Our youngest son has been poorly this week after having an asthma attack whilst waiting to be seen at the doctors. We were in the right place at the right time and he was quickly put on a nebuliser and his breathing stabilised. He has been given steroids in the form of 4 soluble tablets a day to be dissolved in a drink. I explained to the doctor that this could be tricky as he only drinks water or milk and he does not like different tastes and he will know it is not normal water. His sensory processing difficulties mean that he is very sensitive to all of his senses and has a very limited range of tastes that he will tolerate. It was explained how necessary it was that we got our son to take these tablets or he could end up in hospital, so we put on our thinking caps as to how we were going to achieve this. After an hour of him crying as he didn’t like the taste, I rang my mum and put her on speakerphone. She told our son that she had a magic telescope and could see the special drink he had to take to make him better. He kept looking to see where the telescope was through the phone but drank the medicine at the same time. It took 20 minutes of constant chat and encouragement but he drank it and was a different child within an hour of the medicine kicking in. He has to take it for 5 days and so far he is playing ball as he knows Nanny can see him with her magic telescope, plus he’s earning a ‘wow’ on his ‘wow chart’ for every dose he takes. Nanny has also promised him a toy when she sees him next week as an extra incentive. Without this, he would refuse to take the medicine once he feels better in himself, as in his eyes if he feels better there is no need to continue.
From our experience, ASD children see things in the here and now, and so struggle to understand the consequences of what would happen if they stop taking medicine midway through a course they have been prescribed. Our daughter went through this earlier in the year and the only way we could get her to take her antibiotics was to take her to the doctors and she sat in the room until she had taken her medicine. We have a very understanding GP!