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    #1

    Question Okay. . .

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    I'm pretty sure ds is autistic. He's 4 years old but doesn't talk. His motor functions are "normal", but then he has episodes where he moves his hands in a pattern repeatedly. He doesn't pay attention when we call his name, he has a meltdown every time I change the channel, there are other symptoms he's been displaying that I'm just too tired to type out. We are taking him to be medically diagnosed, but what are some things that I can do to help him communicate with me? Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you.

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    #2
    Does he not have any words at all? Does your state offer early intervention programs? My friend's son has apraxia and has very few words at 3. He works with several different forms of therapy on a weekly basis and one amazing thing is that he was given an Ipad that helps 'talk' for him. It has even helped him to start to learn to read because the words are under what word he wants to say.

    I can't imagine how difficult this is for you right now, but hopefully you'll be able to get more answers after a diagnosis. Developmental preschools are amazing too!
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    #3
    My mom is a special education preschool teacher and there is so much they can do for these kids. In terms of helping him communicate right now (before diagnosis/additional tools) I would make a photo board/book for him with pictures of actual objects in your house (toilet, fridge, outside, some of his go to foods, etc) and community so he can communicate his wants and needs. You could also make him a page for emotions. There are short stories online to explain different emotions to young/autistic children and then you can either find drawings that convey those emotions or ask him to act them out for you and take pictures of those facial expressions. I would do sad, mad, frustrated, happy, excited, scared, etc. Having a routine (and showing the steps with pictures or graphics) like in the morning 1. Get dressed, 2. Eat breakfast, 3. Brush teeth can also be helpful - my mom does this for her students.

    Edit to add: teaching infant sign language could also help his communication.

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    #4
    Well, I take him to weekly appointments up at dd's school, and they have a counselor that works with children with developmental delays. She is very good at her job, but last week she asked me if he sometimes didn't listen when we call him. That also got me thinking about autism. My nephew is autistic, so I don't know if it's genetic, I haven't really studied the subject at length. Thank you for the wonderful suggestions!

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    #5
    I have a good friend with a 3 year old who is still not talking really. Some things that helped were letting the kid play around kids who do talk (he started saying dada and up after that), and teaching him sign language. He also has wood blocks that look like various things that he can ask for (cup, teddy bear, etc)
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    #6
    Thanks! He has blocks of various sizes and colors that he plays with, usually right in front of the television that he doesn't watch. I'm trying to read to him, play peek a boo, sing songs (he will actually stand still long enough for me to do this) and he loves when I play chase him through the house. I'm going to make him a board and find some apps that I can put on my old iPad for him. That is all I have right now.

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    #7
    I am in school to be an SLP. I am in the early stages still....but one of the biggest things they have told us to tell parents is to talk to your kids, even if they aren't talking back to you. Narrate what you are doing. Talk and talk and talk. If your child is saturated with language, it will be easier for him to pick up language.
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    #8
    It is genetic, meaning if someone else in the family line has it, chances are others do too, or some form, whether it be ADD/ADHD, autism, speech delays, dyslexia, development delay, etc. they are all related, and all on the spectrum in some form or fashion. Its not to say that everyone in the family line will get it, but it wouldn't be uncommon if more than one person/child has some form of the spectrum. In our family we have 3 autistic, 2 adhd, 1 dyslexic, 2 speech problems, 1 social development disorder (or whatever its called), 1 genius, and 2 normal kids. When the oldest autistic got diagnosed the doctor flat out asked if there were any of the sort I just mentioned. From what that doctor said, and research we did ourselves it was found that autism (and all on the spectrum) is caused by too many intelligent genes in the family line. Autistic kids are extremely smart, their only fault is they don't communicate at all, or not by normal means. But i'm not a doctor, and this is all just based on 20 years of research, conversations with doctors, and the like.


    Take him to the doctor and see what they say. If/when he gets diagnosed there is a pluthera of help for him. Doing ST and OT helps but there will be more at your disposal once you get a diagnosis.

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    #9
    Has his hearing been checked recently?
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    #10
    His hearing has been checked numerous times. The tests always come back normal. Every day, I show him and tell him what I'm doing. My nephew is autistic, so this isn't terribly shocking. I just want ways to communicate with him.

    DH: Thank you. ME: For what, babe? DH: For being you.




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