Autism thread

I was just laughing... he's in bare feet of course... gotta fulfill that sensory drive!

FSeven wrote:
Handsome little dude.

Reminds me of what my wife says about our son. She says being as handsome as he is is naturally going to attract girls but his disinterested attitude is going to make them crazy. :P

Once again, I agree with FSeven. Your son looks like he is enjoying that beautiful day.

Well today was a tough one.

We finally had our OT assessment at the local children's therapy center. Although she is unable to actually make the diagnosis, she confirmed what we already knew. Owen has multiple red flags for autism. It really hit home when she was trying to get him to make eye contact with her by taking a bottle of bubbles which he desperately wanted, holding it in front of her face and he would not make eye contact. She said a big thing she noticed is that he really treats people as objects who are there to do things he wants.

That was the big whammo, and I could see the tears welling in my wife's eyes. She said fortunately he does make eye contact with people he is comfortable with, family etc. He also clearly has some sensory stuff. He absolutely melted when she wrapped him up in a play mat and basically sat on him with all her weight.

Even though we knew what the outcome was going to be, it really hits hard to hear it from someone else. We are still waiting to see the pediatrician for official diagnosis, but at this point that's only to access publicly funded services along the way. He already has therapy set up for 2 weeks time, but now we need to decide if our little community can provide the amount of service he needs before he starts school in two years or if we need to go elsewhere (private) which could get very costly.

My wife and I spent about 2 hours balling our eyes out, something I haven't done in a VERY long time. I'm emotionally drained.

We went to a neurologist to get our official diagnosis. That's when we felt like the world came tumbling down.

My heart absolutely goes out to you guys El-producto. I'm keeping you in my thoughts. If there's absolutely anything we can do, please let us know.

El-Producto wrote:
Well today was a tough one.

We finally had our OT assessment at the local children's therapy center. Although she is unable to actually make the diagnosis, she confirmed what we already knew. Owen has multiple red flags for autism. It really hit home when she was trying to get him to make eye contact with her by taking a bottle of bubbles which he desperately wanted, holding it in front of her face and he would not make eye contact. She said a big thing she noticed is that he really treats people as objects who are there to do things he wants.

That was the big whammo, and I could see the tears welling in my wife's eyes. She said fortunately he does make eye contact with people he is comfortable with, family etc. He also clearly has some sensory stuff. He absolutely melted when she wrapped him up in a play mat and basically sat on him with all her weight.

Even though we knew what the outcome was going to be, it really hits hard to hear it from someone else. We are still waiting to see the pediatrician for official diagnosis, but at this point that's only to access publicly funded services along the way. He already has therapy set up for 2 weeks time, but now we need to decide if our little community can provide the amount of service he needs before he starts school in two years or if we need to go elsewhere (private) which could get very costly.

My wife and I spent about 2 hours balling our eyes out, something I haven't done in a VERY long time. I'm emotionally drained.

This is tough news. I know where you are. Still, there are positives that may not be so apparent now: you are aware of the issue and getting him therapy. This will be a huge help. My son was like yours at his age in a lot of areas, such as using us as tools. He would grab our hands to turn on the iPad for him, for example. Now, 18 months later, he usually asks for help with the iPad. He does need some prompting, but we are so far ahead of where we were. The therapy has made a gigantic difference. My son started preschool this fall and he really is thriving. He starts conversations and games with us, asks us to read books and do puzzles, and is a much better communicator. We are still working on all this, but I want to emphasize how far he's come. Of course I don't know your son, but I don't see why he also wouldn't be helped a lot by what you are doing.

You and your wife are caring and active parents, and you've got resources. Those are HUGE advantages. Keep at it - I'll be thinking of you all.

El-Producto wrote:
Well today was a tough one.

We finally had our OT assessment at the local children's therapy center. Although she is unable to actually make the diagnosis, she confirmed what we already knew. Owen has multiple red flags for autism. It really hit home when she was trying to get him to make eye contact with her by taking a bottle of bubbles which he desperately wanted, holding it in front of her face and he would not make eye contact. She said a big thing she noticed is that he really treats people as objects who are there to do things he wants.

