School holidays have always been a bit of a problem for our boys. They enjoy the structure, routine & focus that school provides. They love their time off too of course – they were so desperate to get away on our little break at Haven Haggerston Castle ( http://www.haven.com/parks/northumberland/haggerston-castle/)last week (https://theworldofneil.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/safe-haven/) – but holidays and their lack of routine have always been troublesome for both of the boys. Their two-week October break has proved no different.
Matthew has actually coped relatively well, despite a late (but welcome) change to a luxury lodge instead of the anticipated caravan. He had his moments of course, and was withdrawn at the Seaside Squad shows & the Go Live! show in the evening. But thankfully there were few outburst from him. Daniel however was completely different. The slightest incident – such as not getting to the top in Doodle Jump (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lima.doodlejump&hl=en_GB) or being told he couldn’t have one more 10p to play a game. He would absolutely explode. These were mini-meltdowns as far as I could see (https://theworldofneil.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/autism-meltdown-or-tantrum/) – he was out of control and unreachable. He was ready to run off, and we had to play the fine line of letting him calm down on his own, and keeping him safe.
Fortunately the entertainment centre only has one way in/out, so as long as we kept an eye on the way out, we could keep him relatively safe. That’s not to say he didn’t manage to escape at all. Thankfully, he just sat down on the ground at the entertainment centre entrance. But we were walking on egg shells at times. It didn’t just happen once or twice. It was happening a dozen times or more every day. He was really hard work at times. But, like all his little meltdowns, he would suddenly snap out of them and be the sweet little boy he is the majority of the time.
The worst thing about his latest behavioural change is the increasingly violent threats he makes. Matthew, Jane & I alike have all been threatened with being struck with whatever is in his hand. And then there’s threats to destroy anything and everything in the house. He’s not aware of what he’s saying though. If he does actually break something of his, he will be devastated when he snaps out of the meltdown, so we’re mindful of getting precious things out of his hands.
Its hard to pin down the reason for the change. The change to his routine, and the his jealousy of Matthew’s birthday this week (Matthew had a low-key birthday when we were away and a family event at home yesterday) hasn’t helped. But usually his outbursts are just a case of verbal aggression. All we can do is help him through the meltdowns, keep him safe, and get him to the other side of them. Time will tell if this is a more permanent change in his aspie-led behaviour, or if its just a phase in his behaviour.
Our little aspie is a little powder keg at the moment, that’s for sure. School starts off again tomorrow, so hopefully that will get Daniel back on the right track again.