The Down Side of Autism

My heart is heavy.  We took the boys to church as usual; Matthew was very tired to start with.  Then, in the lobby, he decided he meant to wear his belt with these jeans and we must go home and get it.  I explained that church was starting in a few minutes.  He had a meltdown.  “No, don’t say no, I have to get it!”  He began to thrash around the more I tried to calm him.  He swore loudly, some very bad words.  He even kicked the wall of the lobby, but thankfully it didn’t crack or even leave a mark.  By now we had an audience.  I was having no luck calming him; then an elderly white-haired lady came over to us, pointed to Matthew and declared:  “In the Name of Jesus, be quiet.  You will not disturb this House.”  That was all.  He was instantly as meek as a mouse, took my hand and we went in and took our seats beside my husband and Jacob.  Matthew lay down in the floor and fell asleep.  When he woke up he was fine.  I don’t know what I feel now.  Mortified, humiliated; grateful to the elderly lady who was bold (and she didn’t raise her voice, either!)  I am nervous now about taking Matthew next week.  I never thought he would lose control in church.  I’m so disappointed.  He brother was fine.  Hubby and brother were both already seated and didn’t witness the meltdown.  I love Matthew so much.  I think he could knock me off the face of the earth and I would still love him.  But I worry about him!  He’s got to gain some self-control, and maybe he just can’t because of his brain being affected.  Incidents like this are not uncommon with autism and bipolar disorder. He has both.  I think about when he was a baby, so perfect and precious.  I used to hold him on my shoulder and waltz in the kitchen, softly singing “Amazing Grace” which is in 3/4 time, just right for a waltz.  When I stopped after 4 verses he lifted his baby head, like, “More please.”  Without words.  He had the purest heart I’ve ever seen in a baby.  I’ve given up trying to figure out what went wrong—-vaccines, or something else.  The divorce of his mom and dad?  No, it’s a chemical mixup in his brain.  When he is rude he cries afterward and asks for a hug, and says “I love you. I’m so sorry.”  He’s 15 now.  I would give my life to see him healed and healthy mentally.  That’s of course no option.  All I can do is keep on praying and loving him with all my heart.  I can’t even cry, I’m so stunned. 

10 thoughts on “The Down Side of Autism”

  1. Aww i completely understand your dilemma and confusion. I have 2 nephews that are both autistic. One is quite severe on the spectrum with minimal communication skills aswell as ADHD. The downside to autism can be very demanding but the positive side is heart warming. These gifted children can be the most loving and affectionate souls you could ever find. Their innocence and pureness is beautiful.

    I know it’s hard at times, especially in social situations. Stay strong and keep your head heald high. You are not alone. They are blessed to have your love xx

  2. I can’t relate to this/: but from reading it you’re doing the best you can. And going through puberty probably makes it tough also. I hope Matthew can focus his energy in a more positive way again like he did when he was young. I know when my little one would have crying tantrums I would use a breathing technique. When she would have an angry fit I would go down to her eye level and ask her for a hug and that would calm her down quickly. After the techniques we would take about what happened, why it happened, and how to make it happen less frequent or solve it without throwing tantrums. She still have her tantrums but they don’t escalate. I know when she’s older I’ll have to find a better technique lol.

    So keep on showering Matthew with love! Things will look up! You have always had God by your side!(:

  3. Thank you, OpenBook and Mami. I went to bed early then got up to see if I had any comments on my blog, and I found two from beautiful friends. THANK YOU both for the encouragement. It means SO much, truly! Hugs..

  4. I am sorry that this happened to you but as the above people have said you are doing your best and its clear to see from reading your journal the unconditional love you have for your grandchildren, they are both very lucky to have you! It must be so tough for them when it’s difficult to express emotions, I try never to judge when I see children tantrums get especially as I now have one of my own who will often fling herself on the floor/run away/ scream etc! Take care x

  5. I’m sorry to hear this. I can’t relate to what you are going through but it sounds like you are a fantastic mum so full of love and pride for your son. God gives hard tasks to those he knows can handle them and he gave you a son which he knew you would love with your whole heart more than anyone else could ever do. He is your blessing even when times are tough. I wish you all the best of luck together and I will pray for you both. x

  6. There isn’t much I can say since it seems that everyone before me has said all of the words that could have been said, but I will pray for Matthew and that church will go well next week 🙂

  7. Your grandson has been with you at church many times and I’m sure he has never acted out before. This will probably be the only time it happens. He is not even sure what caused him to act out. Obviously he was exhausted for him to fall asleep right after. I don’t think you will ever have to worry again about how he acts in church.
    We all have our bad days, and each one of us have a different way of reacting to stress. This for him was just a stressful day.

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