Non-verbal toddler

by Susan
(Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA)

My 14 month old grandson is non-verbal. He shows some signs of autism, but then doesn't show other signs. He has good eye contact, plays peek-a-boo, can smile and giggle with his 2 year old sister, and can find a "hidden" object, has started walking, and can copy simple actions demonstrated by an adult, such as putting a small ball in a cube. On the other hand, he shakes his head back and forth and bangs his head on furniture and flaps his arms. He hasn't pointed to anything, nor does he wave "bye" or copy sounds. His doctor diagnosed him as "failure to thrive" a few months back, but he has gained up to 19 pounds. At birth he was 6 pounds and 2 weeks premature. The backside of his head was very flat, his head was larger than his body, and he constantly sounded congested when he slept. He held his left arm out at his side stiffly when picked up. At 8 months old he was hospitalized for a week with RSV and pneumonia, and had to continue breathing treatments once he was back at home. Afterwards he refused to eat or take a bottle. He has somewhat of a frail appearance. He doesn't imitate words, doesn't point to body parts, doesn't look at books, and doesn't look in the direction when I'm pointing and saying, "Go get the ball." Overall, what could be going on with my grandson? My gut feeling is something is not right, but I can't put my finger on it.

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Oct 25, 2012
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Non-Verbal Toddler
by: Theresa

It sounds like your grandson may have one of the spectrum disorders like PDD-NOS. My baby was finally diagnosed with that. PDD-NOS and Asbergers are not classic autism but they are on the autism spectrum. It means they have some autistic behaviors but not the classic ones like no eye contact. My baby speaks but she does not use speech appropiatly. She basically just repeats everything she hears but dose not know what it means. She is very social and runs right up to any stranger, HOWEVER she is inappropiately social. She pulls up people's shirts, takes anything they may have that she wants like cell phones, keys etc. People with PDD usually only socialize with others to get something they want from them. Also, the symptoms are different for each individual. My baby has risky behavior, does not seem to feel pain like normal people do, whines and cries a lot, she repeats words or phrases over and over, sometimes lines things up, does not play with toys appropriately but just dumps them on the floor and leaves them, she has OCD behaviors where she does the same task over and over like dressing and undressing. Do some research on PDD-NOS and some other Spectrum Disorders.

Aug 18, 2010
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non verbal toddler
by: Ceci

I completely understand your concern and am grateful that you have picked up on all these symptoms. My first recommendation is to take him to a developmental specialist. Also get in contact with the regional center or early intervention program in your county. They will do all the necessary evaluations to make sure all is well. My son is turning 4 on September 9th and is a child with special needs. I have been through so much and am more than happy to help you in anything i can. :)

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