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Monday, August 20, 2012

What a difference a few days makes

Janey had a very tough stretch around her birthday. From about Tuesday to Saturday, much of each day was taken up by hysterical crying. It was awful, for her and for us. We really had and have no idea what was wrong. This kind of stretch seems to happen about three or four times a year. Thankfully, and knock on wood, the length of the stretch seems to be getting gradually shorter over time. But it's still almost impossible while it lasts. And then Sunday, Janey woke up happy. And she's been happy, most of the time, today also. I hope it lasts. It tends to, once she gets out of the sad stretch. She's not manically happy, just regular cheerfully happy.

And of course I would guess I'm not the only one thinking this sounds a lot like manic-depression, or bi-polar disorder, or whatever it is called now. Whatever it is called, I've read it is no longer diagnosed in children. And I guess I'm kind of glad of that, in a way. I don't need any more labels for Janey. I hope by the time she is an adult, she doesn't get these spells. But the fact remains that something sometimes makes her very sad for a while, and something sometimes makes her manically laugh all day and be very wound up and wild for a while. Whatever it is, it's enough of a pattern over the last 5 years so we can kind of recognize the moods coming on and going away.

When Janey gets happy after being sad, it's wonderful. We appreciate her all the more. Tony and I look at each other many times a day and we are both thinking the same thing---if she could be happy, nothing else matters---the autism, the retardation, the lack of skills like toilet training---none of it. She can be the most delightful child on earth. Tonight she was thrilled to "help" Tony with laundry, thrilled to eat a supper of hot dogs and cabbage slaw, thrilled to watch a Disney video WITHOUT singing that she had never seen before. Earlier today, she said to Tony "I want soda!" and he said "I want soda too" and then just to be funny, "I want soda three" and she said without missing a beat "I want soda four"! This afternoon, she said "I want to go to Va-Vere Beach, but that's silly. Maybe the weekend" I've never heard her say "weekend" before. I know she was quoting me, but it was still great to hear.

I wonder all the time what is in Janey's head. What drives her moods? What does she think about? How can I help make sense of the world for her? I just don't know. I'm going to keep trying to figure out, though.

1 comment:

Sabrina said...

I got a laugh out of the "I want soda four" exchange...how cute! I can just imagine how joyful her "cheerful happy" times are...how wonderful for you all. <3