Meltdowns vs. Tantrums
So this blog is going to be a rant simply because of people spreading misinformation!
Now I’m not an Autism specialist,therapist, or expert by any means. But I am a parent like most of those out there who have researched for hours on end for the good of our Autistic children. I stayed up many nights just like everyone else dealing with true meltdowns. The parents who have dealt with a true meltdown are the ones that are going to be just as upset about this as I was when I found it. So of course when we want answers to something where is the first place we go to get the answer? I’m sure a few of you said google or a local search engine. Close enough. Youtube is the number 1 go to place for information. Why?? Because its a video and its usually easier for alot of us to learn hands on. So you go to Youtube to look up a video because your kid has been up all night long screaming for no reason at all (Or atleast something that you dont see would be bothersome).
So instantly you assume its a Meltdown because of course thats exactly what it is. The child wasn’t awake when the meltdown started to naturally it was something sensory related that triggered it. Now mind you if the child wakes up and his bear that he always sleeps with is gone and hes yelling for someone to find it and is communicating about the bear at the same time as screaming then that is not a meltdown. Its just a mad child wanting his bear.LOL…
But this is the stuff that I have ran into on Youtube that makes me angry, sad, pissed and furious all in one. Why?? Because it discredits those children who do suffer from true Autistic meltdowns.
So you search Meltdown in youtube and you see a picture of a child laying on the floor at a store kicking and screaming. The name of the video says the kid is having a meltdown at a mall so you click on it to see maybe if the information you get from it would be useful and helpful to your situation..
As soon as you hit play on the video the child is screaming that they dont want to leave from where they are. The parent tries to calm their child down of course as most parents do. The child then proceeds to kick and scream on the floor at the store STILL stating that he doesn’t want to leave.
The commentary in the video is saying that this was a meltdown and that this child has several of them a day. Then it forwards to a few minutes later when they have given the child something that calmed them down, The parent even asks if that made him feel better and the child says yes and is all happy and laughing. So of course those of us who dealt with up all night meltdowns where nothing calms down our child are baffled by how the world this parent got this child in a matter of minutes to calm down from a supposed meltdown.
Well I will tell you why the parent got the kid to calm down when he was given something.
Because it was never a meltdown to begin with!!!
Here is the difference between children who are having a meltdown and children that are having simple tantrums. First off a meltdown is caused by something sensory related. It usually starts because of too much sound, too much light, textures, tastes, etc.. A tantrum is set off because of the child wanting something or not wanting something. It is always goal oriented which means it either ends with something they wanted or didn’t want.
Here are a few examples:
So lets use the name Joey.
Joey is 5 years old and has Autism,sensory processing disorder and has been diagnosed by a doctor. Joey doesn’t do well in stores because of over stimulating sensory input. Joeys mother has to go get milk for him at the store and he has to go along. When Joey gets in the car he is subjected to lots of sensory input like the trees going past, the radio on, the air seeping through the small crack in the window, the itchy seatbelt around his waist. So Joey is already starting to feel uncomfortable because of the over stimulation. Joeys mother takes him into the store where there are alot of people talking, overhead speakers, children running around, etc.. Joey puts his hands over his ears and falls to the floor screaming and kicking. He is screaming out words but they are not relevant to the situation or just mumbling or not understandable. Joey does not want anything, he didn’t get mad because his mom would not buy him a candy bar, He was not yelling at his mom or pointing to anything before the outburst started. So what would you call this??
That is the definition of a meltdown.. Its not goal oriented , it cant be easily calmed and the child is not expressing what is wrong and what they are wanting or not wanting.
So why in the world do tons of parents have thousands of videos on YOUTUBE claiming their child is having a meltdown in the video when the child is mad because they didn’t get the computer, or didn’t get to go to the store or was mad at a sibling for taking the last cupcake.
The sad part is that I have commented on several of these videos only to be told that there are different levels of the spectrum … UHHHHH I know that there are different levels of the spectrum but no matter what level they are a tantrum is still a tantrum and is always goal oriented. They still refuse to call their childs tantrum a tantrum because they think just because Autistic children have meltdowns that are similar in look that their child throwing a fit over a piece of candy must be signs of Autism and they want that attention on Youtube because they think the other people that are just as dumb as they are will agree with them..
I am sorry if it offends anyone and if you are one of those people who have a video of a child having a tantrum and your video is labeled as a meltdown I urge you to change it. Because it discredits the children who do suffer and their parents who also deal with meltdowns that last all night and hours and hours and are not calmed with a teddy bear. Its not fair to call something a meltdown when its not even near close to a meltdown.
I have seen people on Youtube go to tons of doctors and when that doctor tells them they don’t see any signs of autism, they will run to the next to try and get a diagnosis. Why would you want that label on your child? Why would you seriously want to jeopardize those children who truly do have Autism to never find acceptance in this world because you refuse to control your child who in fact can be controlled. There is a big difference and unfortunately people find the videos of tantrums being called meltdowns and it leaves a bad taste in their mouths and that is why children who have meltdowns get the cold shoulder, or the “bust their ass it will stop” look.
So I have started a movement on YOUTUBE and since I am a nice person I am not going to personally link anyone’s video to this blog but if you are a parent like me who is fed up with people using meltdown to refer to their child’s temper tantrum then please hashtag their video #stopmisinformingASD
All you have to do is go to the search bar at youtube.com and search for Meltdowns or Autism meltdown, Autistic meltdown, etc.
Make sure you watch the video before hash tagging it because some of them may be true meltdowns. However I know many of them are not even close. Trust me the parents of children who have meltdowns will know the real from the fake.
Our children are never going to have acceptance with this misinformation going on.
I know a lot of you are probably quiet people and don’t like to say things to others. This is for our children who are given the cold shoulder and bad looks from people. We as parents are put down and told that we are not parenting right. And its time for this to stop.. So join the movement today put #STOPMISINFORMINGASD on videos that are spreading false information.
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