Saturday, April 25, 2009

Surviving the Regression (or, The Storm Before the Calm)

These episodes seem to sneak up on me quietly, in the night almost, making me feel like I've been hit over the head with a 2x4 and thrown right back into the black hole days of the early autism years.

From time to time, Boo seems to regress - not so much in skills, but in behavior. We are all too clearly in one such phase right now and it's always a little difficult for me to cope with. My strategy is to keep telling myself that we usually see some leap forward out of all of these regressions, and that's usually what keeps me hangin' on.

It's a phase with much more repetitive noise from Boo than usual (and I've learned that I have a very low tolerance for repetitive noise). Almost constant talking in a very high-pitched, glass-shattering, mega-decibel voice. Frustration at the slightest thing that doesn't go his way or when he is merely corrected about something. A complete inability to listen. Solitary play that is met with outbursts if I even dare try to join in, as we spent hours doing through floortime. An increase in the usual obsession with time. Sleep quirkiness. ("I'm going to sleep from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m.," and then somehow, as if by saying it makes it so, his little body becomes hard-wired to greet the day at 4 a.m. Thankfully, he does remain very quiet at this wee hour, content to read, write, or play a computer game.)

All we can really do is muddle through. Point out to his teacher when she emails about his behaviors that yes, he's still on the autism spectrum and special ed services might actually be helpful with this. (Oh, but that's right ... silly me, I forgot, we're not autistic enough for services. We became less autistic when we moved here and crossed the state line. That's a whole 'nother post.) Try and give the before/after school provider some tips on what helps, knowing that it depends on the day, the weather, the color shirt Boo's wearing.

I know that this is nothing compared to what others are going through and have gone through, and I feel almost guilty posting this as it seems complaining and pity-partying (but hey, it's my blog and I'll whine on occasion if I want to). It's my way of holding on, of trying to cope with feeling like I will have a 2 year old forever, of being able to look back in a couple weeks or so and say a-ha, that's what all that was about. The storm before the calm.


Niksmom said...

Sorry to hear you're going through a stormy period. Is ti possible the drastic weather changes could be contributing? Nik gets funny when it gets weird like this.

As for this: "...I forgot, we're not autistic enough for services. We became less autistic when we moved here and crossed the state line." Man, oh, man do I hear you! Talked to some parents from a neighboring state yesterday (at Sesame Place). What an eye opener!

When Niksdad told them our situation with school they were incredulous at how little we have available to us. Yet, how is it that the state program here is held up as being so great??

softdrink said...

My cousin's son has autism, but I still know squat about it. I do know that she has similar struggles, with the regression and the schools...although why I'm telling you this I don't know. Probably because I don't know what to say, other than I feel bad I don't know what to say.

It's your blog, and you can post whatever you want or need to! I guess I just want you to know that I read the post and am thinking of you. :-/

Book Dragon said...

I don't have the same problems/challenges you do but I'll share my cheese and we can whine together.

Dani G said...

Ok, I've been poking around since you commented on my "five" post. Never have I thought of it as the storm before the calm, but IT IS!! I've only experienced it in the last year because we never had regressions before, but there HAS always been a leap after... the calm. My trouble is, the leap comes slightly after I've already gotten myself worked up: why is this happening? Is it going to end? Will it get better? Is this the (gulp) ceiling?
Lately we have good days and bad days or good mornings and bad afternoons. The variability is crazy. I've been waiting on a leap for a long time now. Thank you for your eloquence.

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Dani, I hear you ... oh, my, do I hear you. Hope the storm clouds part for you soon.