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.
Yesterday 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.
I knew that the wonderful weather was sure to come to an end at some stage, so when it took a turn for the worst we decided to have some simple sensory fun!
I hunted through the house for things so that we could all enjoy, I came across some shaving foam and decided that now would be a good time to try it again with Dylan as it was about a year ago that we tried it before and he really hated it!
I wanted to try to add something to the shaving foam so that it would make it a little different, though we didn’t really have much!
I thought sand would be a great idea so headed out to the shed thinking that we had some left for going in the sandbox.. but we didn’t! Though we did have some very fine gravel left over from when we set up Pudges new tank! Perfect!
So; what you need to have this simple sensory fun in your house is;
- Shaving Foam
- Sand/fine grit
- bowl to mix it in
- animals etc to put in it if wanted
- Add the shaving foam into a bowl – As much as you want to use to play with!
- Then add in the sand/fine grit and mix up. – Again just as much as you want for how gritty to make it
- Finally I put it into a container that we for our sensory fun and added some animals to try to encourage Dylan to play with it and get his hands dirty!
What I learnt from this simple sensory fun was that Dylan is still nowhere near ready for play with shaving foam, as soon as he touched it and it wouldn’t come of his hands instantly he was trying desperately to get it off! I quickly wiped them clean and he shot off to the living room and into his tent for safety.
Amellia really enjoyed playing with it though and burying and finding the animals!
This is real simple sensory fun, hopefully your little ones like it as much as Amellia did and don’t react with disgust like Dylan!
Recently I purchased some Orbeez to do some sensory play with Dylan and for Amellia to enjoy too!
If you haven’t heard of them before they are teeny tiny little balls when they arrive and then you soak them in water for a few hours and they expand up to 200x there original size! They are really impressive things and are really relaxing to play with if I do say so myself!
I put his favorite toys in to encourage him to play with them. I thought that he wouldn’t be keen at the start but he loved them and dove straight into burying his Twirlywoos in them and uncovering them, then getting me to bury them again so he could get them out. We did this for quite some time and then he started to lift them out and look at them very closely!
I took this as an opportunity to go over his colours again and he had lots of fun shouting out which ones he knew and trying to pick them up as they are pretty slimy! We then also counted them when he was lifting them out!
He then was enjoying it so much he decided to dip his toes in and then stand in them! He really enjoyed it and had lots of fun!
When Amellia got home from school she also had loads of fun playing with them, she enjoyed putting her feet in them too and feeling them on her hands!
I would really recommended trying these out with your children for some sensory fun!
These are the ones that I ordered, but there are lots of different options to choose from! I think I am going to order him some of the extra large ones they do to see what he makes of them too!
It has been simply wonderful weather here for the past few days and we have spent lots of time out in the back garden relaxing and enjoying the safe space we have.
We recently purchased them that wonderful little Smoby activity car that you can see, it is wonderful! Has a great sized slide on it, a wheel you can turn and it has a horn with several different noises, a key to turn and to make it even more wonderful the bonnet opens and you can put whatever you want in it! It also then comes away from the car for if you want to wash it or empty out whatever you have put in it! The reason we went for this activity car is because Dylan can get in and out of it himself and climb up and go down the slide by himself too!
Today I decided instead of putting the expected of sand into it, to put some soil that I had from planting my pepper plants into it to see what he would make of it!
He got stuck right in and really enjoyed it! He was shovelling it up and filling the plant pots up and then emptying them! He was having lots of fun and played with it for a long time!
He wasn’t keen on it getting on his hands and when emptying out the plant pots was very careful not to touch it with his hand and was always using the shovel when moving the soil about! He had lots of fun though and was happy doing this for a long time so I am hoping with a few more days of sun and playing with the soil he will start to touch it with his hands!
My precious little man, who means the world to me ❤
My little girl is currently visiting her nanny and grampy for a few days so I decided that I would try to do some painting with Dylan! It means we get the peace and quiet he needs for new sensory things and that she isn’t diving in the middle of it all! Today we did a spot of painting! Well by a spot.. we did two hours worth of painting!
At the start it looked like it was going to go the same way as whenever we last tried it, which wasn’t very well. He was keen on any part of the painting at all, but he sat in his high chair and enjoyed watching me use the paintbrush and painting a little picture for him, he then got brave and decided that this looked like fun and was using the paintbrush by directing my hand on the paintbrush!
After thirty minutes he then took the paintbrush by himself and was happy to paint the page but as soon as he touched the paint was screaming for me to wipe it off. I had accepted this as a huge success as he was happy to touch it with something he was holding and was trying out something new!
Next thing I knew.. he was painting his tummy and his arms! He had it everywhere and was as happy as a pig in muck! I was jumping about the kitchen celebrating and being ever so delighted for him it was just simply wonderful.. so wonderful infact I started to cry tears of joy! My baby boy was painting, and getting it everywhere, he didn’t mind it on his skin, infact he loved it on his skin. He doesn’t like to touch anything that will stay on his hand when he takes it away, but today he accepted paint.
Today my boy enjoyed something that kids love doing.
I decided that Dylan was doing so great with new feelings that I would jump right in and try something.. half cooked pasta.
Poor little blighter dived right in, grabbed a handful then quickly threw it away in complete disgust ran out of the room and sat on the bottom step screaming until I moved it.. Bad mummy! I’ll not try that again for a while.. Think I’ll have to do it with dry pasta and adding in a bit of cooked pasta at a time!
I think this day though was always going to be a failure seeing as he had me up since 2:30am.. wide awake and dancing to the gummy bear song. If you have ever heard that song.. you will understand my pain. I was slowly losing the will.
I got through the day with a tin of monster providing me with the caffeine that I desperately needed to function!
Thank you monster for getting me through this..
Here is another simple, sensory fun idea for you to do with your little ones!
I bought a bag of rice from the supermarket poured it into our tub from IKEA that we use for our sensory play and dug out some stacking cups that we already had in the house!
We had lots of fun pouring the rice out of the cups, it made lots of different noises when you changed the speed of the pouring and he had great fun using the other cups to fill up the big one to pour it out!
He wasn’t so fond of touching the rice even after playing with it for a while. Though he did let me pour it over his hands and he really enjoyed that! He did sit in the other sensory play that we did,but not the rice; I’m not quite sure what was different about the rice to the others that he wasn’t quite so keen on it! I must try to work it out and then I can try and do a few more like the rice to try and get him used to it more!
So to end this post here is a lovely little video that makes me smile every-time I see it! What a handsome little man I have ❤