July 02, 2015

Q: My son stands on his tippy toes most of the time and is always rolling his wrist/hands. What is wrong with him?

A: “Toe walking” is not necessarily a true sign that your child has Autism, although it can be a possible flag symptom. However, in and of itself, it does not signify that your child has Autism.  Keep in mind that Autism is a disorder that results in weaknesses in the following three areas: language and communication, social interaction, and behavior (repetitive or restrictive) before three years of age.

The most significant upcoming development milestone for your son is at 9 months when he begins to share his attention with you and point to objects in his environment. Typically, children on the Autistic Spectrum do not demonstrate shared attention or pointing to an object or event that your child wants for you to observe and share with him.

You’re also worried that your son stands on his tippy toes and is rolling his wrists and hands. This may be a typical part of his development in which he is becoming aware of his ability to stand on his toes which causes him to lose his balance a little; he may have also ‘found’ his hands and is admiring them!  However, if you continue to have concern, consult with your pediatrician at your next visit and/or contact your county’s Early Intervention for an evaluation.

Answered by Dr. Elizabeth Matheis