My son has mild aspergers. It seems that when he has a cold/flu type illness, some of his "less social" behaviours, such as not making eye contact, using an inappropriate tone of voice, making odd faces when in conversation, are worse. Is this typical of people with aspergers?
This is true with my children as well. Just as they don't communicate positive things in a way that is similar to neurotypical children, they also don't communicate negative feelings in a normal way. My daughter actually doesn't notice pain the way we do, and if it were not for some of those odd behaviors, I wouldn't even be able to tell if she'd got a sore throat or earache.
Behavior is impacted by confusion or pain. I call it "communication by behavior" and have blogged about it extensively. Dr. David Pitonyak calls it "messages". The idea is the same behaviors can be used to communicate something it isn't right in his or her world. That can be many things including, but not limited, to illness or confusion.
Children on the autism spectrum often get worse with sickness. Usually anything that effects the normal brain effects the neurologiaclly imparied brain to a greater extent. Interestlingly, some children on the spectrum actually improve when they get sick with a fever. On my website www.aba4autism.com I have a Case History titled "The Sometimes Son" where I document such a case.
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