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So Little Miss is home sick. She ...

Posted Nov 21 2008 3:13pm

So Little Miss is home sick. She’s finally learned to share–though the sharing of germs was not really what I had in mind at the time of that lesson. Yes, that means I’m home too, hacking up a lung. She doesn’t seem nearly as sick as me, but that doesn’t reassure me much.

I don’t know about other kids with autism, but Little Miss is  particularly oblivious to sickness. She very seldom indicates that something hurts, even if I’ve seen her fall. It may hearken back to the early days when she would just be ’somewhere else’ every time she didn’t want to deal with whatever was going on in front of her. Her pain threshold may be different than everyone else’s–last fall she got a nasty case of plantar’s warts and sat and watched as the doctor scraped off the remains without any anesthesia. Didn’t seem to hurt her a bit. The doctor was amazed, but then she has a kid on the spectrum too. So I think she was more interested in understanding why.

Apparently Fate believes Little Miss has enough challenges and doesn’t inflict passing viruses on her often. So we’re grateful. The consequence though is that sometimes I don’t realize something’s wrong with her when she is sick. I’ll never forget the day I ended up at the doctor’s office because she suddenly spiked a 104.5 degree temperature. Turned out she had a major strep throat that must have hurt like hell, but she never said a word. The doctors looked at me like I was the worst mother ever.

After 8 years, I’m finally starting to detect non-verbal signs of something not quite right. Her behavior and focus diminish when she’s not well. She doesn’t listen, as if she’s elsewhere. Alternatively, sensory events that she’s been able to handle for a long time will set her off. But none of these are guaranteed. She’s also becoming more verbal and I’ve tried to explain that if she hurts or doesn’t feel good, she should say something.

I’m still wondering if I should buy a mini-doctor’s kit to be able to check her ears and throat every so often, just to be sure. The doctor’s comment was “No, no, that’s not necessary. By the time it gets bad enough she has to have treatment, it will be obvious.”

Somehow, that’s not so reassuring.

Meantime, please pass the tissues and the cough drops. Enough to share. Thanks.

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