Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How NOT to Handle a Meltdown!

If you have a child who has special needs requiring special education, you don't need me to tell you what a challenge it is. A normal day can very quickly morph into a migraine inducing afternoon long meltdown. Your child, not you! Ok, maybe you too. I had this happen recently with RoboBoy. He is 10 years old and has Asperger's Syndrome, also known as high functioning autism.

He is on medication for ADHD which also helps to control his aspie symptoms. He also takes melatonin at night to help him sleep. A very common issue with aspies is that they tend to be chronic insomniacs.

So our day started out as usual, with me insisting that he take his medication first thing. When I walked into the kitchen to make sure he'd taken it, I saw his pill bottle sitting with the lid still on it. Strange...usually he forgets to put the lid back on. I let it pass and went on with my busy day.

That morning I was making out chore charts. I presented each of my three children with their new charts and informed them that if I caught them playing video games or watching a show before ALL their school and chores were done, they would be grounded.

RoboBoy was being difficult about doing his schoolwork and the thought passed through my mind, “I wonder if he really did take his medication?” Then I turned from my work on the computer to find him playing a game on the other computer! He had done NONE of his schoolwork. I had no choice but to ground him.

This is where mom goofed up BIG TIME! RoboBoy begged me to unground him if he did his schoolwork, and I caved. So he did his schoolwork and then wanted to play on the TV, which his sister was occupying at that time. The arguing ensued and his meltdown began. I ended up having to ground him for fighting with his sister. Then I told him that I was wrong to unground him for doing his schoolwork. Poor kid! Mom was waffling all over the place!

In my defense, I also have Aspergers, and I was stressed due to all of this arguing and RoboBoy melting down. As you can tell, I don't deal well with it.

When bedtime finally rolled around, (none too soon for me!), RoboBoy came and told me that he had been “doing some thinking in bed” and realized that he accidentally took his melatonin that morning instead of his other medication. Well, that sure explained a lot!

The main thing I learned from this incident, is that mom needs to stick to her guns and not cave when the little darling tries to bargain away his punishment. It would have made my life much easier that day in spite of his having not taken the correct medication. He wouldn't have spent the rest of the day melting down and trying to get me to change my mind again.


topsy-techie said...

We've had all kinds of medication issues with 2 kiddos with different special needs and I can tell you that those little clear pill boxes where you can put in their medicine for each day of the week, and SEE when they've actually taken what (and when) are an absolute lifesaver!!! :)

Dee said...

Oh, that just makes too much sense! I use one for my own medications, why not his too? LOL