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Major Meltdown – I had to leave him in tears

October 31, 2012

Tyson - photo taken using Photo Booth app

This morning wasn’t a very good morning for my eldest son, Tyson, who has an autism spectrum disorder. The weather outside isn’t very nice and there are dark clouds in the sky. Hearing on the radio that there was a chance of storms later on in the afternoon is never easy for Tyson – storms scare him, especially if there is thunder and lightning.

When Tyson got up this morning at 7am, he wasn’t in the best mood. Having slept awkwardly during the night, he was complaining about having a sore neck – holding his neck whilst making a small (fake) coughing sound. Tyson didn’t have a temperature nor were there any signs to suggest that he was sick so I decided that he could go to school today.

Breakfast is never easy with Tyson and it is common for Tyson to take over 45 minutes to eat 4 pancakes – Taj scoffs 11 pancakes down in about 10 minutes! This morning was no different. I made a concerted effort not to badger Tyson about eating and just left him to it. By the time he finished, his mood had improved.

That was until he saw me organising the school lunch bags. The tears started along with big heaving breathes. Tyson kept telling me that he was too sick to go to school today and that he really didn’t want to go. I calmly explained that he had to go to school, especially during this term (4). I focused on as many positives as I could.


Walking to school was no better. Tyson continued to cry all the way. Thankfully we don’t live too far from the school and the walk only takes about 7 minutes. We took Taj to his class first and Tyson seemed to improve. This improvement didn’t last for long, though, and Tyson was soon melting again as we walked to his classroom.

I got all of his things organised for school and took them into his classroom, all the while with Tyson glued firmly by my side with tears streaming down his face. Talking to the teacher (who is very understanding), I explain quietly what had happened and that Tyson was in full meltdown mode. In order to reassure Tyson, the teacher agreed that if Tyson wasn’t feeling any better by recess, that the school would give me a call.

This didn’t help. When the EA (education assistant) came into the classroom, I had to help her to get Tyson over to his desk. All the while he was crying, begging me to pick him up early. I said my goodbyes and gave him a big kiss on the cheek as well as telling him that I love him. None of that helped and he continued to cry.

As I left the room, I could hear Tyson’s confusion that I had ‘just left’. When I turned to look back, he had thrown himself down on his desk, crying uncontrollably, with his EA giving him a hug.

It breaks my heart to have to leave Tyson at school like that, it really does. As much as I would love for him to stay home and not be melting, I have to remain strong. Tyson needs to get an education so that he can succeed in life. I wouldn’t be doing “my job” if I denied him this right.

Jeez it’s hard being an autism Mum =D

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