Having a child with autism mean that you have a child who feels pain in different ways than most other children. At first glance, Zak would appear to have very developed social and communication skills. Yet, there are so many things that he does not understand; and so many levels that he does not communicate normally.
This past week he has been acting differently. I kept thinking something was wrong. His teacher kept saying that something just did not seem right. We continued to go through our normal week. He continued to do odd things. We continued to ask questions. "Are you in any pain?" "Does anything hurt?" He continued to assure us that he was fine. He even asked us to stop asking him all these questions!
Then on Wed the teacher told me that she thought it best if he went home. I asked if he was being bad. No, just different. I watched him at home that day. I agreed. Something was not right.
The doctor was called the next day. I figured it would not hurt if she took a look at him - even though he assured me that everything was fine.
The doctor asked questions. "Does your ear hurt?"
"No, my ear is fine!" Zak answered, not even looking at the doctor.
"Does your nose hurt?" the doctor probed
"No, it just feels like something is stuck up there."
I decided to mention here that he seems to grimace when he swallows his water. Zak interrupts me while I am talking.
"Wait just one minute! I have something to say. I have something to say here. Wait one minute!" The doctor assures him that she is listening. "I have something to say."
"I'm listening, Zak. What do you want to say."
"When the water goes down my throat it gets stuck. I can't get it to go down. Then my head is sore."
"So you have a headache?"
"No, my head is just sore."
She then proceeds to shine the light into his ear. "Does your ear hurt?"
"No!" he answers emphatically. Then as she touches his ear he pulls back and yells. "Be careful when you touch my ear. It is really really sore!"
"But you said it did not hurt."
"It doesn't hurt; it just really sore!"
Once again, I understand that so many times we speak the same words; but so often we are not speaking the same language. Sure enough he had an ear infection, a sinus infection and a throat infection. That would explain the odd behaviour for the past week.
Someday perhaps, we will speak the same language. I am so thankful that he understands the language of love. So I rub his hair while I put the drops into his ear. He does his odd little behaviours over and over. The doctors call these movements neurological tics; and Zak always seems to have these tics worsen when he is ill. Asks the same questions over and over; and I am thankful that God has given him to me to love and to teach me that love covers a multitude of behaviours and speaks louder and clearer than words. So I pray that God gives me a heart to love him; and God gives him a mind to comprehends how much he is loved.