And welcome finally to Part 3! This is the continuation of our series “What’s Your Autistic Toddler Like Now?”, a journey through what’s happening these days in the life of our autistic 3 1/2-year-old son and sequel to our very popular original article, “What’s Your Autistic Toddler Like?”. I meant to write this sooner, but illness has swept through the Flashlight household and rendered us all pretty useless this week.
I’m calling this group “Moderately Present” as these things are generally more common than not around here, but not as prevalent as the “Significantly Present” group from before. As with the previous posts, some of these are challenges for us and others are just things that are part of our day-to-day life. None of these are meant to be value judgments, just information about what one autistic toddler is like so you can perhaps see similarities in your own children or learn more about how these things are part of another family’s life.
I’ll be dividing this group into two parts. So we’ll finish this up in Part 4 soon.
Note: Wherever you see “DSM-IV” below, this means that attribute is part of the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition or DSM-IV. In medical terms, a specific combination of those DSM-IV criteria is what brings about a diagnosis of autism.
Same obvious disclaimer as before: We are not advising you on how to evaluate your child. Go get them evaluated by professionals with extensive experience with autism. Don’t just rely on some random people on the Internet – namely, people like us.
And here we go!
Characteristics That Are Moderately Present
Fixation or attachment to a particular object or parts of objects (DSM-IV; hard one to nail down for us) – For some, this manifests itself as obsessive-looking hoarding and organizing of objects. You might also see this as what seems like excessive fascination about a particular object (looking at a particular train for a long time or staring at a ceiling fan) or part of an object (a spinning wheel on a car).
The J-Man is all over the map on this one. It has gotten more noticeable over time, but I wouldn’t call anything he does here a major issue. The object(s)-of-the-day rotate regularly through an array of toys. For the longest time it was wooden blocks. Then it went to pieces of his farm animals puzzle, and then on to flash cards, and then wooden numbers, and then stuffed animals (which was cause for much rejoicing actually!), and then plastic food, and then randomly back through the order, occasionally mixing in some other things.