I’ve probably written about this once before, but it really bears repeating. There’s just times where we don’t know what the Monster does or doesn’t feel, when it comes to his health.
I think the biggest problem is probably that he doesn’t have the expressive vocabulary to explain to us when something’s wrong – we’re left with having to guess by contextual clues.
For the last few days, it’s been fairly clear that he’s under the weather – his appetite’s changing is the major cue that we picked up on, as well as some toileting issues – but there’s been nothing that gives us any kind of warning as to what’s wrong, how he’s feeling, or the like. It’s not something that we’ve really worked on with the Proloquo on his iPad, or something that we can really teach to him for demonstration, but have to hope that in some sense, it’s filtering through to him enough to give us cues in the future. If someone has suggestions in this regard, we’re all game here.
It goes beyond being fair to his classmates (I don’t want to send him to school when he’s genuinely sick, even if he likely got it from there, because I’d rather not have whatever it is running rampant through school), but rather to just trying to assure his comfort. If I know what’s wrong, I can do something to ‘fix’ it.
It also, then, has us guessing at any little gesture and the context thereto, much like we do with the baby. So for instance, when we’re sitting around and he’s got his arms tucked in over his tummy, we ask him repeatedly if his stomach’s upset or hurting him… and the fact that we don’t get an answer is just a further frustration with trying to diagnose.
So far, we’ve mostly been going with the ‘obvious’ things – if he’s coughing too much, if he has a fever, if he’s clearly ill, we assume he’s sick. Otherwise, we still just have to guess…