My Boy: Part 65

Meltdowns are not the same as tantrums. It is hard to explain to someone who does not have a child on the spectrum. Meltdowns come form sensory overloads among other things. For example, Jorge Juan had a meltdown on Mother’s Day because he wanted, he just needed to have, to be in etc. an old plastic Fisher Price Police car. He just became instantly obsessed when he saw it at my sister’s house in the garage. He was in it but when he went to do something else and wanted it back, his cousin was already in it. that did not matter to him. He cried, screamed, lost his breath, hiccups and all. I was calm throughout but others who may have seen him must have thought he is a brat or spoiled and that is not the case. He was very stimulated. He needed that car for some reason, to make him feel better. I can not really explain it but as his mother I know the difference between him being “fresh” and him not being able to control his emotions due to a sensory overload. There were lots of kids around him. New people, sights and smells. He could not deal. I had him trying to deep breathe and catch his breath. I told him that he had to share. at this point it did not mean much to him because he was already over it. After things calmed down, he was able to get back in the police car and he played. He was calm and very thankful but in the midst of all of the commotion I tried to understand and protect him fully. It was a meltdown because he was not looking for my reaction and he was not mindful of his own safety. He was not in control of his behavior. It was like it was not “him” but something else pushing him to have that reaction. He was not trying to communicate his needs, it was like a takeover of sorts. A tantrum is different. After all of that was over, he did not calm down right away. It took a bit for him to get his body and emotions regulated. That was autism on that day. Each day is different. Many times, something new and improved and other days, a different story.

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