Quit wiping your snot on me
Identifying when a child with autism is sick can sometimes prove to be difficult. Unless the child is verbal or knows how to communicate he or she does not feel well or what hurts many parents miss the clues. Silas does not communicate with me or Robert when he is not feeling well. The only time I am able to tell when he is like this is when I am actually able to see symptoms or he acts differently.
Some of the visible symptoms include:
- obvious ones like vomiting and rashes
- lessened appetite
- increased/decreased desire to cuddle
- increased/decreased stemming behaviors such as flapping or spinning
- changes in routine
- much more
It takes time to be able to recognize these changes in your child and what they mean. Often these changes do not indicate sickness but rather stress or anxiety. It sometimes feels like a riddle. I find out all of the clues and then have to try to figure out what the correct answer is by guessing and trying different solutions.
My sweet man started to get what seemed like a cold last week. Snotty nose and dry cough were my indicators. I figured I would let his immune system do its job and waited to see if things changed. Within three days he was Amazon River style flowing snot everywhere, nasty wet coughs, waking up more during the middle of the night, laying around, and being a big whiny pain in the butt. I took him to the doctor and she told me he was right on the brink of having bronchitis. Medicine was prescribed and off we went to fill it at Walmart.
It was obvious Silas did not feel well but he insisted on letting every person in Walmart know that too. As we were standing in line at the pharmacy he decided to go berserk. Screaming, crying, and trying to rip off his shoes. I’m standing there baffled trying to figure out what in the world is going on. One minute he was fine then all of a sudden, boom! I started trying to diagnose exactly what his issue was before someone called child services on me.
I had just picked him up out of the shopping cart when the woman behind me in line decided to throw in her two cents on the situation. By this time I am already about to explode because I am annoyed and still in my ABUs so I am very hot. Plus, Silas is no feather. The woman says to my back, “As a member of the military you would think you would have more control over your kid and be respectful towards other’s wishes.”
If I had not had Silas in my arms and was not in uniform I am pretty certain I would have just turned around and punched this lady in the throat. But, my uniform dictates (since I respect it) that I maintain a proper military bearing at all times; and I am a mother so I am not going to make a scene in front of my child like my mind wanted me to. My initial thought process was (pardon my language), “Who the fuck does this bitch think she is? She has no idea what is going on in this situation right now. Respect other’s wishes? What wishes? Does she not realize everything I have given up for people like her?!”
Instead of saying the things that ran through my mind in the few seconds that passed or going ape shit on her in front of everyone, I chose to respond in the calmest manner I could. I politely turned around to her and said, “Unless you want me to be disrespectful I suggest you mind your own business.” She looked like she wanted to say something else but I think my death stare deterred her.
People think that others want and need their advice for everything and they must voice their opinions and disdain. Well, those words are wasted on me. If I wanted those things I would ask for them. Honestly, I could not give two shits what other people think about how I should raise my child. It is none of their business. By no means will my child starve or be abused; but he will try things (though he does not like new or different foods) and he will wait at least an hour before being supplemented and if he acts a fool he will be disciplined accordingly. He is learning to be polite and respectful and I expect him to be like that towards everyone. Just because someone did ‘this’ and ‘that’ which worked for their child does not mean it will work for mine. I have learned that things must be altered in a way that Silas can understand them.
Any who, now I am rambling and it is time for bed. To be continued…