17 month old daughter still doesn't point | Ambitious about Autism
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17 month old daughter still doesn't point

Worried Saz's picture
Worried Saz

17 month old daughter still doesn't point

Thu 26 Jul 2012 3:30pm

Hi all. This is my first time on the site and I'm a bit nervous so please forgive my rambling message. My issue may not seem to be that major but to me its taking over my life. My daughter is just over 17 months old and my pride and joy. She walked at 11 months, said mama at 6 months and dad at 9 months, she now says nana too. Not much else in the way of vocab at the moment but I'm not really too concerned about that. She imitates noises we make and she can clap and wave. She gives good eye contact and responds to her name most of the time (show me a 17 month old that responds all the time!!). She brings me toys/books to share with her and will sometimes sit on my lap while I read to her. She has no brothers and sisters but seems to interact with other kids of her own age or older well. I thought everything was fine until I read somewhere that not pointing was a big red flag for autism. I had no idea and when I thought about it I realised she had NEVER pointed. She shows no signs of pointing either. I then did some internet research (idiot) and read that tip-toe walking and not liking cuddles are also signs. She does both. However, even since a young baby she has never liked cuddles and would rather be running around or climbing on the settee/up the stairs than wasting time cuddling mummy or daddy. The pointing thing is my main issue though and I've become obsessed with pointing babies/toddlers. Everywhere I go I'm looking to see if little ones are pointing. Of course ALL of my friends toddlers are pointing while I'm trying to convince myself of the positive traits shes displaying. Is pointing really that important and does this mean she's autistic?? I never thought that pointing was so important. May be she's just a 'late pointer'?? I've been on about 200 internet sites and they all mention the P word. I've looked at way too many and am now convincing myself she has other symptoms - I can't get out of this cycle. If anyone is still awake pls, pls can you get back to me with your thoughts etc. Thanks for listening.

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  • NickyB's picture

    Hello Saz and welcome Smile

    I hope you don't mind, but I've moved your post to the Introductions thread as I feel you'll probably get more responses here.

    I think it's perfectly normal to worry about your child's development - I'm sure most of us parents here have done the same at one time or another.

    As far as the lack of pointing is concerned, personally I wouldn't worry about it at the moment (easy for me to say, I know!). This is just my opinion, but she is still very young and as you say she's developing well in many areas. I'd be inclined to keep an eye on things and see how she develops over the next few months.

    Try to relax and enjoy your daughter, and if you still have concerns further down the line, then you can take things further.


    Nicky - Community Champion
  • Mumof4Livelyones's picture


    From what you say she sounds fine, I am an ex health visitor and if I observed all that you have stated, at this stage there would be no concerns raised in my professional capacity and i believe no one would refer you for specialist assessment at this stage based on a lack of point. You might find she points when you don't notice, for example If there is something really small on the floor which catches her eye, she may go at it with her forefinger and then demonstrate a developing pincer grasp which is fine motor skills. The main thing she has which would demonstrate to me that at this stage there is no concern is the good eye contact and the initiation of shared activities such as bringing you a story to read. Try not to worry and enjoy her, she should be assessed at two and a half to three years by your HV for a standard check of activities she will be expected to complete, remember, she is not yet two!Perhaps you are expecting a little bit too much

    I hope this has helped,


  • Snowdrop's picture

    Hi Saz & welcome from me too Smile

    Even though I did have concerns about my youngest son from when he was younger then your daughter I do tend to agree with the others that I think I'd wait until she is a bit older before worrying as lots of the things you have said do sound really positive. 

    Looking on the internet can give us too much information some times and its not always accurate which can make us worry more then we need to, it often says on the internet that kids not liking cuddles could be a red flag for autism yet my eldest who does have autism has always and still does love cuddles, thats just 1 example.

    Also, from my own personal experience the Health Visitor or GP will not refer until your daughter is at least 2, maybe even 3.

    Hope we've help to put your mind at rest.

    Tracy - Retired Community Champion
  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Saz

    Just popped in to say welcome as there's nothing I can add to what the others have said.

    Josie - Community Champion
  • asteroids's picture

    Hi Saz,

    Welcome from me too.

    I hope the responses so far have reassured you. The internet can be such a dangerous thing as it's so easy to get a wealth of information without knowing how accurate it is.

    All children (and adults) with autism are different: some like cuddles, some don't, some make eye contact, some don't, some walk on tip toes, some don't.

    Likewise, many children who don't have autism walk on tip toes, don't like cuddles, don't point etc. My daughter hated cuddles and never crawled. She doesn't have autism and is now a science teacher.

    Asteroids Sara
  • Jill Mays's picture

    Your daughter's positive engagement with you and peers is a very positive sign that she does not have ASD.   Her difficulties with cuddling and pointing are likely a result of difficulty with sensory processing. Many people on and off the spectrum experience Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD); that is a likely reason why these symptoms keep coming up in ASD research/articles.  The definitive organization to give you more info about this is: SPD Foundation http://www.spdfoundation.net/.  The great news is that certain forms of simple sensory motor play can profoundly help children struggling with SPD.  Some children require work with a sensory integratin specialist while others make great strides simply through play with their parents (my book addresses this: Your Child's Motor Development Story, publisher-Sensory World).  Good luck and have fun playing with your little one!

  • MikeS's picture

    Hi Saz,

    Welcome to the community! I hope you have found the member's help here useful. As Sara said, you have to be careful about the things you read on the internet, even on forums like this one.

    Jill: Welcome to the community. Would be great if you could introduce yourself too.

    Mike - Former Community Manager
  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Jill

    Welcome to the forum  Smile

    I wonder if  you could pop into the "Introductions" thread and tell us more about yourself and your connection to autism.

    You will find the introduction thread here: http://www.talkaboutautism.org.uk/page/forums/introductions/index.cfm

    It's also useful as new member to have look over the community guidelines which you will find here:  http://www.talkaboutautism.org.uk/page/forumhelp/guidelines.cfm

    Look forward to chatting more.


    Josie - Community Champion
  • Nand's picture

    Hi Saz,


    It has been 5 years since your post! 

    I found your post looking for answers about my now 18 month old girl who is in the exact situation as you had described your daughter. I was wondering how she is doing now?

    A worried Mom

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