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Autism Spectrum Message Board

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Hello all - I'm a grandma and a great-grandma. One of my granddaughters is autistic, and is now 14 years old and doing really well. She went through some difficult years, but seems to be handling high school reasonably well. Of course she is in mostly special ed, but does have a few mainstream classes.
Now I have a strong suspicion that my new great-granddaughter (10 months old) is also autistic. Her mother is the older sister of the 14 year old.

I can't remember clearly what my granddaughter was like at 10 months, but the new baby is VERY quiet. She mostly just sits, and never makes a sound of any kind. She doesn't seem particularly interested in what's going on around her, and although she smiles, I have never heard her laugh. She rarely cries, or nver gets cranky or demanding like most babies.

I'm hoping that some of you young mothers can tell me about what your autistic children were like during their first year? Do you think there is a genetic component?
First of all, I want to tell you that its wonderful that you are so involved with your great-grandaughter. Its really awesome that you are so intrested that you would do your own research and support your grandchild and great-grandchild in this way. I really wish I had someone who knew about these things and who would support our family like that. Everyone in our family is in complete denial that he even has a delay. Thats why this board is so wonderful!

I don't know if I can help you since my son is not dx Autistic yet but we are slowly on the road towards the diagnosis it seems. Tyler is 15 months old and is a lot like your great-granddaughter. He is very quiet and doesn't really pay much attention to his surroundings. When he was around 3 months old I noticed a huge change in him. He became very quiet and has never made eye contact. As he grew I noticed he could stay in his room for hours crawling around playing with his toys and would get upset if I disturbed him. He is very independent and rarely if ever gets cranky or demanding (unless he wants a bottle). He also doesn't cry much. I thought he was unusual but didn't catch it till he was 12 months old and I talked with his doctor about his strange behaviors. (Head tapping, hand flapping, shaking his head "no" for no apparent reason) For the past 3 months he has been involved in early intervention. Only slight improvements but we are on our way! :) Glad I caught it early!!!

He has a lot of sensory issues and refuses to eat any solid foods. He is still on a bottle and just recently accepting baby food, but only in his bottle. He was loosing weight so I had to figure out something. He gags with pretty much anything but a bottle. He only takes a certain kind of nipple on his bottles and refuses all others. It took me several months to get him to wear shoes without screaming when I put them on.

He has reached most of his motor milestones on time but developmentally he is pretty far behind. He doesn't wave, point, and rarely imitates sounds. (Mostly raspberry sounds) He doesn't attempt to speak. He doesn't understand anything I say to him but the word "No". He shows little interest in peoples faces. He has never smiled back at me when I smile at him. He doesn't babble but he does scream loudly every once in a while...maybe just to hear his own voice. He uses no gestures to show what he wants. Communication is very difficult. He does cry when hes hungry. (Thankfully) It wasnt up until last month he started making eye contact but it is still not regularly. We are still working on his responding to his own name. He has a hard time with that.

He does a lot of hand flapping and tapping his head. He has many repetitive motions he does pretty much all day, many of which most people wouldn't even notice. At Christmas he would walk over to the tree try to touch a bulb. (He would take them off if I didn't tell him no, and walk into the kitchen with them and bust them on the floor. He throws everything on the kitchen floor.) I would tell him "No" and he would walk away tapping the side of his little head, sit on the floor, tap the floor twice, and walk back over to the tree and repeat this until I finally stopped him.

All in all hes very quiet, really too quiet. He is improving on certain things but not significantly. Every mountain he climbs is (to me) a huge success. I have such a fun time when I am able to interact with him. He can be such fun when he wants to be! However, he is truly a loner. He enjoys his time alone the most.

Sorry so long. Didn't realize it until I looked back at this how LONG! I am so sorry! I just hope I helped a little.

Take care!!!
Hugz, April :wave:
Hi Greatgrandma;

My son has PDD/NOS and was not a quiet baby. He was the complete other extreme where he cried all the time.

The early warning signs to watch for are:

No Babbling No cooing No smiling or smiling not at people but at some shadow or something meaningless to us

No pointing, imitating the early baby games such as pat a cake or peek a boo
No waving

No eye contact and nonresponsive to name when called. Appears deaf

Doesn't engage with you when you are talking to her.

This is just some of the early signs but very significant.

I hope all is well but if you think there is a problem, tell your granddaugher to call the Local Birth to three program ( Early Intervention Program ) asap.
The earlier the child is worked with if it is Autism, the better the prognosis.

Good Luck

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