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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

What's the most memorable meltdown your child has had?

Posted by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:40 PM
  • 32 Replies
2 moms liked this

I'm just curious...I know meltdowns are hard on all of us. Not because of what strangers must be thinking while a meltdown happens. No, I'm talking about the emotional and physical toll they take on us parents and our kids both during and after a massive meltdown. Some of us experience meltdowns so often, we don't really keep a mental log. But I remember one in particular that I will NEVER forget (for many reasons)... It was Easter Sunday, 2009. My son was 10 and almost my height (I'm 5'9"). I decided to take him to Walmart just to get him out for a bit. I knew better than take him by myself. 

Anyway, we found some of his favorite things ~ Goldfish crackers.three bags. Yes! No fit, no $50-60 spent. It's a good day! Until we got to the check out. He saw a bag of cookies and I said "No". He had made his choice and that was final, or so I thought. I paid for  his goldfish and tried to get him out of the store. He threw his purchases and screamed (his voice had not yet started to change so it was very shrill). I swear, I heard necks popping from all the heads snapping in our direction.

many details I won't go into for the sake of brevity. Let's just say he pulled me to several areas in the front of the store before we finally landed in the entryway, right at the express checkouts. People walked by, blatantly staring. Others pretended to look away only to steal a glance at us. One really sweet, frail, old lady offered to help. Really? A fireman stopped to say he wished he could help but he could end up in legal trouble if he touched my som. Really? Then, I have my son down on the floor, still screaming but atleast I had a grip on him, and I look up to see 20-30 people staring at us with a mixture of pity, shock and disgusted looks on their faces. I got pissed then. I yelled so loud I'm sure they heard me back by the pet food.  "What the hell do you think you're looking at?! There's nothing to see here!" 

That lasted more than 30 minutes, and when he was finally calm and in the car, another 15 minutes later, we both looked like hell. He sat in the back seat, exhausted and without the Goldfish I bought or the cookies that caused the whole mess. I saw him and just broke down. There have been many, many meltdowns since then but I will never forget that one.

by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:40 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mypbandj
by Jen on Jun. 18, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Wow! That's is one I would never forget either!!

I can tell you one we just had tonight with my 3 yr old who refuses to pee in the big toilet. He likes to go on his potty chair only so tonight I remembered I wanted to show him that he could pee on a fruit loop. So he said he had to go and I grabbed the cereal and dropped it in.

Oh boy! He was mad!! Not only was he NOT going to pee on it, he kept trying to pick it up! So I had to flush it.

Then he lost it! And nothing except getting that very piece of cereal out of the septic tank was going to stop his fit.

I offered him a new piece if cereal. No.

I told him the other one was yucky. No.

Dh tried to let him pick out his own cereal. No.

But ds, 15, thought if something better! He snuck a yellow fruit loop out of the box and pretended to retrieve it from the toilet.

My 3 year old seemed to settle down after that but then he demanded that *I* eat the soggy fruit loop!!!

Ds reassured me it was only wet from the sink but I wasn't doing it. Lucky for me the toddler is still easily fooled and I pretended to eat it.

That's just one example of how unreasonable and irrational he will become if things don't go the way HE wants or expects them to.
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kay1214
by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 11:53 PM

wow. I've heard of the Cheerio (froot loops) trick. i'm just happy for you that your son will pee in a potty at all. my son was around 12 when he finally decided to give up the pull-ups and by that time it was Depends mens underwear because he had gotten so big. My son is 14 (15 in Nov) and 6'4" and roughly 215. 

Have you tried putting the potty on top of the toilet and using a step stool?  Is he getting too big to use the potty (you know, splashing when he pees)? If so, maybe making him clean after he uses the little boy potty might help. Or maybe a cheering section when he does it your way.

Oops! Sorry, the suggestions just start flooding me.  Forgive me for imposing my suggestions on you.  That's not why we're talking, is it? Just enjoy the little successes and the rest will come with time. Good luck.

mypbandj
by Jen on Jun. 19, 2013 at 1:22 AM
I don't think he's too big to use the potty chair yet and we have toilet seat toppers but he won't. He won't even stand up and pee.

Oh and he asks for a diaper to poop.

It's ok. I'm not freaking out about it. Yet.


Quoting kay1214:

wow. I've heard of the Cheerio (froot loops) trick. i'm just happy for you that your son will pee in a potty at all. my son was around 12 when he finally decided to give up the pull-ups and by that time it was Depends mens underwear because he had gotten so big. My son is 14 (15 in Nov) and 6'4" and roughly 215. 

Have you tried putting the potty on top of the toilet and using a step stool?  Is he getting too big to use the potty (you know, splashing when he pees)? If so, maybe making him clean after he uses the little boy potty might help. Or maybe a cheering section when he does it your way.

Oops! Sorry, the suggestions just start flooding me.  Forgive me for imposing my suggestions on you.  That's not why we're talking, is it? Just enjoy the little successes and the rest will come with time. Good luck.

