Progress regression has been my biggest fear with Damien since he was first diagnosed. I often feel that we have this autism thing licked, and my son will be living on his own before too long. Then, something happens that makes me fear that Damien will be living with us forever.
Our most recent setback was in April of last year when Damien purposely put his arm on the burner of the stove top as a means of self-punishment. Damien had to be rushed to the emergency room to treat the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns on his right arm. As expected, a social worker arrived to the ER to evaluate Damien. Because of this one slip since he was 12 years of age, Damien is currently back on medications to control his impulses and anxiety. This is not the first time we have regressed, and I am sure it will not be the last.
When Damien was five is the first time that I remember witnessing significant regression in my son. He had started wetting himself two to three times a day, so we had to put him in training pants again. Damien had stopped sleeping through the night without wetting the bed. Then, I prayed that the bed wetting would be all of the regression we would to deal with, but as I fear it was not.
Damien had become clingy as an infant would. Sadly, I enjoyed the attention as it was not welcomed when he was an infant. Furthermore, Damien was beginning to forget a lot of things as well, such as his favorite song we have sung to him since birth. My heart was breaking. I was at a loss, but I still had a lot of hope and faith in him.
We made it fine through the five year old slip, and we have made through the hundreds of slips in-between there and now over the last 12 years. I know, though it is difficult watching my boy slip, that we will make it through this most recent slip. I really am beginning to think that we are already making it through this one.