I don't know about you but I don't always tend to know when my son is poorly. There are obvious signs sometimes like a good projectile vomit across the room or a very snotty nose but most of the time he masks his symptoms quite well.
Most of us tend to naturally announce that we have a headache or stomach ache, cold or generally know how to express how we feel but my son doesn't. There are early telltale signs I notice such as his behaviour will change, he stims a lot more and he will show a lot more repetitive behaviour. During these first signs I always ask if he feels ok, if he thinks he may have a cold especially after sneezing twenty times and sounding very congested, but I'm always reassured, quite firmly that he is ok and 'fine'.
I've noticed after a recent cold he has started bringing his duvet down and resting on the sofa. This is something we have done in the past when he has been ill so I think he now associates that with feeling poorly. Good for me as I can go into nurse mum mode. I then do all the usual things like check temperature and suggest he may feel better with bit of cold or pain relief. I do get the odd confession later on and he will say 'I think you're right mum I think I do have a cold' or that he should have told me he was ill. and can feel quite upset that he hadn't told me. It takes a lot of reassurance sometimes but then he settles and the behaviour also subsides as if he needed that moment of confession and clarification.
I suppose it is a sensory issue, his pain threshold must be very high. I always fear he could break a bone or do something severe and say he was fine. He likes a lot of pressure and tends to squeeze my hand or press his nose and forehead against mine sometimes. A stress ball has helped with that, a good squeeze on that and it tends to save my nose from taking too much pressure. I can feel it quite well you see, I'm surprised I'm not going around with a completely flat nose.
It's fascinating but also frustrating when it comes to illness. I always feel guilty if I miss something or don't spot something earlier. I'm a mum, it's my job to see these things and jump into action but caring for someone with massive sensory needs and difficulties in communicating certain feelings and emotions it's hard. All of our children with ASD are different and will react in different ways. If you are a parent, teacher, or anyone who cares for children and especially those with ASD, bear in mind that some aspects of behaviour may be a trigger for pending illness. It is another way that some children will learn to communicate, through behaviour, it may be erratic or completely the opposite and very subdued.
Honestly, we have to have eyes in the back of our heads and a extra sense don't we? A super 'Auty Sense', a bit like Spiderman but with less web spurting out of our wrists. Though come to think of it I can think of times where that feature would have been quite useful. Always feel free to leave comment below about your experiences or ask anything and I can try and help.
For now though thank you for reading and I will be back tomorrow for 'Pass the Remote'.
Take care for now.......
Every Saturday I will be talking about Autism and will review any useful information which may have been highlighted at any support groups in the week.