Thursday, 22 October 2015

Complications when kids are ill

We are fortunate that our kids aren't often ill. Looking after little ones when they are a bit poorly is typical mother work and it's not that different when they are on the autistic spectrum, it's just sometimes a bit come complicated.  This post is by no means graphic but if you don't like reading this sort of stuff, better stop now.

David is a little poorly.  He's got a slight temperature and was ill in bed last night and this morning in bed and then in the car. David actually handles being ill quite well. His older brother Anthony, who is also on the spectrum really struggled with the whole understanding of being ill. Even just a few years ago it was like having a five year old sized toddler who was getting stressed because they didn't understand what was happening. He was frightened when he was just a little ill.  His receptive language wasn't great and when he was stressed, just like anyone, it was even harder for him to listen to us. We used very basic language to help him hear and understand what was happening and what to expect. And like every parent we tried to reassure him.

Being ill just happens to David.  There seems to be little fuss but it is a bit tricky.  David was first ill in his bed last night - and he has immediately established what happened here as a routine. This means so far today he has continued to go to his bed to be ill. 

He is nearly five years old, however most of his communication is still at the Requester, emerging into the Early Communicator stage of communication.  For David this means he mostly communicates to get what he wants, echoes some sounds, uses gestures and interacts with familiar people and in familiar situations. He is unable to tell us he is feeling like he's about to be ill. He's not poorly enough to be sofa stricken.  He is playing and moving around so we have to watch him carefully and try and direct to bathrooms etc as he drifts back towards his bed.  We can then confirm to David in basic words and signs that this is where he can go.  This of course has the added complication that we can't let him rest in his bed for the fear of what we might find there a while later.

On the other hand, Anthony did very well this morning. He realised and so declared "If David is ill, does that mean I will be dropped off at school first this morning?" As I smiled and confirmed Anthony's suspicion and I could see him processing this and what it meant for his trip to school.  Well done Anthony and good luck today David.

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What is Autism?
It's so much I couldn't possibly try and explain. For us it's wonderful and heart-breaking. Joyous and truthful. But as far as diagnosis is concerned, why not have a look at the National Autistic Society for their definition of Autism.
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