Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Meltdown!

As I mentioned in The Launch, the Bear had a meltdown yesterday.  Bear has meltdowns quite frequently actually...

Okay I need to start again...I got that far before Monkey decided to do his thing with the croup last night so it is now the following day...so Bear had a meltdown on Sunday.  Bear has meltdowns quite frequently actually but this one was a doozy.

Actually I didn't start this post to write about the Sunday meltdown I really started it because while he was having it I was thinking about the nature of his meltdowns...that's right I was actually thinking with this kid screaming his absolute nog off in the background!

And this is what I was thinking...

I remember having a conversation with my father in law years ago where he asked me what had set Bear off this time and I said that I thought it had been building up for a while and that he just had to get it out of his system. I said that sometimes you can just see it coming and you can do things to delay it and maybe even make it not as intense but it's not going to go away till it's over and done with!

And I still think that's true to a certain extent, although I perhaps understand a little bit more about why that is now.  As I said in What Is Your Child's Special Needs Bears head (I think anyway) is constantly full of noise and routine helps to quiet that noise a bit...I'm not talking about literally but figuratively there is a lot of noise. 

So if we stick to our routines why then does it build up to the point where he has to explode?

Because when push comes to shove...WE LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD!  We can keep his routines up every day but there is NO way that we can make EVERY SINGLE detail the same EVERY SINGLE day.  The small details change every day and even if we were inclined to do so we couldn't humanly keep them all the same, especially not in such a large family.  So there is a build up.

And then of course there are the times when there is a fundamental change in his routine...like not going to Gym on Tuesday afternoon during the school term, or sending Belana (the dog) back to live with my cousin because we couldn't keep her in the yard here.  Those ones almost always result in meltdown...Sometimes at the time of the change but often the following day or a couple of days later when his head just can't get itself back into whack!

I honestly believe that when Bear is having a meltdown, he's not in control of what he's doing...at least not totally.  I don't think he's doing it for attention or to get something that he wants, he is doing it because he just needs to get it out....I'm sure we've all felt that way at some point in our lives!

Of course we always try and get him to calm down.  And after all these years we still ask him if he wants any number of things...even though it generally doesn't work until the meltdown has run it's course.  "Bear would you like some noodles?", "what would you like to watch?", "shall we make a chocolate cake?" the list goes on!

And every time I ask the question I know in myself that HE JUST DOESN'T KNOW...and yet I ask anyway.  At some point the meltdown will have run it's course and he will accept one of the things I have offered and will calm down (and then often remember each of the things I have offered him and go through them one by one and take me up on it)

Obviously that's not all I do to try and calm him down.  I go and give him a cuddle in his room, I rub his back, I talk gently to him...sometimes I even yell at him because I've had it too.  There are lots of things that I try EVERY time, even though I know that they didn't work last time or the time before.

One day I will find a better way but until then I can't bear to see my child in such distress, it breaks my heart to know that he is just not coping with his world...and that I can't fix it :(

I have rambled a lot in this post...I know it and I'm too tired to be sorry,  too tired to go hunting for pictures and too tired to even proofread it...maybe I can go back and do so tomorrow...
Maybe not :D


  1. Beautiful rambles and so perfectly described. I don't know anything about your Bear but what you've just said makes such perfect sense - melt downs happen when uve taken too much and it has to get out somewhere and u dont have a better way to fix it. I'm an early childhood teacher (or will be once ive got my final prac done - one day when Im ready to be away from my little pie) and it makes me so sad when I see ppl not understanding this and just expecting a childs meltdown to be stopped with force or anger or demands. You are such a wonderful Mummy role model :) Thank goodness for our shared love of cloth <3

  2. Naaaw you just made me all warm and fuzzy inside! I haven't even had a chance to come back and look at this post, though I might a little bit later tonight, but I'm glad it makes sense :D
    I think you will make a great early childhood teacher, and you'll love it too...I was a special needs education assistant at one point and I had the time of my life the year I spent in grade one :D

  3. oh, and I'm really glad we "met" too :D