We have Big A Days. Days when you can’t avoid or pretend that autism isn’t part of our family. There are times that the layers of therapy and structure we have in place cushion the family. We move along smoothly through our days, even weeks. Then there are THOSE days.
Big A days.
Spring tends to bring out Big A days more than normal. Allergies wear on the kids. They don’t feel good from allergies. Changing of the seasons means lots of basic life changes and that bother them too. The sun is up when they have to go to sleep and that can be a big irritant.
When we went to Teach Them Diligently in Nashville, TN my crew held it together so well. I was so proud and told my littles I was proud of them. But several days in a hotel with their normal schedule disrupted. Working the convention with mom was tiring. And a long afternoon in the pool all spelled the end of their patience. On the way out of the hotel it was a meltdown parade.
Kids crying. Kids mad. Kids not responding to direction because they were tuned out. <sigh> Big A Day
Christmas is another time of the year that brings out the overload in our kids. All that commercialism, lights, and excitement every time you walk out the door. I love Christmas but I hate the stuff.
Do you have Big A Days? Yeah.. They come they go. I have learned along the way not to fight them.
The first thing I try to do when I sense we are heading for meltdown city is to distract.
Try to take a quick catalogue of what is the major sensory issue or schedule issue or whatever is the cause of the meltdown. If I can adjust it I do so immediately.
There are times that distraction and adjusting doesn’t work. Like in the hotel. The meltdowns were set by checkout morning. I tried to distract but that wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t fix the tiredness, overwhelmed feelings. Now it’s time to put your head down and guide your little one through the meltdown.
Patience is your friend!
Hubby and I helped the kids out of the hotel to the van. All while much wailing and fussing was happening. If you were in the lobby you knew the Laurie herd was on the move.
We got to the van and I made sure each child had a moment with me to help calm down. Each child got their van on the go package. (a drink, a snack, and something to do like coloring pages) Sitting down, having their mommy time, and their ready to go package helped the kids to start calming down.
I won’t pretend that all was perfect as we drove out of the hotel parking lot but it was better.
Big A Days happen.
Patience. Forethought. Time.
Take this opportunity to teach your kids how to deal with hard days. You will get through.