It has been a while since I wrote a down post... but the time has finally come. The past few weeks I have noticed a few things in Sam that I find concerning. Then, at Occupational Therapy yesterday, his therapist also mentioned she was concerned about his speech patterns. Add to that three nights of no sleep thanks to Sam screaming all night, and we have a mommy falling down the autism rabbit hole once again.
No, this isn't the first time I have expressed concerns about Sam and autism and I have no doubt that this will not be the last. The thing that makes this time different is I am not alone in being concerned. There are a few red flags that have been raises:
- Sam seems to be losing language. Things that he used to say all the time, he never says anymore. Yes, it could be he is just bored with those words and has moved on to new words. But not hearing him say "I love you" like he used to scares me.
- Sam does not really engage in social language. Yes, Sam talks, but he doesn't use language to express or ask for things, especially with anyone who is not me. He never tells us if he wants something. He doesn't bring things to us to look at. This is something with OT has noticed and that has her concerned.
- Sam never points. I know, we don't like our kids to point, but at this age, pointing is a major way kids communicate. Not Sam. He never points to things he is looking at, things he wants to look at or things he just wants.
- Sam is very repetitive. I know, I know... toddlers like repetition. With Sam, the repetition is out of control. He plays with the same toy every day and will not turn his attention away from it no matter how hard we may try.
- Sam doesn't respond to his name. You can call him and he will not come or even turn his head. Yes, he could just be a stubborn little man and he isn't turning because he doesn't want to, but it could also be something else.
There is more, but those are the main red flags. I am doing my best not to assume the worst, but i can't help myself. Of course, access to the internet doesn't help either. I went to the Autism Speaks website and filled out their assessment quiz. The result did nothing to help calm my fears.
I talked to Sam's pediatrician about this all yesterday, and she agreed that what I was telling her was concerning. She also pointed out that she hadn't really seen any of this herself, and as we were talking Sam was making good eye contact and being very affectionate. Regardless, we have a referral back to speech therapy for an evaluation.
Until that point, please help give me strength not to assume the worst!