Meltdowns, as well as screaming in general, have been hard for me to deal with. Since the early days of Elizabeth’s issues, I have felt upset each time she is upset. At first, I wanted her to stop – just STOP – because the noise bothered me and because I felt she was being unruly…misbehaving…perhaps early terrible twos.
But then, once we were looking at the possibility of autism, I found myself having compassion where there used to be confusion. I still very much wanted the crying, screaming, and tantruming to stop, and I still felt upset because it was uncomfortable, but I no longer felt it was bad behavior. I began looking at each situation uniquely and also really attempted to find the REASON for the reaction. This helped us both but I still felt an edgyness and panic at the idea of her getting upset.
All of the emotions I have experienced in the last year and a half have been more than I could express in a single post, but it has been tough. I have wanted to react calmly and balanced to her frustrations but I didn’t know how until now.
This afternoon, she got VERY upset about having to get dressed in her normal t-shirt and pants (triggered in part because of water play outside but also, I think, because I bought new shirts for her a few days ago that she seems weird about and has rejected so far). At any rate, she was screaming and crying, trying to pull her clothes off. But I stayed calm. I felt calm. And you know what? I handled it like normal but I FELT differently about it.
She finally settled down after twenty or so minutes and then climbed up into my lap and fell asleep. I moved her into a comfy position after a few minutes and she took a nice nap.
I love this little girl so much.