Do you other children pick up some of your child's autistic traits?

United States
February 6, 2007 9:42am CST
I have a 4 year old son with autism, he is fairly high functioning, but he is a big hand flapper. I have two daughters, one 3 and one almost 2. I have seen my youngest daughter flap her hands sometimes but she doesn't have any of the other signs like not looking you in the eye etc. Have any of you seen your children do things like this?
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4 responses
• United States
6 Feb 07
Yes. I have a 5 year old with PDD-NOS and he is sensitive to loud noises - things like applause or the vacuum, or singing (not on his terms). So my 2 year old will sometimes react to things the way that he does... like she'll cover her ears or say "no singing please". Good, bad, or autism related she will do whatever her big brother does.. simply because he is her big brother. At this stage in the game she doesn't really "get" that he acts a certain way because of being autistic. All she sees is "hey my big brother who I worship to no end is covering his ears... I think I'll cover mine too.". I don't sweat it because she's just trying to be like him and doesn't show any other signs.
• United States
6 Feb 07
Thanks HKM, That is what I was kinda looking for. I was just kinda worried that my daughter could also have it. It is funny you were saying about the singing thing. Does your son just like hum to himself all day long. Mine makes his own sound effects for practically everything and when we put him down at night he just keeps going while in bed. Sometimes it just drives me crazy.
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• United States
6 Feb 07
My son likes to sing and likes music. But, only when he suggests it. If someone else starts singing and he doesn't want you to then he'll announce "NO SINGING PLEASE". Hey, at least he says Please! Right now he's singing the ABC song and his baby sister (just turned 2 this weekend) is singing along with him and he's fine with it. Now, if I started belting out some other song he'd tell me to stop! And probably his sister would then tell me to stop too!
• United States
6 Feb 07
As to the humming and sound effects - My son imitates computer sounds, and machinery sounds and will roleplay stuff (over and over)... so yes... I can relate!!!
@clownfish (3277)
• United States
6 Feb 07
Hi! I think you hit the nail on the head when you used the work mimicking. That's all your little one is doing. She just thinks that's what should be done since she sees her older brother doing it. When she gets older, she will understand that he flaps his hands because he is autistic, not because everyone does it. She will learn there is a difference. I hope that helps! :-)
• United States
6 Feb 07
Thanks Clownfish, have you seen children mimic more than just the flapping? I would like to know what you have seen.
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@clownfish (3277)
• United States
6 Feb 07
Actually, I only have one child, and she is autistic. I know that autistic children mimick behaviors, but isn't that really how all children learn? That's the principle I was going by, that children learn by mimicking what they've seen. I wish I had more of the concrete experience you are looking for. There are a lot of other parents of autistic kids here on Mylot. I'm sure you'll get more answers when they see your inquiry! :-)
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• United States
6 Feb 07
They can't get the same trait if they were not born that way. You just have to tell the other kid to stop and eventually she will grow out of it and be herself instead of doing what the others do. Kids do things all the time that they see others do.
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• United States
6 Feb 07
Maybe you misunderstood, I was saying trait as in mannerisms not genetic traits. My youngest daughter does not have autism (as far as we know) but she seems him do it. My question was to people how have a child with autism and have siblings that mimic what they do. But thanks for the response.
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• Canada
6 Feb 07
My older son doesn't mimick his younger brother, who is Autistic, but I would say that I don't think it is that odd. Like the other posters have said - kids mimick, especially the behavoiur of their older siblings. I wouldn't worry about it unless there were other signs in your younger daughter.