Handling a Scary Meltdown

So, today my kids had to go to some doctor appointments and it ended the VERY long day with my son having blood drawn.  Dorian never had any issues with needles until he needed stitches in his hand this summer and ever since then he freaks the hell out.  I mean when I say freak out, he’s kicking at the person with the needle…and really about to hurt himself.

Today I honestly thought he was going to be ok, until she got out the needle.  She tied off his arm and he started to REALLY freak out.  He was about to hurt himself..throwing himself towards her and the needles and on the floor.  I tried to just calm him down and hold him, but the situation was escalating out of control.  I mean seriously escalating out of control.  I could tell by the wild look in his eyes that he was losing his grip with sanity very quickly.  This rarely happens but when it does it takes hours to get Dorian ok, then it takes a few days for him to be back in routine.  He will stop eating and become dehydrated when he “loses” it.  It’s hard to understand this reaction until you’ve had a child or personally known someone who does this.  I’ve heard this is quite typical in OCD cases as well, but anyhow, this was going out of control.  The phlebotomist was starting to freak out……….it was getting to where he was going to have to be tied down…so I did something drastic.  I threatened my son with punishment.  I don’t normally do that.

My normal discipline is positive or if it is negative it is along the lines of “that is inappropriate behavior”.  I have had years and years of parenting classes, but even the best of us lose our cool.  I definitely did today.  Dorian doesn’t even require anything but redirection….he confesses to EVERYTHING.  He can’t lie….he doesn’t even want too, but there are times when his autism can become very physically threatening.  He is a severe flight risk and has ran away before, so how do you handle a meltdown that could cause serious injury to himself?  Sigh….well…learn from me..i have no idea if what I did was correct, but I feel incredibly guilty….

I forced him to look me in the eye and said very forcefully “If you do not quit I will take your butt to the bathroom, spank you, then take away your legos”  I repeated it three times and he immediately on the third time…stilled in my arms looked into my eye and said “Yes Mam”…….

He proceeded to sit down, handed his arm to the worker, and let her stick him.  It literally took less than a minute..he didn’t cry but he also didnt’ speak to me for 15 minutes..I know because I counted.  THOSE WERE THE WORSE 15 minutes of my LIFE!……

When we were sitting at the Mexican restaurant later I asked him how his arm felt and he said “Fine”…and I said ” are you still mad at mommy?” and Dorian said “no, I’m sorry I was being crazy thank you for helping me.”

Perhaps I didn’t do anything wrong, I dunno.  Will I handle it that way again?  NO.  How will I handle it differently next time? Well, I will first tell the worker that he has autism and severe anxiety.  I will let him take his time to let her stick him.  I will not rush him.  I will tell him about it days before.  I will let him pick the time that he wants it to happen.  I will let him control his environment and according to his psychiatrist that is the WRONG thing to do, because we can’t always control our environment.

No, perhaps we can’t, but as an adult I have a choice on when I get my blood taken…why can’t my son?  It’s HIS body not mine.  I’m not going to get him tattooed so why do I have the right to force him to sit there and get blood drawn when he doesn’t want too and it’s not life threatening?  I don’t.

Like I say, everyday is a learning experience.  Everyday we learn to be better…everyday we make bad choices…everyday we make a choice we didn’t want to make….everyday we make great choices.  In today’s list of choices I made today this one choice has ruined my mind…I feel so much guilt eventhough I didn’t even do anything but try to calm him.

I have to own every choice I make……….The good and the bad……….but the one good thing about the bad is that it gives us a learning opportunity.  Since I had never encountered this issue with Dorian I had no clue how to handle it, but now I do, which means next time there won’t be a next time.  Next time it will be his choice.

So, as I go to bed with guilt….I also go knowing that I gained a small amount of knowledge…………

~Living without reservations means accepting our own faults!


PS.  I’m also a horrible mother because we are cosleepers! 😉    Both of my kids sleep with me…We have a HUGE california king size bed……and I’m barely 5ft….so we all fit perfectly….so good night while I go snuggle my sweet babies!


PSS.   When it was over the lady looked at me and thanked me.  She said that it is very dangerous for them to act this way…and I could tell she had been getting very uncomfortable.  I apologized for my son’s actions and me telling my son that he would be punished.  She said, “Girl I wish EVERY parent would do that.” LOL maybe that is true, but my son is not every kid..he has autism…and today I wasn’t sensitive to it…………..how horrible is that? I have learned though.


PSSS.  When we walked out of the room, my daughter said that EVERYONE was staring at the room we were in…and perhaps they were…..lol..I’m sure they think that I’m the worse parent of the world…and I probably agree with them right now………….but this is one of the reasons that I don’t judge a parent that I see disciplining their child…you have NO idea what just happened!


One thought on “Handling a Scary Meltdown

  1. Don’t beat yourself up. It worked. It may not be the typical discipline procedure but sometimes we have to adapt. And on top of that, you can’t worry about the occasional setback. YOU are a WONDERFUL mom. An amazing woman and a great friend. Having a minor meltdown from time to time is part of life. For your kids, for yourself – with or without disabilities. (((HUGS)))

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