Meltdowns are back on the menu

I’m writing this post and feeling quite overwhelmed and frustrated.  Gavin is back to having meltdowns each day again.

We had experienced a lull in number of meltdowns he has had in recent months. 

However,  that period of peace and relative tranquility has come to an end.  Gavin is back to having meltdowns over anything that doesn’t go his way and I’ll be real honest with you here,  it’s driving me crazy.

We had at least two meltdowns today alone.  I don’t remember what the first one was about,  but the second one involved a decision he made causing Emmett to get hurt. 

He starts out by bending his fingers back to the point of almost breaking them.  Then he slams his foot to the side so he’s standing on his ankles,  if that makes sense.  This is followed by him teasing up the rest of his body and then comes the screaming.

This afternoons meltdown sent Elliott into a panic and flying down the stairs.

I’ve come to the point that I accept the fact that Gavin is going to have these meltdowns and very likely self-injure. Sadly,  I have grown callous to that as it has happened way to many times and he tries to use the self-injury as a means of manipulation.

What I do have an issue with and this is what frustrates…no possess me off.  Gavin doesn’t seem to recognize,  let alone care about the impact his actions have on the rest of the family. 

When he melts down and causes one of the other boys to either get hurt or become terrified by his actions,  it gets under my skin.

I have become a bit complacent in recent months because we haven’t had these issues.  As a result,  I have let things go for fear of the meltdown that may ensue if I address the problem in that manner in which it warrants.

Does that make sense?  Do you ever base a disciplinary decision on whether or not you can deal with the fallout that will undoubtedly happen after a consequence has been dealt?

I have and I can admit that. 

Sometimes it simply comes down to survival. Sometimes the right thing and the wrong thing seem to pale in comparison to literally surviving the moment. 

It’s not always the best thing to base a decision on but the already fine line between good and less than good decision making in special needs parenting can sometimes become less important than physically living to fight another day.

We typically call it,  picking our battles.

As far as Gavin’s meltdowns are concerned,  we have to decide of correcting a negative behavior is worth the 45 minutes we will have to endure that meltdown that will more likely than not follow.

This isn’t an easy decision because there are both long term and short term things to consider,  as well as the affects those decisions will have in the rest of the family.

Nothing about this is easy,  but than again,  if it were easy,  anyone could do this job…right?

This has been posted to WordPress via Galaxy S2 Epic Touch 4G by Samsung, without the use of proper editing tools.

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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I can sure relate! Yesterday’s meltdown was an hour long. We choose our battles but at the same time, I give in less too. It sure is difficult!


I can relate. Meltdowns take such a toll on the entire family 🙁


That they do. 🙁


I hear you; picking your battles is a way of self and family preservation. The question is, do the ends justify the means?. Do you discipline when a melt down can destroy your calm and environment? I feel like Matt and I play good cop bad cop a lot; meaning I am the bad cop because I am more of the disciplinarian and Matt is the comforting one. I know our situations are drastically different. Our therapists have discussed this very issue of disciplining and their advice is to redirect and redirect and redirect. A lot of our melt downs are due to sensory issues and so we try to find out what the triggers are. We then apply deep pressure, massage and we do a big squish hug until London finally calms down. Putting on calming music can help, turning down the lights, offering a drink or a snack. I worry at times that redirection can seem like a reward in our house… Gavin is much older and larger and is probably extremely strong. Our therapists have said that punishment is something that never works with meltdowns because they are illogical – however, if Gavin is doing it to manipulate you or the family, he is aware. I am so sorry. Is there anything that Gavin can do to get his aggression out like jump on a trampoline or hit a punching bag? I don't know, I just hear your stress and desperation. Because our son is young, we distract meltdowns by blowing bubbles and giving him a bath, changing his environment, putting him in a swing, etc. but Gavin is much older. Whether you believe it or not, you are doing a great job. Hang in there!! 🙂
My recent post No More Crutches!


very good advice Jillian. 🙂

when luke is having or about to have a meltdown even to the point of hitting himself, i have been redirecting his attention to something else. that i know he wants to do or have or something that i know will make him happy before it escalates and he has totally forgotten about the meltdown he was about to have or was having. sounds so easy right? i know, but it really has been working. even today at the tree farm, he didnt want to be there because of the chainsaw noise so i just held his hand and asked him which tree was his favorite and told him we would go back to the truck after he told me and it worked! and this was at the point of him beginning to have a snot nose and wiping it on his shirt! i hope that this would help you some. i used to be to the point of giving up on everything but i have shifted my attitude and it is amazing how much calmer everything is.