The Autism Rollercoaster

Free Clip-art thanks to a Google search

    I always said my son was like a human rollercoaster: Up and Down and Up an Down and all over the place with his behavior, mood, actions, and autism. Fortunately, it has generally been a 1 step back 2 steps forward process, and I realize how blessed we are for that.

    Recent days have been no exception. To say our days have been difficult lately is an understatement, but we overcame as we always do. That is the main thing, to always remember that the bad will soon be only a memory, replaced by the good.

     I call his rollercoaster the good times and the bad/down times. If someone asks how he is and I say, "We are in a down time right now," they know exactly what I mean. It means that he's stimming (spinning, bouncing, running, shaking his head, banging his head, squealing....etc,) or he's having some other autism related issue. If I say, "We're in an upswing right now," then they understand he's acting pretty typical for a kid his age. There will be lengths of time when I get so worried and so concerned that he's regressing that I get myself worked into a tizzy trying to figure out the trigger. I scrutinize and analyze everything from his meals to his clothing. Then suddenly one day comes, he wakes up and he's progresses by leaps and bounds in just a week or so. This is how it has always been. For example, we spent YEARS trying to get him to speak, then one day he just wakes up and says, "I'm hungry. Let's go downstairs." After being non-verbal!

    My son isn't on his age level in some ways, but I know he will get there. He WILL meet all of his milestones, even if it takes him a little longer. This has always been our underlying moto. Better late than never, I suppose. He may not be able to tie his shoes, but he can build intricate road and track systems. He may not be writing award winning paragraphs, but he can read, AND understand what he's read, on a college level. He may not be doing long division, but he can convert miles to kilometers in his head. It is important, with all kids, to build up their strengths while always practicing their weaknesses to build those up. If all I did was focus on the things he's not yet able to do I would pass over all of the wonderful things he can do, and has mastered! We just have to stay on the rollercoaster long enough to get there.