The last few weeks have been rough in terms of illness in our house. Long story short is this: It started with Grace getting very ill. I could not blog about it at the time because I was busy worrying like crazy but since she is back to her happy self I can tell you the story. She started to feel sick one evening and, because of Grace's heath issues (asthma/heart) we watch her a little more closely than you might another four-year old. Sure enough she had two major, scare the hell out of us, asthma attack and we rushed her to the outdoor. She's had respiratory issues in the past and uses puffers so we were not shocked by this turn of events. She was rushed past all the poor, waiting people in the ER and was seen by a doctor right away. Her breathing was brought under control and her fever was seen to and she rested under the care of ER docs and nurses until they felt she was well enough to go home. Fast forward twelve hours later and she suffers another asthma attack. Can I just say that I despise asthma? On this night, asthma was scarier than autism and all things combined. We rushed her back to the ER and again she was rushed back to see the ER doctor. It was established during this visit, after being tested, that Grace also had the super bug. She was so ill that none of us slept for days.
Gramma will not like to see these pictures but Grace gets a kick out of them so she doesn't mind sharing her story. The point of this post, however, is not to detail the trauma of our terrifying trips to the ER but more to point out something I find very interesting. Our girl Kate, fought the same bug. We are positive of that and if you look at the video below you will see how very differently our girls reacted to it. (Kate found my phone and made a video of herself with Monty during her illness which resulted in a 102.8 fever for over a week.)
We have found this is the case in many instances. Kate often does not show the reactions to pain and sickness that we expect. With respect to Grace's health issues we do expect her to struggle a little more than the average kid when she contracts a virus but this difference is greater than that. It is almost as if Kate does not feel pain and sickness the way the rest of us do. We have always said this. There were numerous times that we took Kate to the doctor for regular check-ups or to address a fever, only to find out she was battling serious ear infections without ever having missed a step. I guess I am asking the question to other autism parents, autism workers etc: Have you ever noticed this behavior in your children? Are there studies or literature on the topic? I understand that children with autism can have overactive or under active sensory issues but this seems to be more than that. Please share if you have any similar stories.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)