What Regression Has Cost Us

My oldest son has forgotten how to take a bath. He does not turn off the water and the tub overflows every time he takes a bath now. I can no longer put him in the tub and then remain in earshot.  I have to turn off the water or go in and instruct him to do so. He had learned how to wash himself from start to finish just this year and I was working on teaching him proper drying and lotion. Now we have to start from earlier in the process and keep trying.

He has forgotten how to brush his teeth, he has been chewing on the brush and then swallowing the paste as if it were food. I floss his teeth and brush them for him again, especially now that he is complaining that his gums itch. Luckily I do not see any signs of gingivitis- I hope I can keep it that way.

On the bus last week his seatmate (yes, I did request he have assigned single seating on the bus- but the principal never sent a letter to the bus company to that effect) did not want to play a game my son had made up regarding Garfield and Odie and my son was very insistent. So the boy slapped my son, who then pummeled him into tears.

My son of course neglected to mention any of this to me, so the principal called. I have cut him off of his lifeline, the computer, for a number of days. I have also explained to my child that he may not use ¨self defense¨. I have been trying to teach him, for a year, to walk away or be quiet when someone states they are not interested or looks upset. He cannot recognize people, he cannot read faces, and I am at a loss on how to help him implement this most important skill.  He lacks the theory of mind required to understand that not everyone thinks Garfield is the coolest cat around. Of course I called the bus company, again.

I am beyond afraid that he will grow up to be a tall autistic man who insists on someone interacting with him in the way he expects them to. Mistaking someone for a dear friend and then pushing them to share a joke or a coffee or whatever. He would be jailed for that. He would terrify people.

If he keeps forgetting how to care for himself I had better set up a trust for him. If I had money to put in it I would be quicker to do so, but if he is going to need care all his life I had better plan for his needs as best I can. Regression is a contrary brat and I hate it. A few months ago none of this was an issue.

I don´t understand how his drawings of Garfield improve while his self care deteriorates.

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6 Comments

Filed under ADHD, ASD, Asperger's, Autism, Bully, Bullying, Child Abuse, Child Psychology, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Medication, ODD, PTSD, SIngle Parenting, Trauma, Uncategorized

6 responses to “What Regression Has Cost Us

  1. Wow. This is hard.

    I have worked with adults who have Asperger’s Syndrome and they are some of the most charming and difficult people I’ve ever met. I’ve observed that with people with psychiatric illnesses that they have increased creative output during periods of regression but I don’t know if this is true of people with Autism spectrum disorders.

    From personal experience I am never more creative than when I am falling apart.

    He’s lucky that to have a parent who can afford to consider a trust fund.

    The people I’ve worked with were in the public health system and thanks to cuts in funding their lives were much more difficult than they had to be.

    I wish you well and will keep you in my thoughts.

    • I am also in the public health system, and it is far more helpful to children than to adults. The only thing that makes any sort of trust possible is the yearly tax credit I receive for having children while working as head of household. So really it is his money. It won´t last him long, but it would maybe help him to buy a computer once every five years when his breaks. That is what is most important to him and is not available to people on SSI. I used to think he would need it for housekeeping, but now I know he would qualify for a PCA.
      I can tell you I have searched all over for stories about later regressions with those who are ASD and I did find one blog account where the older child did gain a skill somewhere and lose elsewhere- periodically. That could be what is happening. It happens to him with cumulative stress (school) in conjunction with obvious signs of anxiety, like chewing his clothing. So though he is being more creative lately (clay, chalk) I think it has more to do with being grounded from the computer or trying to alleviate his stress. Though I am very happy with his latest career plan of being a cartoonist.
      Thank you for reading and for sharing your experiences, your support helps me!

  2. I understand your concerns. They are so real and valid. I am so impressed at how well you have thought out his future living needs. The continued regressions can be so frustrating…3 steps forward, two steps back. I would love to see some of his drawings!

    • I really ought to put his Garfields up, you are so right! There was an act passed in 2014, the ABLE act, that allows trusts to be created for the disabled that does not infringe upon their benefits. It allows for services (cleaning!) or items (clothing!) to be purchased that SSI does not make allowances for.

  3. Thank you for following me on aspiblog 🙂

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