Grace Under Pressure

We decided to take G to our town’s 4th of July parade, which is a huge event here.  We had G bring his fur earmuffs, which he loves to stroke as a soother and helps muffle the noise.  Those worked pretty well and we were at the parade for about 30 minutes before problems developed.

The various groups in the parade throw candy to the children.  And the very nice and lovely people around us (said sincerely) made sure G got plenty of candy, probably surmising there was something not typical about our family as our child was wearing fur earmuffs in July.  We intercepted as much as possible and let G eat about every 5th piece.  But sugar shorts G’s system.  For example, after one too many indulgences, my in-laws learned the hard way to tell G the ice cream shop in their town is closed 5 days a week. 

So there we are, in front of the entire town, when we realized a meltdown was iminent.  We started hustling G away from the parade when he started mugging DH for the rest of his candy.  He had his hands in DH’s pockets and was screaming at the top of his lungs for DH to hand it over.  He fell to the ground, kicking and screaming.  He swung out at us and kicked out at us, although he didn’t connect much.  He shrieked for 30 seconds at a time, stopping only to take another breath.  He screamed that he hated us and hoped we would die.  He squirmed his hand out of ours and tried to bolt away.

What was different this time is how calm DH and I were able to be.  Public meltdowns have always been very difficult for me because of the embarrassment factor.  I tear up or I get short with G, making a bad situation worse.  This time we were both able to keep our voices calm but firm.  When G swung at us we calmly took a step back, keeping him from feeling crowded or cornered.  When he ran from us we were able to scoot ahead and cut him off, changing his direction without touching him.

We got him back to the car and got him calmed down.  These events are always a bit depressing.  I feel sad seeing first hand the difficulties G has from time to time.  But I feel pretty good about how we handled it.  Maybe we’re finally learning a thing or two.

Published in: on July 8, 2009 at 9:22 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Hi I am a mom of a wonderful boy who is 7 with AS and one wonderful girl who is neurotypical. I feel your pain and congratulate you on being able to stay calm in the heat of the moment. It is so tough but will pay dividends in the long run!

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