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someone explain what just happened...is this a meltdown?

(38 Posts)
crazygal Sun 24-Feb-13 18:57:30

Hi all..
My ds,(8) who is adhd and aspergers,has had overall a pretty good week,we have had a few episodes,
but tonight has been extreme!! It has really upset both myself and dh..
Now I'm worried the neighbours have heard and If I had heard It I would have called the police!!

Ds has had a sleepover last night at our friends,who really understand him..smile
Its his first ever sleep over,and they informed us he has been amazing! smile They said he hardly ate,and had about two hours sleep...

Since he came home he's been quite and sleepy,then this evening I said in 5 mins you need to have a shower,It resulting in him exploding at me! I was ironing at the time,and he pushed the ironing board on me,luckly the iron went on the floor,I dropped everything and went to him and went to stroke his arm to calm,he punched me so hard,dh took over and pulled him away from me,he pinched him,and his swearing went nuts,he screamed at the top of his voice as if someone was hurting him,or he was terribly scared...

We left the room to leave him space....but he just kept swearing at us.which was really bad.
Then shower time! It just kicked off even worse,he hit my dh so hard...screaming even harder,dh put him in the shower and ds kept hitting and kicking the shower door so hard he has now broken it,ds was shaken in rage!!

We told him he lost his story time for bed which escalated him more....I feel so upset!
I Tried to cuddle him had he head butt me..
What am I to do with him!!
I've had enough...and bedtime is in two mins and its gonna kick off again as we said hes lost his story and cuddle...
Would you kept the consequence?
how do all of you deal with the meltdowns?
Thank you!

BiddyPop Mon 25-Feb-13 12:50:46

We did a parenting course too, which helped in ways (recommended everything we were already doing but reminded us about consistency) - but that was aimed at NT kids. I am trying to get onto an "Incredible Years" course, as recommended by her psych, but not having any luck yet (almost 1 yr on from DX) - at least I've now found somewhere that DOES it. It's trial and error mostly though, so far, in our case.

porridgeLover Mon 25-Feb-13 13:51:37

crazy I'd agree with everyone else that these are meltdowns and that it's better to think of them in terms of a panic attack rather than the child choosing to be naughty to get their own way.

If anything, I think it's more like a complete loss of control. That it's a build up of stress that has to come out somewhere, and home is where it is safe to be that awful.

I found 'How to talk so kids will listen' good. I think, because my DS has HFA, he has little insight to his own emotions or feelings, and doesn't see his own stress rising.
Using that approach has given him the lingo to label how he's getting annoyed.

It doesn't always work for him, but it works for me. Melt-downs are now a 'go to your room and come out when you are calm' time. Then we can have a reasonable chat about what actually happened.

yuckythingsonthefloor Mon 25-Feb-13 17:02:53

crazygal there is a great book called Aspergers and Difficult Moments which utterly explains what is going on in a meltdown and things to do/not do before/during/afterwards which you might find helpful.

My DS had an awful one a few days ago and it is deeply stressful. I hope you are feeling better and giving yourself some care also.

crazygal Mon 25-Feb-13 17:06:27

Thank you all.
you have given us a great insight!
today has been a much calmer day smile
I'm not sure if I should bring it up in conversation to him,he normally closes up anyway and doesn't want to talk.
biddypop ive done the incredable years course twice now,and although very good,some of it simply dosen't work for ds,
porridge thats a book ive just picked up today,plus one on understanding meltdowns,
It should all help.x

piedpiper4 Mon 25-Feb-13 21:32:51

One thing I've learnt with my dd is that all the 'training' Nanny 911 and the like say doesn't work for her. My dd's therapist told me that when she has a meltdown her fight and flight mechanism kicks in and that she is no longer operating on, or capable of, rational thought. She is basically running on pure adrenaline because the world has just got too much and she is 'fighting' to retain her control. Once I started to look at it like that its made it easier for me to not only handle, but also parent, the situations.

porridgeLover Mon 25-Feb-13 21:43:08

Good luck crazy. My DS is a similar age and I would rarely have melt-downs any more. Thats because of intensive work on myself grin so I manage him better than when he was smaller.

