Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gooooood moooorning, SUNSHINE!!!!

No, I am not referring to the weather, I am referring to Miguel!!!!

He slept through the night!! (High fives to everyone.) AND!!!! He woke up in a GOOD MOOD!!!! (Belly bump it. Ooh yeeeeahhh!!!)

The fact of the matter is, the whole world can come crashing down but as long as Miguel is happy....I'm happy. Everything beyond him is manageable and doesn't bother all. Sad, maybe, but true.

So, what is the secret to a good night sleep??? I'm not sure but I am guessing one of two things.... Either, he finally got tired of sleeping a couple hours a night OR because I gave him a half dose of Clonidine.

Here's the deal... He's been waking me up at the most awful hours of the night and last night I felt as though I should try something different, so I gave him half his Clonidine and I took the other half...JUST KIDDING!!!! I saved the other half for when he wakes at Zero-Dark-Thirty, so I could give him the other half. As we have it, the next thing I heard was my alarm clock.


Today is a good day!

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."
--Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Autism Speaks

An article from the Sunday edition of Parade...

The band, Five for Fighting, is generously donating $0.49 to Autism Speaks for *each time* this video is viewed. The funding goes toward research studies to help find a cure. They are aiming for 10,000 hits. Let's send it out to our families.

Today: This morning Miguel was up at 0200 and did not go back to sleep. His mood was average and he fussed getting to the bus.

Yesterday: I spoke with the school social worker re: follow up on placement options and resources with super long waiting lists. Here's the progress I have made since we last spoke.....

I put Miguel on a waiting list for Home Based Community Services last week. He will wait for 8-10 years to be serviced

I also put him on the waiting list for a program called CLASS, which would help out with Miguel in the home, personal attendant type stuff (self-care, mobility, feeding, etc.) and this will be a 6 year waiting list.

I am looking into placement options for group home or ICF. I started this process yesterday. As I see it, Miguel has been manageable but we are also clear of the holidays and back to a normal schedule....Spring Break is right around the corner and we'll see what that brings. In the meantime, I am going to continue researching this so when the time comes, I may be more prepared.

"I have a simple philosophy: Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches."
--Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Good morning, Tuesday.

This was Miguel at 0650.

I am guessing it is probably because he was up at 0315! He did fall back to sleep at 0500 but, man, he was a hard sell to starting the day. No aggression. Just screaming. I'm sure Uncle Jason has a bit of regret on these mornings. =)

"It is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich."

--Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, January 28, 2008

Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa.

Miguel and I went on a trip to Chicago Friday morning. We took the 0635 flight and I was quickly reminded what a good traveler Miguel is, especially early in the morning. As the day goes on, his good behavior dwindles.

This blog will mostly be pictures because I get tired of thinking. =) YEAH PICTURES!!!

If Miguel could just travel the world, his Autism wouldn't be so difficult to manage.

The key is to stop frequently for potty breaks, provide many snacks and juices and be able to stretch the legs from time to time....but without stopping the movement. Take him by train, bus, car, boat, plane but don't STOP. Stopping isn't good. =) Oh, and it would be good if the bathrooms on the airplane were LARGER. It's like a clown car with Migs and me in it!!!

Here is a good stim picture. He's blowing on his hands. I prefer him blowing on them than licking them. It gets rather unsightly, the licking. However, he makes the funniest and most intense faces when he licks.

Blowing and flapping.

Raspberries and flapping.

.......more blowing and flapping. He makes loud, happy noises when he does this, I am sure the other patrons on the flight LOVED this at 0635!!! Hey, it beats a screaming baby or the obnoxious, unattended child that kicks the back of your seat and throws magazines over the chair at you.....I can't stand those kids.....or their parents. = )

Handsome guy.

I like this pic. I took it with my cell and I think it looks cool, all white-washed.

This one is my FAVORITE!! Despite the fact his ear looks ENORMOUS, the profile and lighting is great. Me likey.

