Thursday 26 November 2020

Giving our autistic son a COVID19 test

COVID19 test

Get tested.

We all know it. But when a child has autism it’s not the easiest thing to do. One day this last week I missed a call from David’s school. I always pick up the voicemails quick.
“David’s been coughing in class. Can you come and get him please - it’s policy.”

I tried not to roll my eyes. I was sure David had a bit of a cold. He had a snotty nose and red eyes. Like he has when he gets a cold. Unfortunately we’ve never quite been able to help him to blow his nose.   So he snorts the snot up his nose to stop it running, sort of swallows it and coughs, especially when he gets up in the morning or eats.

As I was teaching, I called my other half who went and got him. David has barely coughed since. In fact apart from a sniffle he’s totally fine.

My other half and I can cope with him being at home. Some parents may worry about their child falling behind. Well, when your child is already 4 years behind when they are in Yr5 you don’t want them missing a single day of learning.  So we decided to get him a test so we could all return to school and work easier.

Thankfully - home testing was available in our area so we ordered two test kits for home. As I appeared to have the same cold symptoms as David, I ordered a test too.  Without a specific new continuous cough, I appeared to have a cold however, getting an additional test was essential for us.  We needed a test to show David what would happen. 

David's receptive language is limited.  That means, he doesn't always get everything we say to him.  If we want David to understand what's going to happen, the best way is to show him.  It's how we took him ziplining across the Canadian Rockies, how we went on a helicopter ride over a volcano... and how we got him to allow us to test him for COVID19. 

The tests arrived in the post a day later and that evening before dinner we got ready to do them.

I started by emptying the packs.  They come with a booklet explaining what to do.  Having already had to have a test earlier in the year while working in a school, I knew what to do but I checked the booklet.  The main difference between a home test and one at a walk or drive-in site is that you have to register it yourself online.  I got the packs completely ready and laid out in two piles that looked the same next to each other.  

Then I explained to my husband how to do the test on me.  Saying 'ahhhh' makes it much easier to do the test, which basically involves taking a long cotton bud and rubbing your tonsils at the back of your throat without touching your tongue or cheek etc.  Then sticking it up your nose and wiggling it about.

So my other half did the test on me.  

"Mummy, open your mouth"

"Mummy, say 'ahhhhh'"

"Stick in"

"Count 1..2..3..4...5....6...7....8...9...10"

"Now Mummy's nose"

"Count 1..2..3..4...5"


Just incase it all went wrong with David's test, we didn't actually use the swab.  We could try again with him if we needed to.

Then "David's turn."

He gagged a couple of times and we counted to 10 super quick... but he did it and then we were able to complete both tests and drop them off at the priority post box first thing in the morning. 

David had no idea what we were doing at all and simply followed instructions and directions as we asked.  David's trust in us and others has grown enormously since a short while ago.  In fact I'm now way more concerned about how trusting he may be in the future and how vulnerable this may make him. 

We are still waiting on our results.  I hope we get them back soon so David can return to his school and life can at least return to the current 'lockdown normal'. But in the meantime at least, it's another thing that David has got through with our help.  


  1. I think the kids have been pretty amazing getting tested - me, not so much! He must have felt proud of himself having done it. Fingers crossed all negative. Good luck #KCACOLS

  2. Yuk. Fingers crossed that everything turns out OK #KCACOLS

  3. Glad the actual testing went ok in the end and hope you get the results quickly. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

  4. Sounds like the test went really well, thankfully we have avoided having to do it so far. Good luck with the results but certainly sounds like just a cold. #KCACOLS

  5. It's lucky you were able to get home test kit - they've been unavailable where we are #KCACOLS


I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

Have a look at our most recent posts:

@rainbowsaretoo Ann H on Google + rainbowsaretoo pinterest rainbowsaretoobeautiful bloglovin Instagram rainbowsaretoobeautiful