other but I can tell you that you stated so many positives about him that it's very possible you'll look back at this worrying time and smile.  Secondly, by what you've said, there is no way that your son could have severe autism.

Regarding the eye contact question, lack of eye contact is typical to those on the spectrum.  However, lack of eye contact alone does not make someone autistic.  In fact, the eye contact is really just a symptom of difficulties in the social arena.  Being on the autism spectrum is a whole package.  You have to meet many criteria in different areas to be diagnosed with autism. You are doing all the right things.  An evaluation can never harm, it can only help and I would certainly still schedule that.  You are amazing for a 21 year old!  Honors to you!

Jene Aviramhttp://www.nlconcepts.com
Laidley
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:22 am

14 Month Old With Very Limited Eye Contact

Postby Byford » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:26 am

Hi,

My son is about to turn 14 months old in a few days and my husband and I have been worried about autism since he was about 6 months old. My sons doctor believes that he is fine but it still seems to be bothering me.  When he was a baby he would constantly be twisting and rotating his wrist and feet but once he started to crawl this has stopped.  The main thing now is he very rarely will look anyone in the eye he is ALWAYS staring at our mouths even when we are not speaking. He will look me in the eye when he wants something like his milk he will point to it and then look at me. But if i ask him to point to the clock he will point to it  but won't look back at me. He loves to go up and down one stair in my kitchen and he will do it for as long as i let him. He also comes to me and grabs my hand and pulls me to whatever it is that he wants. He seems to be fairly normal in other ways like... he is very interested in other children, he points and does follow my gaze and will look at something I am point to, he knows some sign laugage but only does it when prompted to do so. He is beginning to use words. He will say one syllable like for phone he was say ph or sock he will say soc. He will bring me things to show me sometimes but mostly he just drops it off in my lap and away he goes. He has recently started to bite himself and hit himself when frustrated. He does understand one step commands like "go get your ball". He knows a lot of body parts and names of clothing and some shapes. I am worried mostly about the lack of eye contact. Is it normal for a baby of his age to mostly look at the mouth? If he is at risk i want to get him help as soon as possible.

ANSWER: Sarah,

You are quite incredible.  The thought of autism or other development issue doesn't enter most people's heads until a child is 2 years old.  At 6 months old you were already aware.  Let me tell you that if your son has any delay at all, he was born to the right Mom!  You are on the ball and would make a strong advocate!

It's almost impossible to determine if a child has autism before 18 months old, unless the condition is severe.  This does NOT apply to your son.  I will be perfectly straight with you.  Some of the things you mention are concerning and some are extremely positive.  This does NOT mean the concerning items equals autism.  However, I would keep a log of them and anything else you notice.  You seem to know just what to home in on.  I can't help wondering if you're a teacher.

It's unusual for your son to focus his attention on people's mouths rather than their eyes.  It's also concerning that he grabs your hand and pulls you to what he wants instead of pointing to it or trying to express it in other ways.  The repeated behavior of going up and down one step is also concerning.  And lack of eye contact is an obvious concern.  However, it's a really good sign that your son understands one step commands, points, has receptive and expressive skills and is interested in other children.

I advise you to make an appointment with Early Intervention as soon as possible.  Check with your pediatrician on who to call.  Depending on the state you live in, it could take a couple of months until you get a full evaluation.  You do NOT have to pay for this evaluation, it's covered by your state under the IDEA act.  I can't even begin to tell you how much difference it makes to start young if there is an issue.  You couldn't be in a better position right now.  Your son might not get a diagnosis, but still might qualify for services and you will be amazed at the difference after just a few months of therapy.  Congratulation for being so on top of things and please let me know if I can be of further help.

Jene Aviramhttp://www.nlconcepts.com  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Hi,

Thank you so much for your quick response. We have been referred to a developmental specialist by our doctor and are in the process of gathering all information needed to make an appointment.  I was wondering what other reasons besides autism would cause a lack of eye contact? He is still making limited eye contact. Is there a way to help encourage eye contact? We have been watching him very closely over the past 3 days and he doesn't seem to be quite as bad as we thought.  He's really only pulling us around by the hand just for the sake of us walking with him.  He's not obsessively going up and down the stair anymore. He still does it but not often, he may only do it 5 times before he gets bored. He wants us to clap and be proud of him when he does it too. Maybe he just feels like a big boy and once he conquers the step he'll move on the bigger and better things!  Also, he is due for the MMR shot on the 15th which has some contraversy about being a possible link in autism. Would you recomend holding off this shot until he is evaluated?  

No I'm not a teacher. I'm at 21 year old stay at home mother. I've just looked around on the internet about lack of eye contact and I was slapped in the face with this threat of autism.  I've heard that the earlier they are treated the better for them so that is what im tried to do. Early intervetion will help him with or with out autism! I've been worrying myself sick with this and just want an answer. It is going to take a couple of months to get in to see the specialist hopefully by then we will have some answers.

What did you mean by this -->It's almost impossible to determine if a child has autism before 18 months old, unless the condition is severe.  This does NOT apply to your son.(do you mean it could be determined if he has autism before 18 months or that if he does have autism it probably wont be severe?) Thank you so much!
Byford
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:39 am


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