Emmett totally freaked out on me today and I’m have no idea what to do :(

Emmett had a really rough day and it broke my heart to see how far it went. 

I don’t know what all is going on with him but he’s become quite obstinate lately and that’s very much out of character for him. 

I’ll focus on the one situation today that has me the most baffled. 

The boys spent some time with my parents because I needed to run some errands in the morning.  When I was done, we all hung out at my parent’s house and watched some of the Ohio State game. 

On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store and I was very careful how I handled this because of previous issues with Emmett.

Here’s what happened. 

I told the boys we were going to stop at Giant Eagle and grab a few things.  Emmett wanted clarification on what a few things meant.

I explained that a few things usually means 3 things, at least usually. 

Emmett wants to know how many things we’re going to get before going into the store.  I don’t know what the reason is because he won’t or can’t say but it could simply be a control thing.  Perhaps he just wants to estimate how long it’s going to take? I really don’t know. 

I told him that we needed to get Greek Yogurt, grape juice and frozen blueberries. He was fine with that. 

We grabbed the juice and on the way to the yogurt, we passed the chicken breast and I grabbed a package, putting it into the cart in one fluid movement.  I didn’t even stop walking, so it literally didn’t take anymore time. 

I told him that I was adding the chicken to the list but that was it.

I grabbed two bags of frozen fruit and moved on.

Our final stop was the dairy aisle and I grabbed 2 large containers of Greek Yogurt.  I asked the boys if they wanted some small containers of Greek yogurt and they all said yes. 

Emmett’s beginning to get anxious and we headed for the check out. 

During the check out, Emmett became very obstinate and refused to listen.  He kept saying, quite loudly, that I never do what I say I’m going to do and that I never tell him the truth.

I tied to calm him down but he wasn’t having it. 

He began yelling at me because I put chicken breast in the cart and we hadn’t discussed getting chicken breast. Then he was mad because I ended up with physically more than 3 items in the cart. 

I explained that we got the juice, frozen fruit, yogurt and the only extra thing was the chicken. 

He didn’t like that I bought more than one container of yogurt because that not what I told him we were getting. 

After ringing out, Emmett refused to leave the store and was actually blocking the register for the next person. 

He said he would never leave with me and my response was simply okay, I love you.

The other boys and I walked away and then back around so I could approach him from a different direction.  As soon as I was out of sight, he was getting nervous but I never lost sight of him. 

I calmly approached him and reached out for his hand and he yelled, don’t touch me, don’t you dare touch me..

He’s never done anything like this before.  Emmett is the absolute sweetest kid and something wasn’t right. 

I explained that we could do this the easy way or the hard way. 


I told him that I’d like to just hold his hand and walk to the car together but I’m also more than happy to carry him out of the store kicking and screaming if I need to. 

At that point he retreated between two pop machines and between two checkouts.  He was back in the power cords for everything and I was concerned about him getting hurt.

So the hard way it was. 

I pulled him out and picked him up, carrying him out of the store and to the car.  He wasn’t happy and I know there’s something going on but I have to draw the line somewhere. 

He screamed at me the whole way home because I had the audacity to buy chicken when we agreed that it was only going to be juice, frozen fruit and yogurt.  He also made sure I knew he was unhappy that I bought more than the one yogurt and one bag of frozen fruit. 

His yelling at me led to Elliott crying.  I never yelled but I did have to increase the volume of my voice.

Anyway, it took awhile but I calmed Emmett down and we sorta resolved the situation.  A plan was briefly discussed about how I should handle a situation like this in the future.

The whole never doing what I say thing was all about grocery shopping.  He feels like I’m lying to him if I get more groceries than I tell him we’re going to get, even if I happen to forget we need something until I see it. 

So yeah, it’s been that kind of day and I was only going on roughly 2 hours of sleep.

Any or your kids this sensitive?

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  1. “I never do what I say I’m going to do and that I never tell him the truth”. is rather concerning…… so is “don’t touch me, don’t you dare touch me..”

    Just the other day he had a med mishap, perhaps thats it?

