Clean-up on Isle twelve: What to do when you run into a possible autism melt down
A segment on autism is coming up on your local news show and you’re thinking, ‘let’s see what all of the buzz is about’. Soon you are presented with a short piece featuring a child that is adorable and quirky and a family that is distraught and exhausted. Now that you are educated on the disorder you go out into the world and judge accordingly.
That is not autism. It’s lovely that we are able to get a glimpse of the higher functioning children as well as the autistic savants, but to stop there is to lose an opportunity. Not only for the families of lower functioning children—and there are many—but also for you. The next time you find yourself at the grocery store and see a mom struggling to get her child to stop pulling off his pants while screaming and pulling his hair you have not been given the tools to understand why nor have you been taught what to do. If you think you’re uncomfortable, you can bet mom is dying to get out of the store as quickly as possible. Now she’s tempted to make choices for the challenged bystander rather than her challenged child.
Global autism expert Lynette Louise will help you to feel comfortable and make choices that will encourage autism outings which are necessary for children to be guided out of this diagnosis. Some autism answers that will help people with and without autism in their daily lives:
- Smile and make eye contact: Too often in an attempt to keep from sharing our own discomfort with others we look away and pretend nothing is happening. The parent will feel this avoidance and in turn so will the child. Instead, try smiling and letting mom or dad know that you’re comfortable by looking up and out. The more comfortable the parent is the easier it will be on the child. Plus, you will be smiling which feels good!
- Remember late night snacks: Autistic children and adults are always battling some sort of focus issue. When you find yourself eating to stay awake, you’re compensating and trying to wake up your brain with sugar and digestion. It’s a similar thing for the child pulling his hair. He’s just struggling with life’s demands using a trick he knows works for him.
- Make friendly conversation with another bystander: Most likely others in the store are wondering what to do. A Friendly, accepting conversation and energy shift will not only give you a chance to share what you know but help the struggling parent and child feel accepted.
If families and their autistic children stay home to avoid catastrophic outings then no one will benefit. On the flipside if we embrace autism and its challenge we will be giving ourselves a beautiful opportunity. Autism is guided toward social comfort by understanding motivators, connecting and raising the bar. Truthfully, this is a wonderful way to teach all of our children so … thank you autism!
Global autism expert, Lynette Louise, raised eight children –six adopted and four of whom were on the spectrum of autism. She was able to guide all but one out of autism and into independence. Lynette travels internationally, performing and speaking on the subject of autism and the efficacy of neurofeedback. She is the author of the inspirational and honest book MIRACLES ARE MADE: A Real Life Guide to Autism and host of the surprising podcast A NEW SPIN ON AUTISM: ANSWERS!