Thursday, April 17

Thursday Thirteen #16: Red Flags

Thirteen Things about Little T and the Autistic Spectrum

April is Autistic Awareness month and so I wanted to share the red flags that went up and made us suspect our 4 year old grandson might be autistic.

Our Little T and his mother lived with us from the time he was just 2 months old until he was just over a year old. Then we didn't see him for six months. But when he was 13 months old, he was beginning to walk, vocalize, and was very curious about everything. He loved playing with his mini workshop where he could open and close the doors to retrieve tools. When he came back, all sorts of red flags went up:

1. He'd stopped speaking and wasn't vocalizing at all except to grunt or whine
2. Even though he'd have a tantrum because we didn't understand what he wanted, he didn't try another way to communicate, like home signs or pointing
3. He was stuck in the same type of play he'd engaged in when he left: opening and closing doors. He moved from there to a "sliding glass door" kind of movement.
4. He would become very upset if I tried to vary his play or distract him with new toys
5. He would clutch his shoes to his chest whenever he wasn't wearing them and wouldn't put them down
6. He didn't respond consistently to our voices; we thought his hearing was impaired
7. He would make eye contact with us but then frequently cocked his head and stared off to the side
8. He had a ritualistic of the follow-the-leader type when he'd play outside. For instance, you'd go up the steps to the deck, cross it, tap several times on the rail opposite the entry point, turn and go to the opposite side, tap again, etc.
9. He wasn't interested in any of the other outdoor toys: trucks, sand pail, shovels, and so on.
10. He seemed to be afraid of playground equipment like swings and slides
11. He was no longer interested in having anyone read to him
12. He had a clumsy gait when he ran and frequently bumped into things and fell--but he would never cry
13. He would suddenly have explosive and violent tantrums to the point we were afraid he'd hurt himself

We knew we had to get help and get him tested. Getting a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum was very scary at first but since then we have learned a lot. It's not scary anymore and he is our lovely Little T.

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Hootin' Anni said...

Excellent list!! Another online friend, don't know if you visit with her or not, is Mary and Mary's Writing Nook...she too has a grandson with Autism. [her link is in my 'friends' dropdown list in my sidebar]

Happy T-13 to you.

Picturing of Life said...

great post

Will you visit mine Thanks

Clicker said...

Wow great list. Thank you for sharing. I'm glad you where able to identify that he had autism early.

Gattina said...

Very good list ! it is certainly not easy to learn to deal with such a child !

Anonymous said...

One of Mom's nephews is Autistic (PDD/NOS).
Our Auntie will be posting a poem
she's written for Thomas on Sunday, her post for April's
Autism Awareness and Sunday's
One Single Impression

Thomas is a delightful 8 year old who also has an identical twin named Kevin. We think they're both pretty darn cute kids!

Random Ramblings said...

very informative. thanks for sharing.. made us be more understanding of children with autism..

Firefly mom said...

Great TT. My friends' little girl was just diagnosed with Autism. They're very fortunate to have a great support team in place.

Thanks for visiting my TT!

Kitchen Scrapbook said...

This was very interesting to read! I love the last paragraph about how it was scary, but not any more and he's just your sweet little T. You sound like a wonderful grandma!

Happy TT! :)

oakling said...

That is awesome. There are big bus ads all over in Oakland right now that say that every 20 minutes a child is diagnosed with autism. I think it's supposed to be scary or something, but I think it's great. Because presumably those kids had autism anyway, and if they get diagnosed they can get the support and resources they need. It's wonderful that you were able to notice what was going on and start that process for your grandson!

- danica

pussreboots said...

Interesting list. Happy TT.

Calliope said...

I have a friend with Asperger's, so I found this very interesting. Thank you for the informative list!

Happy TT.


Kaige said...

Thanks for stopping by. I don't know if it's just an increased awareness or what, but the increased numbers are worrying. We have way too many health problems to be doing ourselves and children any good for the long term.

Julia said...

I'm sure your little one will make it through life even through the hard times, cause he had a wonderful mom like you :)

Thanks for sharing the knowledge on Austism.

And thanks for visiting my blog :) Hope you have a good day! :)

Astrid, Kashim & Othello said...

thanks for sharing the list.

We think Little T. has a wonderful pair of grandparents who care a lot about him!
and he is such a cute little boy!!

sending love and hugs,
Kashim & Othello and Momma Astrid

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Lately, I've been learning more about autism. Fascinating stuff.

Grace In Small Things

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