That was the big whammo, and I could see the tears welling in my wife's eyes. She said fortunately he does make eye contact with people he is comfortable with, family etc. He also clearly has some sensory stuff. He absolutely melted when she wrapped him up in a play mat and basically sat on him with all her weight.

Even though we knew what the outcome was going to be, it really hits hard to hear it from someone else. We are still waiting to see the pediatrician for official diagnosis, but at this point that's only to access publicly funded services along the way. He already has therapy set up for 2 weeks time, but now we need to decide if our little community can provide the amount of service he needs before he starts school in two years or if we need to go elsewhere (private) which could get very costly.

My wife and I spent about 2 hours balling our eyes out, something I haven't done in a VERY long time. I'm emotionally drained.

I know it seems like there is no hope but there is. I remember saying the exact same thing to our sons' assessment team, that he has no problem with eye contact with people he is comfortable with. I felt like they were missing so many things that he could do! And now here he is at 4 years old and he can beat people in staring contests.

It gets better El. Having it officially confirmed hits you like a ton of bricks but it gets better. A little every day. And just wait until you see the effects therapy will have on him. Just be vigilant that the therapists are there when they should be and are challenging your son. Don't let them continue with doing things your son has already mastered.

Hang in there bud. We're all there with you.

Thanks all. Today is better, we've had our cries and a good night sleep.

My wife has taken a 2 week medical leave from work in order to get all of these appointments for therapy and such set up. I think as much as anything, she just needs the break.

The kid just blew our collective minds. He has a habit of dumping things out, and decide to dump his 2 boxes of wooden building blocks. Usually to get him to pick it up, takes about 30 minutes of showing him how and making him stay put until he does it.

Tonight, he dumps his 2 boxes, and my wife looked at him and told him to pick the blocks up. We sat fully expecting to have to get down, and force him to pick them up.
Wouldn't you know it, he turns around and proceeds to pick up not one but TWO boxes of blocks, put the lids on, and stash them in the corner were they belong!!! All without any cueing or demonstration. I just about fainted... seems like the kid understood what we asked!

El-Producto wrote:
Well today was a tough one.

We finally had our OT assessment at the local children's therapy center. Although she is unable to actually make the diagnosis, she confirmed what we already knew. Owen has multiple red flags for autism. It really hit home when she was trying to get him to make eye contact with her by taking a bottle of bubbles which he desperately wanted, holding it in front of her face and he would not make eye contact. She said a big thing she noticed is that he really treats people as objects who are there to do things he wants.

That was the big whammo, and I could see the tears welling in my wife's eyes. She said fortunately he does make eye contact with people he is comfortable with, family etc. He also clearly has some sensory stuff. He absolutely melted when she wrapped him up in a play mat and basically sat on him with all her weight.

Even though we knew what the outcome was going to be, it really hits hard to hear it from someone else. We are still waiting to see the pediatrician for official diagnosis, but at this point that's only to access publicly funded services along the way. He already has therapy set up for 2 weeks time, but now we need to decide if our little community can provide the amount of service he needs before he starts school in two years or if we need to go elsewhere (private) which could get very costly.

My wife and I spent about 2 hours balling our eyes out, something I haven't done in a VERY long time. I'm emotionally drained.

Best to you. It's a journey and I wouldn't trade the last 10 years for anything. But, it is tough coming to grips with it, and I just wish to offer you some hope that it gets better. One tip for the sleep is to get a prescription for Clonidine and add Melatonin. Ellyn will usually fall asleep within an hour of taking it and then sleep through the night. It is a relatively mild sedative but it has worked for sleep for 6-7 years now.

Every once in a while we use melatonin on our typical son who sometimes suffers from anxiety.

Things are really rolling now. We have an appointment with the Developmental Pediatrician and her team on December 2nd to finally get our diagnosis. In the meantime, we have hired a therapist privately, who has worked for 10 years in the ABA program. It is amazing how quickly Owen has taken to him.. he just loves when he comes over to "play". He is so engaged, and the therapist is very optimistic about Owen's future. He feels there are going to be some solid gains, and that Owen will do quite well.

