A few weeks ago I bemoaned the fact we were “back to the ball of thread,” trying to unravel the invisible link from Logan’s meltdown to its trigger. With autism, so much is a mystery—but in this case, I think I might actually have found the tenuous thread. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had increased Logan’s dose of probiotics, giving him almost a full cup of coconut kiefer per day instead of a half cup. It’s possible—likely—this has caused another round of yeast die-off, which causes progress to spiral back a bit before (ideally, at least) improving more toward autism recovery.
But, on the other hand, that thread might also begin not with diet changes but with schedule changes. Logan also recently started attending an autism day treatment program three mornings a week, which means he now bounces between that, preschool through the school district, and his regular daycare. He sometimes eats breakfast at home with me and sometimes at daycare with his friends; sometimes he rides with me to and from day treatment and daycare, sometimes on his bus to preschool, and sometimes with his “Aunt” Susie and her children. For a little guy really likes consistency, it’s a pretty overwhelming schedule—in fact, it’s pretty overwhelming to me even.
Whether it’s from probiotics or stress, Logan seems to be again both progressing and regressing at the same time. He constantly babbles “baby talk” in the morning getting dressed, in the evening eating (or avoiding eating) dinner, and at night cuddling before bed. He often is unable to focus, ignoring us when we ask questions and barely able to color for 10 seconds before putting his crayon back down and beginning to babble or zone out again.
Then again, this morning he seemed more interested in his peers than he ever would have been six months ago. As we walked into the classroom, we were greeted by a little boy chattering, “Hey, Logan! I wore my frog raincoat today!”
At first Logan didn’t respond, but when he reached the coat hooks and saw the plastic slicker with frog eyes on the hood, he turned excitedly back to the boy.
“Wow, Gavin, cool coat!” he exclaimed.
An exchange like this is pretty impressive given how little Logan engaged with his peers six months ago or so, but still, these instances are few and far between. I never know which extreme he’ll be veering toward these days. Happy and yelling “Hey, Mom! Let’s race cars!” or depressed and mumbling, “I just want to stay home.” A wiggly, hyperactive body with nonsensical baby talk and a motionless, zoned out body with blank stare and silence.
Jason wonders if the change we’ve seen in Logan is because he’s now too stressed with juggling day treatment, preschool and daycare. Even his skin is showing signs of eczema again, which we haven’t seen for about 30 weeks. Jason wonders if all these therapies are too much.
I do think he has a point, that sometimes parents can go overboard with therapy and push their kids too much. And I would think that’s the case with Logan now, but I know it will only be for a few weeks until the school year ends—then his schedule will be a much simpler combination of just day treatment and daycare. I think (or desperately hope) that these few weeks of craziness will be worth it in the long-term. I wonder constantly which extreme he’ll be going down on any particular day, and which he’ll end up going down for good. Will he grow up friendly, able to interact and manage in society? Or will he grow up closed off and zoned out, and struggle to live independently? The thought scares me every day.