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Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3705
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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Im worried about my son. He is three and a half and has delays

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Im worried about my son. He is three and a half and has delays in his speech. Im bringing him up bilingual (french and english) and he understands both languages but cannot really construct sentences yet and has difficulty pronouncing.
He also hates changes in his routine or the unknown and can react violently when he is confronted with new places and / or people. For example, yesterday we went to a bread making activity. 5 kids around a table, me right by him and he was too afraid to approach the table. Eventually he agrees to join in and seems to enjoy it but then has a violent tantrum when he gets too much dough on his hands. He is so moody and gets angry all the time for the slightest reason and he is prone to hitting me or throwing things. He always comes and sayes sorry a few minutes afterwards but then if i dont give him a hug and a kiss he hits me again and has another trantrum.He finds it generally difficult to interact with other people all though he is very responsive to people he knows well, family etc. He is able to play well with one or two children but has an aversion to group situations and his teacher sayes he spends a lot of time on his own although he participates in group activites, like singing, dancing, stories.
I have wondered if he could have a mild autism but he is extremely affectionate and most of his play is extremely imaginative (loves pretending to be witches and or dragons, talks to his teddies etc.;;; He also gets scared of the dark as he imagines monsters everywhere etc. he is captivated by theatre and musicals) His parents and I split when he was a baby and I think he could have built up anger or anxiety about this... he has been living just with me seeing his dad every other weekend and he is extremely attached to me and also looks like he is going through the oedipes complex.

What do you think?
Thanks very much
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Bill replied 5 years ago.
I see you are off line so I will respond here. I have read what you have written and I also have concern about the issues you define and if I were you I would see about having him evaluated bu a child psychologist who can do some global(comprehensive testing) and provide a concise and detailed report that explains his strengths, challenges and ares requiring special attention. This evaluation will also provide concrete recommendations for you and teachers should there be any need for special interventions. All will feel better to have this comprehensive picture so that you don't miss anything that could produce greater problems as your son ages.

I wish you the best,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Bill, thanks for your answer,


What I really wanted to know was whether it is possible for a child to be autistic if he partakes easily in imaginative play like my son does? I have read extensively on line about Autism symptoms and it would seem this (imaginative play) is something any child on the autistic spectrum cannot do. I have read a few posts about autistic children who can be very affectionnate so this aspect does not rule him out from having a form of autism but Im hoping that his ability to imagine and play pretend games does...?I think i will go and see a child psychologist anyway re all these issues but I wanted to find some peace of mind (or not) regarding the possibility of autism

Expert:  Bill replied 5 years ago.
I have worked with children for thirty years and the imaginative play is very typical and normal for children of this age, I understand what you mean about Autistic Spectrum but my gut is saying Attention/hyperactive related issue vs Autism. That is why it is crucial to have him tested.
If you think of it, let me know what comes of the testing. I am always curious.
Best to you.
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