On the other hand, Owen has had a few sessions with the OT at the local children's treatment center. He has NOT taken to her at all, and I'm not sure why. She's mostly working on sensory stuff to see what works for him.. but he kind of shuts down whenever we go there. Not sure if it's just overload or if he just doesn't like her.

Awesome news!

What a difference in scenarios, huh? One therapist has great optimism for Owen and Owen is completely engaged ensuring maximum results in the therapy. The other one causes Owen to shut down. I'd say don't wait around to find out why. Will the children's center accommodate you and provide another therapist? We went through three OT's until we found one that Émile took to and it made all the difference in the world.

Well, for the first time in several months there are signs of progress. My son's eye contact is much better. It's great to see him frequently looking up at our faces. He's really starting to become interested in other people, especially other kids. Whenever he sees someone his age he will get excited and follow them around. Doesn't know what to do with them; usually he'll just stand in front of their face and maybe shriek or squeal if he catches up to them. He also seems to be trying to verbally communicate more even if he can't actually use any words.

The progress has kept me from total despair, but truth is, I am still sadly pessimistic about the possibility that he will ever be able to live independently. He will be 3 next month and for the most part he is operating on the level of an average 12 month old. Any progress he's made in the past year is still just a fraction of what a typically developing kid would achieve, despite all the time and money spent on intensive therapy.

Maybe the increased interest in others will finally lead to some significant language and cognitive development... Time will tell I guess.

FSeven. The OT will only be seeing him a few times, mostly as assessment. In some ways I'm glad he's at his "worst", hopefully she will recommend maximum therapy
The other therapist (not an OT) is someone we are paying privately. Once we get the diagnosis, we may be able to get some funding to continue paying him. However, it's looking like Owen will only be on the Mild-Moderate end of the spectrum (which is good!), but it limits the amount of funding/therapy he might be eligible for. In this province, most of the funding is for Moderate-Severe.

Anyway, at this point it's all guesses until Dec. 2nd. Worst case scenario, we supplement his ABA with our private therapist, certainly something we can sustain.

Gewy that's really encouraging! I can deal with the speech delay, but when Owen is in his zone and ignores pretty much everyone it hits me the hardest. Stay positive, you aren't alone!

I don't know. His speech delay is quite severe. He still only understands maybe 15-20 words/phrases and has yet to speak a single word. If we are being charitable he can say the word "go" I guess but that's it.

The speech delay itself is bad enough but his ability to imitate and problem solve is WAY behind as well. One of the few tasks they are working on in therapy is getting him to knock on the table when asked to. That is about as complicated as he can handle right now. Putting away toys, using utensils correctly, dressing or undressing, turning on lights when it's dark... That level of difficulty isn't even on the agenda yet. I don't even want to think about when he will be potty trained... If he will.

This is the fourth time my son has left me speechless with a display of his incredible memory.

My wife took him out to get groceries this morning and pickup some learning toys for my daughter who is 13 months old. She ended up getting some magnetic letters for my daughter to play with on the refrigerator and instructed our son to open the bag and put them on the fridge.

After we had all finished eating lunch and as I was passing the refrigerator to throw out the garbage, something caught my eye. I looked at the refrigerator and the letters looked arranged in a very familiar way. It took a few seconds and when I realized what I was looking at I was speechless.

IMAGE(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lPdIBDD_5vw/UokKSy-ChpI/AAAAAAAAEs8/v1ssGgyigi4/s640/CameraZOOM-20131117130734355.jpg)

He arranged them exactly like the layout of a keyboard.

Other times he has amazed me:

-At 2.5 years old, while lying in bed with him, singing the alphabet song, I asked if he knew the alphabet backwards not really expecting an answer but being prepared to demonstrate it for him. Instead, he zipped through it backwards without hesitation, faster than my brain could register it. I had to replay it in my head for a few seconds to confirm he had just did it in about 3 seconds.

-At 3 years old he navigated us home from my parents house about 15 minutes away by telling me to turn left or right at the appropriate intersections. I thought he had just memorized the way from going there so frequently until he navigated us home from a Kohl's the first time I ever took him there. Since then I'll randomly ask him which way to turn at an upcoming intersection and he's always right.

