A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Does sick equal setback?

"I see you've made yourself all sick again"
-Afghan Whigs

Parents, I need some guidance. My bird has been sick. I was calling it a cold for a few days and then she started coughing. She typically gets a cold that last for about 2 days and then I get it and I'm sick for weeks. She has really never been sick like this so I don't know what's "normal" for a sick kid. She's got a great immune system and I am sooooo grateful. In her 5 1/2 years, she's only been on an antibiotic (notwithstanding flagyl) once. Well, this is time #2. Zithromax. It's bronchitis. Her cough was awful. The good news is that this round of antibiotics is only 5 days. We're on day #3. I also gave her some mucinex to loosen the stuff in her lungs. She seems to be feeling better and her cough has already improved a lot. But... her behavior and her ASD stuff looks worse. She's not so easy to engage and she won't answer questions. Instead, she'll just echo the question back at me. She's using single words to request things like "apple juice" instead of her usual "apple juice, please, mommy" or "can I have apple juice please?" Those are kind of scripts, but it's still more than just the one word. She's a bit stimmier than she'd been the last 2 weeks and harder to calm down, too.

We were riding the high of a round of flagyl: longer sentences, longer engagement, more fun, funny, less stimmy. Just all around WAY better. I swear, it gets harder and harder to be a skeptic when I see the amazing improvements after a round of flagyl.  I think that's why I'm so upset about this little setback. It's just that she was doing so so so well and I'm not ready for this high to come back down.

So, parents, here's what I need from you... please tell me if your kids typically regress a little bit when they're sick and/or on antibiotics. I need you to set me straight before I go crazy (ok, fine. crazier). When and if they do take a step back or so during illness, do they bounce back? I'm scared.

It never gets easier. Every time she takes a step back, I freak; even though I've been through this a million times (well, not a million, but it kinda feels like it) and she has come back. It's just that her progress is sooooo slow and I get nervous when she moves in the wrong direction. So, moms and dads reading this can you please leave me a comment or an email, or a text, or a facebook/twitter message or something to help calm me down?!!


Penny said...

When *I'm* sick, or when the sun's too bright, or the music's too loud, it takes more energy to shut out the pain and discomfort of the sore throat or the eye pain or stress to my hearing. I have much less "bandwidth" to engage. Our kidlets on the autism spectrum are no different. When she feels better, she'll be more interactive. YES, SHE WILL BOUNCE BACK, and you may see some big spurts in development, too.

She may be in pain but not be able to tell you about it. I'm a meds as a last resort kind of girl, and I have surprised myself sometimes by giving a "trial" dose of motrin to see if it makes a difference. It usually does, and it gives me my answer. She was hurting somewhere and could not tell me. I am not a doctor, do not play one on the internet, and am not giving medical advice.

Have you ever read, "The Fabric of Autism," by Judith Bluestone? I highly recommend it.

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

The last time monkey two was sick for TWO WEEKS- and did THREE different types of antibiotics (and I had a bunch of blood work done because I was so scared)... I noticed his reading was not as good- It's as if he was too tired to concentrate and was making up words.
I just let him watch TV all day and sleep. That was the last two weeks of summer vacay.
That's my two cents.

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

PS: check out the swap Sherri from The Claw is doing- the last one was fun- you can link from my last post and you know a bunch of the ladies that are in!

Lynn said...

There are some people who claim that their kids' autism improves when they have a fever. But that is specific to a fever, which I'm not sure if LB has, and anyway, not everyone sees that.

Besides that, mostly they feel just plain shitty like everyone else does when they are sick. And they aren't themselves just like everyone else is not themselves when they're sick. I'm definitely talking in monosyllables when I'm sick. Audrey is a total beast just before she gets sick, and then during she acts sick like everyone else does, but then like LB she bounces back pretty quickly and then has tons of energy to spare like she's so relieved to feel better. There's no way you will see any kind of long-lasting regression from this. It may take her a while to get back to 100% though.

Laura said...

Yes, yes and YES. ASD kiddos tend to get all flappy and "weird" when sick because their body is processing even more crapola at a more rapid rate. And I agree with the poster...Bird prolly feels like total garbage and doesn't know how to tell you:( She'll come back!

Piscesgirl said...

I have to agree with the most the other posts. When my other kids get sick, they typically want to lay about, whine, and do as little as possible.
With Rory he does get stimmier, monosylabic, and ALOT more hyper. But I think it is just because he feels like crap. And I know when he had a cold last fall he was given robatussin. I got the same cold and was given the same stuff. I felt like I was tripping! my heart was racing, the room spun. needless to say I see why my child was bonkers and quit giving it to him.
Hang in there. She will be back once she starts feeling like hereself again! Hugs from the south. :)

Ellen said...

Hi. So sorry I'm just reading this now, I really hope she's better. Max COMPLETELY regresses when he's sick, even more so when he was younger. I think this is totally and completely normal, and nothing to worry about, she won't lose skills. But I do understand the fear that she will. Our kids work so hard at progress, it's disheartening to see them stepping back, even if it's for seemingly obvious reasons.

This, too, shall pass.


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