We took Matthew (9) to
We spent a long time breaking down different emotions, and establishing that any combination of emotions could feel overwhelming, even if positive (eg being praised, because it engenders a feeling of embarrassment + pleasure, was incredibly confusing and would set Euan off). We worked very hard on getting him to first match his feelings to pictures, then words. I spent a whole week with him asking him every five minutes "What are you feeling? How strong, on a scale of 1-10?" til at one point he yelled "I'M FEELING VERY FED UP OF BEING ASKED HOW I AM FEELING!!" But that meant he could start identifying feelings before they got to the explosion stage.
Once we'd done that we worked on instant alternatives, particularly once he'd gone into non-verbal stage. He has a big bean bag in his room and he'd go there and scream and punch. Then we worked on scaling it back and recovering, so that gradually the meltdowns got shorter and less intense. We had to work very hard on not feeling cross and embarrased afterwards which also involved me not scolding him, because that would set him off again. then we worked on signals - which now uses at school - so he could give a hand signal, take himself off to a safe place, and then recover and return without feeling bad. We have it down pat at home and school. Unfamiliar places are harder, so the first time we go somewhere new to stay we work out where the 'safe' place is.
It mostly works. Maybe 90% of the time. It took about a year to go throgh all the steps. And as he gets older he gets better and better at it.
Kirsty, mum to Euan (12, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)
"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"
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This is just what works for us, because the breathing stuff doesn't cut it here either - we send him literally to the shower.
I don't know what you are being offered. I do know that we worked with a child psychologist who specialised in Aspergers/ASD on specific issues, like meltdowns and eating, and it was very very helpful. Euan didn't like the sessions at all, but even he admitted they were helpful, because they focussed on breaking down and understanding behaviours - not always as easy as you'd think with Aspies - and then finding real, concrete strategies that worked. She didn't make me feel like I'd failed at all, quite the contrary, she showed me why when I did some things they worked and other things didn't. I felt a lot less frustrated at the end of it, and so did Euan.
He hated, absolutely hated the sessions. They were really really hard for him. But the benefits were huge, not least because she worked with the school as well to come up with strategies that really helped Euan. So