Today has been challenging. Very challenging. Brandon perseverated on going to Cabelas for 2 solid hours today. What does that look like in our house? “Go to Cabelas” was the only thing he said for two hours. Literally, those are the only words he said. And he said them A LOT.
I was trying to get some housework done. I was putting dishes in the dishwasher, I turned around and Brandon was about 6 inches from me saying Cabelas. I attempted to have him work on the puzzle. He was unable to focus and kept saying he wants to go to Cabelas. I went to the bathroom. He followed me in and said “go to Cabelas”.
I tried explaining again about Coronavirus and Covid-19. Brandon kept interrupting with “go to Cabelas”. I had him go outside when the angry jumping started. When he was ready to come back in, he immediately started saying “go to Cabelas” and more angry jumping. Back outside we went.
I know he is scared. I know he is anxious. I know he is frustrated. I know he misses his friends. I know he misses Lorie. This is what a meltdown looks like with Brandon. There is no amount of reasoning that will stop it. There is no amount of redirection that makes it better. I don’t know how to calm his fears and anxiety during a meltdown.
We never know how long the meltdown will last. Sometimes, it’s 15 minutes. Today, it was two hours. Today, those two hours felt like ten hours. I can’t take him to Cabelas. I can’t take him to the zoo. I can’t take him to the Science Center. He wasn’t interested in animal videos. He just wants to go to Cabelas.
So, what can I do? I can be patient. I struggled with that today at some points during the meltdown. I may have spoken louder than I meant to. What else can I do? I can be understanding. I struggled with that, too. I am human and I was not understanding why Brandon kept asking for something he can’t have right now.
But Brandon has autism and he feels things differently than I do. He does not fully understand what is happening in our country. He doesn’t fully understand why he must stay home. Or maybe he does and he is just angry about the whole thing.
I finally got him interested in playing Mario Kart. He did that for 30 minutes in his new cozy space in his room. Then, he and I took a walk around the neighborhood. We spotted some stuffed animals and valentines in some windows. We listened to birds chirping. Brandon noticed some jonquils blooming. He said “flowers pretty”. That made us both happy.
When we got home, Brandon and I worked on the puzzle for a bit. He finally sat down and listened to his iPod. He stopped talking about Cabelas non-stop. He is still saying it, but only every 10-15 minutes. And we have a date to face time with Lorie later this evening!
We are all facing unique challenges during this time. We will hang in there and get through this together. Stay well everyone!