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What is wrong with my child?

Q: My 3.5 years old son (only child) is very sensitive to noises. Most noise is not a problem but if another child screams (with joy) or a baby cries, he will become very upset and start screaming and crying himself. Often it takes a long while to calm him down and now he plugs up his ears with his fingers and continues crying. I have tried to get him to talk about what is happening and recently have been trying to get him to understand that he needs to handle these situations but I am at a loss on what to do. He goes to a daycare twice a week and is doing fine. The beginning, however, was not easy. He acts better away from me sometimes. He has a liking for routine and likes to understand how everything works in advance. He is very verbal and smart. I worry that something might be wrong with him. Do I need to get him evaluated or should I just have more patience and help him through these situations?

A:Your child does seem to have some mild signs of Autism. This can be treated, but the treatment requires some special knowledge. If you tell me the name of the city you live in, I can try and locate someone to whom you can go for help. So do write again if you need to. When your son is disturbed by another baby's crying, shift him out to a quieter room. Some children find a certain kind of sound physically painful. There are methods for sensory integration, but you will need to find a Specialist who can guide you. The neighbourhood doctor will not have the knowledge or tools for a detailed evaluation. So finding the right person is important. Patience, affection and firmness will always help of course. He is too young to understand explanations. But since he likes his daycare you are at an advantage. Keep his routines, just as he likes them. It is best that noise levels in the home are low. Have no TV or at least minimize its viewing in the home.

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