Sunday, October 21, 2012

Meltdowns at Target....

So Friday night Jeremy went to the ASU vs. OSU game and i decided to have a date night with Recker. Recker played outside with his friends for awhile and when it was time to go (like always) he was NOT having it and was really upset. So contrary to what i hate doing, i bribed him with Target popcorn, which is his FAVORITE! He still beat the crap out of me while i was wrestling him into his carseat, screamed the whole way until we pulled into the Target parking lot and he finally realized i was being serious about the popcorn. Well i kept telling him over and over and explaining to him that if he calmed down we were going to go inside to get it. He finally calmed down with the promise of his beloved popcorn. When we walked in, i saw there wasn't any popcorn made in the machine, but i did not feel bad asking them (it was like an hour away from closing time) to make more, it was honestly what was going to get us through the rest of the night. 

Well when i ordered the popcorn, the sweet 16 year old girl responded with, 

"Oh sorry we ran out of popcorn yesterday and won't get anymore until tomorrow," 
"Wait what? You don't have popcorn?" (in a shaky trying not to cry voice)
"No not until tomorrow, can i get you anything else?"
-Insert me with tears rolling down my face choking back complete sobbing....
"Um are you ok Ma'm?"
-Sniff..."Um no, my son...sniff...he won't understand...sniff...he has Autism and i promised....sniff....i  promised him popcorn....what do i do?!!....sniff..." 

By this point recker was getting antsy because it never takes this long to get a simple bag of popcorn. The loud speaker came on with someone announcing something unrelated, the multiple beeps from the checkout counters directly behind us, and no popcorn resulted in my sweet boy's meltdown curled up rocking back and forth while using my hands to cover his ears. We were a mess. It was a complete nightmare. Finally after stepping aside, calming him (and myself) down and trying my best to explain to my non verbal/non communicative son that he was actually NOT going to get what i had been promising him all night, we settled on cookies the size of our faces and icees. We worked out our emotions and disappointments through retail therapy and stuffing our faces with chipotle afterwards (yes right after we had downed the biggest cookies of my life and giant frozen sugar comas). 

I normally do NOT respond this way to something so small, but I'm blaming it on my high hormones and emotions from this pregnancy! And the fact that Jeremy and I had been talking about how hard it is still to this day to deal with Recker's Diagnosis. Sometimes i feel like so many eyes are on me and relying on me to be the strong one. So many people see me as the "Rock" when it comes to Recker's Autism, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Every moment of the day i am consumed with Autism, Sensory Processing, and all of Recker's other issues. It never goes away. Its not a bad thing, i would rather be a parent who lives with the reality of what our lives are and will be, than one who is in denial and can not accept it. 

The truth is, our last appointment with Dr. Blitz has honestly changed our relationship with Recker and how we view Recker's diagnosis. She flat out told us that i was NOT giving Recker enough credit. She told us something that has changed everything for us, she told us that yes he does understand WAAAAAY more than we know, and that we need to start communicating with him like he understands. Since that day, we have been speaking to him like a typical almost 3 year old and doing our best to thoroughly explain everything we are going to do and why and i can not tell you how life changing it has been. We are all happier. Recker is happier. He is a different child. We have fewer meltdowns when we tell him when and where we are going, what we are doing, etc....Dr. Blitz will never know how much of a blessing she is to our family. 

{Yes, to my husbands HORROR, i took my son out in public when he was this filthy. Don't judge i know some of you probably most have had days where you just don't care anymore...come tell me you have! if you look close you can see that most of all the marks on his legs are bruises, scratches and scabs, not dirt. They look close the the same even after a long bath}


  1. The last couple posts have been completely honest and open and I appreciate that. The disability parking is for just that and if it benefits Recker and his safety then no other opinion matters!

    And don't worry after a day of activities I take my daughter to a store with hair crazy and a little dirt or food here or there! That just means those children are living the life they should, having fun!!!

  2. Kayla,

    I cried so much when I read this post cause of all the years of being a parent to Brody (6+) I have never so fully related to the feelings of another parent as when I read your post. Oh the meltdowns, oh the needs of our children and how we just cannot express them to others. Brody had such a huge meltdown at Safeway a couple weeks ago. I left crying and feeling so utterly alone in the world. Thank goodness for having a husband (the only other one who truly gets it) that I could come home to and just cry. Get that disability parking and please give the middle finger to whoever said the comment to you about milking it (sorry it was a close friend or family member). Frankly that pissed me off when I read it in your post, but then I had to tell myself what I have been telling myself for years - other people - no matter how hard they try - just don't get it!! Kayla you are amazing and I wish that when Brody was 3 I had done as much as you have. You are wonderful and an inspiration. P.S. Brody has SO many bruises on his legs to. With the little he communicates I never can ask or hear an explanation about all of them. Active little boys I guess

    1. I guess I didn't log into Blogger - the comment above is from me, Golda Miller :)

    2. Golda,

      That makes me feel so much better when i hear that you don't mind my "honesty." I know that some people either get offended or think I'm complaining and thats not it at all, its just my space to vent and air my issues and be honest with everyone about what life with Autism in your family is REALLY like! Thats kinda why i started this separate blog than my family blog because i think people were sick of hearing about it. But then sometimes i think, well if you are sick of it, why are we friends? This is who we are, we are a family who struggles DAILY with Autism and if it makes you uncomfortable then maybe we should dissolve our friendship. All i know is that Recker's diagnosis has REALLY shown us who are "TRUE" friends are, its a sobering experience to see who really truly care about you and your family. I have people tell me (whose children are "typical") that they have had the "same" experience as something like this Meltdown at Target, and it BLOWS my mind how they really don't get it. There is a HUUUUUUGE difference between a TANTRUM and a MELTDOWN. I want to say to them "YOUR CHILD IS THROWING A TANTRUM!!! MY SON CAN NOT HELP IT, THERES A DIFFERENCE!!!" but i don't and i try to remember that they just do not understand. I can't even begin to tell you how much i have to filter myself in person and especially on my blog! Its sooooo hard! I still have family and friends who use the "R" word around us, i understand how its a habit and hard to break, but i just don't get it, it is soooo offensive!! Anyways enough of my ranting and complaining haha! I am so sorry about your Safeway experience, just know that there are those of us (besides our husbands) who know what each other are going through, even though it may seem sooooo lonely at times!!