Spectrum Warriors: Life Through The Autism Spectrum

What does a meltdown feel like?

What does a meltdown feel like? For us who are raising a child on the spectrum we can never truely understand what it is like to have a meltdown. We understand the complexity and have learnt the triggers but will never truly get it. Thanks the Planet Autism we get to have a glimps into the process.

A lot of this blog post resonates with me as the Monkey has this great ability to hold it all together till he is at home and then he blows up exactly like the pop bottle analogy. When he first started therapy they were amazed at how well he tolerated everything because no matter what they did he never had a meltdown. Well it was true he never had a meltdown with them but as soon as they left we would have a little boy who spent hours screaming.

I am learning along this journey that a lot of individuals on the high functioning end of the spectrum are extremely self aware. Where as someone at the lower end of the scale may have a meltdown in public with out any hesitation someone, like the Monkey, will attempt to bottle it up inside as their anxiety increases. We very rarely have full blown meltdowns in public. These are usually kept for those he loves.

I’d like to thank Planet Autism for allowing us a glimps into the minds of our children.

Planet Autism Blog

Image Meltdowns can affect any age of individual on the autistic spectrum, they are not the preserve of the child!  They aren’t tantrums, the reasons for them are totally different and they are not about demanding attention or histrionics.

Stress over something builds up, it can be anything, autistic people are all different and have different triggers.  For me, people refusing to listen or understand me is a difficult one, as well as noise, or feeling trapped or controlled.

You feel something bubbling up inside you that you don’t have any control over, you feel panic and you want to flee the situation/trigger.  If someone or something prevents that, the meltdown rises higher.  You can’t think of anything else, all you can think of is you want it to stop.

Someone said something insightful the other day, that for an autistic child at school, they are like a bottle of cola…

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