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Mega Meltdowns(9 Posts)
my ds is asd, adhd, spd. He started his new special school two months ago. ds is 10 years old. there have been lots of teething problems with ds settling into school and meltdowns have increased and the intensity of them has too. we are really struggling to keep things on an even keel. yesterday was truelly the worst I have ever felt and I broke down. Ds had an OT appt at hospital which he had said he didn't want to go to, but we had done lots of preparation before hand and explained that we need to go to appointments. He was furious when I collected him for it. I waited in the car park at the hospital for him to calm down. He screamed abuse at me and was lashing out at the car. Eventually we got to the hospital waiting room (childrens) there were no other kids in there thank goodness. The worst meltdown he has ever had ensued. He was throwing things, kicking and punching walls, running away, screaming and shouting and blaming me for everything. 5 Healthcare professionals came out to see what was happening including his CAMHS lady who was screamed at as was everyone else. He had lost control completely. Though he never attempted to hit anybody. security were called. I stayed calm but eventually silently cried as the receptionist was so kind to me. He refused to see the OT and when he calmed down, he apologised to me over and over but for the first time ever I could not hold back the tears - not even for him who I love so dearly. I try not to show emotion as I don't want to fuel the situation or make him feel worse/bad about himself, but yesterday we drove back and I was unable to stop myself. I know this made him feel awful. He made me a card and cut some flowers from the garden for me. I've read the book 'the explosive child' and try not to place demands on him. But, hospital appointments are necessary and I cannot let him decide not to go. I feel so down, my life flashed before me and I saw a great hulking teenager stood in front of me behaving like this and I thought I just couldn't cope with it. We have an appt saturday with his ADHD paed and will discuss his meds (elvanse) which I dont think are helping his moods and maybe talk about his anxiety and meltdowns. Meltdowns have usually been at home, so more contained. Im now scared to take him out, but no that I must. Its very hard to calm him down once he is in the rumble stage of a meltdown as he simply will not engage. Any suggestions? or words of encouragement? feeling like i have been steam rollered today and my head is in a vice. Am actually dreading him coming home .
Did he go to school in the morning before the appointment?
I found that ds needed the whole morning off before a hospital appointment (and various treats tied in, special programmes etc, special food), and if it was afternoon he needed the entire day. After a bit he began to see hospital appointments as special days, which he could enjoy because the rest of the day was so relaxed, low key [no getting ready for school or other journey]
I'm so sorry you have had this; does the school have any part to play in his anxieties - is there something there that could be changed, or you could talk through with them. It is likely that the school, special or not, is triggering this "overload" and you need to discuss it with them, even if he appears fine there.
Btw ds2 has got much less anxious as he got older, and much better at coping with new situations (although I still have to tread carefully) He is definitely a hulking teenager now
Be kind to yourself today. It's been a hard day you've acknowledged it, doing something by going to talk about medications. You're being proactive. Now have time to dust yourself down, wipes those eyes and put it in a box marked "a very bad day". But move past it. do little things to make the day bearable. Sometimes we just need a couple of hours to put it into perspective. I couldn't read and run but don't beat yourself up.
I used to cry sometimes in bad situations (mostly public) with Ds2. I think this actually helped him (although the books might say it wouldn't ) He loved me, and he started thinking out of the box, and empathizing with me (he didn't want me to be sad) and before he knew it, he was sharing things with me; I suppose what I mean is that he felt able to express his own emotions more constructively rather than just get angry and anxious. I'm not saying this is true of every child with ASD.
I have experienced similar and a particular episode in a and e brought me to tears and utter desperation. I think though that it has taught me to be much more assertive about what I can and can't cope with with ds. If it happened again I would phone ahead and explain that I could not wait in the waiting room and that we would need a side room on our own. I would also say that his disabilities meant that he needed to be seen much more quickly. I did explain my ds problems when I arrived but they didn't take it on board properly and still directed us to the children's waiting room. I was attacked by my ds, but it could have been other children and other adults. I would now say straight away that other people will be at risk and force them to make adaptations for him. It is very strange that even when accessing facilities for children with disabilities they are poorly organised for their client group. I have attended play schemes for children with Asd where the kids and their parents are expected to wait around in a massive queue for about twenty minutes while everyone pays and signs paperwork. It is utterly crazy and quite obvious that this will not work for the majority of autistic children but they continue with it because it suits them! Be kind to yourself here you did your best and your ds probably did too. It was just too hard. Think later on about what might have made it easier and this might include the appointment time, waiting room arrangements, treat for afterwards, stuff to make it more bearable and maybe another adult to help you.
well I agree with the steam rollered head in the vice feeling. I feel awful with meltdowns that just happen at home. take far longer for me to cal mdown than ds.
be nice to yourself today.
what does your ot suggest?
Crying is a natural reaction. Don't beat yourself up over it.
I like knittings advice about making it a treat day and changing the focus.
Thank you for listening to me. I have no RL friends that understand what living this life with its ups and extreme downs is like. I feel better today. I know he can't help it, and he is still trying to make me feel better, which I do. I have read the posts and I think I will be much more assertive in future. I will definately insist that we do not have to wait in a 'toddlers' waiting room, I think this infuriates him as he thinks he is being treated like a baby, with all the baby toys and books. I will insist that we do not wait too long. I will do as Knitting suggested and not send him into school. I learnt the hard way with that one, as his school is new and he didn't want to leave it and secondly it made the journey from school to hospital a 45 minute round trip which was far too long for him. It will definately be a treat day in future. I will not be going to appointments on my own with DS if I can avoid it. OT suggests the Alert Programme so that he recognises when he is starting to get agitated. I have asked if she can do school visits and she said maybe, but I will put this in writing to her as a request. I am someone who tries to control my feelings, particularly around ds, so I was shocked how overwhelmed I felt by it all. I think it shocked DS too, so I think that an important thing happened and that was DS experienced that his meltdown upset me, not that I think he will not do it again, but that his extreme meltdown had an effect on those around him, and he frightened himself that he lost control in an outside environment. Wish me luck for Saturdays appointment!