Progress in the struggle for power

Something that I think I had made pretty clear,  but was missed by some people is that Gavin has control over these meltdowns.  These are not the typical meltdowns you in any Autistic children. The reason I can say that is because Gavin has the ability to turn the meltdown on and off,  whenever he feels the need.

When Emmett has a meltdown,  it’s typically sensory overload and it pretty obvious because he is inconsolable.

Gavin on the other hand,  has the meltdowns because he’s facing the consequences for a choice he has made. Many times I have proven he has control because he basically will stop,  if and when he gets what he wants. He can also stop his fit,  long enough to move himself away from something he values,  so as not to damage it. 

If he was truly out of control,  this would not be possible.

I mentioned earlier that I was taking a more aggressive approach with Gavin and his meltdowns.  Basically,  if he has a meltdown,  I will take something that he values,  away from him. If he doesn’t have control than this would have no impact.

Having said that,  it’s already working.  Gavin got into trouble this morning and wound up for an explosive meltdown.  However,  I reminded him that if he did,  I would take his teddy bear. Guess what,  he immediately shut it off. 

My hope is that this trend continues and we can quash this behavior ASAP.  Otherwise,  we will be looking at some type of inpatient care,  if that’s even possible.

For the moment,  I’ll take whatever I can get and this was a positive result.

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Laura

This sounds like an awesome plan for extinguishing this negative behavior. My son (7) is on the spectrum, and I taught in special ed for 10 years before he was born. I have been following your blog for several months.
Does Gavin also respond to positive reinforcement? You could do a chart, and at set intervals give him a smiley if he has been tantrum free during that interval. Maybe start with 15 minute intervals. At end of day, he could cash his smileys in for something like: reading a chapter with you at bedtime, etc. Something that has no $ cost, but special for him.
Bet wishes, Laura

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