Autism Meltdowns Can be Hard to Forget
by Laura Shumaker –
I was watering my roses while Matthew was resting in his room (or so I thought) when the phone rang. It was my neighbor.
“Matthew is having an episode in my front yard, and I’m scared. He’s pulling out plants and kicking my car. I asked him to stop and he threatened me…”
Before she could finish I was there, and Matthew was still yelling, crying and kicking. It turned out that he’d gone to watch my neighbors gardeners and when he followed them to closely, they’d asked him to leave, which set him off. Matthew, who was 20 years old at the time, had had his share of meltdowns through the years, but this was the most extreme and I had no idea what to do.
Once Matthew calmed down, (this was after a visit to the ER where he told the staff he was no one to be messed with) he felt remorseful, and wanted to make things right with my neighbor, who wanted distance instead. Matthew and I were eventually forgiven, but even 6 years later, they incident is not forgotten.
With scenarios like this in mind, Autism Speaks developed a Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit with the help of parents, professionals and individuals on the spectrum. Features of the kit include various tools and resources, including advice for building a team to address challenging behaviors, strategies for encouraging behavior improvement and advice for managing a crisis situation.
I like the way the the Toolkit is organized. You can download the entire document or select just one topic at a time (becasue lets face it, when you are in the middle of a crises, you want to access specific information quickly!
Read more at Autism and challenging behaviors: There’s a tool kit for that!.