Autism, Aspergers, Rob Gorski,Special Needs Parenting, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Fibromyalgia,

Tag Archive: meltdown

Mar 18 2013

Hello dinner time meltdown

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Emmett had a pretty big meltdown during dinner. We had breaded fish fillets (think big fish sticks) and he wanted to have his cut up, like everyone else.

Next thing we know, he’s freaking out and hitting himself in the face.

Apparently, he had wanted to change his mind out having them cut up but it was too late.  He had himself all worked up and was completely overstimulated. I scratched him back while Mommy spoke softly to him and we eventually calmed him down  enough to figure out what had set him off. 

I don’t know why he didn’t just ask for new fish? It wasn’t a big deal to us but it definitely was to him.  Anyways, after replacing his fish, he felt much better.

Poor guy, he is so sensitive to things like this.  In fact, he’s easily the most sensitive sensory wise, out of the 3 boys, especially when it comes to food. Followed closely by Elliott.

Gavin on the other hand, used to be so picky the would have to filter out all the visible seasoning in his pasta sauce before he would even look at it.  However, over the years Gavin has made amazing progress and is far and away the easiest to feed.  He’s willing to try new things as well. 

Maybe they other two will work through this as well and come out on the other side, better for it.

For now, we just have to take baby steps, like we did with Gavin. 


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Feb 19 2013

Overstimulation? What the heck is that?

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Overstimulation? What the heck is that?

Tonight marks the end of a very long 4 day weekend.  This weekend was filled with lots of play and excitement for the boys.  On Saturday, the boys played all day with their cousins from Colorado. 

They had so much fun.  I wish their cousins lived closer so that they could play more often. 

Today, the boys spent time with my parents.  They had tons of fun and came home exhausted and ready to eat dinner. 

All of this was great but it did unfortunately, lead to both boys but especially Emmett, being completely overstimulated. Overstimulation historically leads to meltdowns and out evening was full of them.

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For those of you new to the Autism game, let me try to explain what overstimulation is and why it happens.  Please understand that I’m not speaking from first hand experience but instead what I have observed raising my three boys who experience this quite often.

I welcome anyone’s input that could help further explain.

Basically, a child with autism and sensory processing disorder will see, hear, smell, taste and feel everything going on around them all at the same time.  It’s an onslaught of stimulus that can completely overwhelm the senses. There is absolutely no way that anyone could process all of the sensory input received in these circumstances. 

Inevitably, the meltdown will likely follow. 

The Meltdown

Contrary to what many people assume, a meltdown has nothing to do with bad behavior and should not be confused with a tantrum.

When a person with autism and sensory processing disorder has a meltdown, it’s their bodies way of purging.  The experience is simply too overwhelming and it’s quite literally all they can do.

Anyone that thinks they could do a better job of handling overstimulation, should think again.  These people are not weak. In fact, if I may say so myself, they are among the strongest people I know.  How many of us could experience something even remotely similar to this and compensate as well and for as long?

I’ll be the first to admit, I couldn’t. 

How can we help?

Let me begin by saying that when I witness my kids go through this, it breaks my heart. They are very clearly in distress and all of want to do if help them through it.

When my boys experience overstimulation, the first thing we do is try to remove them from as much of what’s overstimulating them as possible.  Typically that means we pack up and leave wherever it is that we happen to be and head for home.

When it comes to my youngest, we take his shoes and socks off as he likes to be barefoot.

We will also help him change into something more comfortable and more sensory friendly.

Usually that mean he simply runs around in his underpants. For him, clothing is a challenge for him because he doesn’t like the way it feels in his skin.

Sometimes we will brush his skin. Doing this provides feedback and is very, very calming.

Another thing we doing put steady pressure on his joints. This provides relief for him as well and he really enjoys this. Some people refer to this as joint manipulation. This is very common in therapies like OT (occupational therapy).

Any kind of deep pressure, like a Weighted blanket works wonders as well. 

Your milage may vary

Your milage may vary with these things but they are widely considered to be the most common ways to help an overstimulated person to decompress and find their center.

These are all things that we do for our kids and find great success in helping them to work through this difficult situation.

I would encourage anyone with experience, to add to the list.  Share in the comments below, what’s worked for you or your family. This will not only help to educate people but it could also help some to find relief as well.

This site is managed via WordPress for Android, courtesy of the @SamsungMobileUS Galaxy Note 2 by @Tmobile. Please forgive any typos. I know how to spell but auto-correct hates me.  ;-)

For more ways to help the Lost and Tired family, please visit Help the Lost and Tired Family.


Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2013/02/19/overstimulation-what-the-heck-is-that/

Jan 29 2013

A candle burning at both ends

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Today has just been a really trying day. We haven’t had much luck this week so far and we still have a long way to go. 

Tuesday Therapy barely got off the ground but went out with a bang. 

We had to cancel speech and OT this afternoon due to car problems.  That problem was a lack of fuel in the tank.  I don’t even want to get into the reasons why anymore. 

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Gavin came home this afternoon and and was picked up around 5pm while we were at Dr.  Patti’s.

Before we could get into see Dr. Patti, Elliott was having a meltdown and Gavin was freaking out in his grandmother’s car.

Elliott’s meltdown lasted about 45 minutes and basically killed the entire appointment. 

