What Neurotypical People Need to Know About Autistic Meltdowns

By Nera Birch: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Autistic meltdowns are one of the most difficult parts of autism for me. My meltdowns were not dealt with well in my childhood. My parents thought I was just throwing tantrums. They thought I could control what was happening, which was not the case at all. I was usually locked in my room during these meltdowns. This has added trauma beyond belief, to have been shoved into a room and have the doorknob ripped out of my hand while all I wanted was some deep pressure. I still have night terrors where I wake up screaming about being trapped. Of course, I couldn’t verbalize what was causing the meltdowns and my parents had no interest in figuring it out themselves. It was just easier to lock me away.

Even after I got older and stopped having constant meltdowns, it was still an issue. My parents seemed to think autism would go away when I grew up. Anytime they caught me in a meltdown or even just stimming they would say, “Why are you doing that?” I would respond, “I’m autistic.” The rebuttal was always, “Haven’t you learned how to control that by now?”

This is one of the most important lessons I can give to neurotypicals who want to support us. We can’t control meltdowns. 

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