-He has a little library of books, the vast majority of which he has memorized. His favorite thing to do is for you to give him the title of a poem from Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends and he will recite it for you. Last count was 31 memorized poems including some big ones like Hungry Mungry and Peanut Butter Sandwich.

In general, the kid memorizes everything. He knows how to spell words like musician, overbearing, his full name (and his classmates full names), the lyrics to dozens of songs (knows a few from the Beatles catalog, some Nelly Furtado which I keep asking my wife to stop playing for him), and my cell number, my wifes' cell number, and my mothers' home number. Most of this he had memorized by the age of 3.

It's embarrassing when I think how hard it is for me to memorize things. For all the quirks this disorder has given him I'm glad there's at least one which will serve him well.

That's incredible FSeven!

My son who is still quite speech delayed (although making huge gains after only 2 weeks of sensory/play therapy), amazes me lately. His current thing is he can watch a show or a movie, and after 1 or 2 views he is able to sort of "sing" lots of the songs in the movies. His speech is tough to decipher, but he somehow manages to hit the right syllables in parts of the song.

I just have to say, last week was probably one of the best weeks in the past 2.5 years. He is getting fairly regular work with the OT, and we have an ABA therapist coming 5 days a week to do play therapy with him. Although the gains he has made would be considered small for a 2.5 year old neurotypical kid.. they are huge for our little man.

Transitions are already becoming easier, he seems to comprehend what we tell him. Bedtime has become easier, in fact he has gone to bed at a regular hour 8-9pm, and is basically sleeping through until the morning. Something he hasn't done really EVER. I would say he has learned at least 3-5 new "words" this week, this for a kid who has had essentially the same 20 word vocabulary for a year.

The OT who he wasn't connecting with, had a really good sensory session with him where she tried out various flashing lights, weighted blankets etc. He was his regular old goofy, happy self and by George didn't he make serious eye contact with her on numerous occasions. It was absolutely heartwarming, and gave me so much hope for him. Something she said really struck a cord. She was talking about colored glasses, and how it had worked for an other child who was Actually autistic. Not going to read too much into the comment, but it seemed odd.

Weighted blanket seems to be a hit for bedtime. He wasn't interested in the weighted vest at all. He absolutely loved a toy fish tank that she tried, and was so calm after a short session watching it in the dark. He gets his official assessment by the team on December 2nd, so we can get the diagnosis.

Yeah, that is pretty amazing, FSeven.

With my own son, I do get annoyed because people frequently assume he has some kind of special ability (numbers, music, etc.) tied to his autism. For the majority of people with autism, this simply isn't the case.

I've been quite pessimistic with my posts lately (reflecting my general mood). I really need to try to be more optimistic and celebrate each bit of progress and try not to look too far into the future. It's not easy though, especially when my wife is even more depressed than I am.

El-Producto wrote:
My son who is still quite speech delayed (although making huge gains after only 2 weeks of sensory/play therapy), amazes me lately. His current thing is he can watch a show or a movie, and after 1 or 2 views he is able to sort of "sing" lots of the songs in the movies. His speech is tough to decipher, but he somehow manages to hit the right syllables in parts of the song.

I just have to say, last week was probably one of the best weeks in the past 2.5 years. He is getting fairly regular work with the OT, and we have an ABA therapist coming 5 days a week to do play therapy with him. Although the gains he has made would be considered small for a 2.5 year old neurotypical kid.. they are huge for our little man.

Transitions are already becoming easier, he seems to comprehend what we tell him. Bedtime has become easier, in fact he has gone to bed at a regular hour 8-9pm, and is basically sleeping through until the morning. Something he hasn't done really EVER. I would say he has learned at least 3-5 new "words" this week, this for a kid who has had essentially the same 20 word vocabulary for a year.

The OT who he wasn't connecting with, had a really good sensory session with him where she tried out various flashing lights, weighted blankets etc. He was his regular old goofy, happy self and by George didn't he make serious eye contact with her on numerous occasions. It was absolutely heartwarming, and gave me so much hope for him. Something she said really struck a cord. She was talking about colored glasses, and how it had worked for an other child who was Actually autistic. Not going to read too much into the comment, but it seemed odd.

