We lived through a massive Emmett meltdown this evening. This particular meltdown was in regards to his dinner and it was a doozy, as well as being partly my fault.
Emmett is very sensitive when it comes to food. He has major sensory related issues that make feeding him very challenging because the menu of foods that he’ll eat is very limited.
I was making him and Elliott dinner last night. They both wanted corndogs. The corn dogs have to be cooked a certain way, or Emmett won’t eat them.
First, we have to microwave it for thirty seconds, no more no less. If the crust cracks, he won’t touch it so we have to be careful. After the microwave, the corn dog goes into the air fryer for seven minutes exactly. Any more than seven minutes and it’s burnt. Any less than seven minutes and it’s not cooked enough.
The crust has to be crispy, but not so much that it falls apart when he bites into it.
Anyway, I can cook both corn dogs at the same time, and save time. There’s no difference, it’s just faster.
Apparently, that doesn’t fly with Emmett because his has to be cooked by itself.
I pushed back a bit and told him that I need to cook them both at the same time because Elliott’s hungry as well and the corndogs with cook the same. He was so upset at me but I cook them like this all the time and it’s never been a problem. Maybe he didn’t realize I was doing that before?
When the corndogs were done, both perfectly cooked as far as I was concerned, he couldn’t decide if he wanted to eat it or not.
As far as he was concerned, it touched something else while it was cooking and now it’s inedible. The following meltdown was awful and lasted quite some time.
Lizze was upstairs trying to get rid of her migraine but I knew I was in over my head and asked her to take over so I could collect myself, which she did.
This isn’t isolated to Emmett. While Elliott won’t necessarily melt down, he simply won’t eat something if it’s sensory offensive. Both kids will go hungry before eating something that offends their senses.
I’m sure there are many of you out there who can relate to this.
Kids on the Autism Spectrum can really struggle with things like this. It’s very, very common and not something that is controllable by the child in question.
The other night, I mentioned we had dinner at my parents. What I neglected to share because I was so tired was what happened at dinner with Emmett.
Emmett had a hamburger (without the bun), brat, chips, and I believe some watermelon. Each item had to have its own plate. Nothing was allowed to share the same space. It looked like a fucking buffet in front of him but it’s just part of raising a child with Autism.
I don’t get mad at him because it’s not his fault. At the same time, it’s extremely frustrating for me because food isn’t cheap and we’re on a limited budget. Frankly, he may be even more frustrated with himself because he doesn’t like the way things like this make him feel.
Truthfully, it’s heartbreaking but it’s something we have to work though, almost every single meal of every single day.