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Panicking about possibly having to test autistic twins- any ideas?

(40 Posts)
SinkGirl Sun 25-Oct-20 09:47:52

DH and I have just ordered home testing kits for us - we are pretty sure what we have is just a cold but yesterday I had awful fever symptoms and couldn’t keep my eyes open I felt so ill, and DH has a slight cough. I think it’s very unlikely to be COVID but want to be responsible.

Our twins (4YO) have no symptoms yet - they have runny noses but that’s par for the course now they’ve been back at nursery. No high temps or anything else suspect.

However, if they do show symptoms I have no idea how we would test them. They panic with me taking their temperature by any means - one had a procedure under GA a while ago to remove things he’d put in his ears as no one could do it while he was awake, and they had to sedate him just to be able to take him blood pressure and temperature.

There is no physical way I or anyone else could swab them. They are non verbal and don’t understand words so I can’t explain it to them, they don’t understand social stories either yet.

If we physically cannot test and they show symptoms can we just isolate them for 14 days from when symptoms start? Has anyone been in this situation? What did you do?

OP’s posts: |
OpheliasCrayon Sun 25-Oct-20 09:50:12

That sounds a horrible proposition! I'm an SEN teacher so understand how this would be next to impossible. I believe yes you can just isolate rather than test.

Irre247 Sun 25-Oct-20 09:51:12

I wouldn’t test them, it sounds far too traumatic. Just isolate for 14 days from when you developed symptoms. If they get symptoms, it’s 14 days from then (I think!).

Spam88 Sun 25-Oct-20 09:52:50

In your situation I wouldn't test them and would just isolate. Presumably they're isolating at the moment due to your symptoms anyway, so if you are positive and they do come down with symptoms then they won't have been in contact with anyone for the 48 hours before anyway, so a test won't be needed for track and trace purposes.

Castiel07 Sun 25-Oct-20 09:54:41

Its hard, I have a 6 year old asd child

We have had to test him just doing the nose, had to restrain him was unpleasant not going to lie.
But it was seconds, and unfortunately if we all had to self isolate for 2 weeks each time we wouldn't get paid as work won't pay for children isolating and we couldn't afford to live.

Obviously if you have nothing like that to worry about I wouldn't test them.

Harryrotter Sun 25-Oct-20 09:55:05

For young children you can just do a nose swab. My special school advised to do it when the child is asleep. Will possibly wake up but the test is done by then.

planningaheadtoday Sun 25-Oct-20 10:03:39

Don't traumatise them. Isolate instead.

They don't have to take a test.

cansu Sun 25-Oct-20 10:06:47

Nose swap sounds like the best idea. Plus invest in one of those temp scanners. Yes you can just isolate although it could potentially mean lots of time off school or nursery.

Sonnenscheins Sun 25-Oct-20 10:09:15

I'd isolate rather than test them.

SinkGirl Sun 25-Oct-20 10:34:14

Thanks everyone - we both work from home so we can isolate if needed, although they are due to start at their specialist school in about 3 weeks, and it may not be a good idea to keep them off for two weeks every time they get a bug that comes with a temp... so I guess I need a plan.

I definitely won’t be testing them on this occasion as we can SI for two weeks if they get symptoms but probably good to prep for the future.

So for those who just did nose swabs, was that at a testing centre or with the home test kit?

They just had their flu nasal spray last week and it wasn’t pleasant but we managed to get it done as it was quick so we could probably do a nasal swab - doing it when they are asleep is a good idea.

We have one of the forehead scanner thermometers now which takes less than 2 seconds to read and even that I need DH to hold them and keep their arms out of the way as they will push me away - poor guys just don’t know what we are doing and why so I’m not surprised they get anxious, I wouldn’t like it either!

OP’s posts: |
Sockwomble Sun 25-Oct-20 10:42:11

I've been training mine with cotton buds and chocolate. He is too big to hold down to do it and 14 days indoors would be horrendous. He is used to nasal sprays which has made it easier.

Sockwomble Sun 25-Oct-20 10:43:45

I'm not attempting the throat swab and would definitely be home testing.

x2boys Sun 25-Oct-20 10:48:22

I have the same concerns ,my son is 10 and has severe autism and learning disabilities,and is non verbal ,I think we would have to hold him down 😭,the good news is he's been back in his Sen school for half a term and not had to self isolate yet and we are in tier three so fingers crossed it continues .

SinkGirl Sun 25-Oct-20 10:49:50

That’s a good idea - maybe I’ll try a cotton bud for some practice and some raisins (they’re the only children in the world who don’t like chocolate 😂). I really don’t want to do anything to make them feel unsafe with us - there have been a few occasions where I’ve had to hold them down for blood tests and similar when they were smaller and I’ve said I’m never doing it again, hence the recent sedative and GA for ear evacuation!

