Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Griffin is Improving/Smart Strategies for Handling the Dreaded Meltdown

Martina wrote me after I wrote the article about meltdowns on Griffin as she was concerned about him and myself. I found the article that she posted most helpful and would like to share it with you: . It includes checking your child for hunger and sickness as a source for a trigger perhaps it is a sensory issue that is a trigger? There are many suggestions on there that I like and giving choices is one of them because that is important to me. Griffin has a menu at home that it gets to choose 2 items off of for his meals.....most of the time when we have the food in the house....and that seems to make him much happier and satisfied, feeling in control of himself.

I won't give them all away but one of the biggies on there is to not take it personally. WOW! Sometimes, that is really hard for me! Being a single parent I find it hard to not take it personally because after all who else would he be "targeting"? When he is not "targeting" anyone at all. He is not going after me, that is until he hits me or attacks me...then it is personal. Otherwise, his words are not directed at me he really does not mean to be hurtful and cut me with his tongue. I must keep in mind that he is autistic, that he is innocent and only 10 years old with limited life experience. He loves me unconditionally and would never hurt me intentionally/ would crush him to know that he hurt his mom (at least after the fact).

Griffin is a happy-go-lucky guy who loves to laugh and play imaginary games, who loves to play with his stuffed animals like Barney, Big Bird, Elmo, Teletubbies, The Muppets, Looney Tunes, and a plethora of all kinds of wildlife animals especially wild birds. He loves spending time on the computer looking at images of these characters plus the Geico gecko and the Aflac duck, and YouTube videos that other kiddos have made. So far, I monitor what he does and he has not gone to any site that is inappropriate, he has been told what is not okay and he stays away from them.

I can't help but to wonder if this recent change in Griffin is being brought on by hormonal changes or if it is his bipolar meds that need to be changed. I had a talk with him, thanks to Melinda and her great comment that she left here on the blog, on the last post.....thank you Melinda! That was so very helpful! Since then he has done well. I just told him that he is getting older and bigger and that when he gets older that things won't be so easy when he gets in trouble. And like she said, I didn't try to scare him but I do think that it did put a bit of a new perspective into him a new bit of respect into him. I think that now he knows that I am not putting up with anymore nonsense because I cannot......he is just too big and out of control. I can't use autism as an excuse all the time, sometimes his behaviors are just because he is not taking control of himself. I think that I have to get a grip on myself and be more firm with him and when he gets out of control in public if I think that it is not a sensory issue and his safety is compromised then I am going to have to put my foot down! I am just going to have to remind him of the rules and consequences and add some new ones if necessary. But I don't see that happening right now.

I would just like to have to avoid having to physically attempt anything with him because he is over half my weight and I just can't handle him that way. When his adrenaline gets to flowing he is incredibly strong as you all know how that goes. I only have my words to work with, I have to use my intelligence....God help me! Griffin is my treasure and I want to treat him with the utmost respect that he deserves, I want him to have high self-esteem but to know where his boundaries are for future reference because I only think that it could help not hinder him in his future endeavors.


kristi said...

Tc has not been feeling well this week and his moods have been all over the place. Sigh.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I totally think that meltdowns are the worst thing about Aspergers, and I had a dreadful time with them last year, but now I can see that they were hormonal, at least in part, as he has had none so far this year. And now that he is more mature and I have had more practice, we are both coping better with them, I hope it will be the same for you x