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lady_katie
by Silver Member on Jun. 19, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Definitely the first major public meltdown that led me to say "I think I have a problem here". My son was 17 months old and I tried to take him to story time at the local library. We both couldn't stand the boredom in the house, but I was already learning that I couldn't really take him places. Well, story time was overwhelming for him and when it was over he wanted to run in the parking lot. I wouldn't let him and he ended up bashing his head into my mouth. I remember just holding him like a football with tears in my eyes and blood on my face rushing him back to the car thinking that was the last time I would try any "mommy-son" activities, and it pretty much was, (besides special needs specific activities). When I finally got him strapped into the carseat I took a picture of myself just in case anyone tried to tell me that we don't get out of the house enough in the future lol. 

JTMOM422
by Brenda on Jun. 19, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I guess we have been lucky so far. Ds has not done anything that memorable. He has his meltdowns but we can usually calm him down within 5 minutes. 

Rosebud27aj
by Amanda on Jun. 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM

My oldest, he's 6, just had one last week. He wanted to ride his bike around the block, but we didn't have the key to the garage. My stepdad had the key and he wasn't home. So we couldn't get his bike out and told him we couldn't. He didn't understand that, even though we tried explaining it to him. Well we all went for a walk around the block. He was screaming bloody murder the whole time. He was grabbing us and pushing a little. It was terrible. There was a old man sitting on his porch, just watching us the whole time.when we finally got back on our street, which is a main road, he decides to drop to the ground and scream louder in front of our house. People in cars were staring at us as they went by. My dh finally picked him up and brought him into the house, still screaming and kicking at this point. He screamed for a good 15-25 minutes in the house, until he calmed down. He has never done that before outside the home.  

My youngest thankfully, he's 3, has never done that. 

mypbandj
by Jen on Jun. 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Oh wait! I have two more memorable meltdowns! LOL

1) we were at the local childrens museum. He was two. And he has it in his mind that the little toy train in the toddler area is HIS. He knows it there. He remembers it everytime. And as soon as we get inside, he goes to find it. Well, we walk in and first thing he see's is another kid playing with it. (I don't know why they can't buy another one???) He promplty throws himself on the floor in the path of walking parents and children who now have to step on him or over him. He's screaming. And he's not a tiny little kid. No, people thought he was 4 when he was only two. Which is hard because they expect more from him. I reach down to pick him up and he pulls away from me and I can't get him unless I grab him by the clothes and lift him. So that's what I do. It took him a long time to get over the fact that the train was with another kid and it wasn't his turn.

2) We were at a playgroup for kids birth to three. And he was two. But remember, he's a BIG two and so most people think he's four. So he's the biggest kid there. And they have these old metal cars there that he thinks are his. (see a pattern?). We get there and the knows where they are and they are the first thing he goes for. Except, he doesn't play with them. He just wants them. And he doesn't want anyone else to touch. Well, I'm sitting right there and the bucket of cars are by me and he's busy w/ another toy. A kid walks up to get one of the cars out of the bucket and Liam loses his mind!! He's screaming and doing it loudly. He is scaring me because I can tell he is about to run up to the other kids and rip the car out of their hands! By now, the parents are all looking at me and their children are looking scared. I have no choice but to scoop up my tantrum throwing kid and leave as fast as I can!

t1gger143
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 11:11 AM
When I had to physically restrain him. This was about a year ago. He went into full on black out mode, luckily in his room. Stuff was flying everywhere. I was afraid of him hurting himself or his brother. I work with Ed/ASD/odd kids, so I knew how to do it safely, but it broke my heart doing it to my ds. It took him a few minutes to come out of it.
We also had a meltdown that consisted of 45 minutes of him screaming. Finally he wore himself out.
acrogodess
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Honestly, I have been very blessed in that Alexander has never been a child to have meltdowns.
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kay1214
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 11:25 AM


To t1gger143:


There are always "those episodes" that stick out in your mind.

Another one with my "little one" was just within the last 6 months. He was having an especially hard time getting along with his younger NT brother. He charged the office doors, busting them in, and went after my 12yo.  I lost it and pushed him out of the doors and got him on the floor. Remember he's 6'4" and 200+ pounds. I'm 5'9" and 170 and I can hold my own when I need to. (Dad was in the Army and so was I. I was a combat trained MP) Anyway, he persisted so I got him in a front facing bear hug leaving his arms free.  Well, my loving son proceeded to pound the hell out of my back while I held on to him.  Every time he let out a breath, I'd tighten my grip around his chest/waist and lift him up off the floor for a couple of seconds.  We both wore out shortly after that and ended up in the floor with me on top of him.  Instead of looking at as physical restraint, I try to see it as cardio with a little weight lifting mixed in, that way I don't feel too bad. Besides, his size against mine, if he wanted to really hurt me, he could very well do so.

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