I was going through documents I have stored on my Mac and came across this. I’m unsure of the reasons I wrote it, though I think it was meant as a guest post concerning “Meltdowns and a lack of sleep” I don’t even think I sent it to whoever was meant to feature it, so I’ve decided, instead of cluttering up my Mac, I’ll share it here with my readers.
The post comes in two sections, “Worse ever Meltdown” & “How I deal with the lack of sleep”
Our Worst Ever Tantrum
I have three children, a daughter of 9 and two boys! my toddler is 2 and his brother, my eldest is 11 years of age and has a diagnosis of Aspergers (a form of autism that results in impaired communication and interaction skills) and sensory processing difficulties.
My eldest, AKA Little man, has had more meltdowns than I ever thought possible! His increased anxiety levels and inability to filter out certain sensory stimuli has made meltdowns exhausting for all.
We’ve seen it all! Hitting, swearing, kicking everything and anything, throwing objects, slamming doors, running off and non stop crying! But nothing was to prepare us for that Wednesday evening on the 22nd September 2010. My son had received a high number of exclusions from his then mainstream school. He was taught in isolation, (Kept away from other children like a monster). My child was never allowed to attend school trips or participate in activities, this was lowering his already low self-esteem and I was becoming extremely worried. That evening I received a call from the head-teacher who informed me my child was excluded for the third time that month. I was promptly reminded that the Friday was in-set day (translated that means staff training day!) So, he would be excluded for the trip. He has missed trips for as long as I can remember anyone would think we were used to it! But this one was important he was looking forward to it so, so much because they would be going by coach (transport crazy) It was left for me to break the news and his heart. He didn’t hit me, nor swear, he sat deadly quite for a minute or two, slowly absorbing my words! Then shockingly he stood up and started throwing his entire body into the wall almost knocking himself out in the process. He scratched his own arms till they bleed, he slapped himself in the face over and over again and punched himself in the head while chanting, “I just want to be normal” Some five hours later, and a smashed up bedroom, I found him laid in the middle of the room amongst his destroyed beloved model buses. His eyes were so sore and red, his breathing still heavy that he continued to catch his breath. Yes, I’ve been hit, abused or embarrassed in public. His kept me up the entire night screaming and crying, yet it was defiantly this meltdown that outweighed the rest, It is one that has stuck firmly in my mind… Because for me it was scary to see a little boy, my little boy, react in such a way he could have seriously hurt himself.
Lucky his now in a more understanding school better suited to his overall needs.
Coping with little sleep!
I remember my health visitors promise some 11 or so years ago! She looked me in the eye and said, “I promise you he will soon get into a routine… babies always do”! Yet she lied to me, because that isn’t true is it! Not all babies do! My little man is no longer a baby but a lively 11-year-old boy He has Aspergers (a form of autism) and as soon as he hit three months old, he stopped sleeping! I waited and waited for that routine to come, the one she had promised, after all she was a professional right? Well, here I am, still waiting for that so-called routine!
We all need to sleep in-order to refuel our brains and boost our energy levels. I’ve often stayed awake for nights on end (which wasn’t done by choice)! When my little man does finally sleep, I struggle! Maybe because it’s only a few hours till I should wake for it’s a school day and I fear the attendance officer getting on my back, or maybe because I’m scared I wont wake to care for the children at all. I find I’m touchy and over emotional some days, where others I’m fine, I just get on with things the best way I can! Sleep really does make everything seem better, I just wish my son would believe it and give it a go sometime! I’m no super mummy and more often than not, after a few days awake I just suddenly drop! My eye lids become so heavy as if they have weights hanging from them! Seriously I find my self sleeping as I stand, clean, bath or even board a bus… which really isn’t a great way to be!