okay so i'm going to try to respond to everyone's posts in one reply instead of replying individually so i apologize in advance if i miss anything.
my son just turned two this february and was implanted this past august. he has had some exposure to sign, as a teacher from the school for the deaf in our region meets with us at our home every week, i however am just learning sign so although i'm doing my best to expose him to as much sign as possible when his teacher is not around it is a fairly slow process, he is a very quick learner though and he knows at least 10 basic signs, some of which he can mimick and use and some he can't use but he recognizes what it means.
in regards to him being evaluated, the pediatrician has said she will try to evaluate him in a few months however she said it will be difficult due to his age and the fact that he is deaf.
well to be honest my mommy instincts are telling me they could be wrong, in my own opinion i don't think he is autistic, however having said that, i don't have any knowledge about autism and have never had any exposure to anyone with any level of autism, i do recognize though that he has some of the things mentioned on the 'red flag' list for autism. my father works with kids that are autistic, however none of them are deaf and so he can only tell me so much, they are also quite a bit older than my son.
in the opinion of my father (who works with autistic children) as well as the pediatrician they do not think he has any obvious symptoms of severe autism.
he has had genetic testing and he has one copy of a gene that causes pendred syndrome, however according to his surgeon, only having one copy of the gene should not have caused him to have any hearing loss, especially not profound hearing loss (pendred syndrome from what i've read causes progressive hearing loss as well as affects the thyroid etc) so he had said that he suspects he has another gene that may be affecting him, however they don't know what it is yet so they can't test for it.
other than that he has not been diagnosed with anything.
the pediatrician gave me some contact numbers for programs that are for autistic children however she has said the waiting list can be as long as 3 years!!