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ASD child struggling with anxiety after sickness episode

4 replies

TeaandHobnobs · 27/03/2023 11:47


Just wondering if anyone has some advice on this.

DS (10, ADHD/ASD) had a stomach bug a month or two ago, and was sick in the car coming home from school.
Following this, he also had a cold / sore throat that went on for about a month, and he got very stressed about how his throat felt, particularly because it made him feel unable to sing (which is his main hobby and really important to how he feels overall).

I noticed yesterday that his anxious cough / throat clearing (probably a stim) was back, which is always a sign he is feeling anxious / stressed. He told me that every time his throat feels a bit weird or tight, he has flashbacks to when he was sick in the car, and it makes him feel very anxious.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I might try to help him with this? It almost sounds like PTSD to me, which I know sounds ridiculous given how minor a thing it is (though clearly not at all minor to him!).

Thank you

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FloatingBean · 27/03/2023 12:00

I don’t have any advice, sorry, but I thought your mention of PTSD was interesting.

I have a DS with PTSD. He doesn’t have autism but has other complex needs and 2 siblings with autism. His psychiatrist told me that some with autism perceive things that others consider to part of everyday life/non traumatic as traumatic and it can trigger a PTSD type response or even PTSD itself.

TeaandHobnobs · 27/03/2023 18:19

Thanks @FloatingBean

I’ve had PTSD previously, and the way he described how he felt really sounded similar to me - I get what you mean, that their threshold of traumatic response is likely to be different.

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Whatafustercluck · 30/03/2023 09:57

The PTSD response sounds familiar, and in similar situations too. Dd banged her head in the dinner hall a few months back, she then went on to do gymnastics which she sat out due to her tummy feeling 'funny'. She came out of school and promptly threw up in the playground. She now gets tummy aches (anxiety) in the dinner hall where the knock on the head happened, gave up gymnastics and no longer talks about sickness. Last time she felt like she'd be sick she had a panic attack - full on shakes and everything.

TeaandHobnobs · 01/04/2023 21:37

Oh @Whatafustercluck, that sounds tough ☹️

DS’ sister has just announced she is feeling sick, and DS is freaking out big time 😢

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