Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bouncy House Meltdown

      Meltdowns are very common in this house. Our Rhys bear will have them usually everyday and usually with no warning at all! You never know what is going to set them off, and when you think you have it figured out, it changes. Stuffed animals with "weird eyes", reversing in a vehicle, a broken tile on a ceiling, drains on the street,  movie theatres, and shower nozzles are all things that have frightened him or sent him into meltdown status. Meanwhile, things that bother his brother and sister, like bees and scary movies, don't bother him at all!
      The most recent meltdown was a bouncy house. He has always LOVED bouncy houses. We did not see this coming. He went down the slide in the house of terrors and it didn't end there. I think he thought it should have ended right there. Unfortunately, there were a few more obstacles ahead. He had to climb up and go down one more slide while still inside. Nope, he wasn't having it. He froze and proceeded to scream "HELP ME, HELP ME". Yes, people were staring, as they normally do. Meltdowns seem to find a lot of attention from close minded people. Every now and then you get that sympathetic look of "I've been there". Somehow that can always be comforting and I try to do that for other frantic parents. Anyway, I'll get back to the house of terrors. Big brave daddy came to the rescue by climbing up the slide he refused to go down and pulling him up as if it were a rescue mission. He was saved! Poor guy.
     For most autistic kids it doesn't end there though. No, that would be too easy :) Now the bouncy house is a sign of anxiety and fear in Rhys' eyes. Anytime he sees one he will become a different person in a matter of seconds. He will cling to you like his life depends on it and he will watch it out of the corner of his eye as if it were going to attack him. I've noticed with Rhys that a new meltdown motive will only last a few months to a year and he will outgrow them. The new ones will then arise out of nowhere catching mom and dad off guard. Some people may be reading this and thinking, "wow, that seems like a lot of work." I think it makes life interesting. My husband and I have become very good at staying calm during these episodes and finding the humor in it all. You will often find us joking around and trying to make Rhys laugh when he is throwing a fit. This is our life, and we love it!

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