Hello Hurricane

Anger2

I HATE this time of year. It’s the time where things start to change as the school prepares for the new term in September which I remember only too well from my own school days.

*Twitch*

When it comes to The Boy, there is a pattern. He starts the school year in a state of anxiety and by Easter he begins to settle down. After the last half-term things start to deteriorate as preparations for the new school year begin. This year has been different because he hasn’t really settled at all. He is increasingly unable to do his lessons in the classroom and ‘incidents’ are happening on a daily basis.

The school can’t try any harder than they do to support him. They are always thinking of new things to try and whatever isn’t working they change. It’s just that school life is getting harder and he struggles with having to do things that he doesn’t want to do (demand avoidance) but he has to do certain things or there is no point him being in mainstream and despite his difficulties he’s happy there.

He’s been struggling at home as well and the other week he had the MOTHER of all meltdowns.

A fellow autism mum and good friend used the word ‘hurricane’ and that nailed it perfectly for me. It certainly looked like a hurricane had hit his bedroom.. At one point he was in danger of hurting himself so I intervened whereas I usually allow him to work through the meltdown himself. It was then he started yanking at my hair (which farking hurt) and slapping me. As a parent you take the blows because you understand that your child is out of control due to being overwhelmed and you’d rather they hurt you than themselves. It’s a reaction. It doesn’t make it OK. It just explains it.

As soon as I felt his body relax, I stepped back and allowed him space to calm down.

The storm had passed, for now.

To hear the child you love scream that he hates you and wants to die is hard to take. It’s hard for ANY parent to take. No matter how many times he loses it, it never gets any easier. It’s not you they hate. It’s how loss of control makes them feel.

There was this moment where he declared he was ‘going to die’ and theatrically threw himself face-down on his bed. It the best bit of am-dram I’ve ever seen and at any other time it would have been hilarious but he was hyperventilating and knowing how this works I’m pretty sure that at THAT moment he probably did think he was dying…

He is theatrical in the normal way. He is expressive with a wonderful vocabulary range. If he can learn to get a handle on his anxiety, he will make a good actor one day (and there are lots of great actors on the spectrum) but this wasn’t a performance. It was real. It was him struggling against the tsunami of emotions within him and it was heartbreaking to witness.

This meltdown was a result of preparations starting for the new class. It’s a bigger class size and a new teacher. He was worried about it but didn’t know how to express it in a positive way so it came out in a meltdown. He has since visited the new class and THEY HAVE LEGO, FOLKS so he came out smiling.  An added bonus is that one of his teachers from this year is also going to be teaching in the new class along with the new one. So the familiarity of her and his long suffering SST (who hopefully will follow him up through school as long as he needs her) will help to lessen his anxiety. The school are using social stories and the usual strategies to help him with the transition but the real test will be when he goes back in September.

The last few weeks of the summer term are all about change and change is one of the things in life that he doesn’t handle well. Even the nice changes do his head in. However, I have faith in the school that they will do their best for him but most of all I feel sorry for my son who is struggling with the fear of change, just like I did. SODDING GENETICS!

It’s never easy for me to write about my son this way but it’s part of his autism and the meltdowns are part of our life, at least, they are for now. The meltdowns are not who he is. They are a reaction to a world that he struggles to cope with. If his world was constant there would be fewer meltdowns but it isn’t constant. Things change. Sometimes unexpectedly and sometimes planned but changes ALWAYS affect him.

The thought which consoles me the most is that he is not alone like I was. Nobody helped me because nobody ever knew there was a problem. I was the invisible girl when it came to the teachers but not invisible when it came to bullies. I stood out like a belisha beacon to those bastards…

My boy’s autism is IN YOUR FACE visible and the positive thing about that is that it gets him the help he needs.

We’re strapping ourselves for a fight to get him to where he needs to be. My bandana is on. I don’t have Sly Stone’s biceps (or penis) but I’m strong where it counts. My anxiety is sky-high but I’m working on that, like triple-bagging my cups of Chamomile tea and taking time in my day to stare at fluffy clouds and tropical fish.

Breathe, just breathe.

guns-replaced-thumbs-up-20

Got Through Another Meltdown!

Image Credit Via Creative Commons

Sons, Sand & Sauvignon

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Hello Hurricane

  1. This breaks my heart both for him and for you. At least you have an understanding of how he is probably feeling and you have the mothers love which knows when you have to actually reach in and help steady him down. You are a well loved lady Tracy, having dear friends on social media who are going through the same thing, so totally understand where you are coming from. Also, friends like me are always there to support you when you need to sound off. Long may it contine that Lego is the saviour, bless him, his hormones will be going into overdrive soon and that’s another hurdle. Hopefully you get continued support from the school and his ‘away dates’ allow you just a bit of breathing space. Hugs to all of you 😘 xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are a really awesome mum! Your boy is so lucky to have you fighting his corner. It’s sad to read how upsetting change is for him, but it’s great that he’s got a supportive school and an amazing mum!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A perfect word and I can emphasis wholeheartedly. This time of year is a bitch for autistic children. Now that I have got children that go to nursery I get anxious as well even as an adult it is hard to deal with the change. Sending you positivity and love. Admire you for being such a strong women X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do hope that as your son gets older he will become more resiliant so that he experiences gentle breezes rather than hurricanes when change happens. With your love, understanding and a supportive school I’m sure the chances of that happening are very good indeed. Good to connect with you at #spectrumsunday

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Huge hugs to you lovely. This time of year is so difficult isn’t it?! Whilst Hayden seems to be coping ok at the moment, I am just waiting for the moment his behaviour changes. Probably a week into the summer holidays which I’m sure will be great fun! Thank you so much for linking up to #spectrumsunday. Hope you join me again this week xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good luck with the coming change. It’s so hard for them. And I know what you mean about them screaming they hate you. My two year old – whose speech is a bit behind and who struggles with pronunciation – yelled, ‘I hate you, Mummy,’ mid-meltdown the other day because he’s heard his brother say it so much. I wasn’t sure whether to be upset or impressed!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I first read this post while distracted by my own chaos. I just read it again soon after I woke up today,. You nailed what it’s like. Hurricanes can strike with brutal force. Your love and your patience are admirable. Stay strong Rocky. I’m cheering from the crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

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