Weighted blanket seems to be a hit for bedtime. He wasn't interested in the weighted vest at all. He absolutely loved a toy fish tank that she tried, and was so calm after a short session watching it in the dark. He gets his official assessment by the team on December 2nd, so we can get the diagnosis.

So happy to hear your son is responding to therapy. More than anything I'm glad you are feeling hopeful and are getting more excited about your sons' progress. Maybe your son has an affinity for music and that might be a direct route to learning for him? My son was the same way; loved Yo Gabba Gabba and would sing the songs (you couldn't understand him but he had the melody correct). Eventually, learning those songs and using them in appropriate ways ("Try it, you'll like it!" and "Don't bite your friends.") I think helped him understand that they weren't just fun to sing but had lot's of meaning. He talks fluently now but still starts singing when there is a song that is situation appropriate.

Interesting comment from the OT. Maybe she should have said "classically autistic". Could you ask her about that comment and ask her for her early professional assessment of your son? She seems to feel some kind of way and candidness is always a good thing in this situation.

gewy wrote:
Yeah, that is pretty amazing, FSeven.

With my own son, I do get annoyed because people frequently assume he has some kind of special ability (numbers, music, etc.) tied to his autism. For the majority of people with autism, this simply isn't the case.

I've been quite pessimistic with my posts lately (reflecting my general mood). I really need to try to be more optimistic and celebrate each bit of progress and try not to look too far into the future. It's not easy though, especially when my wife is even more depressed than I am.

I hear you. That's incredibly frustrating and so is the flip side like we experienced with my mother; a stubborn refusal to accept the diagnosis and insistence that he was just different. "Different" doesn't qualify for therapy which was the biggest factor in getting him where he is. Of course now that he's out of therapy and doing great her perception is, "See, I knew he would come around in his own time." which also completely negates the role therapy played in addressing his diagnosis. Argh!

No worries about pessimism. We've all been through it. All been driving to debilitating sobbing episodes where the only thing you can do is cry. This is a safe place to vent and get support. El and I are perfect examples of Dads who felt hopeless but discovered the child we hoped for is right in front of us but just needed a little time and knocking down of some barriers to encourage to come out. Just be his advocate and get him as much therapy as you can and things will start to click for him. And when they do and your hope is restored and you are reveling in the daily interactions with him, then you'll have to deal with the feelings of guilt for ever having doubted him.

My son can tell you what day we went someplace. I mean the exact date and what day of the week it was. He will also tell you who was there and what we ate.

A few times while driving, he will inform me that we were down a certain road a few years prior for some reason or another. I usually have no idea what he is talking about until my wife explains it.

He also loves to go on google maps and find the relatives homes in all different states, without actually knowing the addresses. I have no idea how he does it. He will call me in and say, "Look, it's aunt Amy's house" and have the streetview up on the screen.

Using google maps and streetview, he drove from my house in NJ to my sisters house in Long Island. I never told him the address.

gewy, it's tough to read your posts. You and your wife are clearly struggling with your son's diagnosis. I feel badly now that I've read my overexcited post about my son's progress in therapy, it's not meant to diminish your situation.

Just know that you are not alone in this, and like others have said, you and your wife are everything to your son.
Enjoy the small victories, I know that is helping my wife and I cope.

No worries El-Producto. It just goes with the territory. There are always going to be kids that do well with therapy and improve and kids that don't. With any luck I'll be posting some overexcited posts myself some time in the next year.

gewy wrote:
No worries El-Producto. It just goes with the territory. There are always going to be kids that do well with therapy and improve and kids that don't. With any luck I'll be posting some overexcited posts myself some time in the next year.

One thing my husband and I have been learning to do is to recognize all signs of progress, even though they might seem really minor. It's hard to do.

I think it is really exciting that he is becoming more interested in others and is trying to communicate. That is huge. I am sure that there are things he wants to communicate with you, but because of the autism as well as his age, it just isn't coming right now. That's OK. He is improving.

I've gotten a lot of good ideas lately from The Hanan Program, which is designed for parents to help children with speech delays. It might be worth checking out.

