Lately Janey has been regressing some. It's not severe, and I think it's less noticable at school than at home---she's only had a few tough days at school, but at home, it's been tough quite a bit. I think it started about 3 weeks ago. We had a weekend with a lot of worries about her brother's health (still ongoing) and she got less attention than usual. William babysat her a few hours, and she was fussy, and it seemed to set something off. That started a week with tons of crying at home, and not nearly as much talking. She had had such a great few months---happy, smiling, talking, just being a joy. Lately she is just unhappy more of the time, and I notice a real difference in engagement. She wants to be with me all the time, which is nice, but it's a lot of things like banging heads with me or poking her fingers in my mouth or other semi-aggressive things. She's doing tons of asking for food constantly, but not really wanting what she asks for---a pattern I see during her tougher times, as if one of the only things she can remember how to say is "I want...(food type)" She does it with videos too, as if she is looking for something that will comfort her. I've been trying hard to get her to play toys with me, or listen to books, or sing, and nothing keeps her interest for long.
All this, if someone with a "normal" kid talked to me about it, I would say was just a stage, or that every kid comes and goes with their behavior. But it's not like that with Janey. Every regression reminds me of THE regression, when she went from slightly quirky to completely autistic over the course of a few months when she was turning 3. It's been up and down since then, but then there was the "dark time" last spring---the few weeks of almost total screaming and crying all day and night, that led us to medication. And the medication seemed to help a good deal...until now. We have been doing what the psychiatrist wanted us to do, and trying to wean her off the Risperidal, but that has been gradual and doesn't really explain the regression. Tony often thinks her behavior is seasonal, with fall and spring being the toughest, as it used to be with William, and that might be the case. It's just impossible to say. A month ago I was feeling very hopeful. I allowed myself to think about things like her reading, her making good enough friends to be invited to people's houses, us living a life somewhere close to normal. After days like today with on and off tears all day, interest on nothing for more than a minute, eyes looking unfocused and vague---I don't think that way. I feel like I can never let my guard down for a second.