    You did mention he is very controlling (kid often are of they feel llike everything else is out of control)

    Out of curiousity, what kind of agreement could you come to? ” A plan was briefly discussed about how I should handle a situation like this in the future.” Lord knows he couldnt go into a store with anyone without a list- there are times you see sales, or an item you need pops in your head or perhaps you want to make a particular dish.You walk in needing 5 things and end up with much more smile

    Hoping it is just a med adjustment, or perhaps a residual from all the excitement of the Holidays!

    • The agreement that we made is that when I take him to the grocery store, I’ll say something a bit more open ended.

      Rather than say, “we’re going to get 3 items”, I’ll say something like “we’re going to at least 3 items, maybe more”.

      Emmett is very literal and you’re right, so much of his life is out of his control and he’s desperately trying to gain some control.

      I understand where he’s coming from.

      It’s been a long holiday and it’s been a stressful 30 days for all the boys.. I’m hoping that returning to school, routine and a sense of normalcy will help..

      • I saw this post when I was at my sisters and I wanted to post but I was on my phone. You guys already touched what I was going to say lol.

  2. I have been having similar issues with my daughter. She has always been so sweet and I would have sworn there was not a violent bone in her body. The past couple months, she has gotten increasingly angry and violent. Yesterday she got mad over a game on her iPad and threw it on the ground and stomped on it. The screen is shattered of course. sad And she has gotten violent with me, her brother and sisters, at school, and on the bus. This has never happened, ever,until maybe the past 4-5 months. I’m really at a loss, also. I’ve consulted with her counselors in school and outside of school. But still no solutions or answers.

    • I get it. It’s so frustrating because it’s not easy to figure these things out. Sometimes there is no reason for it either.

      Has anything changed in the last four or five months? How old is she? Does she have an diagnoses?

      • Lol. So much has changed, that’s part of the problem, I’m sure. We’re all pretty stressed. Hoping when things get a little more normal that we’ll see improvements. She’s actually nine today, it’s her birthday. smile and yes, autism. She was diagnosed when she was about 3 1/2.

  3. Just a stab in the dark here, but as you well know the reasons for our kids’ behaviors aren’t necessarily the more obvious ones. Have you considered that this might be, at least in part, a sensory issue? Supermarkets can be very stimulating environments. He could be on sensory overload, which, combined with the control issue you mentioned, could be putting him over the edge. Perhaps this can be discussed with your OT just to get another perspective or angle on the situation…

  4. I’m curious if you ‘never doing what you say and never telling him the truth’ has anything to do with staying at Lizze’s the night that the staircase collapsed. Staying the night wasn’t part of the normal plan so maybe it felt like a lie to him?

    • I don’t know if you saw the comments being made to you but I’ve removed them, blacklisted the user and banned them. They are using multiple email accounts to leave the comments.

      If anyone sees these comments pop up, please flag them and I’ll take care of it.

      While I don’t always agree with what Kim has to say, I will not tolerate anyone disrespecting any of my readers.

      Kim, I apologize for whoever is doing this, as you don’t deserve this.

      • No need to apologize. I don’t hold what someone else says about me against you. : )

        • Thanks but I just want to be very clear that I don’t condone this type of trolling at all. Thankfully, I don’t have many issues with this but today was particularly bad and I am truly sorry.

          • I didn’t see the comments so no harm done. Truthfully, there probably wouldn’t have been harm done even if I had seen them, though I will admit to curiosity about what was being said about me, lol. I do appreciate that you don’t want your readers harassed, so thank you for that.

    • As for you question….

      It’s possible but I don’t think so. He’s just very literal and when I say three items, he’s expecting three items and if I pick up four, I’m literally not doing what I say I’m going to do…

      • Alyssa Rogers Williams

        This is from a place of genuinely wondering …..what would happen if you told him , “hey I have no idea how long this will take”. Or “not sure how many things, but a few”. That’s my response to my neurotypical child. What part of a non finite concept is so bothersome to Emmett? How would he react to that?

        In a neurotypical child, we’d just say, that’s waaaay too controlling to reduce things to such radical specifics . And life isn’t ever going to be neatly packaged where every expectation is met. I’m curious if therapy for autistic kids contains coping strategies for life outside the structured cocoon? (I don’t mean anything bad, I genuinely would like to know).

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