For those who have been following me for a while, you all know I have 5 sons. Two of these sons are autistic. I am very child led and very into fixing the environment to make my children healthy and happy. This is why I say that more parents of autistics should do what Jackson Galaxy says to do for cats. He has them change the environment and not try to change the cat. It works every time.
I will not tell you which son it was. It would violate his privacy and autonomy. I wont tell you exactly what happened during the meltdown for the same reason. But what I will tell you the events leading up to it and how I made it right.
Events Leading Up to Meltdown
His aunt sissy and friend came down for a visit because Potato’s birthday is coming up and she is Potato’s biological mom. She knows this child loves superman and brought down a movie to watch with him. We had always used the Xbox to play DVD but we don’t have a lot since we do digital movies and games to lessen the chance of them getting damaged.
When they decided on when to watch the movie, we put it in the Xbox and it wouldn’t read it. He was extremely upset and it caused a meltdown. If you are looking forward to doing something and it doesn’t happen due to an unforeseen circumstance, I can understand why this happened.
How We Handled the Meltdown
After we calmed him down, I told him not to worry. He could watch it in my bedroom and I would fix the problem in the living room. He was happy with this solution and watched it with his aunt in my bedroom and was laying down under my weighted blanket.
How We Fixed the Problem
What did I do? I went to the thrift store and bought a cheap DVD player to put in the living room. I looked on the back and saw it takes an HDMI cable. Then I went to 5 Below to buy an HDMI cable for this DVD player.
I came home and I said I bought a DVD player, what movie did you want to try it out with? He chose the Superman movie, of course. It was only $3.50 so it was worth the risk. Guess what? It worked perfectly and told him it was set on HDMI 4 and he can use it whenever he wants.
Discussion of the Situation
Did I punish him? No. Did I yell at him? No. Did I tell him he was being really bad? No.
I changed the environment to accommodate the child. On the internet we see so many “autism moms” complain about meltdowns without seeing why the child melted down to begin with. He was upset that the xbox didn’t play any discs anymore so I bought a cheap DVD player and that fixed that issue.
Too many people concentrate on what happens during a meltdown, not what caused it and how to fix it.
Change the environment. Find out why the child is upset. Once you take the trigger out, the child and parent will be much happier. This isn’t about the parent, it is about the child and the sooner more parents realize this, the sooner this world will be more suited for autistics like us.