What I wish I knew about sensory meltdowns before the diagnosis
There was a time when sensory wasn’t in my vocabulary and I was clueless to a lot of behaviors. But these are just my thoughts on what I’ve learned over the years and how we handle meltdowns in our house.
When one of the kids is having a meltdown. I don’t mean a tantrum either I mean a full blown sensory meltdown…I always try to take a moment and step back to look at the entire picture. See what is causing the meltdown. I let both my kids meltdown as they need to. It needs to come out, then we need to work together to see how we could have helped prevent the meltdown.
The meltdown is always a product of a variety of things. You see your child isn’t sobbing uncontrollably, or hyperventilating over the fact that they couldn’t get their pants up easily or because they dropped their toy. It was the straw that broke the camels back.
In our case it’s been a major upset in our routine. We started school this week, and even though its at home there are different rules in place and it’s different than the usual. Then there’s the fact that Miss H has started ballet and has been gone from the house for 2 hours a day. EBE has struggled the most with this. And he worries about her, he’s a sweet little soul.
And Miss H is loving her new profession as a ballerina, she is such a social butterfly. But anytime we get home (or in the car) from exciting activities like this we usually have a lot of struggles after. As exciting as it is, it does cause sensory overload. She doesn’t remember to use the bathroom as often, she forgets to eat, it’s a combination of things. Thankfully we have weighted blanket that someone so generously gifted to us. It’s gotten so much use, and truly is helpful when the kids are on overload.
And in these moments I’m exhausted. It’s hard to watch your child struggle.
But it’s only a fleeting moment in time. And I know the meltdown will end. This is just part of growing, and changing. This is part of our journey with Autism.
But I will tell you. There’s a gentleness to both my spectrum kiddos, a kindness for everyone, and heart for things that the typical don’t always see or understand.
So I will tell you this. If you are overwhelmed and exhausted after your child’s meltdown. Also think about how they feel. They are growing and working through something. Help them. Rather than give it another label.
Labeling it won’t effect the outcome, but providing coping tools, sensory input, a lot of love can make it easier on everyone. A few essential oils helps out too.