Thanks everyone, really appreciate the understanding. Some people really don’t get it! If they have symptoms and we can’t do a test then we will obviously self isolate but after a year of legal battles to get them into school I don’t want them to have to keep taking weeks at a time off if I can find a way to test them without traumatising them.

OP’s posts: |
Soontobe60 Sun 25-Oct-20 10:51:35

It was bad enough testing my 2 yr old grandchild, I can’t imagine how you’d test your twins! As you’ve suggested, if they show symptoms self isolate for 2 weeks rather than test them.

eurochick Sun 25-Oct-20 11:03:40

We had to test our NT 6 year old and it was awful. One of us had to hold her down while the other swabbed her nose. There was no way we could have done her throat.

SinkGirl Sun 25-Oct-20 11:07:04

No, I don’t even know how I’ll do my own throat 🤢

The twins ENT wanted me to try and take a photo of the back of DT1’s throat during lockdown - never laughed so hard in my life. Also wanted us to administer steroid nasal spray for 6 weeks, probably actually got it up his nose twice!

OP’s posts: |
Sb2012 Sun 25-Oct-20 11:07:52

I have a nephew who is 3 but not autistic (well not that he’s ever been tested or diagnosed for it) My sister isolated him for 14 days as there is no way she could get him to take the test! As soon as she tried to swab him he bit the swab and had a massive tantrum and just wouldn’t let her. It’s ok to isolate if your children won’t take the test.

FlyLight Sun 25-Oct-20 11:13:15

I've just taken a test and had to do nose only as I just couldn't do my throat. I have such a strong gag reflex I couldn't get anywhere near my tonsils and was worried I was going to throw up all over the table! The people at the test site aren't allowed to help. They said both nostrils would be fine, it might just be slightly less sensitive

OpheliasCrayon Sun 25-Oct-20 11:17:55

SinkGirl

Thanks everyone - we both work from home so we can isolate if needed, although they are due to start at their specialist school in about 3 weeks, and it may not be a good idea to keep them off for two weeks every time they get a bug that comes with a temp... so I guess I need a plan.

I definitely won’t be testing them on this occasion as we can SI for two weeks if they get symptoms but probably good to prep for the future.

So for those who just did nose swabs, was that at a testing centre or with the home test kit?

They just had their flu nasal spray last week and it wasn’t pleasant but we managed to get it done as it was quick so we could probably do a nasal swab - doing it when they are asleep is a good idea.

We have one of the forehead scanner thermometers now which takes less than 2 seconds to read and even that I need DH to hold them and keep their arms out of the way as they will push me away - poor guys just don’t know what we are doing and why so I’m not surprised they get anxious, I wouldn’t like it either!

From someone who teaches in an SEN school (and has taught in a fair few over the years). Honestly - we'd love your children to be here with us whenever they can be but, we wouldn't be telling you you're doing wrong if you genuinely cannot test them.

Don't beat yourself up about it. We'll be here for your kids for as long as they're on our roll and if you can't get them in because you didn't want to do that for them we won't be annoyed! If they were in my class I would be making sure they had activities and support at home. Don't forget we have very small classes and we plan for each child individually anyway, covid or not. So we are set up to give your kids their work at home as we would have always planned for every child in the class anyhow.

I am very sure your new school will work with you, so go easy on yourself. If you can't test you can't test.

Hitmonlee Sun 25-Oct-20 11:45:17

I’ve got an autistic child who can barely tolerate his hair being cut let alone a test.

He developed a cough when he went back to school in September. I’m pretty sure it was allergy related as the council were cutting everything around our area and it disappeared with an antihistamine. But because I couldn’t test him I just kept him home for 10 days from the first day he had a cough.
He’s at a specialist school and they completely understand that often the test isn’t possible to do.

Hitmonlee Sun 25-Oct-20 11:45:37

I’ve got an autistic child who can barely tolerate his hair being cut let alone a test.

He developed a cough when he went back to school in September. I’m pretty sure it was allergy related as the council were cutting everything around our area and it disappeared with an antihistamine. But because I couldn’t test him I just kept him home for 10 days from the first day he had a cough.
He’s at a specialist school and they completely understand that often the test isn’t possible to do.

x2boys Sun 25-Oct-20 11:49:04

If it makes you feel any better @SinkGirl sometimes I have to administer suppositorys and enemas to my son he has long standing constipation problem,s and refuses oral medication ,it's horrible and traumatic for us both but ,it doesn't make him fear me once it's done he's back to his cuddly affection self .

x2boys Sun 25-Oct-20 11:52:55

Genuine question @OpheliasCrayon how does it work in terms of bubbles if a child self isolated instead of testing ,my son is at a SEN school and they have created bubbles linked to school transport ,if a child with symptoms cannot be tested due to their ,will the school have to assume the child is positive and the bubble have to self isolate?

x2boys Sun 25-Oct-20 11:55:19

Due to their needs *

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