Like most people, Martin is not his best self when sick. Some research shows that autistic kids act asymptomatic when they have high fevers. Kids who can only say single words burst out in full sentences, such as, “These sheets are really soft.” It’s mind boggling for parents. Researchers, too, have no explanation for the phenomenon. Apparently, Martin’s fever was not high enough. He simply demanded his own way and refused to listen even more than usual. I guess low fevers could be said to heighten the symptoms, at least in our household.
When Martin refuses to listen and acts willfully in bad ways (like today when he took his tricycle and rode it down the sidewalk until the mailman found him), I’m ready to throw in the towel. I simply do not know how to make him listen or get him to cooperate or help him avoid danger. Most days aren’t like this. Most days involve a combination of listening and not listening, good and bad behavior. But today was all bad. Bad bad bad.
Until bedtime. Martin asked me to lay down by him and sing a song. Then we talked about how he had a hard day and that it was hard because he had trouble listening. I asked him if he’d like to have a better day tomorrow. “Yes, I do want a better day,” he said.
We’ll see what happens.