Monday, July 17, 2006

Why do I listen to unwarrented advice?

Had a good weekend - quiet stay at home Saturday, and off to visit our friends yesterday. It was some great quiet time with the family. Although, I have a MAJOR beotch session about the visit yesterday to get off my chest...

We visited with Hubby's friends from grammar school (M, who is married to J and has K1; and E, who is married to T and has K2 - see post Dinner With Friends about E&T) yesterday.

T is a special ed teacher...and is very open about what she does at school (always has, like she should get a Girl Scout patch on her sash for all of her "saves"). She truly is good at what she does, so she should be proud of her accomplishments...except when they cross over the line and she starts making comments about what just isn't there.

M put on Jack's Big Music Show for Chris later in the day because all of us were indoors due to the heat (and M&J's lack of pool, since they were having a problem putting it together in time for us to come up for the visit). When Jack is on, Chris likes to dance around, sing, and act like an all-around 2 year old goofball. You could see T is watching him closely - not out of enjoyment, but with that analyzing look to her. She proceeds to make a comment about half-way through the program about Chris' toe-walking...basically saying, you know, I think Chris could be autistic.

Now, I KNOW what the warning signs are of autism and I KNOW how important it is to diagnose this early... My best friend's neice has benefited so much from early intervention, and I know several others who DC are just now starting out on their own journies through autism. But, Chris occasionally toe walks! Who cares? Hubby toe-walked when he was a toddler. Hubby's cousin toe-talked as a toddler. Our ped mentioned the toe-walking to us at his two year check-up...and proceeded to say, don't worry about it. The worst that can happen is he will have flat feet (as does my Hubby and cousin...see the GENETICS working here?).

But, this single comment from someone who probably only sees Chris about once every two to three months now has Hubby in a tizzy... He, like I, wants to make sure if there are problems with Chris, we get them addressed early. He is worried now really over nothing now.

To alleviate his mind a bit, I went on-line looking for signs, etc. of autism for him. According to sites like Autism Society of America, Autism Speaks, First Signs, and Cure Autism Now, here are the major behaviors that signal further evaluation is warranted for autism:

  1. No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
  2. No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
  3. No babbling by 12 months
  4. No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  5. No words by 16 months
  6. No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  7. Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age
Chris has not displayed ANY of these signs. Chris is just a normal kid who likes to toe-walk.

Sure, I am concerned about Chris' speech, as do most parents - he talks well and up to the standard for his age. But, he has gotten into the habit of pointing for things instead of asking verbally because, well, he has several people on my in-law's side that like to baby him and give him what he points to. Would you verbally ask for something if all you had to do was point and get it? It is laziness and stubbornness...which I need to train him out of. And, it may be something I will address privately after talking to our ped about it.

Our ped does very thorough Well Baby visits - I would think if he saw anything questionable, or throught of something based on our responses to his questions, he would have said something already to us.

I really hate when people start planting a seed like that when there is no problem - and she, of all people, should know better.


Jessica said...

I can't imagine anyone saying that. It's bewildering... And it's not for the mere fact of what he said Chris had. It could be anything, it's just that it sort of implies that you weren't giving Chris enough care. Pediatricians look for this stuff, most mothers are aware of what to look for. Knowing you only online- I know that if Chris showed any signs from the beginning you'd be on top of that and getting him the care he needs. Toe walking is so common it's not even funny!
Argh! I'm with you, just don't know what you should do about it. :( Because one side of me would say ignore it, and the other common side of me would say bitch him out LOL.

Amy said...

Tina, the only one that can diagnose autism is a neurologist. I don't care how good a teacher your friend is, she can not say that Chris is autistic by just looking at him play. That is so ridiclous. To me, never having met you or Chris face to face, it sounds like he is a NORMAL 2 year old child. Urgh. I hate when people think that they know it all. You should have told her off! :)