How about you?? I admit, when hubby told me that we should ALL go grocery shopping, I thought I would have a panic attack. Nick had been less than his normal lovely self, and the thought of dealing with a meltdown in a crowded public place is enough to make anyone cringe. Imagine my surprise when this happened.....
See that??!! It is a SMILE!
I don't know who put the red tape there, but he did not mind.
He only bolted three times....none of which were at the check-out; which is always good. He even helped put things in the cart! Ending today with a slight smile :)
Today started with a massive meltdown from Little man. Nothing dashes hopes for a great day like hearing a screaming, yelling, and destructive 7 yr old. We had gone 5 whole days with no behaviors and it was wonderful! Now, here we are again. We spring into action....giving advil and nose sprays. It actually started last night before bed. We started with Advil and Zyrtec. Then nose sprays, and finally his risperidal. We put him to bed, but that was not working. He came out in a rage and started hitting me again. I held his hands and walked him back to his room. It took him about another 30 minutes to settle in for the night, and when he was finally asleep I could relax and let my guard down.
This morning started out how last night ended. Damn. Why? What is making him do this? What is bugging him? Give Advil and irrigate nose. He calms down, but only briefly. At intermittant times he barges out of his room, clearly not in control of himself, and seeks me out to hit. I prepare myself and grab his hands as he starts. I put him back in his room. This happens numerous times and I give him another nose treatment. He is calm enough now to possibly eat some yogurt. I ask him if he wants yogurt and he comes to the table. I crush up his morning dose of risperidal and mix it in his yogurt. He eats a couple bites, but then is once again upset by something and runs to his room. I calmly go after him and tell him to finish his yogurt. He reluctantly does so, but he is sitting quietly and not hitting me....so things are getting better. After his yogurt, he goes back to his room and lays quietly on his bed. I let him calm down the rest of the way and to possibly let a filled tummy settle him further. It worked. He emerged a few minutes later smiling and engaging. I asked him if he wanted waffles. He responded by going over to the table and sitting down. He ate three waffles and has now been meltdown free since.
So, what IS causing his meltdowns?? Could it have been low blood sugars-that were steadily balanced by eating? Or is it that the advil and nose sprays are working to help alleve any pain he might have been in? I simply do not know exactly. We can only guess. I can only go by his behavior NOW that one of those was the right thing.
If you are thinking the reason for no blog posts is because of Nick's behaviors, well, you would be partially correct. But, it is not what you are thinking. Life around here for the holiday weekend has been rather boringly 'normal'. Nick is over his cold, and his aggression/SIB (self injurious behavior) are almost non-existant. He has been quite mischievious, but that is completely different.
On Tuesday Nick stayed home from school due to being sick. He only had a minor cold, but with Nick a minor cold can cause just enough pain for him to launch into aggression and SIB. Which means school becomes pointless, as he cannot function. Wednesday, he was a little better, so we decided to try to send him to school. Mike got him dressed and walked him to the busstop. Nick was not having any of it and proceeded to get aggressive towards everyone. So, as the bus pulled up, Mike just held Nick's hand and waved at the bus driver. Nick would miss another day of school. It was a half-day anyway, so no big loss. On one hand I hate that he misses so much school, but on the other hand-what is he getting out of it when he cannot function?
Wednesday afternoon I had a meeting with the school psychologist, his teacher, his speech therapist(at school), and his occupational therapist (OT at school). The meeting started at 11:30, and we did not get out of there until 1:45! During that meeting, the psychologist went over her evaluation of Nick. Of course, with his autism comes along certain sensory processing difficulties, and those of you who know Nick will agree to that. We knew that. We just did not know HOW many difficulties. We had begun to realize that he was developing some light sensitivity at times because he would often turn the lights off at home and at his OT appointments. We also knew that certain sounds he did not like. However, we thought these were rather minor and that he had overcome some of this.
Nick's senses get distorted. He was found to have Auditory Processing difficulties, Visual Processing difficulties, Vestibular Processing difficulties, Touch Processing difficulties, Multisensory processing difficulties, and Oral sensory difficulties.
Basically in his daily life if things get too loud, or there is a lot of movement (i.e. people) he gets over whelmed and cannot cope. When he is put in situations like this he feels unsafe and that is likely to lead to aggression and meltdowns. He wants to go places, but once he gets there, numerous things can set him off. If the place is too crowded, the flourescent lights, the unexpected noises, people talking and moving all around him. It must be like when you have been drinking and the room starts to spin, and people become a big blur moving around you. He becomes anxious because his brain cannot make heads or tails of what is going on. Everything is coming at him at once, and he goes into overdrive. This can also happen when he is engaging in self-stimming behavior. He 'stims' to calm himself, but when it is not working he will meltdown as well. Which would explain his outbursts even when doing things that normally calm him down, and that can make it seem like it comes "out of the blue".
In other ways, visual and auditory senses stimulate him and he will constantly seek input. That comes out as dropping things. Nick will carefully move things to the edge and watch/listen to it drop to the floor. He does this with everything....no matter what it is. He will try to move anything for that satisfactory "drop" to the floor.
We also set up another meeting to go over their behavior plan that they will set up for him(and that his next school can evaluate) and go over a new IEP (also steps for the next school ). That is set up on the 12th.
As far as Thanksgiving went; it went well actually. It was just the four of us and we celebrated with a ham, mashed potatoes, corn, and stuffing. We stayed in our jammies and just relaxed. No meltdowns, no aggression, nothing. Nick did manage to wash his socks and underwear in the toilet, but that was about it. The weekend has been much of the same. Michael playing video games, Nick watching the washer/dryer and rotisserie grill, and daddy and me enjoying every minute of relative 'normalcy'. This is our last holiday in this house, and in three weeks we will be moving. We have a buyer for our Hyundai (we are only taking the Jeep), need to get the travel trailer ready for a trip across the country, and have movers scheduled to come and pack up our house on the 12th-13th of December. It is going to be a very busy time for us, but hopefully for the better.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Not sure when my next post will be. I will try to post before the big move!