I would have also read lots of other parenting approaches (naughty steps etc etc) and none of them work. I think it's because it assumes that the child has insight about how they feel and when it all got too much for them.
For my DS, thats not the case. I've had to realise that emotionally he is at a 4 or 5 yo level.

TimidLivid Mon 25-Feb-13 22:30:12

Two hours sleep and that much social interaction would be definately causing this meltdown . Always happened to my ds until we spotted a pattern. He needs settled down to sleep asap as little talkabout it as possible and punishment won't help it is tiredness that must have triggered it , tomorrow he won't be able to tell why he was in such a state but it is tiredness and the length of the social interaction he had. Just my experience. My dsd was eight when he stayed over behaved well then came home and asttacked me for no reason then was really upset, it was tiredness and still happens if he has people over or stays over and he is 13 now.

inthewildernessbuild Mon 25-Feb-13 23:32:13

Reading this with interest. My 10 year old rarely has violent meltdowns, but he does have screaming fits over things he feels he should be allowed to do (like watch a particular programme) or things his siblings have said or done to him. His NT sister does have violent, screaming, kicking meltdowns when overtired,where she will lie on the floor blocking stairs for example. Having an ASD child has given me some strategies to deal with her, ironically hmm

Today The ASD son had a screaming fit, and snapped out of it really quickly because we distracted him with humour shock. He was lying on the floor kicking, and screaming, demanding Top Gear instead of reading task, and I said watch out for the shark, what beautiful teeth you have, and he started to giggle and that was that...shock However that would never work for Dd who would have complete SHF over such comments. We find ignoring, but being empathetic works. No punishments, no ultimatums. Lots of How To Talk strategies. She is so much better these days. But she desperately wanted to feel acknowledged, and that was where anger came from, with her. ASD child is a different kettle of fish. He just REACTS to stuff, so it is queston of distracting and redirecting him. And staying really calm/quite firm. He is tyrannical and I think it is a relief to him to know the rules in the nicest possible way.

For her, the rules just make her feel worse and angrier.

inthewildernessbuild Mon 25-Feb-13 23:36:40

I think if you can imagine, in case of your son, that he is just about keeping the overload at bay and someone asks him to do something (normal). It is the straw and camel back. He is saying STOP STOP I don't want to hear anything process anything. He is fighting off an intolerable overload at that moment. It is you, because you are the person most likely to communicate with him when he is that state, just by virtue of being his mother.

inthewildernessbuild Mon 25-Feb-13 23:37:39

Not because he hates you. You just represent a prescence/voice overwhelming him.

alimac87 Tue 26-Feb-13 08:53:58

And just to put things in perspective, both my kids (who aren't ASd as far as I know) have gone to sleepovers, come back and acted appallingly the day after basically because they were exhausted and crotchety. All that excitement and mild stress just builds up and up and up.

Sounds like you're dealing with it incredibly well even if it's horrible.

crazygal Tue 26-Feb-13 09:22:01

inthewilderness yes everything you said I can relate to...like you say,something like,'I want to watch top gear now!' and it's his last minute to 'night night time' (he has a ten min countdown) Is enough to start a meltdown,but it's at times like this I'm confused,do I give in and let him? or do I stick to my guns as I normally do and say no! it's bed time ?

And thank you alimac87 believe me at times I feel I cold have dealt with situations better,just reading through all the posts,I should really back off some of my demands on him,when he's in meltdown that is,We never talk about it afterwards with him,and now I see that maybe I should try to get him to talk about it.
When he's in a meltdown I have always tried to touch him,cuddle him,distract him,Talk to him (shout over him)I can see now that I need to back off!!
I didn't realise this was all to much for him,

Once again,thank you all!!!!!
I have also left a message with my pead,who has got me on courses before,asking her to get us on 'something' to help us understand and deal with these situations better....
onwards and upwards smile

porridgeLover Tue 26-Feb-13 11:20:35

No I wouldn't give in as I think they really need the boundaries to be very firm for their own security.

What I find works is saying something like 'You look really upset, did you really want to watch that programme? I wish I could stop time so that you could see it before bed but scientists havent invented that yet, so it's bedtime now'.

crazy dont be so hard on yourself. I doubt anyone here has learnt better strategies, without first having done it 'wrong' lots of times.

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