The long and short of it is, Gavin’s struggling with pervasive thinking and that means he’s getting negative thoughts or memories stuck on a loop inside his head. He can’t stop thinking about things he finds upsetting and it’s driving him crazy.
He can’t stop thinking about every mistake he’s ever made or how his behaviors have hurt those around him. Those are his words, not mine.
Gavin doesn’t tolerate himself making mistakes or not doing something perfectly. He’s always been that way and it has presented many challenges over the years.
We explained that he’s the only one upset by these things and that they are all in the past. We want to help him forgive himself and let go, so he can move forward.
He eventually settled down but I don’t think we made any headway in helping him address all that’s got him upset.
The plan going forward is to focus on helping him identify his emotions and how to subsequently deal with them. We’re thinking a visual approach. Perhaps a chart or cheat cards.
We want to help him build the tools and skills he needs to better manage these feelings or emotions.
That’s really all we can do. Due to the nature of Gavin’s emotional health and his profound cognitive delays, this may simply never click with him.
All we can do is try. We didn’t really fix or address anything last night. All we succeeded in doing was helping him to feel better in the moment. That will have to suffice for right now.