Worried about my 9 month old behavior

Hello,
Good morning every one . Hope you all are healthy and doing well. I have some concerns regarding my 9 month old son behavior. I fear if he has autism. I I guess I need some one to guide me on what I should do to help me figure out if I am going insane or truly he has some issue.

. He was born on may 2020 and he is healthy happy child. Initially his eye contact was okay but now he has excellent eye content . He loves imitating any sounds we make consistently so far like clicking sounds, kissing sound etc. since 3 weeks ago we started to teach him gestures like bye bye. He kind of does it once in a while but only when he is a mood to do it. I taught him some dance moves which he does sometimes.he babbles mostly mamamam, banana, Kakarkaka, gaga, etc. I feel he responds to us pretty good and his motor skills are on track. So far he feeds and sleeps well. He is always smiling at us.
Concerns :
He recognizes his name okay I guess. When he is not playing he responds 100% of the time . But when he is really focused on something he may respond only 50 to 70% of the time .I think this is my biggest concern. He loves to look at anything that has words . Example there were 2 stickers on the upper side of the bath tub. Although he enjoys bath and looks at us he loves looking at those warning label stickers. Similarly warning label logo on the side of the stroller. Very rarely he tenses his body . So far has done only on handful of occasions like may be 5 times on separate occasions. My biggest concern still his responding to name. I am so worried at this point . Do you guys suggest checking with my PT or getting him evaluated ? I really don’t want to do the wait and see approach . It’s driving me crazy

Thanks in advance

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Hello,

I’m an RECE with some specialty ASD training and also just newly going to school for Children’s Mental Heath then to Developmental Psychology. My husband is autistic, as well as one of my siblings.

ASD can show signs prior to 18 months but it does not sound like your child is exhibiting any as of yet. Being able to focus well is a personality trait of theirs it seems, my 8 month old is similar - especially for the love of warning labels and letters. I figure he just enjoys the high contrast (black on white and usually bright orange for the warning labels) as well as trying to figure out what those weird squiggly shapes are/mean (letters). The fact your child responds most of the time is good, the eye contact is especially indicative of likely not to be on the spectrum, as well as the on average babbling. If they weren’t babbling, I would be saying otherwise, but that seems not the case at all.

Some children just are thinkers. They want to understand how everything works. That is what I get from your description, more so than a child on the spectrum.

Let me add at last - there is nothing wrong with having an autistic child (this is a general statement, not a direct one).

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Hi!

As far as I know, children can’t be diagnosed with autism as early as 9 mos old and based on your observations, it seemed that your child is on the right track. Children at this age, when engaged in play especially solitary play, pay little to no attention with the things around them. Also, at this age, children try to explore things around them using their senses.

I hope this info helps.

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Hi, there! Psychologist here. I agree with @OT-Philippines- if your son is making good eye contact, smiling socially, is interested in interacting and cuddling with you, I wouldn’t be too concerned. Babies can be super focused on things that seem strange to adults, but they’re just taking everything in for the first time and trying to make sense of their environment. I would discuss your concerns with your pediatrician and/or any providers who may be already working with him (ie if he gets pt), so you can get input from someone who actually knows him. But this doesn’t raise red flags for me!

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Hi!
I’m an Early Childhood Special Education specialist with an almost 9 month old myself. I feel like I have heightened awareness of what my LO does and I often worry about missing autism signs.

I read your post and I immediately called my daughter’s name. It took her 3x. She was sitting right next to me and we had the TV on, she was playing with a toy. Definitely a question of engagement. When I’ve seen autism, there’s no response. Have you looked at a checklist? This one really helped put me at ease:

https://www.nationalautismcenter.org/autism/early-signs/

That said, if you’re getting Mama vibes or you’re not sure, it’s always best to ask your pediatrician. I’ve found there’s no stupid question and if it saves me from anxiety, it’s worth it. :slight_smile:

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@Anxiousmama Some really good information here and I agree, reach out to your pediatrician to discuss what you’re noticing. This may help to alleviate some of your concerns. :heart:

Thank you everyone from bottom of my heart. Sincerely appreciate all your feedback.Sorry for the late reply . Some of my family members were sick so had to take care of them.

Quick update - my baby seems to respond to his name 100% of the time even when he is busy playing. Yayyyyyy. His 9 month wellness check is coming up next week. One new trait I noticed him doing since last week is he tenses his arms with fists closed . This is totally new . He seems to enjoy doing whatever he is doing and is not bothered by this action. I will bring this up with my pediatrician but again worried with this new trait :frowning:

I will love him no matter what it turns out to be . I think my anxiety is all about diagnosing him ASAP as I kept reading posts that there is long waiting lists for getting them evaluated.

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Still normal! It’s an excitement / physical development combo thing

It seems you are very anxious about ASD? I think you should maybe research it to be more comfortable about whatever mental links you are making?

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Thanks so much Courtney. Yeah in general I have high anxiety about anything related to health. That’s just my personality I guess. I brought it up with my doctor and my dear son actually kind of did it once right in front of the doctor. He ruled out any gas related issues and also spams/ seizures. He just asked me to keep a track of it and update it if it becomes too frequent or if it worsens.