Alex continues to progress, but we see much more at home than at daycare or preschool. I wish he would show others more of what he can do. But I am really happy with what I see. The other day when we were waiting for the bus (and it turns out he wasn't feeling well at all, making it even more surprising), we heard a crash and he asked, "What's that noise?" He is also improving quite a lot at telling us how he feels, and where he hurts, etc. But this whole potty training stuff? He just doesn't care. We are waiting for a sign that he wants to before we proceed.

Anyway, keep up hope. You and your wife are really doing everything you can, and this is bound to help him throughout his life.

Still seeing lots of progress. Last night I had some friends over to watch the Grey Cup (Canada's Superbowl). He hadn't seen many of them in quite a while, so he certainly wasn't familiar with them.. some he had never met. I full on expected his usual shutdown, but my jaw just about hit the floor when he greeted each person as they came in the door. He immediately latched onto the son of one of my friends who was about 12 years old. He wouldn't leave the poor kid alone all night, relentless in wanting him to play trains and other things with him.

Sometimes your kid will just amaze you.. really warms the heart.

I'll check out the Hanan program. Speech is the one area where he has a LONG way to go. We start speech therapy this week, so we'll see how it goes. His vocabulary has probably doubled in the past 3 weeks, but his enunciation is still not good at all.

Well, today is a big day. Owen finally has his assessment at the developmental clinic (OT, Speech, Psychology). We are really hoping for a diagnosis so we can get some funding and get on the waitlist for services.

Nothing will be a surprise, we are completely ready for the diagnosis.

He continues to make incredible progress, I just love him more and more every day. We are winning so many battles just by addressing his sensory stuff. Latest example is, we picked up some very soft flannel/fleece bed sheets, and he is a different kid at bedtime.

The past week has been an absolute joy to put him to bed. He snuggles up under the sheets, and actually stays put and listens to his stories. He even stays in bed after the lights are out so he can listen to his books on cd. My wife actually cried after the first night, because she felt so guilty that for the past 2.5 years.. bedtime and sleep in general must have been absolute torture for him. He is sleeping through the night, something he has done only a handful of times in 2.5 years.

Transitions are becoming easier every day. I think it's a combination of him having his sensory needs met, and us learning how to prepare him better. When we tell him it's time to get dressed, he instinctually says NO. But then you give him a second to process it, and tell him again and 9 times out of 10 he lets you get him dressed.

My son has been biting and chewing everything lately. There are bite marks on our furniture, wood shutters, chairs. He has chewed up some of his cardboard books. Sleeves are always soaking wet from him chewing, and he somehow messed up a jacket zipper by chewing on it. He may or may not have swallowed a paper clip he somehow got a hold of; I don't think he did. It's basically like having a puppy now- everything is fair game to be chewed.

He could be teething but I think that's unlikely. This seems to mainly be a sensory thing. We have tried substituting more appropriate things like vibrating toothbrushes or chew tubes, without any major success. They just wind up on the floor after a minute. But somehow when we visit my in laws he fixates on their ceramic coasters and carries them around obsessively biting them. Try to take it away and he will cry so hard. He has already dropped and broken three of them.

At least he hasn't been biting people.

Good luck with everything today. Our diagnosis day was a long one with all the assessments.

That is really great about the progress dealing with sensory issues. Those are something I've only recently become aware of, but Alex is having an easier time now that we are thinking about them. Deep pressure works for him. We are still trying to figure out how to address the problems loud noises cause him.

El-Producto wrote:
Well, today is a big day. Owen finally has his assessment at the developmental clinic (OT, Speech, Psychology). We are really hoping for a diagnosis so we can get some funding and get on the waitlist for services.

Nothing will be a surprise, we are completely ready for the diagnosis.

He continues to make incredible progress, I just love him more and more every day. We are winning so many battles just by addressing his sensory stuff. Latest example is, we picked up some very soft flannel/fleece bed sheets, and he is a different kid at bedtime.

The past week has been an absolute joy to put him to bed. He snuggles up under the sheets, and actually stays put and listens to his stories. He even stays in bed after the lights are out so he can listen to his books on cd. My wife actually cried after the first night, because she felt so guilty that for the past 2.5 years.. bedtime and sleep in general must have been absolute torture for him. He is sleeping through the night, something he has done only a handful of times in 2.5 years.

