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A 27-year-old female asked:

Hello- my son is 3 1/2 years old. he has a signifacant speech delay and seems to tune people out. are these signs of autism?

4 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Maybe: Both are features but kids who struggle with communication may try to avoid situations where people are likely to try to engage them in conversation. I would have the kids doc do an autism screening or you can find some online & fill them out.Then proceed to your pcp and find how to get local help.
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Dr. Elizabeth Finley-Belgrad
Child Psychiatry 35 years experience
Possibly: They are non-specific signs of several possible things . Start with his pediatrician and a hearing and speech and language evaluation now early intervention for this is optimal.
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Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental and Behavioral 51 years experience
All good answers. : "speech" = motor aspect of pronunciation. "language" = both comprehension of spoken words (receptive) & verbalization of thoughts (expressive). Call your local school district's child find team to assess all areas of your son's development & evaluate for autism to determine his eligibility for early childhood special education. Firstsigns.Org has screening tests for both. Please don't delay.
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Dr. William Singer
Pediatric Neurology 52 years experience
Get hearing tested: Before considering autism make sure you have his hearing tested.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated May 12, 2016

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