Wow.. Gavin just had a pretty major meltdown

Elliott and Emmett seem to have endless amounts of energy. They slept through the night but got up pretty early and just haven’t stopped since.  There’s been fighting and mini-meltdowns galore but I think we’ve finally settled into a groove because things are heading in a better direction. 

Gavin on the other hand, had one of his very first meltdowns in well over a year. 

What happened was, Gavin’s making his lunch and wanted to have some of the left over Easter ham.  I didn’t care but when he asked for two ham sandwiches, I told him he could have one because someone else might want some ham as well. 

Everything was fine until Emmett wanted some ham for lunch.  Gavin’s all like, sorry Emmett but I hate to tell you that there’s none left.


Emmett of course starts to get upset and I asked Gavin if he took two sandwiches after I told him he could have one.  He didn’t take two sandwiches but instead took all the ham (4 thick slices) and crammed them into one single sandwich. 

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While he did only have one sandwich, that’s certainly not what I meant.

The whole point was to make sure there was ham left over for someone else.  He could have had something in addition to his ham sandwich if he was still hungry. 

When I questioned Gavin, he started to freak out.  He began contorting his body and hitting himself in the head. 

I wasn’t angry with him, just surprised by what he had done. 

Truthfully, I don’t know that he did this with the intent of causing a problem.  I think this has more to do with his literal interruption of what he was told to do.  That said, I did tell him not to take it all for himself, so I’m not sure what to say about that other than he’s unbelievably forgetful.  I mean seriously forgetful, like he’ll walk into the kitchen to make his lunch and walk back out, not having made anything because he forgot why he was in there.

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Gavin ended launching into a meltdown and he was very clearly upset with himself.  Some might look at this and say he’s mad because he was caught but he seemed frustrated with himself for having done what he did or for not understanding my instructions. 

He ended up having to go to his room until he calmed down and ultimately fell asleep. 

I haven’t seen this from him in a very long time and it was a stark reminder of the very fine line we walk each and every day. 


  1. Gavin’s picky but not like his brothers anymore. Elliott and Emmett will sometimes eat other things but their list of goto foods is very limited. Sometimes they’ll eat a peanut butter sandwich for example but it’s extremely rare and doesn’t always happen more than once.

    1. Kim Gebhardt

      Do you ever let them help you cook? I know they have sensory issues which is part of the pickiness, but the other part is probably normal kid behavior. Letting them help you cook might make a difference. Teach them how to make their own chicken nuggets with chicken breast strips and panko. Experiment with different dipping sauces.

      1. That’s not bad advice Kim. A lot of times with kids on the Autism Spectrum, it doesn’t work that way. Ha ing said that, I have found limited success with teaching them to use the microwave and toaster oven. While they can’t use them without permission, for safety reasons, they do enjoy heating up their own chicken nuggets. As time goes on, I’ll try to build on that independence but for know, it’s still a pretty cool thing..

        1. MBee

          The first thing my kids learned too cook was pork and sauerkraut. Why? Because you can put it in a COLD oven and then turn it on and requires not cutting. Next was pot roast which introduced a minimum of large knife use.

  2. tannawings

    One sandwich to a teenage boy MIGHT involve 4 pieces of ham per sandwich. You did say one sandwich, makes sense to me. Also teens dont always hear the rest of sentences such as ‘leave some for someone else’
    I dont think he did it on purpose because he has been so caring toward his brothers as of late. I think he had a meltdown maybe because he realized he hurt someone unintentionally.
    Next time with ham, walk in with him so he doesnt make a dagwood sandwich. 🙂 He obviously likes ham!

    1. He does like ham and I agree, he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. He genuinely felt bad afterwards. There are many factors here. He took my words literally, as my kids tend to do. He’s always sharing his things, so I don’t think he was being selfish.

      I asked him later about it and he said that he took it all because I had told him to help himself, when he asked if he could have some. I explained what that meant or at least what I meant and that even if someone says help yourself, you don’t take all there is…

      It’s over and done with but I’ll need to be more specific next time or at least, hide the ham… Lol

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