Meltdowns

Have you ever been in a store and seen a 5 year old child having a meltdown? You know the signs, kicking, screaming, crying, thrashing around as if the world is about to end.

Now have you ever seen a 20 year old child having a meltdown? They have the same symptoms, the kicking, screaming, crying and thrashing around as if the world is about to end. When you have a child with autism their bodies grow up but their minds don’t usually mature as fast. Often even in their 20’s or 30’s they will still experience meltdowns when they are upset.

Treat them like you would treat the 5 year old. A sympathetic nod for the parent dealing with this mess and then just walk away. Nothing is worse than having a group stare at you while your child is having a meltdown.

#understandingautism.

meltdown

What happens when they get older?

Autism meltdown

What happens when your child’s body get’s older but their mind doesn’t? In this youtube video you can see a young man that has been diagnosed with Autism have a meltdown. His parents hold him down to keep him from hurting himself and others. It may look scary and perhaps even unwarranted but it is to help him maintain control.

One problem I often see is as the child’s body get’s older their mind doesn’t and they end up having 5 year old tantrums in a 20 year old’s body. This is a huge problem. At the age of 5 lashing out at parents, stomping around and throwing a fit are normal. (not good behavior but normal) At the age of 20 these young actions come with greater consequences as the individual doesn’t understand the strength they have. Suddenly lashing out could give the parents a black eye and throwing a fit could break furniture.

Having a system such as these parents do that helps calm a child down quickly to avoid any damage is very important.

**Please note that when the parent lies on their child this is to give the child pressure it is in no means to hurt the child. Individuals with Autism often want and require large amounts of pressure to help them to calm down. **

Never underestimate

Something I notice often is peoples ability to view someone who does not speak as dumb. We assume that because they have limited communication skills that they must not be very smart. The amazing thing is though that many children and youth who do not speak are actually incredibly smart in their own way. I’ve seen children who will not look you in the eyes or act like they are listening to you and yet they have comprehended every word you just said! As a society we need to open our eyes to new methods of communication. Talking is not our only form. Many children with autism talk more with their body then with their words. You can often notice an increase in their stims (such as shaking their hands) when they are upset or uncomfortable. They may not be able to verbalize their feelings but they show us with their body.

 

For those of you who have not seen “I am Carly” on you tube this is a young woman who defies the worlds stereotypes and proves just how smart she is. She is non-verbal and her stims often make her appear wild and make people uncomfortable. One day she was put in front of a computer and began typing how she was feeling. She proved to the world that she may not be able to talk using her mouth but what’s in her mind is brilliance. She now has her own blog where she tells the world about herself and tries to connect with people in a new way.

Check it out here!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZVV4Ciccg&feature=youtu.be

http://carlysvoice.com/home/aboutcarly/

 

What should be done?

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Autistic+wall+shaking+noise+brings+family+brink+eviction/9023240/story.html

John From and Kerri Oastler moved into their apartment two weeks ago and have been asked to move because their eight-year-old son, Logan, is autistic and makes too much noise.

 

Most people have now heard about the Ottawa Citizen article about the young 8 years old boy who has Autism. His family is now being evicted due to noise complaints that sound, “like a 50-pound box being dropped repeatedly.” It’s a very unfortunate situation for both the parents and residents of the community. Personally I think the blame falls onto the company who were warned ahead of time about the young boys condition and possible noise before signing the lease. It was the companies job to provide a community environment. Knowing that the community values its very quiet residents (… quiet community of working professionals and retirees who “mind their own business.”) they signed on a family with a typical excited 8 year old boy.

The family should not be held responsible for the noise their son makes, it is part of being 8 years old and also a side effect of autism. However, the residents of the community area should not be expected to put up with excessive noise as it is not a family community area but rather one whose target population is retirees.

In my opinion the family should have been redirected from the get go to a family environment town house area. Many of these companies own a bunch of buildings in different zones of the community. I bet they own another zone closer to schools and with a more family appreciative atmosphere. Now the company is on the defense and serving this family eviction notices.

If you ask me this family should be moved for their own safety and well being at the cost of the company. No family should be living in an area where they are resented. They should be moved to a new apartment with a very welcoming community that is meant for families and children.