I’m so exhausted right now.  I should probably add overwhelmed, frustrated, nervous and stressed as well.  Tonight is going to be a really quiet night.  I might try to write a little bit about this evening but nothing much. 

I’m a candle being burnt at both ends.  I imagine that many of you can relate to that feeling.  :-)
At least I’m in good company. 

This site is managed via WordPress for Android, courtesy of the @SamsungMobileUS Galaxy Note 2 by @Tmobile. Please forgive any typos. I know how to spell but auto-correct hates me.  ;-)

For more ways to help the Lost and Tired family, please visit Help the Lost and Tired Family.


Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2013/01/29/a-candle-burning-at-both-ends/

Jan 25 2013

Will this ever get easier?

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How many of you have asked yourself, will this ever get easier?

I for one, was asking myself that very same question this morning. 

Mr.  Elliott Richard was more than a handful this morning.  Lately, he’s been flat out refusing to listen to what we tell him to do. 

Today,  he refused to out his socks and shoes on.  I had to basically drag him out to the van when it was time to go. 

When we got to the school,  he refused to leave the van. It probably took 10 or 15 minutes to convince him to leave the van and head into the building. I was pretty flustered to be honest. 

Elliott’s not the kind of kid that’s looking for a reaction. 

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I really think that he’s just trying to gain control over his life.  I have no problem with that, in fact I support that.  The problem is that he’s going about this in a way that is causing the family as a whole, including himself, a great deal of stress.

Last night he had big problems before bed.  He fefused to gonti bed and then was so upset that he couldn’t fall asleep. 
I eventually had to physically lay down with him before he would calm down enough to fall asleep.

It’s only 8:35 am and I’m already completely exhausted. 

I truly hate having his day begin like this.  I hate having him leave the van and walk into the building upset. 

This site is managed via WordPress for Android, courtesy of the @SamsungMobileUS Galaxy Note 2 by @Tmobile. Please forgive any typos. I know how to spell but auto-correct hates me.  ;-)

For more ways to help the Lost and Tired family, please visit Help the Lost and Tired Family.


Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2013/01/25/will-this-ever-get-easier/

Dec 16 2012

I’m just a bit worried and a whole lot stressed

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I’ve mentioned that Elliott was really moody lately.  This morning he had a meltdown. A really, really big one.  I classify this as a meltdown as apposed to a tantrum because he is very clearly completely overwhelmed and almost beside himself.

In his meltdown, he hurled his remote control and nearly hit Lizze. 

Was he aiming for her?  I don‘t think so.  However, that doesn’t really matter because the fact is, he threw the remote.

Elliott has never, never done anything like this before. 

I’m really getting concerned because it’s like he’s beginning to act like Gavin. Maybe he’s used to the chaos and so in Gavin‘s absence he’s not sure what to do.

All I know is that I’m very worried about him.

We were going to try to go to Cleveland today and visit relatives but I don‘t think that Elliott could handle that right now. 

I hate this. I really truly do.  I hate not knowing what to do and I hate even more that Elliott is going through this.

Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that I’m just a bit stressed out.

Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2012/12/16/im-just-a-bit-worried-and-a-whole-lot-stressed/

Aug 31 2012

How are your kids handling being back to school?

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My boys don’t head back until Tuesday, so how it’s going to go is yet unwritten.  However,  I’m preparing for the typical issues we see, going into the new school year.

Elliott will likely be extremely, extremely anxious. I mean,  he’s already extremely anxious.  It’s not going to take much to add another extremely……….

Gavin on the other hand is very excited to go back. The problem is that I have no idea how long his body is going to able to cope.

How are your kids handling being back to school?

This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct hate me.

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Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2012/08/31/how-are-your-kids-handling-being-back-to-school/

Aug 26 2012

Gavin will be having minor surgery

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Tuesday is a huge day for the Lost and Tired family.  Gavin returns to the Cleveland Clinic and Elliott returns home from the Hamptons.
Gavin is scheduled for minor surgery at 10 am Tuesday morning. 

This procedure involves taking various skin biopsies from various parts of his body and using them to tailor a very specific genetic test. They will also be looking for neurofibrosis,  if I recall correctly.

The procedure lasts about 20 minutes and they made special arrangements to do it Tuesday.  The doctor that does this doesn’t normally do this procedure on Tuesdays.

After that we will have about 5 hours to kill before his next appointment.

The second appointment will be with the autonomic specialist.  This is crucial because he will play a huge role in getting Gavin into residential treatment. 

This will be a follow up and a consult as well.  We need to find out what it will take for Gavin to be medically stable enough so he can be placed in treatment.

This will be a huge obstacle to overcome.  In many ways,  this may be more challenging than the actual funding itself.

I have many worries about Tuesday,  the biggest being the minor surgery. Gavin will not be asleep for this procedure.  They will however, use a numbing cream.  I have no idea how the samples are collected and even less idea of how well this isn’t going to go.

I wouldn’t be excited about this happening to me.  I can’t image how Gavin’s going to feel about this. 

It may seem mean but we won’t tell him about this until the very last minute.  He will obsess over this if we don’t.  The reality is that one of two things will happen.  Either he won’t care or he’s going to care a whole lot.

There’s no middle ground. 

This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct hate me.

Please join our Autism Help Forums

Look for “Autism Help” app at the Google Play Store


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Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2012/08/26/gavin-will-be-having-minor-surgery/

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