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Question
Posted by: Sam | 2011-05-14

Concerned

Hi Doc, i have a little boy in the family who is 4 - He struggles to put sentences together and when he tries he often babbles so that you cant really make out what he is saying.

Often we have to tell him to slow down and try to speak slowly. He is also very loud and high pitched in is tone. He also struggles with being repremanded if he has done something wrong often bursting into tears and telling a lie that someone else did it.

I have a daughter who is the same age and i see a marked difference in his and her behavior with regards to confidence(eye contact) and pretend play... She can imagine the greatest situations and plays comfortably with kids double her age, where he struggles and would rather play alongside them but not with them.

I as well as his preschool teacher have suggested a hearing test or speech therapist as maybe thats the reason why he behaves the way he does due to a hearing impairment... but his parents dont want to hear anything about it and feel that he is a late starter.

He also fixates on something... he absolutley absorbes himself into his fixation and will spend hours imitating and getting really excited about these items. He is however very good with balance and climing activities - this would be the only area i would say that he is above standard in...as for the rest i would say that he is at least one yr behind.

Could he be slightly Autistic? is there a reason for concern? how do i go about expressing this to his parents without upsetting them? I love this little boy dearly and if there is a problem it needs to be addressed as quickly as possible to get the best treatment for his future.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageAutism Spectrum Expert Forum

hello Sam
yes what you have described is most certainly some of the red flags of the autism spectrum. many parents find denial easier because autism was always untreatable, however, there is so much hope in treatment now so i would encourage you to try and find a way to speak to his parents by offering hope in the form of information. there are soo many sites that are filled with information and hope. Yes, time is the enemy and early intervention the most effective. www.autismistreatable.co.za as well as other links offer hope!

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