Dubai dad worried about autism

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  October 8, 2009 06:00 AM

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Hi:

I have two sons. Elder one is almost three years old. He cannot speak properly yet. He can hear. He still say quite few words like car, fan, sun, moon, daddy, amma, mom etc (a lot of words). He is hyper at times. He throw pots, toys all around (at times, not always). He pulls the hair of others and sometimes hits himself as well. We noticed since start he is very sharp. He recognize TV channels (especially baby TV etc), he knows everything what we are doing in home. You can't deceive him (typical of normal growing kid) he feel happy if some one knock our door and comes he always tries to talk with them.

Since last month he started his preschool/nursery and he always likes to go there. We had parent meeting two days ago and school teachers were worried about his behaviour. According to them he pulls hairs of other kids and hit them as well. But they said he is intelligent and likes books etc but he don't share his toys with other kids.

After the school visit we are thinking about autism in him. Can you please advise us on this issue.

From: A worried father, Dubai

Dear Worried,

In her new book, "The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, 101 Answers to your everyday challenges and wildest worries," Michele Borba identifies these RED FLAGS for Autism Spectrum Disorder:

"Doesn't fit in; displays eccentric behaviors, including compulsive rocking, arm jerking and repetitive movement; was late talking and has difficulty with speech; is preoccupied with internal monologue, focused on only one thing at a time and unwilling to be distracted or to engage with others; is socially inept; visibly stands out from the other kids; is excluded or ostracized because of major characteristics that are unlike other kids."

Some of this does seem to apply to your son, and it's true that, generally speaking, preschool teachers are trustworthy, reliable sources when it comes to identifying problems simply because they see enough children to have a good sense of what is and isn't "typical" behavior.

Would I take their concerns seriously? Yes. Does that mean -- even with your description -- that your son is on the autistic spectrum? No. Should I seek professional help to be sure? Absolutely. And please note: the key here is not only to seek professional help but also to seek help from a professional who has experience and training in autism spectrum disorders.

You might also want to consider this entry only a few days ago from my colleague, Lylah Alphonse.

I answer a question from a reader every weekday. If you want help with
some aspect of child-rearing, just write to me here.

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1 comments so far...
  1. Here is a moving and inspiring blog from a mom of a girl with autism: http://rhemashope.wordpress.com/ with links to a host of others. A thriving online community worth checking out for support, ideas, and many laughs.

    Posted by Stefan, www.dadtoday.com October 9, 09 06:22 AM
 
1 comments so far...
  1. Here is a moving and inspiring blog from a mom of a girl with autism: http://rhemashope.wordpress.com/ with links to a host of others. A thriving online community worth checking out for support, ideas, and many laughs.

    Posted by Stefan, www.dadtoday.com October 9, 09 06:22 AM
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About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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