Meltdown or Trantrum? Sorry, its long

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Registered: 08-22-2010
Meltdown or Trantrum? Sorry, its long
7
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 8:55pm

My son was diagnosed with Aspergers in March. This was after 4 different doctors agreed on the diagnosis (I wanted to be sure). A week ago we had an "event". I homeschool my son this year. I felt I cant tell teachers how to deal with my child if I dont know what they are dealing with. I am taking this year to re-learn my child. We had just gotten done doing school for that day and had just finished a mine-shaft project. We were outside and as he came back in he slammed him thumb in the door. He got mad and started yelling that he didnt like hurting himself. I sd "Baby, no one does, but it happens. Its no big deal". I had him come down and help me move the outside table upstairs to balcony. He was crying a little and he keep dropping the table every couple steps. I sd "Baby its really not that heavy." He loudly (not really yelling just emphasis) said "Too me it is!" A warning bell went off. We exercise in the afternoon, so I left the table where it was, half in half out of the house, and suggested we exercise. I explained to him that exercise brings oxygen into the body and endorphins kick in and it will get his thumb off his mind and he will feel better. He SCREAMED "NO!!" Started just frantically crying and yelling. I told him to relax go upstairs and take ten minutes and get himself back together. He goes upstairs and I am hearing crying, yelling, screaming, punching, and "Why can't I stop? Why can't I stop?" I go running upstairs and he is freaking out screaming "Why can't I stop crying, what is wrong with me?" He is shaking and screaming, he is hyperventilating and has wet all over himself. I am shaking but just telling him, its ok, no big deal. We all have bad days, this is just a bad day, I have him breathing in a bag. I get him up and make him do a big breathing thing, which ticks him off but its that jolt and he stops freaking out. He finally calms down but has a hold of me and doesnt want to let go, He is exhausted. An hour later its like nothing ever happened.

I called a friend of mine that has a BS in Psychology and her response was that his butt needed to be busted for throwing a fit, he wanted attention, or was ticked off bc I mentioned exercise (which later I sd we are going to exercise and he sd ok and went and got his shoes). Then she finally just says "He is going to have to get over and deal. I am sorry that he has issues and he is going to have to work ten times harder at all the things that we do everyday, but life sucks and he is going to have to deal." I told her while that may be the truth, maybe she could have been more compassionate about it.

Help! Jenn

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 10:27pm

Hi and welcome to the board.

                                

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2010
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 10:47pm
Thanks I needed to read that. He is 9 1/2. And he was getting frustrated with the mine-shaft project, although it a good way. Its a bucket filled with flour that I had put doublooms we had made the day before in the bottom. He was determined not to come in until he had found them all. I really dont think it was attention as we had just finished school and I had been with him and he had my attention all morning. I had only left his side for about ten minutes before he smashed his finger. It hurt for my friend to say those things. You can ask any of my friends, I dont think my kids are perfect. I try very hard not to make excuses for my son, and I dont wear rose-colored glasses with my boys. But it still hurt for her to say that.
Thanks for the support.
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Registered: 10-08-2009
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 11:42pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 5:22am

No offence to your friend, but she obviously knows *f** all* about Asperger's and also, crucially, f*** all about your son.


Trust me on this, I have been through this a lot with my DS, and with several other Aspies I have taught and coached, and worked through it properly with several professionals who actually had a *lot* of experience of Aspergers. So you can take what I am about to say with a huge pinch of salt, but it does come from experience, research, and knowledge, which is more than the second-hand bull your friend is parroting you from undergraduate textbooks. (I have some sympathy for her because I have also taught a lot of NT younger children and have 2 NT kids myself so I know where

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 12:01pm

Your friend may have letters after her name, but she clearly doesn't have a CLUE when it comes to ASD kids. He wasn't looking for attention. He was struggling to cope and failing. He was looking for HELP.

Reading the entire thread, it sounds like a series of things went wrong, each built on the other until your son had a major meltdown and he couldn't stop himself even when he wanted to (poor guy).

Looking back, I would say it probably started with the frustration with the project, then the transition from it. The thumb thing pushed him even more toward the edge until he finally lost it.

To ease with transitions going forward, I suggest a countdown, if you don't do it already: "10 minutes...", "five minutes, then we stop." "One minute..." etc. This works well for most ASD kids.

I wouldn't have brushed off the thumb injury. Many ASD kids get very anxious about any kind of injury and need to feel like it is treated. I would have carefully examined it, put ice on it and given him about 10 minutes with the ice. Then I would examine it again and declare it "better".

Lastly, it sounds like he needed help to break out of his meltdown. when my son was little he used to need this too. I would hold and rock him and cue him with "over" words. "All done" "all finished", "it's over..." etc.

welcome to the board BTW. I hope this helps some.

-Paula

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 12:48pm

Welcome to the board.

PP have all given you excellent advice and insight into what happens when an Aspie loses it in a complete meltdown. I don't have much to add except that I agree that your friend was clueless and my sympathy for how hard it is to parent during a meltdown.

My main reason for chiming in is to share our main coping strategy for meltdowns with Graham. He's lost it so bad several times that he's bit me, hit me, screamed for an hour, etc. The thing that helps him calm down and pull it together is a warm bath or shower. Something about the sensory input from water calms him and allows him to reach a more thoughtful state.

We now try to get him into one before it reaches the meltdown state and find that afterwards he is much more accessible for coaching and analysis. I just thought you might be able to try it with your son and see if it helps at all. It works like magic for us and we've even had a few times when he's thought to use it himself before he's hit the wall .

Parenting a child on the spectrum is challenging but with support and sharing it can get easier. I"m so glad you found us and hope that you stick around.

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson