An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Playtime Turned Meltdown

sharing some pictures from our play time together : )

sharing some pictures from our play time together : )

As I mentioned briefly in yesterday’s post, the reason I was a little late posting the pictures of Joshua’s haircut was because David had a really bad meltdown that night and needed me.

David and Joshua were playing pirates with each other and were having a lot of fun with it for a while.  They even dragged me into the game a few times.  Sometimes “fighting” me off as if I were the bad guy, and sometimes “rescuing” me from some force I couldn’t see. lol  The only problem with all this was when David started getting way too rough and wasn’t settling down.  Usually I am on the ball with situations like this long before David can get himself too hyped up, but this time I got distracted by the mere “normalcy” of the moment so to speak.  I wasn’t a mom struggling to maintain a delicate balance in a household majorly effected by Autism.  Nope, at that moment, I was just a mom.  With two precious little boys.  Who wanted to play with me and who was enjoying every minute of that fact and reality. : )

David the pirate :)

David the pirate :)

But alas, David did start to get too wound up and he did start playing too rough.  He started hitting us for real with his plastic toy track that he was pretending was his sword and he was flailing around, shouting, jumping on us, and tackling and he was doing it all with a lot of force.  This of course meant that play time was over at least for now so that I could try and bring David back down to a calmer state.  Well sadly, David wasn’t able to calm down and during the process of trying to get him there I had to remove his boots and take his toy as a matter of safety for me as I continued to try and brace him through what was quickly becoming a full on meltdown.

Joshua with his "pirate sword" (aka piece of toy train track lol) (he's covering his eyes because my camera's flash is pretty bright)

Joshua with his “pirate sword” (aka piece of toy train track lol) (he’s covering his eyes because my camera’s flash is pretty bright)

I tried hard to avoid having to reach that point, but sometimes it just isn’t avoidable with David.  And it’s not really anyone’s fault.  He just gets overloaded easily and his triggers can vary greatly depending on how his day is going and what all is going on around him so it can be pretty hard to predict how well he will do in any given situation.  Granted, I know that once he gets wound up, he struggles to calm back down, but even in those situations you never really know if just engaging him in a round of heavy duty bear hugs while calming the environment will be enough or if he’s going to have one of those days where no matter what you do he’s going to end up going over the edge.  And over the edge he definitely went the other night. :(

S4010018I ended up having to take him into the bedroom and layed down on the bed with him where I built up cushions made of pillows and wrapped my comforter around his torso to try and help me keep a steady hold on him until he calmed enough to just brace again.  By the time all was said and done, he was completely worn out and I am not even sure he completely understood what had just happened.  As for me?  I was worn out both physically and emotionally.  Shortly after David reaching a calmness level that was allowing him to start falling asleep, I helped Joshua clean up after his potty break and we all climbed into bed and called it a night.

As for yesterday and last night?  I was too tired to do much of anything but play “survival mode” which means I did what I needed to do in order to make sure everyone ate, and had what they needed, and I let the rest of it go in the name of rest and as much peace as possible.  We all needed the break.

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