Thyroid UK
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Is it Autism or Hyperthyroidism??

My wee granddaughter is 18 mths old, she had been a yappy wee child since birth. Constantly having very loose bowel movements daily.

Doctor told us it was a reflux, so we went by the book and still yapped and diarrhoea.

Then we decided to change her diet to lactose free then dairy free sometimes she might have a slightly formed stool but we would still get quite a few very loose ones daily.

Her development seemed to be going well, sitting up at 4 months aided then at 5 months unaided, could walk in her walker at 5 and a half months. Was trying to talk babbling away.

I taught her the usual clapping hands, round and round the garden and waving bye bye at 5 mths.

Then my daughter noticed her eyes one day. She told me the glint had left them, which was true, the lights were on but no one was home.

She didn’t clap hands didn’t mimic anything we did. She didn’t answer to her name and still doesn’t.

If I sing she turns and smiles at me. Which she only started doing 4 mths ago because before that she wouldn’t even look at me and they live with me.

She hated the bath had a panic attack every time and clung to your neck.

Basically we noticed a big change when she turned one, we thought maybe she had regressed and that she was on the Autism spectrum. We voiced concerns to the health visitor while is was doing a development questionnaire. She asked if ivy could say 3 words, we told her no!! She doesn’t speak at all.

She never ever tried to go up the stairs when the door was opened, she stood at the hall window looking out.

When she watches tv she likes to do this with different things, like a colander, or her wee dolls house. She would it the colander over her head and watch the tv through that. Or she lies down beside the dolls house and watches the tv through the windows or the door.

She had even watched it through the top of the Pringles tube lid lol.

We were referred to the cdc and the paediatrician thought there were concerns for her development speech and language.

They will continue to work with her.

Up until Saturday I thought she was on the autism spectrum until I noticed a peanut sized lump slightly left of her Adam’s apple. When touched it moved slightly. And when she puts her head back that’s when you can see it the skin on it turns lighter.

I looked it up and it says it could be her glands or a hyperthyroidism cyst or she could have hyperthyroidism.

It also says that children up to 3 yrs if not treated can leave brain damage.

When watching tv or just being in the living room for example, she tends to lean on things for support like she has no core strength. Or she lies across us. Or on the rug for 10 minutes then she’s off again then lies down again.

I also read about growth, she is 18 mths and my other granddaughter is 3 and ivy is far taller than the 3 yr old.

She still doesn’t talk, doesn’t play just wrecks things, she still doesn’t answer to her name, you could call her 10 times and still she won’t look at you.

She does have some quirky ways which could be on the spectrum but now I am thinking it’s hyperthyroidism.

Her voice when crying or babbling sounds hoarse raw like. Her hair which has started to concern me, well I would say it hasn’t grown in 6 mths, it’s dry wispy and brittle as are her nails. 2 of her nails have come right of in the last month.

I think she had the symptoms of hyperthyroidism with the constant diarrhoea, irritability, no concentration, no speech and language, her learning development is slow, her height. My grandson is 3 weeks younger than her and he is to her elbow. Her hair and nails, her hoarse voice, and now the lump on her Adam’s apple.

We have an appointment to see the gp later today, but our gp flaps his hand as if to say you’re an over anxious mother.

I want to be prepared for the flap today, I want a thyroid test done, but I need some advice on how to demand this.

I read a report by a specialist and he said that preschool children with speech and language or audio problems should all have their thyroid tested.

Our gp will ask a few questions like does she have, or does she do, even if we answer yes to 8 of 10 he will say she doesn’t have it even before doing the test.

Can anyone plz advise if you have had similar experiences plz.

I have read that once it’s been confirmed and treatment starts the child comes on leaps and bounds, I am hoping this is the case.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post I have went on a bit lol.

9 Replies

If you are in the UK, I believe all newborn's do have a blood test to ensure they don't have a problem with their thyroid gland.

Other members will respond when they read your post and have answers.


This is a link which may be helpful:


It's absolutely best for Ivy to be examined by a pediatric ENT consultant.

You can also post the same on


Belfastfem ~ you have been seriously let down by both your GP AND your Health Visitor! What is the bl**dy point of the health visitor doing tests and then when they're not right ~ ignoring the results??!! They are a disgrace ~ what are they getting paid for??!! DON'T let the Dr 'flap his hands' and fob you off ~ the poor child has SOMETHING wrong with her, and you need to see someone who knows what it is.

Have they taken stool samples? Her bowels shouldn't be loose ALL the time ~ even allowing for occasional 'toddler tummy' ~ this is not normal. I'm shocked and saddened that they haven't listened to your concerns about her health ~ leaving YOU to try and get info to persuade him that something's wrong! DEMAND AN INVESTIGATION ~ and don't take no for an answer ~ you and her mum know her better than anyone, and don't accept the neurotic, over anxious mother nonsense ~ that's just a get out clause when THEY don't get it!

Good luck to you ~ you must be worried sick! Please let us know how you get on. Mamapea x


Has she had a ‘proper’ hearing test? Could she be Coeliac which could account for her diarrhoea? There is obviously something not quite right and like you say she needs to be seen by a specialist ASAP. Have you been in touch with this group? They might be able to help you.

Sounds like you are going to have to insist to your doctor that you are definitely not going to be fobbed off. Good luck, I’m not surprised you are worried sick about it all.


Good point about coeliac

Gluten intolerance or coeliac extremely common with thyroid

1 like

Eye test also. Looking at things through holes make them clearer so could be she has vision problems.


Make sure to get full tests including vitamin B12, folate, ferritin and vitamin D

Low B12 is common with hypo it's also been linked to autism

Post results when you get them


Wow! This post has reduced me to tears! I feel so angry when I hear stories like this ~ Belfastfem has 'fibromyalgia' and there are thyroid conditions in the family ~ but no checks! So very wrong! Then once again, we have a distraught woman trying to find the answers herself in desperation ~ and getting the neurotic/hysterical label! This needs publicising in the newspapers ~ I'm feeling extra ill today, but this has put it in perspective ~ if I had this child to worry about, I would be tearing my few remaining strands of hair out, and would probably get committed to a madhouse! I wish everyone didn't hold all Drs in such high esteem ~ only a handful deserve it! How does he KNOW it's not this and that ~ and why is it taking so LONG??

Omg! I so hope they get some help! x


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