I must admit there have been times I have avoided taking my son places because I didn’t want to have to deal with his meltdowns.
Do I think that makes me a bad parent? No, I personally think that it is easier not only for me but him as well. The preparation that has to take place prior to us going out is a lot to say the least. We have to have everything in place, and even if we do, that still doesn’t guarantee he won’t have a meltdown.
The other day when we attended his speech therapy appointment he had a major meltdown in the lobby. Now on the way there he had been screaming and kicking the back of my seat in the car. So by the time we even entered the lobby I was pretty close to tears myself. Than he finally was in full meltdown mode by the time we had checked in.
Usually I can handle his meltdowns in public, but that day I just broke down. I started crying with him. What a sight that must of been a mother and son crying in public, at that point in time that is all I could do.
His speech therapist came to greet us and she just said “Today must not be your day”. In my head I am thinking no day is my day with my son acting like the world is ending. Between sobs I shook my head yes and she escorted us back to the therapy room. By the time we got back there my son had calmed down a bit and I was able to talk successfully. His speech therapist changed my whole perspective that day because of what she said to me. She said…
“Yes, it is hard to be in public and watch your son have a meltdown. People are going to stare at you and give you looks of encouragement or snarl rude things to you. The one thing that you have to remember is that those people don’t know you and they definitely don’t know your son. You have to put your armor on and learn how to make your armor relentless.”
The hardest thing to me about being a mother of a child with special needs is not the diagnosis itself, but the stares you get from people that don’t understand. I am slowly creating relentless armor against people and there ignorance. By doing that I am also creating better awareness about SPD by attempting to educate those people who don’t understand.