I am sitting out on our back patio. I am enjoying the sunshine and warm weather and loving the smell of the beef brisket Steve has in the smoker.
I am also trying to stay away from Brandon for a bit. It seems like Sundays are going to be the days for meltdowns.
Today’s started the same as the last few have started. Brandon wants to go to Cabelas and see and talk about all the animals. I tried to distract him with virtual tours and actually talking about the animals with him. Nope. It didn’t work.
He followed me outside. He was two inches from my face saying “talk about animals Cabelas” over and over. And then I felt it. He hit me square on my right ear. I didn’t even see it coming. If I had, I would have been able to block it. Lesson learned….do not take my eyes off of him right now. But wow, that one hurt.
Brandon seemed surprised, too. He backed off and Steve stepped in. He then started hitting Steve over and over. All while saying “talk about animals Cabelas.” Except he didn’t really want to. We tried to no avail.
Alex heard the commotion and tried to help. Brandon doesn’t hit him. Alex got on the floor with Brandon and wrapped his arms around him. That helped for a bit. Brandon loves the deep pressure, but during a meltdown, he doesn’t want it from me or Steve.
The meltdowns are the more challenging part of autism. They seem to come out of nowhere and will stop out of nowhere. Our neighbors got to witness part of it today. Later, I will talk with them about it and try to explain.
But how do I explain something that I don’t totally understand myself? I don’t understand why he hits us. I don’t understand why actually talking with him about animals doesn’t help. I don’t understand. I don’t understand why he doesn’t understand that the angry jumping could possibly break the TV we watch The Simpsons on.
I do not have autism. But I do understand being mad, angry, and upset. What I do understand is that we have to let him work through it. And while he is working through it, we try to protect ourselves and our house as best we can.
And when it’s over, it’s over. Brandon will return to his sweet, wonderful self. He will ask me for kisses on his forehead. Brandon never says the word “sorry.” But I know that when he asks for kisses, he is. And that is enough.
Today’s meltdown lasted about 30 minutes. Not too shabby. He is now happily playing Mario Kart and for that, I am thankful.
Stay well, friends. When the stay at home order is slowly lifted, our first outing will be to Cabelas. We may stay for hours and it will be wonderful!