Even though I am sick now with the flu the kids had last week, I cannot help but be a bit giddy. Amongst all this sickness is healing & miracles.
Autism, an UGLY & uninvited houseguest, whom first arrived 3 years ago now as it took away my then baby boy after his vaccinations. It was abrupt & an unkind descend into a private Hell no parent wants to visit. Within 2 weeks, S-bear lost all eye contact, stopped talking, stopped responding to language & withdrew into his own inner world.
His eldest sister was showing *signs*, but not catastrophic like S-bear's regression. Bella's biggest regression had yet to take her down & would ensue only half a year later. S-bear on the other hand was a shell of the toddler he had been in such a quick timeframe. I remember those days with a sick feeling in my stomach, because of the amount of pain it caused. I have never seen my husband so devastated & left wrecked & hopeless with grief; he told me he didn't know if S-bear would ever know how much he loved him & it was killing him.
Though S-bear is extremely smart & minimally verbal (since about 3 years of age)-- he has always been somewhat in another realm since that first regression. His audio processing has always been really lacking & he is a visual reader of situations in response, rather than by hearing to & processing language. He's made gentle progress, as we've have sifted through the quicksand of symptoms Autism gives us, but I have to say WOW-- now we're getting somewhere. Since treating a chronic yeast infection of his gut, his speech has skyrocketed. I challenge the docs who think there is no gut-brain connection with this example or even friggin alcohol for crying out loud!
I have to write this stuff down, so I can clearly remember as each child is always evolving & my brain is saturated. My prayer is that I'll write this, to one day rediscover what S-bear used to be like, having forgotten how lost he once was.
Autism is layers & we are slowly peeling back pieces here & there, careful not to go too fast, because that can cause damage too. S-bear has been shedding some significant layers in the past two months. He is speaking so well, in near full sentences & addressing me by name with social intent, seeking out his partner in crime (his twin), & swiftly telling us how is feeling ("I'm mad". is the latest.) He told me this morning, "Mom, how about a field trip? swimming?" I said, "Not today honey; you've got school today. Maybe next week you can go on a field trip." He was quiet for a couple seconds, then retorted "School to see Jessica (Ms. Jessica is his teacher)." I about flipped.
Again, some will read this & say big wow-- what's the big deal? It's perspective from where this child has come from. Imagine your child is deaf & cannot lipread, now you try to give verbal directions to him/her as they remain unaffected & non-responsive-- that's where S-bear has come from. That's why I'm so excited & amazed. Not only that, but the things he is expressing now verbally is correct-- he's referring to himself as I/my rather than his name in third person. It's all in there inside his head-- he's been soaking it up & we are finally seeing who he is inside.
This is called recovery. I'm grateful & will keep working to achieve degrees of recovery for each child. People that believe it's not possible are disillusioned. Autism is much like brain injury-- recovery is possible & individual for each patient, there's just no gaurantees & it takes a lot of work. Whenever I feel so saturated & spent, I envision the rays of sunshine inside each of my children trying to shine to the outside. I will never give up at trying to reach that light and their potential, & knowing who they are, b/c no matter how exhausted I am, they are moreso... no matter how stressed I am, so are they... recovering my babies is what I am to do now.
Even if they regress again, I will savor these victories if only in moments, hours or days & will try again. If it were your child what would you do?