Saturday, February 19, 2011


I'm not sure what is more heartbreaking for me: when Zachary is having a (more and more rare) meltdown, or how he recovers from the meltdown. I am so sad for him when he is having a meltdown because I know there is such an intense level of frustration going on and he just can't sort it out anymore. Yes, I know that's the root of anyone's meltdown; with spectrum kids it is just unavoidable once that water boils up and over the pot. At that point the only real solution is letting the boil-over happen. Yes I can remove the pot from the burner, but until enough water evaporates and there's no more boil-over, or the temperature cools enough, it's out of my hands. The tears that Zachary cries after a meltdown are so deep and so real I feel the pain in my own soul, a pain so deep inside him that neither he nor I have yet been able to fully reach. For some reason though, it seems to hurt me even more when he bounces right back and finds something to talk about or do; I know he is compartmentalizing the hurt and frustration and pain, putting it away in his mind, locking it away and forcing the good thoughts and plans to take the forefront. He has to start talking about good and positive things to restore order to the chaos that had taken over. It sounds healthy, I know--and for him, it is. I ache for him though. He has to make himself happy when there is still anger and hurt inside. As he gets older, as we progress in handling different situations, he does occasionally talk about what had him so upset. Cheyenne (our little mutt, as Zachary calls her) is often his coping mechanism, 20 minutes since the meltdown and he is going through his scripted speaking about and to the dog. "She's such a lovey. We love her and will protect her forever, isn't that right Mama? She's so cute, don't you agree? She's always there for us." This will go on for a few more minutes, then he'll feel better. Shortly after that I'll get a huge hug, the kind that feels that he is part of me, and neither of us wants to let go from that hug. Let go I must, and we do......

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