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How much should and 18-month-old be saying?

3 answers
My 18-month-old used to speak a lot more (Elmo, Mom, Dad, Bye, Nana, Mine, Go, and Target), but now all the says is, Mom, and Dad. He's pediatrician gave him a through exam and said he was not autistic because he loves giving affection, and looks right at you-Autistic kids don't do this(I used to teach in a classroom with Autistic kids,so I know what to look for,etc). He also screams whenever he wants something. Any suggestions? Where should I take him now? Another specialist? To his neurologist? Please help. Thank you

answers (3)

Unless your pediatrician is a developmental pediatrician, I would suggest Early Intervention evaluate your son (I'd request a psychologist and a speech therapist).  We weren't sure if our son would end up on the autism spectrum because he's so affectionate (though his eye contact was fleeting), but sure enough, he has an autism diagnosis (determined by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule).  It was a long process (about a year) until we received the diagnosis, and we have seen MANY people in that time.  More significantly though, my son has processing disorders which has made communication harder for him.  Every specialist who observed him said the same thing (and they were all in different buildings, different medical groups, etc.) which is that he clearly has a lot going on in his brain, but he can't get it out.He has been going to occupational and speech therapies to help him with his processing issues.  He's been in OT for 7 months and Speech for almost 5 months.  This time last year, my son (3 at the time) could not say anything original.  He repeated phrases he had heard from people or from stories we read.  Because of his improvements thanks to his therapies, he's going to be in a mainstream preschool this fall.  He talks to us about what he's feeling, he asks us how we're feeling, and while we aren't totally conversational yet, we are definitely getting there.  When we read stories, he can tell me what happened, who the characters are, and is growing an impressive vocabulary to boot!I saw that your originally posted over 3 weeks ago, so I'm not sure if you'll see it.  Nonetheless, I hope you can find the help and answers you seek, and that your son is able to find his voice again.  Best wishes!
Thanks for your answer! I've got some doctors appointments made for him with specialists at the local children's hospital to check things out on May 3.I will keep you updated
I hope all is going well for you, this must be very scary.  I know it's something I think about all the time, our daughter is just a little over 17 months and every time she says a new word, I feel a little better.  I think the Autism spectrum is quite a wide range of behaviors as the previous poster indicates.  I'm glad you're seeing specialists and I'm sure your experience in the classroom will help your and your child whatever the results.  As for the screaming when he wants something, perhaps try pointing and indicate your son can do the same thing if he doesn't seem to be able to use a word?

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