Reflections: Easy to Regress

Life in the past 2-3 years has been nothing short of a challenge for autistrics across the spectrum. One of the major hurdles that has been at the forefront of autistics in the times of pandemic is the fact that many are losing skills and regressing to some degree. I too have been a victim of regression and while I seem to have some days where it can be really challenging, I know that there are better days ahead.

It is a wonder that even as the things that I was already enduring in 2020 that were being compounded by the pandemic and still are to some degree these days, I have regressed to some degree at the start of the pandemic. Independence has saved me, but I know that not everyone has that option. I do know that if I would have continued in the same dynamic that I was in that time due to the circumstances I was in, I would have been in a residential placement. I know not everyone believes in prayer, but for me when the opportunity to move into my present home provided, It was the saving grace that got me out of the regression.

Almost two years since the move, I still struggle a bit with understanding that I must meet some norms in order to maintain my independence, like going to work and the day program that provides me some support, like transportation and goals for bettering myself. I often get into a negative headset and want to forgo it all and remain at home all the time. I am often reminded that while it is possible to some extent, it is not the ideal thing to do, even though it can be all that my brain can think about oftentimes because of the anxiety it produces. I know that I need to see it as just that, anxiety driving me to want to run away from things that I over two years of returning to yet experiencing constant change and uncertainty although it is nothing that I haven’t learned to manage properly..

This can at times make normal everyday tasks difficult to perform because all you can think about is not seeing positivity in the upcoming days when you must endure what you think is challenging, when to others it is nothing simple than going through the motions of life. But, those motions of life can have uncertainties to them and we may experience difficulty going through them because we may feel uncomfortable about it or it is something that is new to us and being autistic these are already hard things, however, in the current times that we are in, we are often expected to endure changes that we many times have little notice to prepare for because it is what authoritative powers are directed to do with little flexibility at times. Those in charge of the change may know that it is hard for us, yet it is beyond their control because of the way things are in the world today. 

All these things can be culprits for wanting to regress back into what is comfortable for us because we feel safe and free from being scared of having to go through things that are harder than what they used to be. While it is understood that changes have not only affected the autistic community, it seems that for our community skills that we once had have been lost and while in my case they can be gained again through countless services, I understand that what I am experiencing is small comparative to what many others in the autistic community are experiencing because of services, specifically those for those needing more care no longer being there.

It also needs to be understood that autism is a lifelong condition and that it does not go away within a certain time period, yet knowing that you are literally sometimes competing to meet limits to get what you need to move on to the next step can be challenging when all we as autistics want is to have the best life we can. Yes, we have been through alot in a world that has not been set up for us, but we need others to be there for us and understand our needs.

More about this in this weeks feature blog. 

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