October 18, 2009

Regression Rewind, Forgetting Abilities and other Autism Oddities

Yesterday I watched the last 1/2 hour of Molly on television.  For those of you unfamiliar with this movie; it stars Elisabeth Shue as a twenty-something girl with autism. Her brother, Aaron Eckhart takes her from an institution so she can receive an experimental surgery to cure her autism.

I'm glad I only watched the last 1/2 hour because in five minutes I was already tearing up. I would have been a total wreck had I watched the whole thing.
SIDEBAR***Am I the only parent who cries at all things autistic?  I find that sometimes I can not even watch a simple news report about autism with out turning on the waterworks.***

Its an older movie (1999) so I'm going to give away the ending.  Think Awakenings - She is cured, falls in love, rekindles a relationship with her brother and is poised to start living life anew, when alas the surgery doesn't take and she returns to her autistic self.  My descriptions really does not give the movie justice, but forgive me I only saw the last 30 minutes.

Regression sucks.  Whether its an experimental surgery or in my children's case a year of school or summer vacation, when regression rears its ugly head it is completely unwelcome.  I consider it one of the unpleasant dips on the autism roller coaster.  One of my children is currently going through a regression.  I have no idea why and I am clueless as to what to do. I liken it to when you can't find your keys in your purse, you just dump everything out in order to find them.  "Is it because we've been lapse on the diet?"  "Is it the new school?"  "Maybe someone's making fun of her."  "Should I try a new supplement?" "Too much TV?" Unfortunately regression is common in autism and this is not the first time it has happened to this child.   Sometimes they come out of it and make a progression and sometimes not.  I hope its the former in her case, that maybe this is just growing pains or seasonal.