Meltdowns can happen for a variety of reasons. Unless you really know the kid and his or her autistic traits it is hard to get to the root of the issue.
I know Bianca fairly well. She is a daddy’s girl and I spend tons of time with her. We work on her gaining skills, we play, and we just sit and enjoy each other’s company. I know her like the back of my hand. I can predict reactions and meltdowns just from our wealth of time together.
Bianca, much like George Costanza must feel “no encumbrances” when she goes to the bathroom… the pants come off, shirt comes off and shoes and socks are coming off as well. So after she finished her business, I took her into the bedroom to throw her clothes back on. Her diaper, shirt and pants went on without a hitch. I reached for her Crocs and placed them on her feet and Bianca went ballistic. I have never seen anything like it. She started crying, started banging her head into the bed and was flailing her feet. I stood back, not knowing what exactly to do.
I tried to calm her down and gave her a hug but she was still upset. She kept grabbing my hands and flinging them towards her feet. Oh no… not her feet! She JUST had her cast taken off a few weeks back and is still getting adjusted to not having the cast on any longer. I started to think she hurt it again.
But then in a bout of what I can only describe as sheer, unadulterated annoyance she sat up and ripped the Crocs off her feet. Then I understood! Her shoes were hurting her feet! But why? She loves her Crocs. She wears them to bed she loves them so much… but then it all became clear.
Bianca took her Crocs off with a huff, switched them and then placed them back on her feet. Then she was completely fine. Being the loving, smart and supportive father that I am…I had put her Crocs on the wrong feet.
So, the next time your kid starts to meltdown, don’t go looking for something so deep right away. The answer might be as plain as the shoes on their feet.