want to give a huge shout out to the teaching and para staff at LPISD especially Tyler’s direct teacher and para staff. (sorry for the length of this) As many of you know, Tyler witnessed a traumatic event involving one of the para’s that he has grown very attached too. Though Tyler could not verbally express his concern, his fears, or anything, he began shutting down in school, going to school and sleeping (something he never does) then “force coughing” to finally feel “too sick” to go to school and missed two days of school (refusing to go to school) . I knew that the “sleeping” at school (shutting completely down) was an alarm that something was not right at all. His teacher said that the Para was now home from the hospital and that maybe we could set up a visit (she’s not scheduled back until after Spring Break). I didn’t want to take him while she was in the hospital and she needed her focus on getting to a point to be able to leave the hospital (this was a very serious and life threatening event). I was able to call the para and scheduled a time to meet with her this past Sunday for an ice cream visit. I put on the calendar in an effort to start prepping Tyler.
Things began to get rougher and rougher this weekend. Scratching it off the calendar, screaming NOOOO ice cream, NOOOOOO Dairy Queen and NOOOOOO (Para’s name). This was an everyday happening with breaks of happy times. Sunday morning rolled around and after we were home from golf it started again, anxiety very very high. I put on oils, allowed him to call and then I asked him are you “scared” and he said “I am not scared, I am not afraid of a thing” (this is scripted from one of the shows he watches, like Max & Ruby) and I told him, it’s ok to be scared, when (Para’s name) went away in an ambulance, it can be scary. Then about 45 minutes later he came and looked at me and said “oooohhh scary” (like in a spooky way from Halloween things) – (Remember AU is CONCRETE THINKING) so I told him, it’s ok to be scared, but we are going to go for a visit, that the doctor is helping her get better. Again with the NOOOOOOOOOOO I mean NOOOOOOOO (his words).
So the time came for us to go and he was just so upset, in tears and kept saying NO ICE CREAM CONE, I WANT A SNOW CONE AND THREE CHEESE PIZZA ON 21 (translation – I don’t want to go get ice cream, you can get me a snow cone and take me home for three cheese pizza on 21 – is the date) we arrive at our location and I put more oils on him as I knew it a meltdown was coming and I was hoping to ward it off or at least not last as long or as intense. Boy did the meltdown happen, screaming crying, would not even look at (Para’s name) and he was not even out of the vehicle. He was crawling in the back seat, he kept telling me he would stay in the car and was telling me to go inside (actually using these words) and trying to close the door with him in the vehicle, pulling my arms off the door (I was outside the driver’s door and he had crawled into the driver’s seat) he had turned into that alter personality – known as The Hulk – the incredible strength) this went on for about 10 minutes, hysterical and still not looking at (Para’s name) – I just stood there, not talking (you can’t use words when he’s in a meltdown – or very few to survive it) holding the door, rolling window down because he did eventually get the door pulled from my grip and closed it. Just when I was ready to give up – IT STOPPED (I know without a doubt the oils helped decrease the time and intensity – though many would think that it was massive – in our AU World of Tyler – it was not massive) he “stopped” and started to calm and asked to breath – so he and I did our deep breathing and neck rolling and then he was ready to go inside. (Still leary at this point as I know just because they stop on the outside – it’s still raging inside)
We go inside, he would not hold open the first set of doors, but regain his gentleman composure and opened the second set of doors. Got our orders placed, and we went and sat down. He still would not look at (Para’s name) and she and I began a nice conversation. They brought our ice cream and we continued with our conversation, not paying much attention to Tyler – letting him decompress. Finally when he was finished eating his ice cream he starting interacting a little with each of us. He began answer (Para’s name) questions and was even proud to show her his golfing video. Things finally seem to be getting better. Before we left, we explained that (Para’s name) wasn’t going to go to school until after Spring Break that she needed to rest, but that he needed to go to school, go to Art, and to tell (teacher’s name) that he saw (Para’s name). She was like, no one will convince me that he (Tyler) doesn’t care. (Para’s name) was too sweet and brought Tyler a gift (a blue Gatorade) which made him very happy. He did give her a high five and a hug before we left and opened the door in his gentleman fashion when we were all leaving.
Once we were heading home, I didn’t discuss it anymore, he didn’t either. Later that evening he came to me and said, “cough all better school tomorrow” and I said absolutely!
He went right into the school, went to class, went to Art, told the sub “good job” and his a happy camper today!
(Para’s name) didn’t have to get (she looked great but is still healing and under strict doctor’s order for rest) but she did as she wanted to help Tyler. Tyler’s teacher help facilitate the exchange of numbers, as she wanted to help Tyler. This goes above and beyond what their “duties” require.
BREAK THROUGH AUTISM MOMENTS:
1) Tyler shutting down at school and going to sleep – even though that’s not good – it’s better than him meltdown down, being aggressive and destructive (which is what he would easily do)
2) The YLEO is helping lessen the time and severity of meltdowns (anxiety and frustration overload)
3) He was using “scripting” to try and express his emotions.
4) He was using “his own words” about not wanting to go inside.
5) He kept the meltdown inside the vehicle instead of jumping out and running.
6) He used the breathing and neck rolling techniques, learned in OT from Yoga moves, for calming
7) He was able to process (although only in his time) that all was ok and came to me on his own after processing to inform he (in his own way) that he was good.
We both slept good last night LOL.