Involuntary Head Shaking?

Hello,


I am a father of a 26 weeker. My son had a relatively easy but lengthy stay at the hospital last year after his early arrival. Since then he's been pretty much right on track in all areas of development. Now he's just over 18 months old and just yesterday my wife saw my son start shaking his head in a weird way as if he was saying "no". She was very concerned but we weren't super alarmed at the time. Today my son did the same thing a bit before his nap and then did 2-3 times in the evening. The head shaking only seems to last for a few seconds and because of that I haven't really had a chance to determine if he's spacing out or if he'll still respond to us while he's doing it. Other than that he's just about caught back up with normal 18 month old kids at this point. He runs all around the house all the time, has a huge vocabulary, and does almost anything non-preemie 18 month old kids do. My wife and I have put in a call to his early on development nurse but all of the internet searching we've done on this topic seems to indicate autism which has sent us both into a state of panic. I was wondering if anyone had noticed anything like this with their child and what the outcome was.

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Coralynn will "shake" her head back and forth like "no" after she wakes up
in the morning and naps.. dr is n't concerned he thinks it's how she "wakes"
her self up

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My nephew, who is 14, shakes his head at times and has his whole life. It has decreased as he has gotten older because I think he is at the age where he cares what people think. It seems like he does it when he is tired or idle. We just think of it as one of hos "quirks." He is definitely not autistic.

Are there any other flags that have you concerned about autism? How is eye contact, interest in people and other kids, and other stimming, any obssessions with certain toys or actions? Does he point? It is probably just one of his "things."

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One of my 28 weeks twins did that around that time...it stopped after a month or so. I haven't seen it since.

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My son is a very active talker and is very friendly to other people and enjoys contact with other children his age. One of his more recent things has been breaking off a piece of his toddler cookie to offer it to other toddlers or me or his mommy. I likes to point at objects and tell you what they are and he also will point to photos of me or my wife and say dada or mama. The only other behaviors I've noticed that also go with Autism are he likes to play with light switches and he likes to spin wheels on toys. Usually people say that Autistic kids are absolutely obsessed with things like that. My son does enjoy both things but I don't think he spends very much time with either activity. Usually it would be something like he picks up a toy, spins the wheels for a few secondsm then puts it down. I'm just extremely concerned that even though he's doing well now that he'll go through some kind of autistic regression and he won't be able to even do the things he does now. We've made an appointment with his Pediatrician and have left a message with our early on nurse but watching and waiting is horrible! I feel like I'm in the NICU all over again waiting to see if he'll be OK

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He honestly sounds fine to me. I know you what you mean...my son is 4 and I am always on high alert looking for things and trying to head things off, nip things in the bud, therapy, research, therapy, reasearch.....it is EXHAUSTING! But don't forget to enjoy him too. :) Oh, and my 4 year old likes to spin the wheels on his cars too, and name me a kid who doesn't like the cause and effect of a light switch!

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One other thought I had....could he be getting or have an ear infection?

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He does currently have an infection and is taking antibiotics. I can't remember specifically if its in his ear though.

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My dd also shakes her head, she thinks its funny almost. She looks around like watching how fast the world moves around her...she does it at random times...they dont feel its autistic. Shes very active too and loves to see what things feel like and do so she almost is liking the feeling...not really sure if that helps any.

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Yes it is helpful! I need to hear stories where it turned out to be nothing. When I first searched this everything that came up seemed to be autism related.

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My daughter was a 27 weeker and did the very same thing at about this age. It just started one day and was just as you discribed. I also freaked out a bit but after a month or so it stopped on it's own and has never been a problem since, she's now 3 1/2.

It was always the side to side motion (indicating no) never an up and down motion. I think she just liked how it felt.

Anyway, she's doing great now. She was just evaluated for preschool and had no issues.

Give it some time and try not to worry :)

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Thanks for your story. My wife called the pediatrician today just to see what they had to say. The doctor was interested to see what was happening and asked my wife to bring him in. After hearing these stories and keeping a close eye on my son last weekend, I'm feeling better about this but I'm hoping the doctor can put my mind at ease a little more.

Thanks

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Please post after the ped. sees him. Just curious to see what he has to say.

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The doctor does not believe my son is Autistic but referred us to a neurologist to get his opinion. The pediatrician thinks its just quirky behavior or some type of seizure. The next appointment is tomorrow morning.

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Did your son do it while at the peds? I vote quirky too...but better than than sorry and I hope the nuero appt. eases your mind. Good luck and keep us posted.

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He didn't do it at the office today. He only seems to do it right after waking up, before a nap, or before bed. I think it's related to drowsiness and I'm really crossing my fingers that the neurologist thinks the same. I'll give an update after his next appointment.

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Our daughter started it to. We were told in her case its a sensory issue. We think its cute as can be and makes her feel good. Hope the best for your little one.

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Being vigilant means picking up on a lot of "symptoms" that don't end up meaning anything. We've only had our babies home for a few weeks and I've already driven myself nuts looking for early warning signs of this and that. Thankfully our pediatrician has been patient so far. The Internet can be dangerous in the hands of a worried parent.

It sounds like you're doing the right thing. People tell me to keep the doctor informed and try not to panic.

If anyone figures out how to avoid panic then please be sure to post your secret.

Please keep us informed about your son. All the best.

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The neurologist didn't seem too concerned today after having a look at our son and some videos of his little episodes. He couldn't explain yet what could be causing them but he told us that based on our description and examination, he could pretty much rule out the really scary stuff. Tomorrow he'll be getting an EEG at the same office we were at today so hopefully we'll be able to figure it out in more detail tomorrow.

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Was thinking about your son and wondering if the EEG gave you any more information? I hope all is well.

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Sorry, I meant to update this yesterday but it was a pretty crazy day. Basically the EEG showed that my son is experiencing some mild seizures. The doctor couldn't give us very much more information than that. He didn't seem too concerned at this point since our son's episodes have been really brief so far. We've scheduled a 12 hour EEG for early January so the doctor can gather some more information. Even though this did confirm that our son is experiencing a medical problem we do feel some relief that it's not nearly as bad as it could be and the doctor seems optimistic that our son will either grow out of this on his own or be successfully treated with medication.

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