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Does he have autism?

(29 Posts)
NanaSunshine01 Wed 30-Aug-17 17:23:02

I need advice! My GS has just turned 3 and I've been concerned for some time that he may have autism as he is displaying several potential characteristics of the disorder. I have kept these thoughts to myself as I don't want to needlessly alarm his parents when they are already going through a difficult period in their lives.

However the more I read the more it's evident that early intervention is crucial to ensure he has support. I know the parents have no suspicions that he may be on the spectrum. He is started nursery in a primary school in a few weeks and I don't know whether to wait for the school to identify a problem (if indeed there is one) or speak to the parents myself. Which if I'm honest I'd rather not do as I don't want to upset them in any way. What would you advise?

Cherrytree59 Wed 30-Aug-17 17:34:23

I agree a worry, but as he is going to a school nursery I would wait.
I'm sure that if he is on the spectrum then it will be picked up.
The nursery may receive extra funding for your DGC if extra help is required

NanaSunshine01 Wed 30-Aug-17 17:35:37

Thank you cherry. I'm a mass of nerves as I don't want to do the wrong thing. X

RedheadedMommy Wed 30-Aug-17 17:37:53

Don't say anything.
The parents might already have an idea but just not discussed it with you? The school will pick it up if there is anything.

BlueBelle Wed 30-Aug-17 17:40:13

Leave it be if there are any problems the school will notice it
Stop being 'a bag of nerves' and enjoy the little man wether he is on some spectrum or not we re all there somewhere I believe

nanaK54 Wed 30-Aug-17 17:41:37

I agree keep quiet.......
His Nursery will very quickly report any concerns if they have any and will be able signpost parents to help if needed

hildajenniJ Wed 30-Aug-17 17:45:02

Like the others have said, the school should identify any problems, but they missed my DGS. He was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at age 5, but purely through my DD pushing for a referral through her GP. The school he went to were clueless, and thought the problems lay with poor parenting.

ninathenana Wed 30-Aug-17 17:54:52

As Bluebelle says calm down and just enjoy him. The autistic spectrum is large, having 'traits' may put him on the edge of the spectrum but that means different things to different children.
I would "wait and see"

midgey Wed 30-Aug-17 19:32:56

Leave well alone, school should pick it up and if they don't hopefully the parents will see their child is different and then you may be able to help.

NanaSunshine01 Wed 30-Aug-17 20:38:49

Thanks for your kind messages. My suspicions doesnt affect me enjoying his company. I adore the bones of him. I'm happy to take a step back and observe for the time being. thank you for your input it makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing. Whatever happpens the family will alway have my support.

Smithy Wed 30-Aug-17 21:49:52

All good wishes NanaSunshine, enjoy your lovely grandson xx

Deedaa Wed 30-Aug-17 22:41:28

We didn't suspect that GS1 was on the spectrum till he was about 8. It took another two years to get him diagnosed. The real give aways with him were his sensitivity to sound and his various food fetishes. His diet is very limited and no food must touch any other food on the plate! His life at school wasn't affected for several years until it all started to get too much and he started running away./

NanaSunshine01 Thu 31-Aug-17 08:29:30

Thanks for your input. It must be a worry. I'm holding back for a short time to observe him I'm more depth. He starts nursery next week so I'm going to give them a few weeks and then address it. I'm mindful that he doesn't get overlooked. Thank you.

MissAdventure Thu 31-Aug-17 09:42:02

A lot of small children have some ritualistic behaviour, and can appear very self oriented, but that could change once he is in the company of others nursery. Hope it goes well for him, and he enjoys it.

M0nica Thu 31-Aug-17 16:29:13

Sadly, the worst thing you can do is say anything. Sometimes the parents are in denial and telling them will only alienate them.

Our DGC are not our children and unless the child is being abused in which case we must report it to an outside authority, no matter unhelpful and disadvantageous we may consider our DC'sand CiL's child rearing practices may be, or how blind they are to problems, we should not interfere, but instead work at being as kind and supportive as possible so that we are always there for both DC or DGC when needed.

Nannarose Thu 31-Aug-17 16:54:09

I have worked with children with special needs, and I broadly agree with the 'wait and see' approach at present.
As MissAventure said, typical 3 year old behaviour has elements that should be grown out of in the next few years. A good nursery is properly placed to observe this.
Whilst early intervention is important, it must also be appropriate. nursery should deal with him as an individual.
A diagnosis of autism is very rarely made before age 2, and not often until 4-5, as so many elements of the condition are actually normal behaviour under the age of 6.
You don't say if you are experienced around children, or are working more from a ' check list'.
I think your job is to be prepared to handle what you are told by his parents. This probably won't be for a while as he settles in to nursery.

I do wish you all the best, this is difficult and upsetting for you. Do you have a trusted friend you can share with?

