I have concerns with my 3yr old son and I was hoping I could get some input and advice from seasoned parents on this forum. My son is behind in a few areas of the developmental process which are making me explore toddler autism articles. The thing is when I look at these articles, my son only hits about two or three bullets of the 25 listed. I'll list below the things that are leading me to believe he may be slightly autistic, as well as the things that make me believe I'm over-reacting.

Aspects that make me think my son MAY be autistic:

- Small vocabulary. My son says maybe 20 words max at three years old. He says small phrases like "there it is" or "oh no", and it only seems like he attempts to say new words when I'm not trying to get him to. If I tell him to say thank you, he doesn't do it. But if we're at the grocery store going up and down the isle, he'll point to something, I'll tell him what it is, then he'll repeat.

- At daycare, my son doesn't engage in the chaos. He's always kind of standing behind the crowd observing. He sits in the circle during story time and follows the activity at hand, he smiles and has fun, but I find it odd that he's not an out of control monster like the rest of the children.

- He's almost too obedient for his age. I give him space to do his own thing but he doesn't get into much mischief. When I say it's time for bed, he'll grab his blanket and stuffed animal and march into the bedroom. He also puts himself down for naps. He acts like an angel in public and him throwing a tantrum only entails him covering his eyes with his forearm and MAYBE climbing onto the floor on his hands and knees and covering his face. He never screams or makes a scene. Honestly, he doesn't really cry at all unless he's hurt, thinks he's hurt, or if I'm dropping him off to his mother after a fun-filled weekend.

- He doesn't eat the greatest. He doesn't like much meat. He loves fruit, yogurt, toast, etc. But pretty much his only source of protein is dairy.

- He does this weird thing where he lays on the floor, stretches out, and just kind of stares. He'll be holding a toy and he'll stare at it like he's reading the instructions or something. He just kind of enters a trance, like he's daydreaming. I don't know if he's stretching or humping the floor or what. It's weird.

Aspects that make me think my son is normal, and maybe just a little behind:

- He loves to rough house. He loves throwing balls, he loves playing mini-hockey, basketball, and football, and he loves to wrestle on the living room floor. He climbs all over the furniture. He likes watching sports and will yell at the TV just like us older gentlemen, just not at the correct times lol. He loves animals and he loves trucks and stomping in mud puddles. He loves going on walks with grandma and her dogs.

- He shows affection. He gives kisses to me if I ask. Sometimes he puts his cheek out and I'll say "on the lips" and he always complies. He hugs family members he doesn't see every day; everyone says he is the sweetest little boy.

- He doesn't avoid eye contact, he looks at me, he responds to his name, he smiles if I'm being funny, he has about a million facial expressions, he understands when I'm not feeling well -- I won't even tell him I'm not feeling well, he'll just come up to me and put his hand on my forehead like he knows. He points to airplanes and birds in the sky, he doesn't get upset if his daily routine is interfered with. He's not overly hyper and he doesn't perform repetitive motions. Honestly, if there weren't so many damn articles telling me what my son is SUPPOSED to be at three years old, I wouldn't even be typing this. He would seem completely normal to me if I wasn't aware of the milestones he's behind on.

Thanks in advance for reading and thanks for any help provided!