| February 4, 2014 | 0 Comments


Written By: Michele, The Green-Mother

Our middle son is almost eight years old and he has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. Since he was  a baby, we have lived with constant meltdowns and temper tantrums. Since a very young age, he would scream and cry for hours at a time and was not consolable. He also did not like to be held and cuddled like most babies his age. As frustrating and heart braking as this was was for us, we knew this could not be normal. Little did we know at that time, it was just the very beginning with our journey with autism.

What is a meltdown? In our son’s case, it is a piercing scream that does not stop. It can consist of him throwing himself on the ground, kicking and screaming. It can also include door slamming, objects being thrown, and kicks to the wall. Our hearts brake as we witness this. As his mother, I have to fight the tears. It is heart wrenching, and difficult to watch.  This type of event happens many times in one day. We have stopped counting at this point. We just try to get through another day. Strength is found within us that we never knew existed. As parents, we just want to say or do something to make it stop. Soothing and reassuring words don’t usually stop or prevent these type of meltdowns. We just do our very best to make sure that he is safe, and does not hurt himself. We ask and pray for more strength. More strength for the next time.

How long does a meltdown last? In our son’s case,  a meltdown can last anywhere between one minute and one hour. Anything can trigger it. Anything. Too many lights, brushing teeth, getting dressed, the list can go on and on. We are always on guard, always careful. Always waiting. We often find our selves walking on eggshells, just in case. We never know what the next trigger will be. Sometimes our son will be  playing quietly. Than all of a sudden, the piercing screams begin. We try to figure out what might of caused it. Unfortunately, we are usually left without an answer. The sad part about this, our son can not even provide us with an explanation. He does not understand this either.

Outings of any type can be a living nightmare. The noise and lights in a super market is enough stimulation to cause a full blown meltdown. We try to ignore the stares and the comments of strangers. Most people see an uncontrollable, oppositional, spoiled brat. We carry on, screaming child in cart, doing our best to soothe him. This is autism at one of its worst moments. This is when I want to scream, cry out to the world that this is not his fault. This is not our fault. We did not ask for this. My son sure did not ask for this.

We are hopeful that one day, the meltdowns will be outgrown. Maybe this is just wishful thinking on our parts….

Written By: Michele, The Green-Mother

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Category: Sensory Integration Disorder

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