So, we get to Chicago and Miguel spent the day with his father, the Mexican peasant worker, and I spent the day shopping, eating and drinking with my mom. She can hold her liquor....and that, my friends, is where I get it from! Thanks mom! ;)

Then I went to visit my BFF Dana and her baby, Kenny. Dana and I have been friends since 6th grade and we are still socialized like 6th graders... it's bizarre and probably unnerving to anyone who has to witness us.

Here's Dana and Kenny. We cuddled on the sofa and watched Food Network after dinner.

Here's Kenny, happy to see her Aunt Kelly.

Here's Dana, happy to see me after 7 months.

The next morning, the Mexican peasant worker (aka, chauffeur or Jose), Migs and I drove out to Iowa to attend a birthday party for our old friend, Beau Zaruba. I met Beau in January 1997 in Quantico, VA. I later met his wife, Jaime, in May 1997. They introduced us to the enjoyment of board games and golfing. Beau, Jose and I all worked together in the same shop and after work we golf, have dinner together, play games, go to movies, go shopping, whatever....we did it. We had great times working and hanging out together.

They were known as "Bo n J" to Miguel. Jaime's laugh is HILARIOUS and when Miguel was a baby, he'd laugh every time he'd hear Jaime laugh. They were the first Aunt and Uncle Miguel knew, aside from Uncle Jason, of course.

Me. Trying to look pleasant for a 4 1/2 hour car trip at 0745.

By the way, did I mention....IT IS COOOOOLD in Illinois?!?!?!? Well, IT IS! When I landed, it was a temperate 0 degrees! :(

More IL scenery on the way to Springville, Iowa.

Miguel, not liking the cold, either. =) Sweet baby.

On our way to the party in my WARMEST Houston, TX attire..... so sad. Thank God for body fat. =)

The hottest picture I've seen of Beau... LOL!!! The cake was AWESOME!! Oh, and it was super yummy, too!

Heeeeeere's Beau!!! He's thirty...he is sooooo old. ;)

Migs and Jaime.

Miguel lovin Beau.

Miguel going for the jugular. =)

L to R: Chris and Sherry Coleman, me, Jaime, Beau and Jose.

We voted ourselves the "awesomest friends table", since Chris and Sherry drove up from St. Louis and Jose and I drove out from Chicago. Chris and Sherry were Beau and Jaime's neighbors in Quantico, VA. It just amazes me every time we all get together, how it feels like we've never been apart. There is such strength in the comradary in the Marine Corps and the bond that it builds, as all of my oldest and closest friends are Marines, with the exception of Dana.

Leaving Iowa.

Can't wait to get back to the Houston weather.

This may be my last drive out there for a long time, so I took a lot of pictures. I use to go visit them 2-4 times a year when I lived in IL. I went back to school for a Master's Aug 2006, so this is my first time seeing them since May 2006. It doesn't seem like it's been that long but the size of our kids reminds us that is has been too long.

Miguel staying warm and just being handsome.

Me staying warm and not being handsome. =)

Thinking about getting on the plane in a little bit.

Almost there.

Stimming at the airport.

Miguel slept well through the nights while we were home, probably due to the 13 hours of travel in the past 3 days. He only had one meltdown and it was at O'Hare on the way back to Houston. It was a middle of the day flight at 1525, so his behavior was on a decline, and he didn't want to take his shoes and coat off going through security.... I didn't want to, either, but he had a real good meltdown, crying...boogers EVERYWHERE...trying to eat the boogers...poor baby.

That's another thing, too, he's been picking his boogers and making a B line for his mouth. We are going to have to work on that one because, well, that is just sick. =)

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Who is this kid?!?!

Seriously. Yesterday, the school reported that he had an okay day. He was laughing, really "hyped up", would not attend to tasks but was barely aggressive. I don't know how he has 19 hour days and stays amped ALL DAY. He was like this before we started him on Risperdal and for some reason, the increase of Clonidine increases hyperactivity??? Hmm.

So, I take him to the bathroom twice in the night and I've been afraid to wake him because he may not go back to sleep. At 0100, his bed was already wet so I had to take him and, low and behold.....HE STAYED UP!!! He was happy and cooing. I really can't tell you how many times I said, "Miguel, go to bed", "Miguel, go to sleep", "Miguel, hush", "C'mawn, Miguel, go to bed"....yeah, I don't know how long it went on for but somewhere in some unknown time frame...he fell asleep. I think I may have gotten in a broken up 7 hours of sleep and I'LL TAKE IT!!!

