Emergency visits and autism are HARD.

Sickness is one of the most difficult things I’ve experienced with my non-verbal child on the spectrum.

Picking up non-verbal cues when they are not feeling well is challenging.

Often “cues” come in the least desirable ways. Increased meltdowns and rigidity or excessive stimming are just naming a few I’ve noticed along the way.

Hank has worked very hard with his speech, and has proudly progressed to “pre-verbal”.

Huge leap from “non-verbal” or no functional language.

When I heard Hank attempt the approximation “Owie, nonny, owie” while pointing his cute, tiny, finger to his right ear, I felt proud.

I knew in that moment this was monumental!

Not typically something you want to hear your child say.

But, you see, for SOOOO long it’s been a guessing game when Hank shows signs of illness.

Is it an ear infection, virus, or did he fall and can’t tell me it’s something more serious????!???

This is one of the more challenging aspects of autism and his communication difficulties.

But, on this particular morning Hank made this mama very proud! “Owie, nonny, Owie”.

Off to the Emergency Department we go.

Packing begins: headphones, sensory toys, iPad, snack, special cup, sanity.

Okay, let’s do this.

Sensory, tactile and taste restrictions/sensitivities are also something we struggle with daily.

What does this mean for Hank and taking medicine?

It doesn’t happen!

If he even sees a “medicine plunger” he gags to the point of vomiting. Sensitive to smells and textures.

Typically, what this means is antibiotics in the form of injection instead of the typical 10 day script of oral antibiotics.

Unfortunately, this means a traumatic and quite painful experience for little ones who don’t understand what is happening.

Hank has many associated unpleasant memories of hospital visits and pairs these experiences with fear and terror.

On this particular visit, I was relieved to get out of there without having an injection. I’m sure Hank was too!

Hospital visits are still challenging, but are getting easier. Lots of priming, first/then and reinforcing items on hand have helped make these experiences more predictable for Hank.

@LennoxandAddingtonCountyGeneralHospital for your patience and understanding.

Hospital visits with your ASD non-verbal child.