I have said numerous times on here how autism is a rollercoaster ride. It is a constant up and down battle. Some days and some weeks are smooth and then the next few weeks could be a disaster. When one area seems to be in a "good" phase, sometimes it brings out the worst in other areas. It is part of the splintering affect with autism.
However, right now we are doing the best that we can. I have had a really hard time with Trenton's hyperactivity and impulsive behavior a few months ago. It was so bad that it was dangerous. Trenton's psychiatrist saw him a few weeks ago and like always, Trenton destroyed her office within one minute of being in there. She said, "Is he still like this all the time even with the medicine I put him on?"
I said, "Oh this is good. He is good right now."
She said, "You have no idea what good really is. He is a severe kiddo that has so much going through his body that he can't even calm down for one minute."
I said, "Oh I know. Trust me. But he is in a good phase for us."
She just couldn't believe it. But, we have been through so much that what is good for us is normally "not-good" to others. It just depends on your story.....
Anyway, all in all, we are at a fantastic place right now and have been for a few months. Overall, Trenton has slept the best he has ever slept since December. Sure he still has his nights where he gets up at 2 AM for the day. His average wake up time in the morning is 4 AM but it is wonderful for us! WONDERFUL! I will take a 2 or 4 AM start to our day over the H-E-L-L that I went through his first 5 years of his life. ( Every night he would go sleep on average around 10 and be up at midnight and go back to sleep around 5 AM) Wow...I have no idea looking back how I did it....I literally went on 1-2 hours of sleep every single night and drove to Olney and Effingham daily for therapy. But, I didn't give myself a choice...I pushed through it for the boys. So, let's pray that the decent, best ever sleep that Trenton has done in his life still sticks around!! Seriously, I love my 4-5 hours that I am getting!! Now that I just said that, we will have a really bad night. LOL!
Another, area that has greatly improved is potty training. Potty training was going great around November last year. It started to take a nose dive in the wrong direction in December. It was TERRIBLE come January of this year. Remind you, I have been potty training Trenton for 14 months now. I have my theories of what went wrong last December/January. Another role in his potty training that helped make it go wrong was the changes that happened in our house.
A neurotypical child who is potty training will regress during big changes in their life from what I have been told. This all happened around the time my ex-husband left. Even though I have always been the primary care taker of the boys, I believe this had a negative impact on Trenton and his potty training. Trenton's anxiety became at a new high during this time. Trenton would not let me out of his sight for the months to follow. He wanted me right by him all the time. He would cry if I just walked out of the room. Trenton would tell me to, "stay" while holding my hand. I seeked help to try to figure out the situation and the therapist agreed with my therapy that Trenton was having anxiety issues and afraid that I was leaving next. I am "his person". I am the one that he leans on and I know exactly what he wants by the slightest sound that he makes. Much more on this but I won't discuss...long story short....I have literally sweat with actual sweat running down my body from January to April trying to potty train Trenton. I have cried from January to April with Trenton during his potty training problems and anxiety problems. It has been extremely hard. Words can't express how hard it has been while taking care of another child and their challenges. But, I didn't give up. I kept researching, talking to his team at Harsha Cognitive Center, and we came up with a new idea with his potty training. It was pretty much the last resort. I spent lots of money to make it happen and it worked!!!!!!!! So far anyway!! I implemented it all in April...I believe I did a post back in April on this...and we are doing great at this point:)
Trenton is doing the best he has ever done with potty training for me at home consistently!!! Lets hope and pray that it continues. Potty training has been one of the hardest things for me to accomplish with Trenton and we are still not close to accomplishing it. (Much more different steps to follow with a child with autism) However, we are making progress and I am beyond elated!!!
All in all, between sleep and potty training, we are at a really good place in our lives. We have many challenges daily and always will. However, the strict, consistent night time routine that I do with the boys has had a huge impact on the way they sleep. Since it is just me at home with the boys, I have implemented it daily and we are doing awesome!! Consistency is the key in helping children like my boys!!
Consistency is the key with autism!
Of course, things can change and Trenton's sleep could go south again. Autism is a mystery and his sleep has always been one of them. Potty training could go wrong too. The slightest bit of anything can throw Trenton off course....which is why I am very picky about what kind of stimulation, etc the boys receive. Just another reason why families like ours are trapped in our home...we do it for the sake of our kids and their progress. We have to!