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The learning cruve

December 26, 2013



In the last month we have learned an enormous amount about our son and autism.  My son had one the most epic of meltdowns out in public that was upsetting for us and exhausting for him.  It took a day for all of us to get over, but we came away with valuable information.  1st Lesson… my son told us, even a day later, that he was sorry for “acting like a fool” and that he hoped “you will forgive me?”.  That meant he was aware that we were upset, and that he understood that his behavior was not acceptable.  It’s a huge step in overcoming those meltdowns.  Of course we both told him that we loved him no matter what, we would always forgive him, and even if we are mad that doesn’t change either of those facts.  2nd Lesson:  That we need to listen to our gut when we think he needs a break.  About 15 minutes before his meltdown we both thought we probably needed to leave.  That he was becoming overstimulated.  We both asked him if he wanted to leave, or if he needed a break.  He answered NO.  But looking back we both knew that the day would have been saved if we just went with our intuition. Lesson number 3…. try not to care what other’s around you are thinking when we are dealing with a melt down.  That is so hard but we powered through.. not paying attention to stares and comments, just so we could get to the car.   We had an encounter with a security staff member that could have turned really ugly but we let it go too!  So we are learning just like my son is.  These are things we always have to keep in mind.  We will be trying our hand at Disneyland in a few weeks.  I spoke to my son’s behaviorist about what we should do if this happens while we are in the park… where to go for breaks… what clues to look for if he’s overstimulated. She was wonderful in giving us many tips and hints.  But most importantly we have to listen to our gut!  Even if it means leaving!


My son is full of energy, questions, love, smarts, jokes, compassion and a brain that overstimulates him constantly.   He told me that he doesn’t want to “freak out” but sometimes he just does.  Lesson number 4.. we need to teach him to figure out what he needs in order to not freak out!  We are slowly getting there.  Which brings us to Lesson number 5.. Trust.  We have to trust that he will let us know when he really needs help or really needs a brake and in turn he has to trust that we will listen and honor his needs.


But the biggest lesson of all:  Second chances are allowed.  For all of us!!  Mom, Dad, and both boys  We all get them.  We all need them.  His epic meltdown was tough, but he won’t be defined by it.  There are times when I know I don’t handle things well, I don’t want to be defined by it either.  We get to say sorry, and mean it… then move on.  This learning curve is steep.  We are climbing, we are making progress.  And even if we slip up, we get a second chance.

One Comment
  1. Mike permalink

    Love reading your blog! Ever thought about writing a book? I think a lot of peopöe could learn and benefit from your experiences.

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