Our one-year-old baby has zero symptoms of autism

My husband and I both identify as autistic. My issue is that no one will think my daughter is autistic because she’s ahead in every regard, and I’ve never been formally diagnosed.

My husband is the primary caregiver because he’s better at it. I married him because his pets were much happier and better behaved than any other pets, which foreshadowed his parenting skills, and I wasn’t wrong.

5 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You don’t know what you are looking for.

    Scientists can look at how a mother talks to a four-month-old baby to tell if the baby has autism. how you talk to your baby at 6 months is predictive of the vocabulary your baby will have at 24 months. How you coordinate your arm movements to your voice at 8 months is predictive of how your child will share attention at 3 years. So really, how autistic you are predicts how autistic your daughter is. You can find this research by going on google scholar and searching gestural expression autism.

    The best thing you can do right now is get your daughter into early intervention. It’s free in every state for kids whose mother is autistic. The program teaches you how to parent in ways that are intuitive to neurotypical moms but not to us. I did it when my son was diagnosed and even though my second son wasn’t diagnosed, I had him in early intervention anyway. I knew that because I had autism, I could get him in. It’s a really really good program.


    • Julia
      Julia says:

      I second that. I’ve translated an American university early intervention program into my language and the amount of material/information/activities is incredible. Even in the odd chance your daughter ends up not being autistic, I think any family would be better off by participating in such a program.

  2. Louise Higgins
    Louise Higgins says:

    I initiated early intervention for my firstborn and it was wonderful. I did not understand how other moms just knew what to do with their babies. It was twice a week for an hour (we had speech and developmental therapy) and the ladies that came taught me strategies for teaching my kids that I went on to use with all subsequent children. It was like new-mom training. I think I also felt that my husband was going to be the better caregiver and he is great but no one replaces mom. You have a special role to fill in your child’s life that no one else can do.

  3. Emily
    Emily says:

    Expectations of a one-year old being well-behaved is a red flag. You don’t want that in the early years. You want your kid to be able to fully express their emotions and for you, the parent, to be able to provide stability and grounding for them as they do. The goal is for your kid to eventually be able to self regulate because they know themselves and how they react and have been allowed to feel fully when they don’t have to be responsible for their own actions. Slowly they will learn their own triggers and be able to want to do better. It takes a long time for compassion to come online. You have to provide it for them until it does.

  4. susan
    susan says:

    I’ve come back to this several times since itwas first posted. I think there are a lot of questions here that you don’t have the answer to.

    1, You say that you and your husband both “identify” as autistic, but that you at least have never been formally diagnosed, why not? You can identify as many things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.
    2. There are few things that are 100% inheritable. I don’t think autism is one of them, and I don’t understand why you would want your daughter to be autistic. If nobody sees autistic symptoms in your daughter except you, that would be a red flag to me. I would make sure that I have an official diagnosis first thing, then get your daughter tested.

    I have a blood condition that no one knew ran in the family until 20 years after my father died from it. It’s not a condition that blood tests can identify, but 30-40 years after, all 3 of my brothers died from it, and my sister and I are on blood thinners for life. Even a hematologist couldn’t find the cause. Of my cousins some have symptoms and others don’t. Of the grandkids .only 2 have it.
    So even that isn’t 100%.

    You can’t know until you’re tested,and even then she stiill may not be.
    Good luck

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