My son is one of the smartest people I know and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom (I think). From day one, I have always found myself thinking that my child was abnormally bright for his age. He knew his colors before other kids and he could remember people and places and he could even connect certain things together. For example, if I bought him a toy from a specific grocery store, the next time we would so much as pass by that same grocery store on the road, he would get all excited and tell me, “Mommy, that’s the store where we bought my green bunny rabbit!” For a 4 year old, I thought it was especially perceptive and observant of him to remember that experience from months before.
Maybe I thought so highly of my son because he was my child, but I was fascinated with him and his little big brain.
However, despite all of these amazing things that my child knew and said and did, he also had some pretty big issues when it came to more simple things like remembering the order of the alphabet or numbers 1-10 and knowing how to dress himself. He also knew how to do things one day and then the next he didn’t, like potty training or brushing his teeth. He would get so close to being fully potty trained one day and then the next day he would wake up and be wetting his diaper all day with no attempt to use the toilet. It was almost as if when he went to sleep, his memory was erased and he woke up with no recollection of the progress we had made from the previous days.
Some days were better than others and sometimes he wouldn’t forget everything all at once. Or maybe he would forget something and then re remember it the next day. I felt as if everyday was a hit or miss with him for a while and it was so frustrating because I kept thinking to myself that he was so smart, he must just be doing these things on purpose.
After we got his ASD diagnosis, I learned about regression and realized that my son wasn’t doing these things on purpose, but I feel like I’ve never truly learned how to really help him through these boughts of regression, rather just how to trudge along through them until they eventually fade away.
For example, my son was recently learning how to potty train through the night (he has been potty trained through the day for a while now) and he was doing well for a while and suddenly he can’t get through the night without an accident anymore. I know he will eventually overcome the regression, but it must be frustrating for him and it’s upsetting for me that I don’t know a better way to help him. All I can hope is that he learns patience and perseverance through these times. I am confident that he will.