I wish this would never happen again, but it will.

Something happened yesterday with Dylan that hasn’t ever happened before.

We are used to his meltdowns. During a meltdown he screams, hits himself, throws himself at the floor, bangs his head off the wall, lashes out at us or anyone around him along with many other things he does during a meltdown.
Generally I can tell when a meltdown is coming on and will try to get him to relax with some deep pressure massage, distraction with colouring, his iPad or turning the lights off and using his star light that he has that projects stars onto the roof.
Yes they are very tough to deal with, but I suppose in a way I have grown a thicker skin to these.
They are not fun to deal with, and when he is in bed or once he has settled and is fine I will have a cry. They are emotionally and mentally exhausting, sometimes physically too when you have to restrain him from hurting himself or others around him.
IMG_0995.JPGYesterday though Dylan had a shutdown. This is something that I have never been aware of, or heard of until it happened.
Dylan & myself were happily playing, I stood up to get a drink and he happily carried on playing then about 1 minute later he burst into tears.. he was crying like he had really hurt himself.
I quickly went back to him and picked him up and checked him over to see if he was hurt anywhere (a really tough thing about him having no communication skills or verbalization is that if he is hurt etc he can’t tell or show you) He buried his head into my chest and was clinging to me, I sat down on the sofa to which he normally rejects and makes you stand up to sooth him, but he just buried his head in harder. I talked calmly to him and tried to lift him away from me too look at him and distract him. This was not going to happen. He is pretty strong when he wants to be!
I took his clothes off incase he was too warm, or a label had been annoying him all day, but still he refused to look at me, or to be moved away from my chest.
I went and got a blanket and put over him to ensure he didn’t get cold and he pulled it over his face and then grabbed my arms into it and pulled them around him to hold him close. This is something he hasn’t ever done before.
I tried a few times at the start to sit him up and interact with him, but he got very distraught by these attempts so I stopped.
I held him close, while he snuggled in with his eyes tightly shut from the world, and I cried.
I felt so helpless, so useless, like I had failed him, how had I not spotted that things had got so tough that he had to shut down, hide away from it all.
I hated this cruel world, autism, my ability to not read his mind, not knowing how to help my son, it’s an awful gut wrenching feeling. A feeling I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Thinking about how useless I felt and was then is putting tears in my eyes again now.
He sat with his head buried into me with no response, no babbling or anything at all for an hour and a half. He then responded a little and would get up and go for a short walk but then would be straight back to me, with his head hidden from the world.
It then took about another 30-45 mins till he was back to his usual self.

There was no warning signs, nothing out of the ordinary happened, he seemed very content before hand, no triggers that I can think of, nothing I am aware of that upset him.
I’m stuck wondering what made it happen, desperately wanting to prevent it from happening again, but with no clue how.


21 thoughts on “I wish this would never happen again, but it will.

  1. That has to be tough. I can’t say that I’ve been in that position with my son save when he was sick but I knew he was sick. Without any warning that this was about to happen, that is really hard for a parent. But I believe you did the right thing, even not knowing really what to do we parents have our instincts and you did what your instincts told you to do. Good job mama! You’re doing great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe it was because he had sensory overload (too much going on around him). Loud noises, new toy, new routine or even growing pains. My son is 8 and luckily extremely verbal. When this happens to him he crystal and runs to his room to calm down. Unfortunately, after any meltdown or shutdown he feels terrible about himself:( for being unable to control his emotions. It’s heartbreaking as a parent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I’m not really sure what it was as we were playing quietly and the TV was off.. must have been something though that set him off.. hopefully will figure it out soon!
      I’m hoping that when he is verbal it will be a little easier, so that he can tell me what is going on or what has happened.
      It really is heart breaking, strength and love to you ❤


  3. Oh you poor things. This sounds so upsetting for both of you. I suspect it’s another learning curve. I’m sure in the early days you didn’t know where to start with helping him through his meltdowns and now you are a pro. Similarly I hope his becomes the same for his shutdowns.

    I have to admit I know very little about autism and I don’t have an autistic child myself. I’m just responding to what I’ve learned from your posts.

    Lots of love to you both x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, something that I am going to have to learn all about! Everything is so new and different.

      I’m glad that you have learnt from my posts, one of the reasons I blog is to raise awareness so its fantastic to see that my blog is doing one thing I intended it for! =]

      Thank you ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. When you said you felt useless, I had actually been reading your post thinking to myself how perfectly and instinctually you had responded to his needs. That was definitely NOT a fail – it sounds like you’re doing brilliantly! It does sound extremely distressing and scary for both of you though. 😦 But I think you managed his distress really well!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Because you walked away? my son went through the same thing, in a normal toddler, separation anxiety of any kind is usually shown by following you around or calling your name, asking where you are. My son didn’t have that option, he would seem okay, then realise I was gone and had no idea if I was coming back. So i began a ritual of saying a favourite word followed by ‘back soon’. I repeated it over and over all the time I was away so he could hear me and slowly the anxiety waned. He is 13 now and has many anxieties but we tackle each one as they come x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think it was from me walking away, as normally he is very happy to be left to his own devices and is often shoving you away so he can be left alone lol.
      I’m glad that you have built that up with you son, its hard to think of what will work for them! ❤


  6. My son does this alot sometimes things just get to much for them and often you will never find the trigger. If it happens again just sit and hold him for however long it takes it is hard but sometimes all they need is you and once the moment has gone will often revert back to normal self. A weighed blanket might help next time

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh lovely that has to be tough. Without any warning signs, it must be difficult to prevent it from happening again. You coped brilliantly, even if you didn’t feel it. You are amazing and an amazing mum xx #mondaystumble

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am going to have to try and look out for warning signs next time so that I can be more aware of when it is going to happen and to have a chance to be able to hopefully prevent them from happening to regularly!
      Thank you! x


  8. Wow, what strength you need and what a strong sense of self too. I am sending you even more strength, as this must be so very exhausting. Thank you for sharing these experiences. I truly believe, you help to make us all better parents. #mondaystumble xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OH, don’t you just hate it when you have absolutely no idea what caused it? I would literally give an arm and possibly a leg too if I could read my traumatised kids’ minds so I would know what distressed them and what tactics to employ to help them. It’s so so tough, I totally feel for you. I have no wisdom for you, just that you are going great, please do not think for a second that you failed him! You are a champion! Much love to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It was a horrible thing to happen and out of the blue too must have been really stressful for you, but I dont think for a minute you were useless. You insitnctivly did what Dylan needed you to do to get him through his shutdown. Youre a brilliant mum xx


  11. My son is older than yours, but with similar challenges. Throughout his life so far, he’s had more shutdowns than meltdowns. When he was younger, I didn’t know about shutdowns, but noticed that he often fell asleep suddenly and quite unexpected. Looking back, I can see that it was a reaction to stress of various kinds, a kind of coping mechanism.
    I prefer shutdowns to meltdowns, as there is less risk of anyone being hurt, property damaged, neighbours disturbed etc. Of course we try to prevent both meltdowns and shutdowns, but when overload occurs, meltdowns are more terrifying to me.
    I’m not sure what factors that determine which way things go (melt- or shutdown), but I suspect that low energy-levels due to not eating enough may sway it more towards shutdowns. Maybe… There’s always a great deal of guess-work with these kiddos, right? 😉 x

    Liked by 1 person

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