19 months old with autism signs?

Hello, we have a healthy 19 months old boy and lately we started worrying if he has autism.

Ever since he started walking when he was 1 year old, he rarely sits down. He likes to run, walk all the time and takes a few short breaks when he plays with his toys. When we are at home, he doesnt like it when we pick him up, kiss him, or have him sit next to us on the couch, except when he is really really exhausted.

The reason we thought about checking autism is because he does or doesnt do the following:

- he doesnt point at specific things. Not pointing to water when thirsty or food/milk when hungry. He just complains until we feed him.

- He hasnt said a full word yet, but he talks (in his way), all day

- he wont stop running around the house. Literally all day he runs around and wont stop until we put him in a high chair to eat or to sleep but even then, he starts kicking for a minute until he is asleep.

- a couple of words that he learned when we sang to him, he stopped using them. He wont repeat the words he once did.

- same with songs we use to sing to teach him to point at nose/eyes efc. He stopped doing that also

- he doesnt respond to his name being called at all, its like he is ignoring everyone. He responds to sounds, music on tv.

Overall, be doesnt interact much with us. Be likes doing his thing which is running arround and play, and this makes it even harder for us to understand if something is wrong

Thanks for your time reading my concern :) 

  • My little one now 33 months was very similar to your little one at around 19 months.

    in addition to the same description of your son.

    I also noticed he had a fascination with wheels - vehicle wheels, buggy wheels etc.

    he was a very good/quiet baby could sit for 2-3 hours entertaining himself as a small baby.

    Music settled him more than my hugs when he was upset.

    he had tummy upset around 3-4 months (prescribed gaviscon then ranitidine) - symptoms disappeared at 12 months.

    picky eater from 12 months - didn’t like touching food with hands (sometimes eating like a dog to avoid it)  but happy to touch paint or play dough.

    he is now awaiting autism diagnosis and they believe that he may have adhd as well (but they say won’t diagnose that till 6yrs) - the only point I can attribute adhd element is the constant shifting from one toy to the next and banging or throwing toys but they seem convinced he is showing signs of adhd.

    things I noticed from around 19 months until now are:

    He doesn’t recognise sad or angry face - in his own emotions or others. He recognises happy face. But when you say “show me sad face he just looks blank”

    He started pulling children’s hair, For no reason (even to greet them - his way of saying hi when they walked in a room.) he would scratch small babies faces - this got so bad we stopped socialising as his lack of ability to understand sad and angry expression meant he kept doing it repeatedly harming others.

    he started running off - doors had to be locked and him strapped in buggy or reins - he has no danger awareness 

    he very rarely shares (never with kids-sometimes with me), he cannot wait in ques, doesn’t like being prevented from doing what he wants to do, doesn’t react to adult authority time outs etc.

    Becoming fascinated by numbers - which started with building blocks making towers- we would count while building. He was Counting to 20 by age 2 and recognises these numbers when seen on any sign, price tag etc. Instead of hugs to comfort him he preferred counting or watching “numberjaks” on YouTube. 

    the number fascination progressed to letters learning capital letters very quickly, shouting out letters on shop signs and logos,  (I had no idea how he taught himself this) I showed him the “alpha blocks” tv show and he learned lower case within 2 weeks and knows sounds of each. Starting to read 2 letter words and knows a for apple, b for ball etc. He has now started writing most letters but cannot draw anything else.

    He has learned to talk a lot more lately and his behaviour is getting better. I have started to reason with him for example let him have what he wants - but after the thing I want him to do first.

    i now also give him choices. To help get him dressed I say “shorts or trousers and show him the 2 things” or 2 options for food etc.

    Looking back there were lots of little signs that I didn’t act upon, I just thought he’s a bit behind in milestones but he’s happy so I thought fine. 19-22 months was when I noticed it more and mentioned to health visitor. She wanted me to wait until he started preschool but 6 months later I was struggling with his behaviour and when she came to see him she made an instant referral. We are still waiting now.

    If you are concerned keep pestering your health visitor and/or gp to be referred, I wish I did more.

    good luck <3