“Mom, this is just too much.” Daniel’s head sagged and his shoulders curled inward. His voice was more weary then sad.
My step-kids arrive today and the energy level in the house has been high all week. I spent yesterday whirling around the house trying to get everything ready. My own energy level was very high and when Daniel and The Bear arrived home from school, I was quick to start handing out assignments.
When Daniel groaned out these words we had just gone through another meltdown. This time the meltdown was triggered by too much noise, too much activity, and too many directions at once. It was aggravated by a little brother who thought “scaring” him with a perfectly timed, “Boo!” would be funny. It was funny to everyone but Daniel and me.
“I really need something to help me.” The look in his eyes broke my heart.
“I know,” I reassured him, “I am working on solutions. We have an appointment next month with a new doctor. Maybe I can move that up and see what we can work out. Why don’t you take a couple minutes to calm down while I talk to The Bear.”
Daniel has been hair trigger for a while now. I wonder if going through the hormonal changes of puberty are aggravating his sensory issues and triggering the meltdowns more frequently and more intensely. I try to limit the noise, the activity and the number of instructions direct at Daniel but with a household of 4 to 6 kids ranging from 18 to 4 years old, life is rarely quiet and often fast-paced.
I am hopeful regarding this new doctor. He is board certified in neurological development. More importantly, he has ideas that have not been suggested to us before. The most hopeful of these is the use of beta-blockers, or high-blood pressure medications to help control meltdowns.
I am nervous too. I have always avoided medicating my son if possible for a long list of reasons. However, if we can find something that helps without a high risk of serious side effects, I would be willing to give it a shot. Daniel has a lot of life events coming up. Next year, his 8th grade class is taking a trip to DC. He wants to go but is nervous about his ability to make it through that kind of trip without a meltdown
My mother’s heart is aching to see my son struggling to function through a day where at every turn he hits a wall of Ego Disintegration, as the psychologists call it.
I will of course be preparing for our doctor’s appointment by researching all I can find on the use of beta-blockers in the treatment of meltdowns for Asperger’s patients. I would also appreciate comments that give me any additional information or personal experience.
For now, we are going to focus on enjoying this weekend with family and coping through the next few weeks.