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 2×4 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.