It started over a Gatorade bottle.
Diego REALLY wanted water in a Gatorade bottle for bedtime.
He had never asked for this before and unfortunately we were out of empty or full Gatorade bottles.
All I thought was this is not going to be good.
I did my best to get the coolest cup I could, outfit it with a straw and attempted to make it sound like it was the BEST CUP EVER!
It didn’t work.
Diego started to lose it.
I walked away for a moment because sometimes his reaction is a little bit extra if I am right there. I really hoped that he would just whine about it for a while and then it would pass.
So I sent Rickey in to help him, usually Rickey can find a way to diffuse the situation if I can’t.
Things just got worse.
Then D went from Gatorade bottle to only wanting me to turn on his nightlight, despite the fact that Rickey had already turned it on for him.
If I thought that D was losing it before, I was sadly mistaken.
Diego was crying so loud and so hard that I was afraid he might vomit, he started to hyperventilate and to bang his head against the wall. Whatever Rickey was doing wasn’t working either.
At this point I had to go in, he was begging for me to turn the nightlight off and then back on.
How horrible was his anxiety that he was begging for this!?!
So I went in, turned the f*cking nightlight off and back on. I don’t care if this was reinforcing poor behavior, I just needed to help him.
Since Diego could no longer perseverate on the nightlight, we were back to the Gatorade bottle.
I was racking my brain to figure out what he needed to calm down.
We were smack dab in the middle of the worst crisis I have ever had with him, and I had no f*cking idea how to fix it!
It took a lot of silly stories, songs, joint compressions, and deep breathing but after about 15 minutes we got to a point where he could talk without losing it.
I burrowed next to him in his tiny toddler bed and just laid with him for another 30 minutes…breathing and cuddling.
Diego finally fell asleep.
He was spent
I was heartbroken.
I HATE autism.