Autism, Sensory and sickies!

My son is always hit with an heightened level of sensory seeking when he is sick. This wee, Mr. B is battling a respiratory infection, and these ALWAYS mean more sensory seeking. Whether it is running, stomping, spinning, or shaking his head, we are battling both the "sickies" and the stimming.

This leads to a lot of issues, since most often the sensory seeking behaviors require a lot of physical work. This leads to asthma flairs which make him feel even worse! So how do we tackle the stimming sickies?

1.) LOTS of redirection. I try to provide him with a large variety of calming activities. Arts and crafts, extra computer time, that sort of thing.

2.) Sensory diet. I will bounce him on the yoga ball, spin him in a chair. Basically, I give him the sensory stimuli he seeks, but do the work for him.

3.) PATIENCE! Patience is so important. He can't help it. And as frustrating as it may be for me to tell him over and over and over, "MR. B. you can't run in the house" it is worse for him because he can't handle the internal battle on his own.

Meds will make it worse. Antibiotics to ward off ear infections or sinus infections, steriods to help the asthma, antihistamines....all of it add to the hyperactivity. Lots of love, and lots of patience...and prayer.

So when your ASDer gets sick, don't feel you are alone when you have to battle the sickies and the stimming at the same time!