The Best Method for Parents to Take Data 24/7

I know as both a parent of a child with autism as well as a medical professional and a behavioral analyst how confusing problem behaviors are in children with autism.

There are a lot of things going on, especially when your child is newly diagnosed or having unusual problem behaviors that involve potential medical complications.

I have found over the years that keeping a calendar separate for my son, Lucas, is the best way to keep track of problem behaviors, medical issues, doctor’s appointments, allergy shots, and any kind of medical treatment we’re going to try.

I have calendars dating back for years and I have graphs of problem behaviors for many, many years too. A lot of times, this has really helped us make strides to figure out if problem behaviors were related to medical conditions.

So Lucas, as I’ve told you in some of the other video blogs, in addition to having autism, intellectual disability, speech and language disorder, he also has a few medical diagnoses, including PANDAS or pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep, which I did a recent blog about. He also has an autonomic nervous system dysfunction which he’s takes medication to treat. So that autonomic nervous system dysfunction was causing Lucas to have problem behaviors related to being startled or having headaches and pain of any sort.

So, one of the ways I figured all this out… Which took me years and years, so I want to save you the time so that you’re not struggling as much as I did. I would recommend you get a calendar if you’re a parent of any child with any medical problem, or if you yourself have medical issues. Get a calendar. Don’t just jot down notes in a journal. It’ll be too hard to figure out. We use this calendar for his staff that comes in, too. We use a pencil to keep track of who’s watching him. Then we use a red pen to keep track of any medical issues. Problem behaviors, medicine, so I can look back here and I can see that on July 24th, he had agitation. He was given Motrin. I can see that he had a doctor appointment on the 18th of July. He had an allergy shot on July 20th. Because we have noticed, because of my data that headaches and problem behaviors tend to come up when he’s due for an allergy shot, for instance.

I can bring my calendar to the doctor’s appointment so that we can adjust medication, if needed. I can keep track right in my calendar if I’m trying any new supplements, or any new treatments. I’ve also had clients with kids with problem behaviors related to sleep. You can track their sleep, track when they put them to bed, how long it took to fall asleep, if they woke up in the middle of the night and if they tried any medication for sleeping.

There is so much you can do with a calendar, but mostly as a Registered Nurse, I would say if you or your child are having any medical problems, get a dedicated calendar for that child or for yourself and keep careful record because only you are going to be the detective needed to solve some of these issues.

My parting advice is to get a calendar and keep track. That will help you and your team help the child reach his fullest potential. Thanks and I’ll see you next week.