Franbern Tue 05-Sep-17 10:39:27

Just to give a little input into this discussion. My eldest child a boy was born in 1969. He always had quite terrifying tantrums, and when he was crawling this would involved getting himself over to the fireplace curb, where he would bang his forehead until bruised. By the time he was coming up to four years old, there were two younger siblings, he was clever and was reading quite fluently by that age. However, the tantrums continued and I did actually use the 'Autistic' word to a social worker. It was dismissed out of hand, as, back then, autism was allied to non-verbal, etc children.
He always had some very strange behaviors, but did manage to grow up without any extra assistance. I did manage to get him a scholarship to a local public school when he was due to start secondary school. Even there, some of the teachers were concerned at some of his strange behavior. But he passed his A levels, went on to uni, eventually got married and settled down. He has a good job, and the whole family can recognise so many aspergers traits (on his 40th birthday, he walked out of the restuarant, when the waiters brought out his cake and started to sing, Happy Birthday). However. I am so pleased that I never went ahead to get him a 'label'. Would not have helped him in any way.
On the other hand, my eldest Gs showed serious Autistic tendencies from a young age, this effected him both at home and at school. (eg: big lad, at infant school was often in trouble for punching other children in the playground. Eventually discovered that he HAD to be No. 4 in the line-up to go back into class). His diagnosis has helped and he eventually attended a special school for autistic children for years 9 - 11, where he passed his GCSE's, and was taught so much how to manage his condition. He is now at his local 6th form college doing his A levels.
So, what I am trying to say is that it is not always good to label a child - sometimes that is necessary. Many people have certain behaviors which are on the autistic spectrum, but this does not mean they need any label, diagnosis or special treatment.
As has been said by others, give this child time, and see if the professionals in the nursery feel there is any need for any sort of further intervention.

TriciaF Tue 05-Sep-17 11:20:58

To the OP - I agree with others, too early to decide, wait until he matures a bit.
Franbern - I'm so glad to read your post and I agree 100% about not labelling too early.
I have a similar story about my sons. In spite of their various strange behaviours they have never been labelled, yet have made the most of their strengths.

Blinko Tue 05-Sep-17 11:50:15

I agree with BlueBelle, we're all on some spectrum or another. It seems it's the way of the (educational) world nowadays.

To the OP, I would advise against saying anything at all. As others have remarked, the nursery will pick it up and know what's best for the little man.

Just continue to love him to bits!

Granonthefarm Tue 05-Sep-17 12:07:21

Let your daughter know your concerns. Schools, preschools etc don't always have the training or time to assess individual children's needs. Early intervention is essential. Hopefully you are close enough to talk to your daughter and she will say "thanks mum I will look into it" It doesn't mean you don't love or support them any less. Perhaps it may start an idea of seeking help. My own daughter, mum of a 5 and 3 year old is an OT and she works with families with children on the autism spectrum. She finds that parents are so tired and bewildered they need a lot of extra family support if it is available.

Granonthefarm Tue 05-Sep-17 12:30:14

Sorry, i have assumed the grandchild you are worried about is your daughters child, but I think the same applies if you are the paternal Grandparent. Men are so much more involved these days. Early intervention is very helpful and these things are not always picked up by very hardworking pre school teachers and carers. Having a conversation now could help your much loved grandchild in the future

gillybob Tue 05-Sep-17 17:02:03

Personally I wouldn't say anything NanaSunshine . If there really are traits of autism in your little grandson then his parents will have almost definitely noticed them too. I don't think you will be thanked for bringing the subject up and you may cause trouble by doing so, although if his parents did mention it to you then you could admit that you have also had concerns. I wonder did he mix with other children at all before nursery?

Morgana Tue 05-Sep-17 19:23:30

Many children especially ones on the spectrum benefit by having a fairly strict regime and by knowing exactly why things are happening. My son was never diagnosed but we r all sure that he is on the spectrum. I would not like him to have been labelled or dosed up with Ritalin when he was younger. But I do think that his teachers would have handled him more expertly if they had known.

Mamie Tue 05-Sep-17 19:49:21

I don't think parents always recognise ASD in their own children and nor will all nursery staff.
I think there is still time to wait for a bit with a three year old, but in the end I think that our ultimate duty as grandparents is to the best interests of the child and if that means speaking up about our informed concerns then that is what we should do.
I had to do this with my own grandson and when I later discussed with my son how difficult it had been, he said that he was grateful for what I had done and would have been very upset if I had not said anything.
I think the idea of "labels" is out of date and irrelevant. ASD is a spectrum and early intervention, as others have said, is crucial. It is not just about being a bit "quirky", it is about helping children with difficulties in communication and social interaction to make sense of the world and develop strategies to cope.
I have a professional background of working with children with SEN and I did a lot of research before I said anything, but I am very glad that I shared my concerns when I did. My grandson then got a diagnosis of high-end ASD and appropriate support.

Bubbe Tue 05-Sep-17 22:12:43

Having a diagnosis will help the adults in his life know how to best support him. But having said that, strategies that are good for ASD children are good for all.