Transitions are becoming easier every day. I think it's a combination of him having his sensory needs met, and us learning how to prepare him better. When we tell him it's time to get dressed, he instinctually says NO. But then you give him a second to process it, and tell him again and 9 times out of 10 he lets you get him dressed.

Would hug you if I could, man. I'm so incredibly happy for you.

gewy wrote:
My son has been biting and chewing everything lately. There are bite marks on our furniture, wood shutters, chairs. He has chewed up some of his cardboard books. Sleeves are always soaking wet from him chewing, and he somehow messed up a jacket zipper by chewing on it. He may or may not have swallowed a paper clip he somehow got a hold of; I don't think he did. It's basically like having a puppy now- everything is fair game to be chewed.

He could be teething but I think that's unlikely. This seems to mainly be a sensory thing. We have tried substituting more appropriate things like vibrating toothbrushes or chew tubes, without any major success. They just wind up on the floor after a minute. But somehow when we visit my in laws he fixates on their ceramic coasters and carries them around obsessively biting them. Try to take it away and he will cry so hard. He has already dropped and broken three of them.

At least he hasn't been biting people.

It sounds nuts in the midst of this but it will dissipate. My son had(s) an oral hyposensitivity and chewed everything too (also drooled a lot between the ages of 2 and 3). Shirt sleeves, the vinyl graphic applique on t-shirts, toys, his tongue (we cried once because his tongue was so chewed up), the insides of his cheeks, etc. For the most part he grew out of it. Now when he's idle, he puts his hand or fingers in his mouth and chews the extra skin around his fingernails or the inside of his cheeks. It's still pretty common but at least he's not chewing objects.

We're still trying to find solutions for this.

gewy wrote:
My son has been biting and chewing everything lately. There are bite marks on our furniture, wood shutters, chairs. He has chewed up some of his cardboard books. Sleeves are always soaking wet from him chewing, and he somehow messed up a jacket zipper by chewing on it. He may or may not have swallowed a paper clip he somehow got a hold of; I don't think he did. It's basically like having a puppy now- everything is fair game to be chewed.

He could be teething but I think that's unlikely. This seems to mainly be a sensory thing. We have tried substituting more appropriate things like vibrating toothbrushes or chew tubes, without any major success. They just wind up on the floor after a minute. But somehow when we visit my in laws he fixates on their ceramic coasters and carries them around obsessively biting them. Try to take it away and he will cry so hard. He has already dropped and broken three of them.

At least he hasn't been biting people.

Alex puts things in his mouth when he is overstimulated. A chew tube has been helping, but we do have to keep after him. FSeven is probably right - it will pass.

I asked about how to work around this on another forum and someone suggested doing a search on Pinterest. I am also trying various chew things, such as a necklace or bracelet, that he can use instead of a toy or finger sucking.

So it went as expected. It was fairly short, because he had already been assessed by OT and SLP, and he has no gross motor delays so PT wasn't needed. Preliminary report confirms he falls solidly on the ASD as a moderate. This is good because he qualifies for an intensive IBI program on top of the ABA. Waitlists are horrendous for IBI, like a year but it is a 12 week ultra intensive program which should actually fall right before he is ready to go to school which is great. He will start ABA in the new year, and hopefully we can apply for some extra funding to help pay for the private ABA therapist who we are working with now.

She commented on his strengths which were his eye contact, connection with familiar people, and she was very impressed with his "really high" frustration tolerance. She worked him pretty hard, and although he did shut down he was able to calm himself rather than becoming aggressive like many kids do.

Glad that's over, time to get moving. We have our first appointment with the developmental pediatrician in 2 weeks and everyone just raves about how great she is. Hoping to deal with some of the medical things like nutrition, bowels and sleep.

Thanks for the kind words, just typing this crap out does wonders for my sanity.

gewy - Owen was a huge nail biter for months. It was becoming worrisome, as his fingernails were down to the nub and he had painful hangnails, etc. I can't tell you that we did anything to stop it, he just quit doing it one day.. and now we have a hard time cutting his nails they get so long.