I am a first time mother of a 7 month old baby girl. According to herdoctor, she is ahead on her milestones having sat up by 5 months andcrawling very well at 6 months. At now 7 months and one week, she pullsherself into a standing position and is now attempting to "let go" andbalance. Although people are impressed by this, I am worried becauseshe is ALWAYS messing with her hands! Since she began to sit up on her own, she started with smacking themtogether - not like a clap but rather in a vertical motion, hitting her hands against each other up and down. And now, just this past week, I noticedher rolling her wrist to the side (rotating her hand back and forth) and then she looked at her hands withthis "holy moly" look and did it in front of her face! Now she will dothe hand smacking thing or the wrist rolling thing periodically duringthe day.She is ahead on her milestones, laughs, reacts with various emotions, favors certain people, is very attached to me, babbles, gives raspberries, squeals with delight, responds to her name, etc. and shows no other "odd" behaviors (the doctor was actually very impressed by her abilities at her age). She will give you a kiss if you ask her in spanish and in english, she gets irritated when I tell her no now, and is starting this awful whining when she is tired or fed up!! Other than the hand thing, she seems to be a very normal baby.Unfortunately, Autism has overloaded theinternet and while my baby has no other signs of Autism and nodelays, an "odd" hand movement that becomes repetitive strikes theworst fears especially in a first time parent. There seems to be noinformation on the different stages of NORMAL hand discovery, movement,etc. - Only warnings about hand or arm flapping.My husband noticed that does this in response to us waving at her and feels this is her simply discovering what her hands can do... I am a worry wart apparently and have used google which led me to the autism concern.qSo, my questions are...what is with the hand play? Is this normal development? Is it only a concern if it were combined with a delay or social issue?
Having a baby for the first time can be extremely stressful and it is normal to worry about many things. Autism or any behaviours which micht be considered to be part of the autistic spectrum are not generally diagnosable until 36 moths at the earliest. If you would like to go into more detail about the nature of your anxieties and see whether I can offer you some reasurance please click the accept button. Allthe best, Peter
That is the extent of my worry. As I expressed in my question, the hand play is the only concern I had.
I apologize but I'm walking out the door... I will be back later to review any other information you have posted. Thanks.
I asked a pediatrician and received a better response. Thank you for your time.
Hi! I'm sorry you're worried about your sweet baby but I think I can ease your fears! Its not at all unusual to see little habits like this as a baby is exploring and figuring out what their body can do. Sometimes small babies will also show these behaviors as a way of manifesting anxiety or nervousness (especially the wrist rolling). The most important thing we look for as reassurance regarding autism is a baby responding to her name. Shes doing that and making eye contact from what you describe so that is a great indicator. From what you've described it sounds like you have a delightful little one who is just trying to figure it all out. I hope that helps! Feel free to reply if needed. Enjoy your baby!
14 yrs in gen pediatrics in the US incl autism/dev delay
Thank you for your response. I think that my bad habit of googling led me to overreact! Funny, she hasn't done either one of the hand movements I was worried about all day!!! I got an "I told you so" from my husband. She has actually been just smacking her toys against every single thing she could find today!! I really appreciate your response!
My pleasure! She's at such a wonderful age! (And yes, google is of the devil :0)