leading by the hand?? | Autism PDD (2023)

I've read in a number of places that this is a red flag for autism but I just don't understand how?? Can someone explain that to me?? What is so bad about it? I mean I guess I undestand the whole "using people as objects" thing but I've seen TONS of NT kids do this with their parents. How do you know when its a problem... where's the line??

Jason never led us by the hand to anything but Matthew has been doing it for a month now... whenever he wants to watch a video he'll come over and grab my hand (or shirt or pants... whatever he can get his mits on) and say "watch Barney, watch barney now" and he'll also say "help me" I just don't see how thats a bad thing??

Your little guy is VERY little, so I don't think this really applies. I believe they are talking about a symptom that is seen with OTHER symptoms and with nonverbal children. YOur son, luckily is appropriately verbal already and he' s not even 2. He seems right on track to me. What MY son did was come to me silently, drag me to where he needed help (say, to get a cookie from ahigh cabinet) and then take my hand and throw it up into the air toward where he wanted me to do something for him. At this point, we already know ASD was a possibility. The good news was that he was communicating. The bad news was it was not verbal or normal in any way. He was also around 3 by this time. I think a mom knows. You already have a PDD-NOS son, so you know some of the signs to look for. There is a current post about "early signs." It is linked to an excellent Centers for Disease Control page. Look there. If your son is verbal and his actions don't seem odd, I'd not worry about it.My son is very verbal... but sometimes I worry he's too verbal. He says WELL over 200 words (I stopped counting) puts 3-4 words together. The dentist was astouned yesterday when we were in for his routine cleaning.... he says words you'd never imagine a child that age to say... like "excellent" I've read plenty about Asperger's kids who talked really well really early. He just seems too advanced in some areas and the one thing that having Jason has taught me is ANY deviation from the norm is a red flag whether its delayed OR advanced. He doesn't do any "bizarre" behaviors (no stimming, no sensory issues, no need for routine)or anything like that BUT he did learn the alphabet at 16 months and has many other rather advanced academic skills... just like his brother... its scares me

I SOOOOO hear what you are saying. My oldest has PDD-NOS and my dd (who I go back and forth on) is TOO verbal for her age. And I hate saying that because I know some parents on here would love to hear just one word from their child. But like you said, I had one child that was extremely verbal and way advanced in academic skills - and he ended up being on the spectrum anyway. My dd (who is 2 1/2) uses words like "fabulous", "difficult", "actually", "eventually" and just today used the word "cozy" - all in appropriate context! It scares the living daylights out of me, let me tell you! Most moms wouldjust be proud - but I don't get to be. I get to be worried because I live in fear that she too will be on the spectrum and I will have to then figure out how to protect them and make sure they are taken care ofwhen dh and I are gone.

Both dd and ds knew the alphabet by about 17 months. Both had about 500 words (at least) by the time they were two and both were speaking in full sentences by then as well. This June (dd was 2 years and one month old) dd started speaking in paragraphs as opppsed to sentences. Dd wasn't quite as early about learning her numbers and letters as ds was, but she knows almost all of them now at 2 1/2. Also all colors and shapes. However, she has much better problem-solving skills. To give you an idea, go to Playhousedisney.com and go to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Then go to games, then choose Mousekespotter. In my opinion, this is an excellent test for auditory processing and problem-solving skills. It is in no way diagnostic, but it seemed telling for me. Even on the easy level, my ds had some minor problems with it. My 2 1/2 year old only had problems with one on the medium level and was able to figure it out with some minor hints from me.

Anyway, I know what you're going through. I hope that both of us find that our youngest are actually only very bright and that there is nothing else going on!

As far as the OP - I thought it had to do with being non-verbal as opposed to leading someone to something and then telling them what you wanted. That the leading was the only form of communication being done. I think if they are telling you - that IS very common. It is the odd way of communicating that is different and sets those kids apart. I realize I'm just re-stating what others have said, but just wanted to clarify.... (and not hijack the post as well!)

If we pull away, or don't respond immediately to his hand tugging, he'll go find a chair to climb onor shimmy up the cabinet and do it or get it himself, which I've been told is rather unusual in that he problem-solves when thwarted rather than simply having a meltdown (although we get those too!).

