So, there’s a few days left of the Easter half-term and as it draws to an end so does my ability to stay calm cool and collective.
I always long for the half-term due to the whole mess that is, ‘Little Man’s Education’, however with him no longer in the mainstream setting that caused him so much confusion and instead receiving an education through a tuition plan applied by a tutor on a one-2-one basis at the local library his been longing to go back. The lack of routine this Easter is driving him loopy. Yes, I try my best to make things predictable but life isn’t always agreeable. What with a string of assessments in preparation for our upcoming tribunal and the fact I’ve been so unwell, resulting in my shorten temper, things have just turned crazy.
His spent much of his time indulging in his ‘Special interest’ by getting stuck into and memorising a stack of bus routes, but come the second week his perched on the edge like some ticking time bomb.
Off course the bomb went bang and so did my head. His been a complete nightmare the entire week!
Will he comply with any request… Hell no! He seems to think the world is plotting against him, yet I’m starting to think it’s me it’s plotting against! His arguing with his sister day and night (yes, kids argue but come to my house and tell me this is normal)! His also disturbingly loud (ask the neighbours) and has trashed the house more then once!
Meltdowns… I know all about meltdowns… Do you? We are not talking tantrums here, are you crazy! This is some hardcore S***, “Excuse me”, but this is something that I his mother will refer to as ‘Torture!’
Unless you’ve been there, lived it and breathed it, you can never begin to understand just what it is I’m rambling on about! It’s not like the ‘terrible twos’ nor is it the ‘boys just being boys’ scenario ! No, it’s the, ‘AUTISM SPECTRUM SCENARIO!’ If I ever need reassurance that such blow-ups are a direct result of his AS then I just look at his eight year old sister and it’s confirmed in a blink!
I can’t fully explain what its like for him! His low tolerance for certain everyday situations that trigger stress, his inability to control his emotions in a more socially acceptable manner! The reason I can’t explain is simple,”I’m not in side his head, I’m on the outside peeking in, just wishing I could fully understand!”
As his mother it’s my wish that I could fully understand what his thinking, what makes him tick! Give me a wish and that’s what I’d wish for, “TO BE INSIDE HIS HEAD”, It’s hard not to become frustrated for I have tried to learn so much about his condition, but not even a masters in autism will ever get me close enough! I’m a parent to a child with Aspergers, I’m not a mother with Aspergers!
Nevertheless there is something I can share with you… What a meltdown is like for me, a parent of a child with Aspergers! I have plenty of experience as I’m sure many of you have! Meltdowns are one of the hardest things I have to deal with in terms of little mans difficulties and although my son has a huge amount of great qualities that make up his personality , I wont pretend like its all Little professors and I don’t believe in the sugar coating approach… Sometimes things are just dam right bloody hard!
The ‘Daddy’ of meltdowns (not like there’s a type) normally drives me to the point of insanity, it causes me to question my own parenting skills and ability to cope with the situation at hand. I’ve quite literally stood on the spot and let out a high pitched scream, fallen to my knees & begged god for a break regardless of my current company, I’ve cried and asked god, “why me?” I’ve even had a full blown panic attack (YES IN THE SUPERMARKET)
Little over the top you think? No, in-fact this description actually does the ‘DADDY MELTDOWN’ no justice. There are no boundaries, no limits in which he knows he shouldn’t push… his impulsiveness that causes a worry inside me that I cannot explain.
Have you ever took you child out and feared them having some kind public tantrum? I have! I do!
But at least now I have learnt to cope… “TO some degree”, at least! I suppose its like anything, it all depends on ones frame of mind at the time! Sometimes I’m super confident and use a number of self-coping skills why trying an array of learnt techniques to discover the underlying issues surrounding his challenging behaviour! Sometimes these ‘ISSUES’ are clear, other times its mind-boggling!
Then there are the times I feel like grabbing my coat and legging it! Running like Forrest Gump in the direction off the unknown, but anything is better then here (Well of course I don’t leg it! But yes the thought does cross my mind)
A meltdown in our house can least an hour, an afternoon, the entire day and night, and sometimes…. A good few days!
Of course we will normally be over the screaming and the smashing things up by this point (Oh yes he loves to beat the hell out of the doors or the staircase) If the meltdown is one lasting over a day, his normally more tearful on day two, he wont let go and feels so wronged. This can be hard as he likes to go on and on about it, ear bashing me all day! He will sit sobbing, telling me I’m the worse mother in the world and how could I be so selfish when I didn’t agree to him having something or another. To some point its like talking to a person who has consumed to much alcohol simply because there’s no reasoning with him!
Of course it’s much better for him to have a meltdown in the safety of the home! Yes, I like it behind close doors too! Who don’t!!! But unless we are happy to confine ourselves to a life of isolation, then we have to deal with it! I was looking through some pictures on my iphone taken during the summer of last year. With every trip (Well, almost) is a picture of little man at the start of a meltdown.
If your out and about and you see a child with an expression like that on his face, “BEWARE HE MAY BLOW!” In all seriousness, seeing a child having a meltdown isn’t something to stick your nose up at, Nor is it your job to judge the child or the parent in that situation! After all… You never know the underlying causes, all you do is contribute to a very stressful situation.
Basically if don’t fancy mum giving you the finger in the supermarket, then keep your eyes on you’re trolly and your nose in your own business!
- John Robison: When Should You Tell A Child They Have Asperger’s? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Is social awkwardness and anxiety related to Asperger’s disorder? (zocdoc.com)
- Asperger Syndrome and High Function Autism Article Review Lists (sheraj.wordpress.com)