Last fall, DS’ behaviour entered a downward spiral (inability to follow directions. Violent explosions. Tics like hairpulling. Low level physical aggression like disrespecting boundaries. Taking forever to fall asleep. Nighttime wakings, screaming) which got so bad after Christmas that we decided to see a child psychiatrist, who was so sure she was seeing a mild case of ASD I freaked.
After several rounds of testing, ASD was ruled out, and we saw an OT with a specialization in developmental counselling, whose opinions on what was going on ranged from “you are parenting perfectly and your child is a model child, why are you even here” over “you’re expecting too much due to his asynchronousness” to “you are letting yourself be dominated by him in play, assert yourself in the sandbox and he’ll let you assert yourself during the rest of the day ” depending his mood of the day (the last was when I said we’d really like the final report now, thank you very much. We still haven’t received it. Have I mentioned their office organisation is atrocious? This is a university hospital.)
Things just got better and better in spring. Another OT who specializes in sensory work said there were some issues with body awareness and tactile defensiveness which she felt had responded very well to intervention but otherwise he was doing just fine, a very enjoyable child. The preschool teachers who had recommended we see a psychiatrist now recommended early entry into K. Lots of playdates, working very well. Summer was great. (Preschool operates on a year-round schedule so it was only 4 weeks of actual vacation or so, he improved long before school was out).
Now it’s fall and it’s all coming back albeit in a much milder form. Violent explosions. Disrespect for physical boundaries. Complete inability to follow directions. Any direction. He loves violin practice, but getting him to focus enough so he’ll actually Start Doing It is like pulling teeth. Sometimes I can’t even get him to pee in the mornings even though his bladder is full to burst, because he is prancing around needing to fiddle with this and explain that and yell about this and run out to check on that and in between bother DD. Then get him to close the lid, then flush, then pull up his pants, then wash his hands, all having to keep him from fiddlingexplainingyellingrunningawaybothering DD in between every step. It’s exhausting and we’ve only been up four minutes. Repeat with getting dressed, eating breakfast (table manners sliding into atrocious again), getting dressed to get out of the house (and then, of course there are times when he is doing it all without my having to say a thing. But they are getting rarer).
And recently, he has started yanking his hair again when stressed.
I am much calmer this year, knowing that it’s probably all going to go away by spring again and I am that much more savvy about how much stimulation I can build into the day without his falling apart (I hope that when I start working part-time come December and I will need to rely more on DH and the inlaws to structure his days things will continue to work, but we’ll take that as it comes).
I’d just like to know what the heck IS going on here? Has anyone else experienced these seasonal cycles?