Autism, Regression and My Littlest Angel



Of our 3 boys on the spectrum, Emmett,  our 3 year old is the most profoundly affected by #Autism. He is considered pre-verbal as he has developed some language and speech skills.

However,  despite the great strides he has made in the last year or so,  he is still severely speech and language delayed. It’s really easy for me to forget just how much he struggles with communication because we are so used to it that we are able to decipher a lot of what he is trying to say.

Having said that,  it’s an immediate crash back to reality when I see Emmett with a neurotypical peer.  The difference in speech and language is undeniable,  especially when it comes to expressive language.

I haven’t written about this because in some weird, irrational way,  I thought by  not writing about it, it would be less real.  If that even makes sense.

At Emmett’s last session with Dr.  Pattie,  the discussion centered around how Emmett is showing more and more Autistic traits as time goes on. He has,  over time,  become extremely sensitive to things like imperfections in a sucker or water on his shoes. He has become a perfectionist and an extreme one at that.

It’s gotten to the point where we will have a 45 minute meltdown over a slight imperfection in a chicken nugget that he is only going to chew up anyway.

We have also noticed that he is using less and less speech as time goes on.  We are always working with him and I do my best to incorporate him into many of my daily tasks,  if for no other reason than to work on conversational skills. We always make him use his words but anymore,  we hear more screaming than anything else.

What literally terrifies me,  is that he is approaching the age that Gavin began to regress. That doesn’t mean it will happen to him but it already seems to be happening,  just not as rapidly as Gavin did. There is always a part of me that will fear this.

When you lose a child to the regressive form of Autism,  that sticks with you for the rest of your life. When your other kids approach that same age,  you worry.
I truly hope and pray that Emmett is just in a phase and that we will pick up and continue to move forward.

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

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Posted from WordPress for Android so please forgive the typos. Auto-correct and I don’t get along very well.

7 comments

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    • Julia on February 24, 2012 at 1:39 am
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    I would interpret Emmett's increased sensitivity to things as an indication of higher anxiety levels. When you think about all the changes he's been through, starting school, stopping again, losing the van, his fever cycles…he may see food as a comfort (chewing is neurologically calming) and something he relies on to be consistent in his life. When things look different, he's lost control of ANOTHER thing and it's the straw that breaks his back if you like. I would also describe this, not as autistic traits, but as a change in his visual processing and subsequently his emotional regulation. With a defensive nervous system, Emmett's already highly strung and it won't take much to tip him over.
    Sorry for the essay! 🙂

    1. Thanks Julia. Your advice and perception are always welcome, even in essay form 🙂

      You may once again be right. It\’s so tough to tell what\’s going on when the water is always so muddy. I hope all is well with you.

    • Jodi on February 23, 2012 at 8:35 pm
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    Often when a child finds more and more things to be more picky and particular about things it is a try to control the environment.
    Often once they start it with one thing it will just continue from one thing to another. In an attempt to control everything.
    I have worked with a child who tries for that control In everything. And when she gets an inch she wiill take a mile. It's hard to fight it at beginning as the tantrums are big. And she is bigger then us but we Have to fight them. As they will continued. And become a danger to other childen as she will knock them down as well.
    It's a hard battle but sometimes battling the little things help battle the bigger things.
    Though I know this is harder for you guys with you kids we have 3 adults and 6 kids. And only school hours. Good luck.
    Ps that video you posted of him when his "cinnimon bin" was taken by dog he had some good language there. He was able to get his point across. Good work for a child you were told would never talk.

    1. Amen to that Jodi. You made some very interesting points. Thanks 🙂

    • Cheri on February 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm
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    I can't even imagine having to go through that. Our boys will have slight periodic regressions in certain areas, but we haven't had to experience a full regression. I really love your blog. I love that someone else out there deals with things with bluntness, humor and sarcasm.

    1. Thanks. I figured that sugar coating things doesn\’t so anyone any good.

      Thank you for the support and stay strong. 🙂

    • JoL on February 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm
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    Have you tried sign language with him? Alec will still sometimes revert back to sign language, even though he is verbal, when he gets frustrated.

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