View Full Version : Special needs identification

07-25-2014, 08:50 AM
Looking for advice from experienced caregivers that had a child that was later diagnosed (on the spectrum or with a delay).

I have a 17 month old. The child shows many red flags for being on the spectrum. It is too early for a diagnosis, especially from me. But my past work with children with autism and my education give me a good base knowledge. I have a friend who works with children with autism and she's been sending me screening tools etc to help track things. There are many possible red flags...BUT with the young age it could just be he is just showing a bunch of oddities that really are just due to be young (man, I hope so).

My question is...while it is too early to diagnose and too early to point anything out to the parents I know that early identification is best and if the child does in fact shows signs then around 18ish months would be ideal to have him put on the list for resources etc.

My question now is in the process of slowly helping the parents see what I see is it wise of me to leave the child at the end of the day to just do what he does so they start to see it? I currently try my best to have the child even remotely near the group so he looks like he is at least partially involved (hard to do).

I feel like it not only looks bad on my part to have a child off spinning in the corner at pick up but it is just hard on the parents to see that the other 4 (same age) are all happily engaged and their child is just not.

I just don't know what the best move here is...do I stop trying to force him to engage at pick up so they start to notice? Will they notice and start to see the issues I see or will they just be annoyed that I'm not engaging their child (I see this if they are oblivious to the red flags or in denial)?

Any thoughts? I am starting to note what I see and even started taking short videos of the main red flags. Not sure they would ever be used but I figure it is wise to have it all documented. I think the only use for them would be if the parents come to fully see it but have trouble convincing their doctor and need him to see for himself. I can't see handing it over to the parents if they don't fully come to see themselves as it would just push them further into denial.

Any advice on how to slowly get my concerns of behaviors (or lack there of) to the parents in a very gentle and appropriate manner? Start now? Wait a couple months until he's a bit older and the behaviors are even more unusual? My main concern is that he ends up being on the spectrum and I didn't point out my observances earlier therefore delaying his treatment.

07-25-2014, 10:10 AM
More and more doctors are doing detailed screenings at the 18 month check up and they may very well identify some of the same issues you are sensing. If you really think there are issues when the parents say they are going to the 18 month appointment that might be the time to bring up a couple of your concerns and ask if they will mention it to the doctor and get some feedback on how you can help the child over come the problems. A knowledgeable doctor will be able to take your list of "symptoms" and get that something is off in the day to day of the child even if it isn't showing up at the appointment.

Until the parent is willing to admit there are issues the best you can do is take what you have identified and work around them or with them as the case may be. Just be ready to confirm to the parent if they bring it up that you have been having concerns too.