#Autism: Worries of regression

I live in constant fear of my kids regressing. I experienced that horror with Gavin when he was about 4 years old. Over the years,  Gavin continues to regress. Out of nowhere,  he would lose a skill he had already mastered but would usually gain it back or was able to relearn it.

However,  anymore,  Gavin just loses the skill and simply doesn’t recover.

With that being said,  I extremely worried about Emmett because he’s at the same age that we lost Gavin and he seems to be slipping.

This is just the latest example of Emmett regressing.  Emmett has been completely potty trained for quite some time now.  However,  until about 6 months ago,  Emmett wouldn’t have to strip naked to go potty.  He moved past that and we haven’t repeated that behavior until recently.

Once again,  Emmett must strip all of his clothes off before going potty. Maybe this is just a weird phase and nothing to worry about. However, the general consensus is that he’s losing traction and slipping backwards.

His behaviors are regressing as well.  He is once again biting and becoming very aggressive,  even with Bella.

As much as I try not to assume anything,  it’s really hard not to be terrified at this point. But like I said earlier, it could be nothing more than a weird phase. Somehow,  I don’t find that very comforting.


**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

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Posted from WordPress for Android so please forgive any typos as auto-correct and I don’t see eye to eye. 🙂

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Hi Rob, maybe it would help to focus on the differences in Gavin and Emmett’s development. Emmett has always been delayed so it’s unlikely his autism would progress in a similar way to Gavin’s. From a clinical stand point, we often find that our kids will lose skills or regress slightly when they’ve acquired a new skill or during times of stress. It could affect their speech or independence skills. Emmett’s been pretty unwell the last month or so and is also not attending therapies at the moment so that’s another change in his routine. My suggestion would be that he may benefit from a bit more structure or routine and/or upping his deep pressure/ heavy body work. Make obstacle courses out of couch cushions, crawling under, climbing under. Give him ‘stations’ in a circuit, number them so he can follow the sequence. Another great one would be to take the dogs for a walk..counts for your fitness goal too 🙂

Apologies for the essay, let me know if you want more ideas!


Thanks Julia. Great advice, as usual 🙂


I understand how terrifying this can be, especially when it "seems" like something insignificant, or we're told not to worry. While Daniel hasn't shown regression, it is still, STILL always on my mind…I think parents of typical kids don't fully understand how each step forward is a miracle for us, for our kids and how we treasure that progress above anything else. No milestone, no mastery, no attempt is taken is taken for granted. We notice *everything," for good, or for bad. It is rather the same with regression, except that we don't have the luxury of saying "oh…it's a phase…" We don't know. And because we are who we are, and our children are who they are, we assume that we are moving back and thus, losing our miracles. And we remember how that was. And we know how grateful we were to get past that place, so to move backwards…my God.
That said, Emmet is not Gavin. I know you know this in the logical part of your Daddy Heart. "If you've met one autistic kid , you've met one autistic kid." (Greenspan). You know more now (for good and for bad), and you have more resources, AND he's got a different set of genes.
My mother recently passed after a long and horrific kind of dementia (Pick's Disease). The hallmark of this rare dementia is that it is an early onset FTD that strips the person entirely of learned responses, beginning with executive function and ending with sucking. Talk about regression…Jesus. She lost her social filters and her moral filters very early on, even before we fully understood her diagnosis. It was absurd, no, it was obscenely absurd. I tell you this, not to "top" you, but because I understand your anxiety about this, even though it is with your son.
As always, I have no wisdom, just my words…keep watch, and if nothing else, you're better at it than you were with Gavin. You've been there and done that and survived. At least you know that part.
Regards, Leslie
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