Here's the Learn the signs, act early link that tzoya mentioned:


It is very user friendly, and the fill-out and print online checklist (for various ages) could help you spot any social, cognitive, or emotional milestones that your child hasn't reached.

Btw, ouryoungest son shocked us by learning the alphabet before age 2. So far we believe he is NT, but he's being observed and tested now because of social problems in his big daycare center (100 children who are free to wander throughout the building most of the day, instead of staying in a classroom or unit).


I can tell you the differences I see in the two with my oldest who is autistic, he would never lead us by the hand and as for children if there were other children in the room that were in his way he would simply pick them up and move them. He screamed alot and didn't use many gestures to get his needs across. With my second we often got the want or sign for more in order to let his needs be known. He also will tell us spongebob, cars, etc. if he wants to watch something grabbing us by the hand and taking us to it. I think it is part of the age and way they get their needs met. If it is really a concern look at having a developmental team evaluate him. They can do it as early as 18 months.

I think it's important to look for oddity. By that I mean, things that your child does that are really DIFFERENT for a child that age. And, yes, that includes talking TOO much. This could easily be a sign of Asperger's. But simply leading you around is not what they're talking about. It's ODD leading. As I mentioned earlier, my son would take my hand and literally THROW it toward the thing he wanted, instead of simply pointing. If a child is verbal but instead of saying "open" he puts your hand on the jar, that is odd. Of course, it's hard to say what's odd and what isn't unless we're THERE. But I think YOU know what your child is doing that's odd. Go to the CDC list but also take your child into situations where there are a lot of kids just his age. The playground, McDonald's, birthday parties. Observe him and try to make note of ANYTHING, good or bad, that seems out of the range of what "normal" kids do. At age 2, if you still have concerns, take him to the autism doc and get an eval.

I don't remember noticing anything special about my boys leading me by the hand rather than communicating in another way.

But my autistic son will grab my chin and turn my head so that I look in his directionwhen he wants to tell me something. And I have to keep looking his direction until he's done, or else he grabs my chin again. It's pretty annoying, but I haven't tried doing anything about it yet.

I notice that my younger, presumably NT son is also starting to grab my chin this way. I don't know if he's imitating his brother or if it's a "bad sign."

I'd worry more about the large vocabulary than the hand leading. Since you have one child on the spectrum, there is always a greater chance the other is also on it, so it's always good to keep close tabs of siblings and check out any oddities. Although my son is already 13, and PDD-NOS (not Aspie) and didn't speak until five--once he learned to speak, he used and still uses words that other kids don't tend to use a lot in their vocabularies--"Actually" "Incidentally" "fabulous" "evidentally." Kids tend to talk in slang and hip speak, even the smarter kids who are typical. My son often sounds like a little professor!Sharlet never lead us, we worked A LOT to get her to let us hold her had and lead her. I'd say her leading us is in the earliest stages of emerging now.

I thought that leading you by the hand instead of verbally requesting in an attempt to compensate for the lack of functional language was the "red flag" ???

Adam never used gestures at ALL. No pointing, reaching or even taking me by the hand. In fact it was the one thing thatmade mereallycatchon that there was something going on with language with him. [/QUOTE]

Same here. In fact I WISH he would pull me to show me what he wants. He would be communicating and letting his needs be known without screeching. I would be thrilled.

Adam never used gestures at ALL. No pointing, reaching or even taking me by the hand. In fact it was the one thing thatmade mereallycatchon that there was something going on with language with him. My other two children NT used all kinds of gestures to include taking me by the hand to show me things before their language developed more.

Snoopy woman,

My oldest two used words just like that at the same age as your daughter and they are NT Well...my oldest has ADHD and he was a bit more verbal with BIG words than my daughter but my daughter was putting two words together by the time she was 15 months old.


my son did alot of leading by the hand we realized this was a problem when instead of speaking he led us!!!! fgor a while we thought nothing of it it was kinda cute but then we realized he was starting to speak less and less so now he still does the leading but before he is allowed to he has to talk and tell us. he still gets angry every time we wont do as he says but as soon as he mutters a word we comply with him. This was one of the only ways he had to communicate with us we just used it to our advantage!!
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