I haven't written in a few days, because I was going with the old saying---"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I don't really have anything mean to say, but I don't have anything nice to say either. I've been depressed for a bit now. There are days I feel better, and days I feel worse, but overall, I've had my particular brand of depression, which mostly involves having very little energy and sleeping a lot. And yes, I have a doctor's appt. next week and I will talk to her about it, but it's not the kind of depression that I think much can be done about, besides things I've already tried or am already doing. It's situational depression. I'm depressed about specific things, and of course high on the list is Janey.
Not Janey as a person. I'm not depressed she is herself. I'm depressed, I think, because I feel like I've missed some boat in helping her. I think I've been reading too much about autism---just following news leads in my Google news section about autism. I missed the early intervention boat on her. It doesn't help me feel better about it that she wasn't autistic then, or if she was, it was a pretty subtle thing. I remember her PT saying how amazing it was how social Janey was, how much she talked. I know then she eagerly greeted the PT every day. I don't think about things like that a lot. Sometimes I like to almost forget those first 3 years, to tell myself that Janey NEVER could talk like that, because lately, despite all the years that have passed, her horrible regression is upsetting me more than it has in a long time.
The only reason I can figure this is the case is that Janey seems to be in a plateau right now, or maybe even another regression. Her talking is not good lately. She is saying less and less, and what she does say is getting turned into shorthand a little. For example, the phrase I hear most often at home is "Snuggle on Mama's bed!" It's her response to any kind of upsetting thing happening---a scary part in a show, a reprimand of any kind, or just some impulse from inside that bothers her. But now she's mushing the phrase together, just looking at me and saying "nuggmamaba" or something like that, like that whole phrase is too much work. It's like every word costs her a lot of money, and she's a saver. For years and years and years, when I leave her in the morning at school, she gets told to say goodbye to me, and she just about never does it spontaneously. Once she's reminded, she'll say "Bye!" Then someone will say "Bye WHAT?" and she'll reluctantly say "Bye, Mama!" or something Bye someone else, if she's not in the mood to remember the right name to call me. And lately I'm just wondering those useless questions---WHY? Why is it so so so so hard for her to learn things? Why does her talking never really progress? Why if I look at reports or my own blog from 3 or 4 years ago, is her talking at the same level now it was then, or less? Why does she still often have crying spells where something is obviously badly bothering her but she can't tell us why? Why does she not progress? WHY ISN'T SHE GETTING BETTER?
Isn't it supposed to work that way? Isn't even autism supposed to follow those rules---you start at one level, and with a lot of work, you get to the next level? And Janey doesn't. Or she might in small ways, but not big ways. And around her, other kids with autism do, other kids with other delays do. I am confident she has the right teachers, the right therapists. I am even confident, in my better moments, she has the right parents and brothers, that we are doing the right things, the things that should make her able to learn. After all, we raised her two brothers so far rather successfully. I know she has autism, I know she has retardation. But that should not stop her from being able to learn. Or should it? I guess I know sometimes it does. I've read the rare book that does admit that---that's it all not a guarantee in any way, that some kids don't progress. But, and I'm letting the inner thoughts out here---why me? Why Janey? And of course, the answer is Why Not?
So probably I should have taken that good advice and not written if I don't have anything positive to say. I'll think of this post as what I guess blogs can sometimes be---a diary other people can read, if they are in the mood to get depressed. And I'll buck up soon, I promise.