Tantrums And Laying Down
What a wonderful surprise to have googled your magnificent site today. My name is Lori and I have been a paraprofessional to autistic children for nine years. As you are already well aware, each child presents new and interesting challenges. My kindergarten boy this year is perhaps the most "hidden" of all I have worked with so far. He is fairly compliant but has very low energy or maybe it just appears that way. We'll be walking and he'll just drop to the floor and bury his little head and cry. Usually these episodes last ten or fifteen minutes but can be intense.
He has poor muscle tone and a very pale complexion. He is always making noises to himself but generally appears to tolerate gym and music well in comparison to other autistic children. He has little eye to hand or paper coordination which means he can't write or color yet.
I know he is in there somewhere but where? I worry about his comfort in the midst of these terrible meltdowns. Our team cannot isolate anything that precedes these tantrums since they have occurred across all settings.
When he arrives he is smiling and seems to enjoy many activities during his school day. He only attends half days at present time.
I appreciate any and all suggestions you could offer. I look forward to coming to your site on a more regular basis now that I have finally found what I have been searching for!
What I will tell you is I'm very concerned this may be more than just Autism or low muscle tone. I am wondering... what "medical" tests have been done for him. One test, for example, I would encourage would be an EEG for seizures or anything related to that?? Nutritional, heart, labs, stomach, anything that may be causing him pain or distress within his body, etc. Have all "medical" explanations been ruled out?? If you can't find any precipitating factors related to gross motor, muscle endurance, specific demands placed on him, sensory stimulation precursors, etc. I would really want to encourage ruling out other more "medically involved" issues.
Does he have a diagnosis of SPD? Is he in therapies? OT, PT, Speech, etc. for the gross and fine motor delays and/or low muscle tone, and any speech or auditory processing or speech delays, etc. Does he receive therapy outside of school? What diagnoses does he have? I would need to know more specifics about his particular issues and what treatments he is currently receiving.
Does this happen at home too? Any particular times of the day? Do the fluorescent lights appear to bother him? Does he seem out of it or fatigued during or after these episodes? Can he verbalize any discomfort?? Can you describe the meltdowns more specifically? What he does/says, how often they happen, what gets him out of it, does he literally just "drop", etc. Has he told you ANYTHING that might be of significance, or clues?