New School Year=Change=Major Regression Issues

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Joined: 1 Aug 2009
Age: 49
Gender: Female
Posts: 962

25 Sep 2012, 1:06 pm

My daughter is 9 years old in the 4th grade. She is mainstreamed at a small private school. The past 2 years (2nd & 3rd grade) were with the same teacher who was very nurturing and in tune with my daughter. She helped her with her work and social issues a lot. She had anxiety and social issues but she dealt with them and was slowly maturing and progressing.

Since this year has started 3 weeks ago with a new teacher and a new classroom, my daughter has regressed horribly. I know the drill-I know to look for any triggers and what might be causing this. I really think it is just the change that is causing our issues-so I don't quite know what to do-or whether we just need to wait for her to acclimate.

She is having daily meltdowns to a degree that I haven't seen in 2 years. Last week in a panic she tried to open the car door while we were driving down the road. She refuses to do anything-including art classes which she enjoyed last year. She has 2 friends she likes at school and has even said she doesn't care about them anymore and just wants to stay in her room and "veg out" anytime she is not in school. She refuses to get ready in the mornings and acts like a much younger child-refusing to tie her shoes or get dressed on her own. She is melting down in public a lot-which she was previously getting better about holding it together until she was at home. We have basically lost the last 2 years of work toward being more self-sufficient.

I have been dealing with this by giving her the extra support she seems to need-helping her with the things like getting dressed, bathing, etc like I did when she was younger. But she's angry all the time, and her fears are back in full force. Her language has regressed as well-verbally she seems much less communicative.

The new teacher knows about the AS but isn't fully understanding of the hidden issues yet. It will take time. However, short of letting her veg out all the time and supporting her I am really wondering what else I can do to help with this?

We have a very structured home life-visual schedules, etc. Another thing that recently happened (this summer) is she was diagnosed with Celiac, so she is dealing with dietary changes as well. I really feel like all of these changes are just too much for her but I don't know what I can do to help as all of the changes are necessary.

Any ideas are appreciated!

Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

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Joined: 17 Nov 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 190
Location: Georgia

25 Sep 2012, 3:42 pm

I wonder if revisiting some strategies you used two years ago might give her the security she needs? My son is only 6, so we've only been dealing with this for a couple of years. Sometimes we have to go back to things like picture schedules, but it makes him feel secure faster than the first time around... so, it's not like starting from scratch.

I don't know... I'm on here to post about our new school year troubles, too, so I don't know if I really know what I'm talking about!! !


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Joined: 18 May 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,458
Location: Lost Angleles Carmen Santiago

25 Sep 2012, 10:21 pm

A lot of changes, a loss of predictability, new diet, resulting discombobulation, all these are probably contributing to these setbacks.

However, I don't see it as a regression, a loss of skills that she has worked on for years. Instead, moar like a temporary inability to use those skills that she still has, e.g. verbal skills, due to her mind not functioning well and her feeling screwed up all the time.

I went through something like in seventh grade. It took a whole school year for me to adjust to the switch to junior high. There is not much to do but to wait it out, provide the extra support, let her adjust. She hasn't lost her skills. She just can't use them right now.


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Joined: 6 Nov 2011
Age: 43
Gender: Female
Posts: 506
Location: Melbourne, Australia

25 Sep 2012, 11:33 pm

This is the exact thing that literally has me losing sleep.
DS is starting primary school next year (January) and he has had the most fantastic year at an amazing kinder with a teacher that he has been a dream, and next year, I am partly expecting that it's all going to go for a ball of sh*t..
From a place with 24 kids and three teachers, to a school of over 300, physically, emotionally and psychologically I am not sure he is going to manage.
We are soon going to be starting a school transition group which I think will help and I am meeting with the school about his IEP, and the special needs coordinator seems well-intentioned but I have seen DS's regression before and it's not pretty (sounds very much like what your daughter is going through) :cry:

Mum to 7 year old DS (AS) and 3 year old DD (NT)