Friday, June 24, 2016

Vacation and over stimulation

We are currently on a short family vacation to Lake Chelan in Washington state. Yesterday, the weather was absolutely beautiful. My kiddos spent hours swimming in the swimming pool. Today, the weather plummeted and went from 85 degrees to 65 degrees. Bam Bam loves to swim and we felt that it would be okay to let the boys swim for a short period of time given that the pool is heated to 80 degrees.

What started out as a fun trip to the pool ended up turning into one of the biggest meltdowns my little guy has had in months. I even got a few stares from some onlookers, who were, I am assuming judging my parenting skills. You see, sometimes having a child with high functioning autism can be difficult. To the outside world there may be relatively few signs of autism initially. This makes it hard when a meltdown ensues. From my perspective, it feels like people are quick to assume and less likely to be sympathetic when a meltdown does occur.

Today, was that day! My son experienced one of the biggest meltdowns that he has had in months. It was cold outside and my little guy wanted to play in the pool, but it wasn't as fun as it was the previous day. None of the adults wanted to play in the pool, and honestly I think that Bam Bam wanted to be in the pool, but he struggled with really wanting to be in the pool because of the weather. This caused him to be extremely indecisive and he became easily overstimulated. He ended up getting upset when his dad did not want to get into the pool. His papa told him that he would get in the pool, and my little guy told his papa that he didn't want him to get into the pool and that he wanted his dad to get into the pool. His papa then decided that he was going to go back inside due to the weather. This caused my son to have an extreme meltdown when his papa left. He got to the point where he was cold and he really didn't know what he wanted. He screamed louder than loud. I think that everyone within the proximity of us probably heard him screaming. As autism parents know, when a meltdown occurs, it takes time for de-escalation to happen, especially when the meltdown is extreme. Today, the meltdown was bad. Thankfully, when we got back to the condo and were in a quiet space and after using some strategies from Zones of Regulation my kiddo was able to pull himself around.

With what occurred today, a thought immediately resonated with me. If you do not have a child with autism or if you do not have experience with kids on the spectrum, please be less quick to judge a parent and their child if you see what you perceive to be a temper tamper in progress. You never know that child could have autism and they may be in the midst of an autistic meltdown.

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