Friday, October 21, 2005

Independence v. Health...Skin Care...More Adapting

Prior to the medication reaction which brought out more severe Autistic symptoms Billy Ray used to be fairly independent in his bathing. After he changed he needed more assistance but I worked hard to help him have as much independence and privacy as he could.

With puberty Billy Ray developed more body hair and experienced substantial folliculitis (infections in the hair follicles similar to an ingrown hair). For some people this might not be serious. In children who experience Down Syndrome and other diagnoses which affect the immune system this can be a life threatening infection if not caught early and treated.

It seemed important to be more involved in Billy Ray's hygiene so that we could detect these infections immediately. I began doing more of his bath for him and a regime of skin care (you can read the details on my website at This regime has substantially reduced the outbreaks and the need for antibiotics which have affected his stomach.

It is always best to allow your child to have the highest degree of independence possible. In making this decision to be more involved in his hygiene the factor considered were the risk of scratching and getting the germs we all have on our skin into his blood stream (a potentially fatal situation) versus his need for total independence. Fortunately Billy Ray enjoys this extra help. Some children would resist and fight it. If that were the case further consideration would need to be applied to the decision.

Until tomorrow... keep adapting,

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