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Dr. Su S.
Dr. Su S., Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 21000
Experience:  20 years of experience in treating children.
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I have a 14 month old son who was 7 weeks premature so 12

Customer Question

Hello. I have a 14 month old son who was 7 weeks premature so 12 months adjusted. He has recently started some head banging or slapping when he is told no, frustrated when waiting for meals or just wanting to so something he is not able to do. He is very close to walking and is saying a few words and does respond to his name and basic commands. Desperately wants to keep up with his 3 year old brother. He loves attention and is particularly happy when praised for doing something or when we say good job! He never seems to hurt himself and usually stops just before his head hits the floor or looks for something soft. He immediately looks up to us for a response. We are very concerned this is an indication of Autism? Could this just be frustration with not being able to communicate with words?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Su S. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question.
I am Dr. Su S.
I will try my best to help you.

Expert:  Dr. Su S. replied 1 year ago.

How frequently does he do these movements?

When was he checked by doctor last?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It always surrounds being told no or not being allowed to do something he wants to. Or meal times if we are not going as fast he would like. He was seen in July for his 1 year check up.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Otherwise he is very engaging and sweet. Loves to be played with and held.
Expert:  Dr. Su S. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the input.
A certain percentage of normal children will do hand flapping, head banging when excited, upset or bored.
He is not injuring himself & those are not interfering with his sleep.
As he tries to communicate & social otherwise, it should not be concerning.
I feel you should not be worried.
The movements would slow down with growth.
I understand your concern.
Only these movements are not indicative of autism.
In autism actions are usually repeated and happen without any stimulation.

He does it only when he is denied anything or when he is hungry.

I hope this information will be helpful.
If you have any query, please feel free to ask.
If you are happy with my answer please click on the Excellent/Good rating.
Wish him healthy life.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I have only seen him do it as a response when frustrated. As a premature baby I think we were always so quick to tend to his needs and he barely squeaked and we would run right to him. No we are asking him to be a bit more patient and he is not used to it. Is the fact that he is not yet walking and only saying a few words an indicator of autism? Or is it still the fact that he was born at 33 weeks?
Expert:  Dr. Su S. replied 1 year ago.

Regarding talking & walking, some babies are late bloomer.

If his check ups with doctor are normal, then it is not concerning.

As he has got attention before without waiting, he now becomes frustrated when you are late to respond.

It is good that you are trying to make him more patient.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One last question. At times he does bump his head and leave a bump or red mark. He will also at times bite his finger in anger but then in all instances immediately stops and looks to be consoled. When he bangs his head he usually stops before he makes contact or looks for a soft place to do it. Is that considered self injurious? Thank you so much for your patience. This baby and I went through a lot together and I had never had a premature baby
Expert:  Dr. Su S. replied 1 year ago.

As he stops before he make contact, it suggests he is doing it to draw your attention.

Occasionally it may hit as he may not be cautious always.

This is not self injurious.

Expert:  Dr. Su S. replied 1 year ago.

I hope I have answered all your questions.

Please click on the Excellent/Good rating before signing out.
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Wish him healthy life.
Best wishes.