Spring Break has just ended, and the all too common tell-tale of regression has set in. While these breaks are generally a time for fun, watching parts of your child disappear over time is heart breaking. Regression is usually characterized by when a seemingly normal developing child experiences loss of speech, learned tasks, and/or social skills. This is can be onset by a change in normal routine, environmental stress, or illness/fever. Over the years this change has become more obvious and easy to spot. For Olive this usually means loss of speech, loss of eye contact, becoming short tempered, uninterested, won't respond to her name, and prefers to be alone. This can sometimes go on for a week or more. Among that her ability to comfortably navigate through the school day becomes strained, leaving her visibly upset and and resistant.
After Winter break, it took 6 weeks for her to become comfortable transitioning between classes, and to get back in the swing of things.
These days I know are harder on her than it is on us. I'm so grateful for her wonderful teachers and therapist who are so caring, and put so much energy in helping her and others. When I sent Olive off to school this morning, I could tell she was kind of "off". None the less, she was really excited to go. What I didn't expect was to get a call from her school, saying she was having a really hard time. The nurse explained that she wasn't sick, but had been crying and not herself. And she informed me lunch didn't go smoothly, from a misunderstanding of what she got and what she thought she was getting chicken nuggets (the only time I don't pack her lunch). This of course ended in a melt downing the lunch room. She had tried to tell them what lunch she wanted in the cafeteria, but because of her delay in speech, she was misunderstood. And to make it worse no one knew why she was upset, so they called me. I instantly knew what happened when they explained the situation.
This is the first time this school year I've had to pick her up because of something Autism related. Even though everything was fine, I couldn't help but get choked up and cry. When I picked her up and talked to her teacher, she explained she really didn't seem herself today and was having a hard time going though the day. When we got outside Olive said, "I cried a lot today and I don't know why." I told her it was okay. And that I have bad days too. She then informed me that she didn't have a bad day, just a hard one. And she was right. I'm envious of her resilencey and perception.