Well we've made it to the final week of September, and in a few days it will officially be Autumn. If your family is anything like ours, this is the main time of year that allergies and illnesses mix together and either you or someone in your family is sick.  Try to remember that while your child (who has Autism) is sick...he/she is going to have a shorter temper than usual.  It's likely that you won't even know your child is sick, or running a fever until you've suffered through a few days of moodiness with your little Pumpkin. 

It's also likely that your fuse will be shorter than usual if your dealing with the sniffles, aches and pains or a sore throat.  When your child gets sick, remember these things and the whole process will likely be less painful for all of you:

  • Your little one's neurotransmitters are affected when a bacteria or virus is present.  Make sure you keep in mind that he/she may struggle more than usual to communicate with you.
  • Kids with Autism often don't understand how to let you know how crummy they feel. Try to ensure that you think outside the box.
  • Treat Your own symptoms first!  Once you're feeling better, you'll be better able to make decisions about how to help your child.
  • Keep your little one home from school! 
  • Forget routines! When little one or you are sick, don't try to kill yourself keeping to their 'regular routine'- Realize how impossible that is, and then understand that your child needs to be learn that routines aren't always going to go as planned.  Things in real life change, and the sooner they get that, the better off you'll both be.
  • Listen up- your child is going to attempt to communicate his/her feelings, physical & emotional while they are ill. While they may not 'say' "I feel like crud"....there will be other indicators.
  • Notice physical gestures. These are the best way to understand what your child wants. When he shakes his head up and down or pushes on his temples- you'll know that he has a headache and you can give him some medicine.
  • Discover how wonderful it is to huddle up under a warm blanket with your child to do nothing but watch their movies and eat warm comfort foods all day long.  Especially when it's cold outside.
  • Ask for and accept help from your partner, your friends and anyone else who may offer to run errands for you.  It's worth it!  And they'll enjoy helping you.
  • Once healed, remember it takes a few days to regain your strength at any age, but more so for you than your child.  So as soon as she starts doing cartwheels in the living room, you may not be ready to get up off the couch yet.
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Rest a lot.
  • Drink water, drink OJ, drink fluids, and broth!
  • Studies show that people who take their medications, and suffer less pain during illness or injury, heal faster.