Over time our response as parents to Lucky’s meltdowns have changed and every meltdown has, and still is very stressful, on Lucky, on us, and on his siblings.
Two and a half years ago before Lucky’s diagnosis, we believed that it was early terrible twos gone haywire!! We dealt with it the same way as we would with all our children. Explain that a “tantrum” will not get him what he wants, and then move him somewhere so he gets distracted and calm down.
By eighteen months this method was clearly not working! Firstly, he could not make any sense of our talks. And secondly, he would look like he lost control. Like he was not aware of any of us in the room. It was scary!!
Once Lucky was diagnosed, we were told to give Lucky deep pressure when he is having a meltdown, and hold him to keep him safe. This drove him absolutely mad!!! He does not like deep pressure unless he makes it happen himself. Over the two years we have learned that Lucky somehow taught himself to self-regulate. A few therapists have mentioned that he regulates very well for such a young boy.
We have made an effort to give Lucky the aids that he needs to self-regulate, without disrespecting his personal space. When we go out, we ensure that we take all his aids with so that when he has sensory overload that he has the ability to self-regulate.
It doesn’t always work, but he has certainly had a lot of less meltdowns. And as we all know, every day with Autism is different. And things may be completely different when Lucky becomes older.
All I can say is he deserves the same respect as any other human being. And if he needs his space to calm down, then I will respect him.