What not to do during a meltdown - From an autistic adult

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BenReilly
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23 Oct 2015, 12:48 pm

So basically when my son kicks off yet again in the back of the car and we nearly wind up in a smash because of everything going wrong, there is nothing we can do?

N.B. Stopping the car doesn't make a difference. He won't stop till he's home.

(I'm Aspergers, my son is Autistic Spectrum. Bless him. ;) )



ASDMommyASDKid
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23 Oct 2015, 12:59 pm

In this case especially, I would recommend proactive scaffolding to prevent or at least defer meltdowns in the car. Is there a particular thing that triggers meltdowns in the car?



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24 Oct 2015, 3:13 pm

The problem with hard an fast rules is they are not adaptable, and sometime cause people not to use their common sense.

It is a long time since I have had full blow meltdown, and I was nearly always the shut down type than that the act out type. I have learn the signs and also improved my overall heal to deal with sensitivities and triggers.

I don't think that you should give carte blanche just becuase someone is having a overt meltdown. I know this will not be popular with some people but it is true.

Meltdown are often seen as a microcosm where you can't get through to the person. This has some truth to it as in being a challenge, but not entirely true, and also particularly with emotional meltdown they can sometimes be self perpetrating or escalated. You can't divorce meltdown entirely from behavioral patterns.

People have to take some responsibility for their actions, even if these action are partially mitigated. I know may will say they have no control, however people have gained a degree of control so it not beyond possibility.

With my friend I will try and remove negative stimulus. I will prevent him harming himself and other seriously and damaging property (yes this involves a degree of restraint but I'm careful, I'm not bothered about movement just harmful movement). I try to get him to slow thing down get him to focus his breathing, it can help to put his hand in front of his mouth which is something he often does naturally anyway. If he is being really out of control it will say his name, becuase it can work. This is different from just shouting at someone, it i more about trying to initiate recognition of actions.

It is only becuase I know him well, that I can do this.

His mother is much sterner, and sometimes this works too.

I did encounter a kid I believe to be on the spectrum who was having a meltdown on the street, other strangers thought the kid had been drinking but I disagreed with them from experience. He was melting down because he was lost (his friends had apparently abandoned him) an had no idea where he was and was freaking out. I tried to calm him an promised to help. I stopped him from self-harming couple time and wandering on the road, but was very mindful not to be heavy handed so let him move about and when he was calmer more space. He was very up an down. Basically used distraction for the most part, was able to get through on the mobile to relatives, with the help of others. I had to leave after things calmed down a bit, but left him with three women who had come out of the houses.



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24 Oct 2015, 3:27 pm

BenReilly wrote:
So basically when my son kicks off yet again in the back of the car and we nearly wind up in a smash because of everything going wrong, there is nothing we can do?

N.B. Stopping the car doesn't make a difference. He won't stop till he's home.

(I'm Aspergers, my son is Autistic Spectrum. Bless him. ;) )


It depend if you can pull over to a safe place, if you are sure you can control him near the road, if you are alone, how far you are from home, etc.

Close to home, you could park up get him out an walk him home if you think this would help. Then fetch the car later when you have supervision.

This is unpopular to say by some meltdown are controlling in nature I can say if this is the case here. That is down to your judgment.

Sometimes you just have to stop, after a pause if is able to understand, he wont get home fast unless helps you help him. Rinse and repeat.

It is dangerous not least for your concentration if he is kicking off whilst driving.

It is important to find out why he is melting down if you can. You may be able to do something about it.



BenReilly
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26 Oct 2015, 6:58 am

Thanks all. Yeah its scaffolded. We are VERY careful not to go anywhere without telling him in advance and try to avoid detours, which is hard because we like to drive for the scenery. He has come a long way over the years and it used to be every other day. In the main we try to avoid getting him riled, cowardly eh?

But it gets us through, but sometimes it gets v dangerous and nowhere to pull in, but thats life eh?



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01 Nov 2015, 1:26 pm

To tag onto the "all people are different" theme: we had a very awful therapist in the very early days before we knew what was going on, and she recommended holding him close until the meltdown was over (in a hug.)

It made everything SIGNIFICANTLY worse, plus it set ME off; it was impossible to keep calm while holding a struggling, spitting, biting, kicking, screaming boy (and what kind of idiot thought that was a good idea? Some "professionals" should just not be in the profession.)

My son needs solitude. Period. He often calms down very quickly if he can stay in his room alone. Screens might delay the meltdown, but they aren't going to make him calm.



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01 Nov 2015, 1:34 pm

I must have 'meltdowns' almost every single day. Though I do not attack those around me, I do disparage myself severely and generally end up binge-eating. I can't seem to connect to anyone or anything. :cry:


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Last edited by JakeASD on 01 Nov 2015, 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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01 Nov 2015, 1:41 pm

I was threatened to be put in a mental hospital if I hit her again so that fixed my aggression.


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I have a quilt of labels. I had a language disorder and a speech disorder. Then communication disorder NOS. My other diagnoses have been Language Processing disorder, dyspraxia, SPD, OCD, ADD, Asperger’s, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, anorexia nervosa. My mom’s labels of me are: eating disorder, anorexia, social anxiety, PTSD, just being sensitive and having the victim complex when I was a kid. And of course she says I’m normal and says the only thing I had as a child was language. Huh? I must have been a shitty person then and maybe a difficult child I was who had to be labeled because of incompetent school staff and mean kids who didn’t accept differences and because I was trying to be “normal.” :/

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