Normal people have good emotional empathy, but they don’t have much empathy for the autistic kid who is screaming at the baseball game because he can’t stand the sensory overload. Or the autistic kid having a meltdown in the school cafeteria because there’s too much stimulation…Temple Grandin. This is a very emotional subject for me to write about. Honestly from my own personal experience with M, meltdowns can be emotionally and physically draining for a parent raising an autistic child. Often times meltdowns get confused with bad parenting. In reality this is untrue. As parents we work hard to raised our child to be caring, respectful and loving. Autism manifest differently in every individual. However sensory or communication or social issues tend to be a common variable. Meltdowns seem to occur with M during emotional/sensory frustration. I think not having the words yet in his head to fully say what is bothering him, something/someone not connecting with his senses and full comprehension of situations contribute to M frustrations.  Often this lead to disruptive behavior in the form of screaming, hysterical crying, falling into the floor, throwing/tearing things, kicking and hitting. Sometimes as a parent you struggle trying to keep your child from hurting themselves, other people property, and keeping yourself from getting hurt. Truthfully, it’s a nightmare when a meltdown occur in public. There is so many dangers you have to anticipate especially if you’re by yourself with your autistic child. I am not going to lie everyday we work with M to find more productive ways to express his meltdowns. It can be using his sensory strings, pressure hugs, singing, retreat to quite place or weighted blanket. True, these methods work a lot better with M at home.  Yesterday M had an appointment with the Alabama Disability Services for their feeding clinic. M generally goes twice a year. They’re very wonderful with M. However since M does not see these awesome ladies on a daily basis, every time we go M initially has a meltdown going into the lobby. So before we went to the appointment I explained in simple terms everything to M even right before we got out the car. M responded “OK”.  Yes, it stilled happened. An epic meltdown occurred. M started throwing crayons and tried reaching for other things but I intervene. It was hard trying to stay calm and at the same time trying to calm M down using reassuring words. Thankfully, everyone there knew M and came to help me. In the mist of me trying to keep M from hurting himself falling into the floor and a chair about to fall on him, I took a nasty fall. When all was settled I was happy M finally calmed down and enjoyed the rest of time with the feeding clinic team. M is teaching me being a parent can be very changeling especially dealing with meltdowns effectively but with prayer, love, time, lots of patience, constant redirecting, & understanding I am able to take one day at a time!

Simply an autism parent learning




2 thoughts on “Meltdown(s)

  1. My heart goes out to M when he experience a meltdown. More need to be understanding to the difference of a meltdown and a child having a testing moment. The way you talk to them and the way you handle the situation is not the same.


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