No kid likes to get shots but typically, it’s an in the moment kinda thing. By that I mean, a kid is nervous but as soon as it’s over, they move on. Kids with Autism will be nervous and if you can actually get the shot done (because sometimes it ends up not being possible due to behavioral issues) it only continues to escalate afterwards. These kids can literally be traumatized by this and it can take anywhere from hours to even days for them to decompress. You can expect to face frequent meltdowns, sleep disturbances and other behavioral problems as this happens as well.
Then of course there’s the generalization that occurs. This means that because they got shots at the doctor this time, they assume that every subsequent time they go to the doctor they’ll be getting shots as well. That means they react to each subsequent appointment as if they’re going to get shots, even if they aren’t.
It takes forever to work through that. By the time we work through it, vaccines are due, starting the process all over again.
That said, we take this challenge on each and every time because it’s so important that they be protected from serious illness. The ends justify the means but it can be a very stressful, life disrupting, overwhelming and frustrating experience for all involved.
We go through this because Gavin has a compromised immune system and getting the flu shot keep us healthy but it also helps protect Gavin as well as those around us.
It helps to limit the spread of the flu in general and if everyone did their part, perhaps we could get through the flu season with fewer fatalities. Last flu season took the lives 80,000 people.
We knowingly put ourselves through this extremely challenging process every year because it’s the right thing to do. Our lives are already impossibly difficult on a good day and doing this makes things even worse for a period of time.
We’re doing our part to help keep you and your loved ones safe, please do your part to protect your own family as well as those around you who may be immunocompromised. The flu is not something to mess around with but we have to power to limit our chances of getting it.