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Does anyone else’s child seem to get periods of cognitive growth followed by periods of regression?

(32 Posts)
Piratejones Sat 14-Jun-14 02:32:39

or even adults with additional needs.

I’m not sure I’ve used the right terms but it’s a bit like a rubber band being stretched, we’ve just had a few months of learning new skills, and now we have a week or two of regression as the rubber band springs back.

For example over the last few months my 6 year old has decided to poo on the toilet, sleep through in the night, managed to stay in a noisy play ground at school, almost got the hang of his shoe laces, recently learned to stay sitting in the bath and is making progress remembering to knock before entering DD bedroom.

But now over the last week or two he has suddenly reverted to using a nappy for pooing, having wee accidents in the day and seems to have dropped down a level with his reading.

It won’t last long, if the past is anything to go by in about month he will be back up to where he was at before, but the pattern is always learning a few skills followed by regression.

Does this happen alot?

PolterGoose Sat 14-Jun-14 07:51:33

Yes, it's really quite common I think to lose some skills while new ones emerge and then it all sorts itself out smile

Piratejones Sat 14-Jun-14 09:43:27

It's really intresting, I wonder why it works like that.

hanifah1 Sat 14-Jun-14 09:46:34

I'm really glad I've read this post, smile because I've been finding the same issues too, and almost starting again to relearn that particular skill that was taught months ago; it can be frustrating and draining at the same time.

magso Sat 14-Jun-14 09:47:27

Yes, Ds does the same. It can be frustrating of course but generally the trend is onwards and upwards.

autumnsmum Sat 14-Jun-14 10:18:52

Definitely for example with dd2 recently her speech has been improving but we have had some very severe tantrums as well

Goblinchild Sat 14-Jun-14 10:36:42

Happened with mine in a lot of areas, and still does although they are adults. finite amount of 'spoons' of energy, ability, socialisation, resilience etc. If a new skill or situation takes more than usual, the spoons to meet the challenge have to come from somewhere.
So she may deal with something amazingly well at work, come home with minimal conversation and need to go to bed earlier in order to cope.
DS handles things slightly differently, but the basic idea works for him too.

Goblinchild Sat 14-Jun-14 10:38:18

Somehow a bit of my post got deleted. confused

'Happened with mine in a lot of areas, and still does although they are adults.
DD describes it as having a finite amount of 'spoons' of energy, ability, socialisation, resilience etc.

PolterGoose Sat 14-Jun-14 11:04:50

goblin yes, the spoon theory is a good analogy smile

autumnsmum Sat 14-Jun-14 11:13:40

With dd2 her marvellous school said it needs to be remembered that she has autism and expectations need to be geared to that. I love her school

Piratejones Sat 14-Jun-14 11:21:07

With dd2 her marvellous school said it needs to be remembered that she has autism and expectations need to be geared to that. I love her school

I had similar when i first went in about DN wetting again, his teacher made me feel loads better. she just told me i should take the benefits of a nappy / pad while he's happy in them. And that she thinks a lot of their pants are a sight when changing for pe at that age anyway so most NT children could do with help being in charge of their toileting habits.

Piratejones Sat 14-Jun-14 13:32:00

Goblinchild that's a brilliant way to understand it, the resources being use elsewhere.

Goblinchild Sat 14-Jun-14 14:21:48

Oh, DD is brilliant and understands a lot about AS, and how it affects her. Still doesn't stop her losing the plot when certain triggers overwhelm.sad

Piratejones Sat 14-Jun-14 14:25:42

She can't change what she has, but understanding herself is important.

Has she considered coming here and helping those with younger kids understand it?

Goblinchild Sat 14-Jun-14 14:28:03

Nope, not keen on people and talking about personal stuff. DS is far more of an ambassador for AS and is comfortable in his skin. He can talk about how it feels and what helps and why he reacts in certain ways.
She really can't.

Piratejones Sun 15-Jun-14 02:24:51

That's good, I suppose it's been a long road getting to that point where they understand themselves?

Ineedmorepatience Sun 15-Jun-14 09:56:22

This is a great thread, the moving forward and then regressing thing has been confusing me over the last 18 months with a LO I work with and I did think it maybe to do with new skills developing and old ones being set to one side for a while.

I love the spoon theory and keep it in mind when Dd3 is out of her comfort zone. It reminds me not to push her too far. smile

Goblinchild Sun 15-Jun-14 09:58:33

It's a long road that never really ends. New challenge, new need for different skills and different coping strategies. smile

Piratejones Mon 16-Jun-14 17:57:47

So this morning he's woken up back to he usual self, 100% with toilet training and everything, cheerful and cheeky it amazes me they can regress for 3 weeks then suddenly spring back like this.

Goblinchild Mon 16-Jun-14 19:18:53

grin Less of a smooth and elegant growth curve and more the lurches and bumps akin to travelling in a clown car?
So familiar!

Piratejones Tue 17-Jun-14 02:40:31

Less of a smooth and elegant growth curve and more the lurches and bumps akin to travelling in a clown car?

YES! Clown car on a road full of pot holes.

Loueytb3 Wed 18-Jun-14 10:31:06

Yes - we get this. But its more in the form of regression of behaviour followed by a developmental leap. As though his brain was working really hard and it was all getting on top of him but then he suddenly makes the leap.

Flappingandflying Wed 18-Jun-14 22:01:09

Yup. Flyingboy did this a lot. Sometimes a period of regression would be that or in his case a 'shut down' like when the computer whirly thing goes round and round. Then after he'd either grown or be able to do something new. Now he's grown up its less noticeable but he still has an odd time when he 's on shut down.

Piratejones Thu 19-Jun-14 02:28:05

i didn't realise it was so common.

troutsprout Thu 19-Jun-14 07:33:23

I was only thinking the other day that ds has gone through another of these phases.
He's 17 and just gone through a period where I would say he's leapt forward socially and emotionally... And now we seem to have come to a shuddering stop and everything seems a little difficult ( sensory wise particularly) and he seems very resistant.
He has always done this ' one step forward 2 steps back ' thing. It's interesting that so many others have noticed it too.
I also agree that it's less obvious as they get older... I guess the leaps forward are more subtle.

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