Imagine a pair of Cameron’s white baseball pants after a Sunday championship run which could include up to 3 games in one day. Got the visual? The color is no longer white but more of a burnt orange/ brown with grass stains typically on the knees from sliding and the back side typically has orange finger marks on the back pocket from where he wipes the sweat after each call and waiting on the pitch while he is catching.
When these pants come home, you have 2 choices. 1. Take them to a car wash and spray them to remove most of the soil before sticking them in the washing machine. 2. Take on the challenge with a bar of Fels-Naptha stain remover soap and put some muscle into removing these stains on your own. Typically I take on the #2 challenge and then have them soak in washer for about 30 minutes before the washing machine begins its cycle. After the cycle, I quickly open the washer to see the outcome (yes, it goes back to those small things matter most to me) and find myself giddy because I was able to get them as white as they were the Sunday morning before we left out for the ball field.
This is a normal weekly occurrence for these baseball pants. Got me thinking how Cody has these type of cycles too with his therapy but more on a monthly basis versus weekly basis. There are times I can get down or reminded of some behaviors that become concerning with our Amazing CR.
- Possible regression in his learning where he does things one week but the next week will not do at all.
- An outburst of behaviors like crying or frustrated that we have never seen before fearing they may get worse.
- The fact that regardless how many times we try over and over, we have a difficult time introducing new foods and you find that he eats the same meal over and over sampling something new everyday.
- The lack of sleep or night waking our little man has that happens often and becomes a concern that he is not getting enough rest between therapies.
- Lastly, the one that is really tough on me is the grinding of the teeth. The grind gets to a point it hurts me hearing and can only imagine the damage happening to his little teeth. You then replace his grinding with an oral sensory chew and he will chew on it as if he was cutting all 4 molars at once.
But through all these different cycles Cody experiences, comes progress too. Brad and I have told the therapists on several occasions that we have noticed a trend with these types of behaviors and it’s like a cycle he goes through. Not sure what truth there is to that with Autism but it is something we have witnessed several times. When some of these things I mentioned above start happening, it’s like it turns on a different piece of the brain and new learning occurs and we witness some great outcomes with his new vocalizations, imitations, etc. It’s quite amazing actually.
I won’t lie it’s also quite stressing on us all too. A few night s ago, I found myself crying uncontrollable and could not tell you the one thing that caused my sadness but soon realized trying to hold yourself together for long periods of time, there comes a time you have to break, release and re-balance yourself too. Similar to the cycles of a washing machine. Thank goodness during my weak moment brought me my husband to pull me through it. The last two days, Cody is no longer grinding his teeth, he is wearing 2 hats he would never allow you to even try to put on and last night he waved bye bye to one of his therapist from just hearing him say the words “bye bye” and not through imitation too. That is some really great receptive language progress that is all new!
My father in law would say when I would learn something new that I just made a new wrinkle in my brain and this is exactly what Cody has done too!
With every cycle you may have some rough patches, grass stains, regression and tears but you will also have some great things too.