Autism Watch: 2007

My Leg Hurts…My Hip Hurts…I’m Too Hot…and so on

Posted on: June 3, 2009

Things look good, they appear fine, ds is playing quite happily and I’m enjoying the sounds he makes while he battles with 138 stuffed Pokemon animals in the diningroom. His “playroom,” if you will. The diningroom hasn’t been used in, hmmm, six months? At least? I think since our Christmas open house.

Anyway…he’s keeping himself occupied and I’m able to get something done. Then suddenly, out of the blue, I hear moaning. Mooooom-mmmmmmmy. A very whiny plea for me to come to him. At first, I used to run in. What’s wrong?? Now I walk, sometimes with a sigh, because I never really know what is coming next and how long it will take him to move onto something more productive. I get to him and find out that it’s awful, it’s horrible, he can’t walk…his toe hurts. Other times, he is so hot, we have to put a wet paper towel on his back, like a cape. (He hates to wear shirts so they come off as soon as he’s home.) Thing is, he’s not really hot. He just feels that way. I got a call from the school nurse on Monday. He’d visited because “My hip hurts, I can’t run, the doctor says it’s swollen, like my mom’s.” First, I have bursitis in my hip from running too many 5-milers on an incline. Second, he hasn’t seen a doctor for any injury nor did he go with me when I went. I explained this to the nurse, we both got a little laugh (shhh, don’t tell bb) and I told her that if he returns and asks for pain reliever, yes, he can have one. We have a bottle on hand for his headaches. He hates to take it, since we have to break it in half or he gags, so I know if he asks for it, something really hurts. Problem is, what?

As I’ve said before, bb is very verbal. But, speech isn’t communication. He views stress and anxiety as physical ailments at times, and finding out what’s really wrong is like pulling teeth without novocaine..for him and us. Not only am I going to focus on social skills over the summer, patience in waiting on something he wants (instead of an immediate response, even if we’re discussing something or using the restroom) but I’m going to work on learning what he feels, to distinguish between a physical feeling and an emotional feeling. Any suggestions?

Today’s park day for his class, but the thunderclouds are booming though the rain stopped. Not sure if they’ll have it, and not sure I want to spend 1.5 hours in his classroom instead. (Parking alone at the school is a nightmare.) Wish us luck!

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1 Response to "My Leg Hurts…My Hip Hurts…I’m Too Hot…and so on"

Well no experience with autism myself so any suggestion from me is likely useless, but the first thing that came to mind is to have him and you together identify what happened before the feeling. So if he’s complaining about a pain in his leg maybe ask him what he was doing just before the pain came, also what he was thinking, etc. When you both figure out whether it is emotional or physical you can then provide him with new terminology to describe the feeling next time. So rather than concentrating on the description of the feeling itself, you are focusing on the environment and events triggering the feeling giving clues to its nature.

Maybe this is basic stuff you are already doing, but I just wanted to contribute a suggestion. 🙂

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