Is Your Child Sick?

by ih-chi admin

We are still in the thick of flu season, and although the outbreak this year is not as severe as last, it’s still something you’ll want to watch out for if you have a special needs child.  Kids with special needs can develop very serious complications when their immunity is compromised-- even by a simple cold or case of the flu.

The most obvious way to know your child is coming down with something is when they tell you that they don’t feel well. But if your child is non-verbal, how do you know? Are they extra sleepy or fussy? Not eating?

You know your child best, so follow your gut if you feel that something is off with them and look out for these five clues that likely indicate illness:

1.  Vomiting or diarrhea

2.   Fever

3.   Difficulty breathing

4.   Extreme drowsiness or irritability

5.   Change in appetite

If any of these symptoms last more than 24 hours, see your physician right away. If your doctor suspects the flu, an antiviral medication can be prescribed to help lessen the effects—but only if taken immediately.

While your child is resting and recovering, remember to still keep whatever modes of communication they usually use at their disposable—such as letter boards or other electronic devices.

Neurologic conditions that may cause a child to be non-verbal include epilepsy, cerebral palsy, learning and developmental disorders, or traumatic brain injuries.

Child Neurology Consultants of Austin evaluates and treats children from birth through young adulthood with neurologic conditions throughout Central Texas. If you have concerns about your child and their risk of flu complications, please contact us for an appointment with one of our board-certified child neurologists.

(Adapted from