I HATE Regression!

Awhile ago, I mentioned my son’s issue with regurgitating. Basically, I practically lived in vomit all January with him regurgitating his food multiple times a day. I took him to a gastroenterologist and feeding specialist, carefully portioned out his food, rationed his water, gave him chew toys and tried to stop him from bouncing around too much after eating. And for awhile, it seemed to work and the food stayed down. And like a total idiot, I told specialists that it was “Getting better”.

But for some unknown reason, over the past couple weeks, he is regressing back to how he was, and I am right back to where I was, angrily scrubbing food stains off my carpets and his car seat, while trying unsuccessfully to hold back tears. Why is he doing this? He is non-verbal so I can’t ask him or try to explain why bringing up food will eventually destroy your teeth and esophogus, not can I give him better alternatives. It fucking sucks!

My husband and I have had endless conversations about it as well as tossed around theories: He does it because he’s anxious and it’s soothing or because he’s bored or because he wants to taste his food again (yuck!) It kind of throws me back to my kid’s baby days when he wouldn’t stop screaming and we would run around in circles trying to figure out what the hell is wrong. But it’s just SO tough when you expect things to get better in such a crucial area, only to end up back where you started, with still no answers or solutions. I can’t leave him alone for two minutes without coming back to see his breakfast/lunch/dinner in liquid form all over the floor!

For anyone reading this: I know this post is “gross” and maybe you stopped and closed this window after the first sentence, but after mental breakdown after mental breakdown, and crying to my parents, husband, social worker, specialists, I need a place to vent. I’ve asked other autism parents, and most have never dealt with this issue, they’ve had other problems definitely, but not regurgitation. Some have suggested not to “react”, just clean it up, that he’s doing it for attention. However, it doesn’t seem to make a difference how I react, he will still do it. This morning, after the second time, I told him “No! Bad” and put him in his room. Punishment was suggested by my friend, and since his toys are literally everywhere except his bedroom, I put him in there. Do I think this strategy will work? Doubtful, but I’ve done everything else!

So that’s what we’ve been dealing with lately, I feel helpless and alone and wish I didn’t resent my child when he does this, because he has been improving in other areas, but I can’t help it. I am working on trying to stay calm when it happens and not let it throw me into the depths of despair like in January, but it is just so discouraging and worrying: Will he still be doing this next year? What about ten years from now? Will we have to have his teeth removed due to damage? What about his digestive tract?

If you’re a parent and you don’t have these kinds of worries or other even more serious health concerns about your child, consider yourself lucky!

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