21

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.
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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.

 

5

Sensory Pasta Play!

This morning we woke up to a cold and wet day! Horrible, especially when I have two little ones to entertain as school is out for half term!
I was trying to think on my toes of what to do with them that was a little different to the usual coloring or toys that we have! I decided on something sensory to try out, hoping that if my little man didn’t just dive in he would copy his sister and at least give it a try!

I hunted in the cupboards to see what I could find and I hunted out some pasta! Some sensory play, that isn’t to messy and wouldn’t stick to my little mans hands which is something he really doesn’t like! I had some swirly pasta and then i broke up some pasta sheets into a bowl.

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I then put the bowl on the floor and picked the pasta up and dropped it into the bowl so that it made a different noise and he came running out to see what was happening and he dove straight in! I was so happy, he was picking it up and running his hands through it all the time while laughing away. I then found a bigger container so that he could move them about a bit more and sit in it if he decided to.

He loved it, he was putting it between his toes, and even decided to take a little nibble on a bit which is truly incredible with his very strict diet and unwillingness to try anything different.

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A very simple sensory play, but it was very effective!
Next time I am out I am going to buy a few bags of different kinds of pasta and color them all different colors, so it is even more visual for him!
After a week or two of playing with the pasta I may start to put a few bits of cooked pasta in at a time, only a very small number at the start and then slowly building. I know slimy things are not his favorite and is the reason he wont eat several foods (ham,pasta,etc) so I am going to do it very slowly and hopefully he wont notice the change and will accept it very well! =]

weeohana xx

0

Our Favorite Sensory Items!

I just thought I’d make a little blog about a few of the things that I have in my house that my little man really loves and and helps calm him down! I’m going to do another one on his favorite toys that he has too! It may help you with ideas on what to get your little ones! =] Oh and before we get started, all these things have been bought by myself or friends for my little ones, so these are all very honest reviews!

One of my best buys of last year was this giant bean bag, it is fantastic, he will lay on it and watch TV/his ipad/the lights and fold it in half and it makes it more solid and it doubles up as a seat to play his adorable little Ukulele on, and to just chill out on, its wonderful. It’s big enough so that both him and his sister can fit on it with a gap between them! He loves the feel of the beans in the inside too and the sound of them when he rolls about on it! The cover on this one can be taken off and washed if needs be and it is also waterproof so it means that I don’t have to be worried about drinks and the such on it! This is the one I got and you can get it in lots of different colors! I chose the purple as its a nice color for both boys and girls it is also dark so hides stains a little ;] heres the link >>¬† [Click Here]

This is another of his favorites and is one of the best things for calming him down. My best friend got him this for Christmas as she knew that he would love to watch the lights on it, its a wonderful thing and such a thoughtful gift too! I was so surprised by how well it covered the whole living room in wonderful stars and moons in lots of colors! You can have it so that there is just one color, two,three or four! There is also a setting so that it can rotate, be still or flash! We prefer the rotating one with two colors! Sometimes all four is just a bit too much going on for my little man! Though my little girl loves when all four colors are on and rotating as she thinks its like a dance party! This also comes with a cover so that it is just on the lights itself, we don’t use this much as he likes to lay down on his bean bag and watch it all on the roof and walls! This light can be bought on amazon and is such a bargain! I would recommended getting a wall plug for a usb too, as it goes through a lot of batteries if you have it on as much as we do! It comes with the wire to be plugged into a usb! [Click Here]

He really loves this Fiber Optic light, it fades from color to color slowly, when he is having a tough day or is in the middle of a meltdown this really helps! I brush it along his legs,feet,hands,tummy etc and it really relaxes him! He loves to use it as a paintbrush on the floor and watch the colors change! Unfortunately for the dog he also likes to use it on her fur and watch it change color! Fortunately enough she sleeps through it all and doesn’t bat an eyelid! I bought this in sainsburys(supermarket).. and i actually went back the next day and bought another couple as they were on sale and he loves it! I didn’t want to risk it breaking and being stuck without out! I’m sure you can get them on amazon too, but I wont provide a link as I cant say that they work well etc! sorry!

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Finally we have this cute little tent which is from Ikea! [Click Here To Have A Look]
He would spend all day inside here, happy as larry! The only downside is that he wants me to go in it with him too.. which is OK for a short while, until I have to do other mum things like make dinner or do the washing! He uses this as a little escape pod idea, if he needs time out, his sister is being too nosey, or there is just too much going on for him!

His favorite thing of all though is when we put these all together! The bean bag inside the circus tent, and the stary light up close to the outside with the lights off in the room. He will lay on the beanbag, watching the stars. It means that if he is having a real hard time when he head-bangs he can’t hurt himself, I know that he is safe and can try and keep myself in check to calm him down the best I can too. He will than lay in here a while once he has calmed, standing¬† up to try and catch the stars and loves the sound of the tent when he hits it. So i will hit the top of it and shake it so it soothes him with the noise as well.
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All these items are just fantastic and really do change his life for the better.
If you have any other suggestions on things your little ones have that really help them or things you have yourself please let me know!
Hope these ideas have helped some of you too! =] They are all decent prices, as i have found a lot of the sensory items have huge price tags, so I have compromised and these work fantastically for us, for now!
Oh and don’t forget the bubble machine! Everyone loves bubbles!

WeeOhana