Continuing the yin and yang, ebb and flow of my life, last week was true to form. As I observe one of my baby birds taking flight and soaring, I see another struggling more and more each day. I feel like I’m on a train to nowhere, or maybe somewhere, but it feels like I’m never going to arrive.
Certainly we are thrilled, over the moon, beside ourselves, at the progress Charlie has made in his journey with autism–but his success actually made Jamie’s regression and issues seem all the more obvious.
I sat in the montessori classroom last week, watching as my child OWNED everything he did, and I was struck by the fact that his brother Jamie should be there, but wasn’t. Needs to be there, but can’t. He is well into being 3, and truly needs the structure and routine and social therapy of this school, but there’s no way in the world he’d be able to cope and function in the class. He can’t sit down and do an activity, he doesn’t look or answer when called, and he is anything but compliant. It made me realize that I need to start focusing in like a hawk on what treatment plan, albeit at home and on our own, we’re going to do with Jamie right now. I think we’ve been sliding by having him do a similar plan as his big brother, but it’s become obvious that it’s not right and it’s not what he needs.
He gets some OT, but it’s not enough. He’s been regressing in the potty area (used to be fully trained), and now we’re at our wits end with a pile of laundry and nothing to show for it (don’t take me on in a contest of How Many Times Sheets Have Been Washed In A Week, because you will totally lose, man).
The other concern I have is that there might be an additional thing going on with him than just (or “just”) being on the autism spectrum. Some kind of ADHD thing seems to be percolating and making him a dizzy mess. I don’t think it’s normal that he’s so hyper I need to give him some Diet Coke (::cringe::) to calm down.
I’m once again finding myself immersed in research and trying to find the right path. As with so many things, and especially autism, you can consult professionals all you want but in the end it’s your job to figure out what your child needs. Usually it’s a combination of therapies, parenting methods, philosophies, and a whole lot of prayer, that will combine synergistically to give you the results you need.
I guess I never got off the autism train, I only stepped off for a moment to look around, look back, and see how far we’ve come. Then I got right back on and continued the journey. Sometimes it feels like a runaway train, heaven knows I’m just figuring things out as I go along. But I do know two little boys who are looking to me to get them where they’re going. And that makes all the difference.