Life with autism in the home is hard for everyone involved. When the child has autism, the family automatically becomes an autism family. It is the same loving family of other families, it just has its own way of making it through some events, ways of learning together, growing together, helping each other. We are all trying to learn how to read each other and do what the other needs-sometimes without any verbal communication. One of THE HARDEST things to deal with is regression. I just continually find myself saying, “but he USED to!”
People remember the sleep regressions their child had. If someone even says “sleep regression,” you can see parent shudder and since like the pain of it all comes back like a bright light flashing. Now imagine that feeling times pretty much every area of development.
Nolan had language. Words to meet needs, sentences, laughing at a show-repeating favorite parts, words with out instructions to use them. Then he regressed. It’s drastically different today than it was a year ago.
Academics. Nolan is smart. Last year he was spelling his name, counting to 13, starting to have 1:1 correspondence with his counting, watched how things worked, all his animals and their sounds, asked for help, etc. Now we can maybe get those out of him with a TON of prompting (read bribing with treats). It is super hard, and, again a whole different picture than a year ago.
Playing with toys. Holy cow this is the hardest. As a teacher in an early childhood classroom it was my job to teach through play. I really felt we had this down pat. Nolan would go through assessments and testers ALWAYS commented how well he played and how long he played. That has since gone away. Nolan does not play with toys and I find myself in tears. How do I teach Nolan through play if he wont play? All I want in the world is to take that thing he loves and work with that/use that to foster love and excitement and learning.
This smart, sweet, amazing little boy has so much foundation. He is smart, we see these amazing glimmers every now and then. I know that Nolan isn’t “trapped in there waiting to get out,” but I do feel like a lot of knowledge he has is in there. We see bits and pieces come out in the most unique (and adorable) ways. I think we have to help Nolan figure out how to take what is in his head (we believe there is A TON going on in there that isn’t shared with us yet) and get it out to the world/us to enjoy.
We currently feel that most of his hurdles are based on his language. We have begun the process in adding private speech therapy to his already busy schedule to help. I am hoping since he had a foundation in language that with some therapy, training, and retraining the brain it will help him to use his language. I honestly can’t tell you if it will work but at this point in our journey we are reaching out at every thing that could POSSIBLY help and running with it.