Progression and regression: The ebb and flow of Autism

~Progression and regression: The ebb and flow of Autism~

Gavin is……driving me crazy. I know, short trip…..right? I don’t think people understand just how completely overwhelming Autism can actually be. Even kids with Aspergers are very challenging. Gavin has a whole lot more going on then most kids so the “challenging” part of raising him is compounded. Lately Gavin has really been struggling at least at home. Apparently he’s perfect at school…..don’t get me started on that. Gavin’s memory has become much like a slip’n slide. Thoughts, ideas and just about everything else he visually and verbally takes in just slips right back out never to be seen or heard from again. I’m acutely aware that this isn’t his fault but I’m human and it really gets old after a while.  

We are rapidly approaching the point where Gavin is literally unable to think for himself. I’m trying to be as patient as someone with 3 Autistic kids and chronically ill wife can be. I’m stronger then some but weaker then most. I’m SO tired of having to think for him. I try so hard to help him “do” for himself but it just doesn’t seem to take anymore. When I mention that Gavin is a very rare child this is one of the things I’m referring to. He goes through these periods of significant regression. The problem is that he doesn’t always regain the skills that were lost. We are in one of those periods right now and…it’s… a……doozy. Things that he could do a few weeks ago seem like impassable obstacles as of late.

He is becoming less aware of his surroundings and can’t remember things he could a few weeks ago. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have to repeat myself to him. I can’t even tell you how many times I have to repeat myself to him. I can’t even tell………… Oh…crap..sorry about that…force of habit.  Seriously though,  I think we are going to have to break out the visual cue cards again. Maybe this will help to foster some of the independence that has been lost. Things like washing his hands after using the bathroom used to be second nature but now rarely happen. He doesn’t even remember about his meds. He used to drive me nuts because he was CONSTANTLY reminding me he needed his meds. It used to be like clockwork but now he can’t remember he had them 5 minutes after getting them. I spoke with Dr. R about this earlier this week and part of this is likely the shift in medications so we are going to wait it out right now. Gavin will be closely monitored for any changes or continued regression and we won’t hesitate to call for help if necessary.

~How common is continued regression in Autism?~

Autism Speaks posted the preliminary findings of an ongoing study by Interactive Autism Network on regression (click the above lint). It really is an interesting read. We have struggled with regression since Gavin first regressed into Autism when he was 3 or 4 years old. I suggest that everyone involved with an Autistic person read this because it can help you to better understand the regression associated with Autism..

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VickysMama

So right there with you. My son is 16, has Aspergers and the teen years are extremely challenging. I always say it's like Groundhog Day in our house with him. What he understood today is gone tomorrow. Simple things. However, he is so high functioning and aware of his disabilities and abilities, it compounds the situations (not wanting to be babied or be told what to do, specifically, be told to do more than HE expects etc). So there's a tug of war going on between him and I. I'm married but my husband is the only one working. So he doesn't spend the full amount of time with our kids (3 w/disabilities, 2 of which have life threatening health concerns). Therefore, I'm the meany, the nag, the one that my son hates because I make him accountable. It's a struggle. I've followed your blog for a little while (mostly on Twitter). Thanks for this post. I don't feel like I'm the only one now. I'm really NOT crazy.

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