You may have noted that the posts are getting less detailed. I am trying to catch up to real time, so that I can deal with the day to day. I may focus on the more significant issues over 2014 and early 2015, but 2013 was a relatively quiet and good year.
After our Disney trip, October was relatively quiet. Mickey got to trick or treat and was a Knight to Minnie’s Rapunzel. We did pumpkin patches, played in leaves attended fall festivals. It was a time with my kids like I had always dreamed it would be. Our lives felt normal and uncomplicated. Yes, Mickey was still challenging and there were certainly days that were better than others, but on the whole, it was fine. We had cut therapy down to 2 days a week – 1 individual and 1 family therapist. Minnie was doing great at Kindergarten. Mickey was becoming a serious reader. Both kids adored a bookstore and we spent many a weekend in the library, when we weren’t busy at Nutcracker rehearsals for Minnie or doing fall activities.
That may explain why I was completely unprepared for the extreme backsliding that was coming my way. November started with gradual issues – more bad days, more trouble at school, etc. Home was fairly steady, but school and daycare were starting to report more and more problems. This slide continued toward Christmas. On November 7th, we were rocked by the loss of our 15 year old cat. This was hard for me, terribly sad for Minnie and earth shattering for Mickey. What we learned is that sadness, fear or anxiety always manifests as behaviors where Mickey is concerned.
By December I was getting called almost daily from the school. A good day became the rare day. I was panicked. Part of me hoped it was just his seasonal behaviors, related to disrupted schedules, part of me feared going back to a time of fearing my son and fearing for him. We had such a brief window of smooth sailing, but I had been hopeful that the worst was over.
I should note here, that Mickey’s normal is not anywhere close to Minnie’s. I mean that he is still Autistic, he is still ODD, SPD and ADHD. His best day is still exhausting. But, I mean that he isn’t hurting people or melting down. He is fun and funny, he is singing and developing a very serious interest in music. He can go places and do things, with relatively minor accommodations on our part to deal with his sensory issues. I can make plans for us without fearing that he will not be able to leave the house when it is time to go. After 1.5 years of being virtual prisoners to his behaviors, we were starting to be “normal”.
Christmas came and went, and it wasn’t much fun for any of us. We did the traditions, but a dark cloud was hanging over us. Mickey was getting more and more out o control. He was bigger and meaner than before when he would lose his cool. His holiday behaviors didn’t go away heading into January. My heart was breaking and I was exhausted. Managing his behaviors was becoming a full time job, and I already had one of those. I was being pulled from it constantly for meetings with the school or the daycare, having to come and get him, etc. I was scared for my job, I was scared for my son and daughter and I was scared for our family.