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is spinning of wheels a sign of autism

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Dear Doctor,

I am looking for pediatric-related guidance. Basically I have a two-year old boy (2 years, 1 month) who has not yet developed speech. He can recognize pictures and tells the word like cat, dog, papa, ball, car, etc. He also understands commands like 'let's go out', 'throw away the nappy', 'give me a kiss', etc. 

Lately we started playing with flash cards and he learned (and repeats) basic ones such as sun, moon, etc. Often, when given two pictures and ask him to give you one of them specifically, he does. He also knows where his nose is, and is also able to pull you to take you near a play area (inside the house). He also plays with his sister (6 year old). Looks at us when we call him and has also started imitating us - his sister sneezed last day and he has started doing it since then. Today - and this is something that has not been done for months - he saw his sister's playing push chair, lifted it up and spinned one of the wheels. He done this for say a minute (while looking around him) and then he moved away. 

He does not do any tantrums. 
My wife is desperately worried that the wheel spinning (the minute I referred to above) is a sign of autism. Can you kindly express your opinion please?

I really appreciate. Thank you.

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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Category: Internal Medicine Specialist
 31 Doctors Online

Thank you for asking the query .

No 'spinning of wheels' is definitely not a sign of Autism. Except for the speech development (which appears to be a bit delayed) everything else you described appears normal. 
As you might be aware some developmental delay is areas like speech can be totally normal. 

If there is a concern of autism you you should go ahead and screen your child with one of the available autism screening tools for age 1-3 years. (First stage tools like CHAT, PDDST - 2. There are best done by an expert in the physical presence of the child. Otherwise there could be possible false positive results leading to un necessary worry and testing. 

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask follwoup questions via this email itself. Thank you.

Dr. Steve Merris
Category: Internal Medicine Specialist
Medical School - New York University
Internship in Internal Medicine - Beth Israel Medical Center
Residency in Internal Medicine - Beth Israel Medical Center
Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine - Columbia University Medical Center
Dr. Steve Merris and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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