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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: possible autism on a 3 1/2-year-old girl

 clarence - Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:26 am

The 3 1/2-year-old daughter of my friend is having some very strange speech problems. She still cannot speak in a way which is characteristic in her age, which is 3 years old. When you ask her something such as "Where is mommy?", she just stares at you and/or repeats what you have just said. We are suspecting that she is an autistic child. A male autistic friend of mine, now 16 yrs. old, behaves the same way when he was 3 years old. We are comparing this 3 1/2 yr. old girl to a 2 1/2 yr. old girl. The 2 1/2 yr. old girl behaves in a very lively way, interacting with people she sees and talking to them, with a friendly manner. It seems to us that the 2 1/2 yr. old girl is actually more developed than the 3 1/2 yr. old.

Do you think this 3 1/2 yr old girl is an autistic child? We are having problems due to her parents being closed to such a possibility, even not consulting a specialist to clarify matters. Or is it just because the 3 1/2 yr. old is a "slow learner"?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

 Dr. Heba Ismail - Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:35 am

Dear Clarence,
It is very possible with the pattern of speech you've described, but even more likely if this child is introvert and has difficulty playing with kids her age, has strange habits and is a slow learner.
Please tell the parents that it is preferable to consult with a specialist, as we can then either exclude or confirm our doubts.

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