Autism meltdowns are not for the weak. They can occur at any time, for any reason, big or small. Could be he’s tired, could be his food is touching on the plate. Could he be sick? It’s possible. He could also be freaking out cause you made him put clothes on. It could be at home, school or the middle of the grocery store. It could be morning, night, Christmas….it really doesn’t matter.
The autism meltdown sneaks up on you like a tiny ninja.
If you’ve just embarked on your autism journey, this meltdown will shake you to your core. It will make you feel inadequate and horrible. It will make you question everything.
I’m here to tell you though, don’t be discouraged!
Autism is a complex disability. And it’s really a guessing game trying to get a handle on it. There will be days that you feel like Super Autism Mom and days you feel like you just can’t do it. It’s normal and it’s ok.
In many cases, you will learn your child’s quirks and try to prevent meltdowns from happening. But sometimes you can’t avoid it. And honestly, you shouldn’t try to.
You might be thinking “is this bitch crazy?!” but hear me out first!
The world is not going to change because your child has autism. The world will not walk on eggshells because your child doesn’t like getting haircuts or wearing shirts with tags in them. The world will keep on trucking, even if your own personal world is different. As autism parents, we have to teach our children to function within the world we live in. This may be easier said than done and you will have days of wins and days of defeats. But the end result is worth it. Don’t hide your child because he has meltdowns or because it’s “easier”. Nothing spreads autism awareness like taking your child out in public. You will get stares, possibly rude comments. Also ignorant ones. But it’s all part of the package. You don’t want your child to be ashamed of their disability. It’s not their fault and it’s a part of who they are. They need to own it!
My littlest little HATES getting his haircut. He screams, kicks, cries…the whole time. But it’s a necessity, so we do it. Thankfully, I’ve found a wonderful lady at Great Clips who has the patience of a saint and gives him a great haircut, despite the tantrum. We get stares from people every time. Sighing. Uncomfortable shifting in their seats. Clearly they didn’t sign up for a haircut with a side of autism. But I choose to ignore it, because there is nothing I can do about it. I will explain that he has severe autism and apologize to those around me. They usually get it and change their tune. Some don’t. I do try to calm him down and keep him quiet, but there is only so much that can be done.
Before I had children, when I would see kids acting a fool out in public, I would say “Wow. My kids will NEVER act like that!”
Oh foolish childless woman.
Now that I have kids, I have a whole new respect for it. It’s true, the kids you see tantruming out there might just be assholes. But they also might have a disability. You never know. And it’s not your place to judge.
Us moms, autism or otherwise, have to stick together!