Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Meltdown over diapers

This is a fairly long video and I don't really expect everyone to watch it all the way through, but it's a pretty great example of Michael getting frustrated to the point of meltdown. This is actually pretty tame, too.

I left to the store the other day and James was home with the kids. He asked Michael to get a diaper with a number 5 on it, so he could change Rory. The diapers were stuck in that stupid plastic wrapping and he couldn't get it out. He had however, already decided in his head how it was supposed to play out, and since it was not doing so in that order, the world came to an end.

I don't know any other child that would freak out so horribly over not being able to get a diaper out. Most children would whine and tantrum to not even help! He was happy to help, but so frustrated with the situation from there on out, that he melted down. When it gets like this, we struggle with just doing it for him and dealing with an all out scream fest for 5 minutes, or dealing with 20 minutes of screaming and frustration so he can learn to do it himself. This happens with EVERYTHING. From getting cups, to opening doors (HUGE one there!!!), to getting his jacket on and off, to taking his shoes off... you get the idea.

If he would just let us show him how or help that would be amazing. But no, the whole thing has already played out in his head of him doing it ALONE, so he will not accept help. He has a hard time understanding verbal help as well so that is not really helpful. It just stresses him out more, because he has a hard time still with receptive language, especially when he is so focused on another task.

If you have the time to watch the whole thing, I recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to add, for those who are not familiar with this behavior, you cannot punish him for acting like this. He was attempting to help, and he genuinely wanted to do so. Punishing him, or getting angry because he is frustrated and screaming will only teach him that trying to help out only gets him into trouble, and that is not what we want. You just have to work through it, and you can't rush it. When he gets like this, you are on his terms. I know it is hard to get over that concept, and as a parent, I had a tough time coming to grips with the notion that we are at the mercy of his condition when things like this happen, but the reality is that you can either help him to get over his frustration or you can continue to hold him back and let him regress. I choose to deal with the frustration now because I know that it will help him learn to cope better in the future. You can either pay now or pay later. The problem with paying later is that it always comes with a higher price.