Relapses Happen

As with all growth, there are times of breakthroughs and there are times of relapses. The same is true with autism and an autistic child.
Recently, Tyler has had some moments of great growth. We varied our route at the zoo with success, he has asked a couple of “What” questions, and he has even kissed both myself and Benny when asked to.
A lot has been going on in our lives and it has been a rough couple of months. Benny, my husband and Tyler’s Dadda, had major shoulder reconstruction and has been on disability leave. He is finally back at work after 7 weeks, but he still can’t play with the boys like they are used to and our money situation really limits what we can and can’t do with the boys right now. Additionally, work is very stressful for both of us right now. Tyler has new therapists for the summer and is going fewer hours because we just got the new diagnosis report in the mail last Friday so we haven’t had the medical backing to receive more until this week.
With that said, I shouldn’t be surprised that Tyler seems to be having a harder and harder time lately. He is not handling situations that he might have been able to handle earlier. He becomes tired very easily and has a lot more emotional breakdowns. Potty training is non-existent when just a couple of weeks ago he was showing signs of real interest in it. Socks have to be put on perfectly. He can’t even handle the stimulus of playing outside for more than a few minutes.
He is starting a full-time 4-year-old program with the school district’s special education program in one month and we haven’t even gotten him potty trained! Is it wrong that I don’t want Tyler to be considered the Stinky Boy? What if the other kids are mean to him?! And if public school doesn’t work out? Again…ARGH!!!!!
Maybe this is a blessing. Maybe we are getting this bump in the road out of the way now instead of later when he is in school. Maybe by Aug 18th, this will be behind us. Maybe it is good we find out a year early that public school isn’t right for Tyler.
So many questions with so few answers. As much as I need to plan everything, life is lived in the moment. Add kids into the mix, and all you can do is hang on for the ride. Add an autistic child into the mix, and you are holding onto him with one arm and your handhold by fingertips.
The lows are low, but the highs, the breakthroughs, are worth every fear and tear that comes with being a mother. Right now we are in a low, but we have been here before. We will be here again. Until this low has passed, we will focus on our family and what is best for our kids. God grant us the wisdom to know what that is.
For an opportunity to contribute to helping families like ours living with autism, please go to to contribute to Autism Speaks and support my 5K Walk this October. Thank you!

(C) Rachel Flinchum 7/7/2013


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