Is Charge Exhibiting Sign of Autism?

I was at the park the other day with a nanny friend and our charges we were discussing nap time and how my almost 8 month old charge refuses to sleep, I mean refuses, and if he does sleep it's no more than 20 minutes. This lady overheard us and she said that I should have him examined (she thought I was the mom) because refusal to sleep can be an early sign of autism. Has anyone heard that before? Was she misinformed? I haven't said anything to his parents yet. - Anonymous


Ashley said...

From experience, the little boy I worked with for three years had terrible sleeping habits. He was three years old when I started and wouldn't fall asleep until 12 or 1am sometimes and would happily get up at 430/5am for the day. He would wear himself out until he just passed out. His mother also told me from the time he was born, he would scream and cry constantly and just wouldn't nap/sleep. However, all that being said, it doesn't neccasarily mean anything. He also made little to no eye contact, didn't seem interested in anything(kind of always in his own world), and screamed if he was put in his carseat.

Some 8-month olds just don't really need a nap! He might be to interested in what's going on in the world, or maybe he just gets all the sleep he needs at night. :)

Wednesday said...

Also from 12 years experience, all babies need a nap. Period. From 0-24 months. Some exceptions but not many. Babies aren't ready to tackle the whole day start to finish. My charge, 9 months, gets put down and left to fight, cry, coo, talk, play, crawl around his crib, wave at things around his room and whatever then he'll lay down on his own and fall asleep. He sleeps about an hour and a half sometimes more.

Autism can't be detected in babies there's just too many reasons that they would display certain characteristics of austism. Shoot, if refusing to sleep were a sign of austism than my charge must have it, my twin charges before that and hell even my, now 8 year old, former charge and she fought sleep like a boss!

Calm yourself. It's a sport to them!

Laura said...

The other posters are correct. You cannot detect autism in an eight-month-old baby. He just sounds like a bad sleeper. He'll outgrow it eventually.

Bethany said...

You don't need to say anything to his parents. Don't get them worried over nothing.

An 8 month old is far to young with autism as pps have said.

Your little charge is probabl just very curious about the world around him.

The lady was well meaning but misinformed.

MissMannah said...

Bethany, you're a lot nicer than I am. While this woman was probably well-meaning, I think she is nothing but a busybody who needs to butt out. Is she a pediatrician? If not, she does not know signs of early autism...which like others said, is next to impossible to detect this young.

I have read before that extremely bright children don't like to nap too much because they are too aware of what is going on around them. I don't know how true this one is, but my MB and I like to joke about how my charge is a super-genius baby and that's why she won't sleep.

Bethany said...

Mannah, I agree with you, One day she is going to spout off to the wrong person.

She probably read somewhere that older children with autism often have trouble sleeping and she assumed it must be the same for babies.

I've heard that about babies too. Maybe there is something to it nearly eer bio I've read about super intelligent people mentions that they rarely sleep.

nycmom said...

There is a movement to detect autism earlier to increase early intervention.

But 8mo is ridiculous and decreased need for sleep is not a reliable risk factor to my knowledge.

I also cannot *imagine* saying such a thing to a caregiver/parents about an infant. Don't we all have enough to worry about?

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I agree that an eight month old child needs a daily nap every day. Kids this age are growing and developing at such a rapid rate that their bodies need to rest and recover, etc.

Some babies are just not good nappers and I wouldn't broach the "autism" topic w/the parents.

This lady sounded like a Ms. Know it All and should mind her own business.

I can't stand people who butt in where they do not belong.

Just let it go....

Village said...

Babies can de diagnosed at six months, BY A DOCTOR, not a nanny.

Wednesday said...

Autism cannot be detected in an infant. There are too many reasons why a baby would be doing things that autistic children do. Not looking someone in the eye: over stimulation, bored, avoiding because it's a stranger. Rocking: comfort, fun. Not responding: my charge at 9months will tune me out all the time if he hears me say nap or if he's just busy doing other things.

So there is really no way to tell until they are older and notexhibiting behaviors that they should at 2 or 3.

ericsmom said...

Yes, they are actually making earlier diagnosis of Autism in kids. If your a parent in my state they make you fill out this questionaire. I guess they keep on file, for any flags that may develop later on.

It is true only a doctor can really diagnosis. Not to bash Pediatricians. I wouldn't take a pediatricians word for it. If you have doubt see a Developmental Specialist Doctor. You can find them in Child Development part of the hospital

no name said...

(re-post for anonymous)
Nosy woman is probably one of those people who either had a kid or knew of someone who had a kid who had sleep problems as a baby and then had autism so they linked the two together. They never use common sense just what they 'know'. As for napping yes babies need naps but when they start fighting it then they usually only need the afternoon nap. What time does the baby go to bed? What time does he wake up? If it's the same time as when he was smaller and sleeping more he might not need as much sleep.