Meltdowns are one part of parenting an autistic spectrum child that can be really hard to deal with. Not that I am overlooking the distress our children experiencing this but I want to focus on the emotional drain that this can have on us as parents.
There is not always an obvious rhyme or reason for a meltdown; in fact as parents we can find ourselves on high alert constantly looking to avoid any known triggers, trying hard to steer them through the day (or even hour) without triggering a full blown meltdown. However we soon find that even with our most conscientious efforts that there will be times that this is just unavoidable.
This often means that we have a heightened awareness of everything and everyone around us. This can blur the boundaries of what we are feeling and cause us to be hypersensitive to our children and the environment. At times it can feel that we are running on adrenaline and that is totally draining.
It can feel as though we don’t get any respite, but we feel guilty to “think about ourselves” as our children’s welfare always comes first. After all they are extremely stressed and in a frightening place when in the middle of a meltdown. It can make you feel terrible for even thinking of our own feelings at such a time. Emotionally I liken the feeling of having a scab on a wound that is beginning to heal but is suddenly pulled back off again reopening the hurt and frustrated feelings in a heightened way. This often happens before we have had a chance to process our own thoughts and emotions from the last “issue” and can make it feel a bit like a never ending cycle for us. They need to learn strategies to cope with the issues that cause them meltdowns. Obviously in younger children this is a lot harder as they don’t really have the way to let us know what is causing their sensory over load. We can help them learn these skills better if we approach with a calm energy, leading them by example.
It’s really important to look after yourself and to try to find ways of dropping our awareness/anxiety levels to a more comfortable place. If we are less stressed – we give off calm energy – which in turn is picked up by our children. Our heightened energy is no longer picked up by them which decreases their anxiety levels somewhat.
It’s not always feasible for us to have “time out” as often this can create stress for our children which in turn increases our stress levels. Bringing in a little time for ourselves gradually is a good idea, but can take quite a while to implement, bearing in mind that we feel at our worst when our child does too. Unfortunately meltdowns can be regular and we need to be able to find ways to release our frustrations and guilt around this in a productive way. Your child will thank you for this – as they feel calmer and more secure when you are.
This is where Flower & Vibrational Essences can give us a helping hand. Obviously as there are so many factors going on, you will get more insights and a better blend of essences if you go through the process of an in-depth consultation to support you. However, there are some essences that can bring benefit in the short term and allow us to keep a clear head and calm focus.
For me I had the head rush of energy that made me feel that I was out of control, that I couldn’t think properly and a real fear rose of not being able to cope with the situation. The essence I used then to drop the rising panic and ground me back into my body was Cherry Plum (Bach Flower Remedies – It can be used to help your child with this too) It brings focus more into the present moment and promotes more rational thinking.
I also found Walnut Moss essence (Stewart Essences) to be really useful at creating energetic boundaries; it lessens what energy we pick up from our children and what they pick up from us. It filters out the knee jerk type energy and allows us to process information more slowly and productively.
I have only shared two of the essences that worked for me and helped me to feel sane when I would otherwise feel totally overwhelmed.
If you would like further information on essences or would like to discuss having a consultation to see what essences would be beneficial to you for your personal situation please contact me by email
Consultations are held either in person if location allows or by Skype. The latter is often easier for parents as it can be carried out at more flexible times.