As one of the parents brought up on the local Autism Facebook group, it’s hard for us sometimes to know what’s going on with our kids health-wise, depending on their tendencies.
In the case of the parent on the group, her child was complaining she didn’t feel well, but didn’t have the verbal tools to explain what was wrong, and therefore why there was a request to stay home from school.
In the Monster’s case, he’s one of the more typical children who doesn’t communicate discomfort at all until it is extreme. This means, often, that he’ll be siting there with a sniffle or a cough and not complaining at all about it… and will happily go off to school.
Now, I tend to have a sniffle through most of the winter myself, and it’s just now gotten genuinely cold here. I somewhat discount the sign of a sniffle as a result, in the sense that his nose isn’t running down his face and therefore I don’t think he’s sick. On the other hand, though, he also has an on-again, off-again cough… and that might be a sign of something more.
Except that he can’t tell us if anything else is bothering him. We don’t know if he has a sore throat, if he’s feeling chills, if something aches, et cetera… so we’re flying blind with trying to get to the bottom of if this is something seasonal like my sniffles, or if it’s an actual concern that means we should be keeping an eye towards keeping him home from school for a day.
Granted, school is the great incubator of colds and the flu. If he caught something, it’s likely from the school as well… and I would imagine that the staff there is keeping an eye out for anything that’s worrying as much as we are. (I would almost hope that they would mention to us if something was running rampant in the classroom, but I think that’s probably too much to ask.) And the school has our numbers, so they know that one of us can always come pick him up if there’s a genuine concern.
I’m just hoping we can make it through another winter without major illnesses…