Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Field Trip and Public Meltdowns

This week I attended a school field trip with my youngest to a local science fair. It was a great trip until the end when it was time to leave. As you can imagine, my son went into a crying fit, yelling, “This is the worst day ever!”

Surrounded by his third grade peers, I was able to observe their reactions as they watched him from a far, it was obvious that they didn’t understand why my son was so upset. A few tried to console him, asking why he was crying, but my son barked back, “Get Away From Me!”

I tried numerous times to calm him down. I explained that he was making a big scene and that he may feel embarrassed later. But I don’t know how much he understood that.

He was upset about the usual things, unmet expectations, sensory overload, and the transition of going home. But what caught my attention this time was the impact his behavior was going to have on him socially.

In just a few years, he’ll be in middle school. How will he handle it then? Will he still have these outbursts? Will he be teased, or worse, without friends?

It’s tough. There are things I want to protect him from, but some things are completely out of my control. I can’t change him. I can’t make other kids accept him as he is.

But I can love him.

And that’s just what I did.

I held him close on the bus ride home and let him cry on my knee and reminded him that tomorrow will be a better day.

* * *

This week I saw this very informative video presented by a young man who has Aspergers. He’s part of a team called the Asperger Experts. My child doesn’t have this diagnosis, but I couldn’t help but see my son in everything he talked about. In the video he presents an intelligent perspective of why parents should not teach their kids social skills. If you have a child with sensory issues who is struggling socially, this is a MUST SEE video.

Aspergers’ Sensory Funnel: Watch this video to learn why teaching someone with Aspergers social skills should be one of the LAST things you do, and exactly what to do instead to cause rapid growth in someone with AS.

Link to video:

Then I came across the second video shown below and it was brilliant! You HAVE to watch this!!! It explains the critical mistake parents make with their kids who have sensory issues.

The Critical Mistake that Parents Make:
(If you are viewing this through your email, you’ll need to visit my blog online to view the following video:


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  2. Wow that sensory funnel video makes so much sense! I think I intuitively did some of that with my son--or at least learned there was no teaching during a meltdown. It seems with mood disorder the sensory stuff cycles with the mood (at least that has been our experience)
    As for the worries about middle school, I have to remind myself not to project things too far into the future. I was so worried about middle school--but my son is thriving in middle school with a group of quirky friends, even after starting it in 7th grade and then moving in the middle of the year! I never could have predicted this. I always have to remind myself to focus on the problems that are here right now--I don't need to be making any up.

    1. That is such good advice Heather, something I need to keep in mind!