Nonetheless, his 19 hour days are my 20-21 hour days. I'm going to look like the Crypt Keeper by next year if he keeps up these shenanigans.....

Yeah, that's hot.
Texas Children's Hospital breaks ground on Neurological Center in Houston to study and treat pediatric neurological disorders such as Autism, Rhett Syndrome, Epilepsy, CP and learning disorders......
This is interesting....(same diet Migs is on...)
Mercury Detox Diet

By Joseph Mercola, MD
Avoid all sugar and milk, limit all processed foods and most grains, especially wheat.
It will be important to have a high protein diet as the sulfur bearing amino acids in the protein will greatly facilitate detoxification. Do NOT attempt to fast during DMPS mercury detoxification. If you are a vegetarian you will be at HIGH risk for complications from DMPS unless you have a large amount of protein.

Whey protein can be used as a supplement as it is high in glutathione and branched chain amino acids. Two large tablespoons are used per drink and that can be taken once a day and twice a day for the week prior to DMPS chelation.

Autistic children can't use this product as it contains casein. They can use pure branched chain amino acids. You can start with one capsule twice daily and mix with food. Work up to two capsules twice a day for the week prior to DMPS chelation.
"One out of six women are toxic with mercury (21%). Mercury comes out of coal plants and chlorine plants. I am toxic, I deal with symptoms, children are born with, you know, autism - there is an epidemic in this country. This is like, the air that we breath."
--Daphne Zuniga

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


When will the madness stop?!?!? This boy woke up at 0230 and, oh yeah, did NOT go back to sleep!! =0 Sleep is overrated and for the weak, anyway. ;)

I'm going to let this week go, to see if there is some improvement or he becomes symptomatic of an illness. Otherwise, I'll call the neurologist on Monday.

BTW, the school reported that he had a WONDERFUL day yesterday!

"If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it."

--Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Clonidine, don't fail me now!!!! =)

This is how well Clonidine worked on Saturday night.... =)

Here's a little pic of how Miguel's self-stimming behaviors affect him...

Note: bruised forehead from "head-banging". He'll spontaneously bang his head against the edge of a table, the corner of the table, square on a table, a wall, he'll hit his head with his own cane, his fist and he'll try to headbutt my arm while I lead him. Miguel has been known to drop down to the ground and headbutt the cement, too. This almost always brings a tear to my eye.

Furthermore, his lips are almost ALWAYS chapped, crusted, peeling, etc. from licking his hands. The backs of his hands actually get callouses from the licking behavior. When we lived in Chicago, the cold, dry winters, in combination with his licking, would cause his hands to bleed.

The whole weekend was really relaxed, so there are no meltdowns to report. (YEAH!!!) But relaxed isn't the norm. I keep a tight, structured schedule for every weekend. We are very predictable day-to-day because, well, we have to be. Autism rules my life.

We slept in Saturday because the weather wasn't conducive to my scheduled ride. I've also found that since Winter break, Miguel has been wanting to sleep in more. This is tough for school days and for me, since I am A HUGE MORNING PERSON!!

So, we caught a cyclocross race that afternoon. Miguel was kinda FANTASTIC and enjoyable. The little beefcake likes to be outdoors as much as possible.

Sunday, he went to the sitter for the afternoon while I went for a little ride. He was great for Didi, as usual.
Here's the deal though, he went to sleep at about 2130 (which is SUPER late for him) and he woke up around 0300. He fell back asleep around 0500, after a good bath.
THEN!!! Last night he went to sleep around 2100 BUT he woke up at 0130.....Yeah, he sooooo didn't go back to sleep. This little dude has been up since 0130!!!! Oh, and so have I. I can actually sleep through the Perfect Storm, unless I know Miguel is up. Only one time, did he sneak out of the bedroom and head for Uncle Jason's room. I intervened at the door. Whew!!! Close call.
My intervention skills haven't been that honed since I moved here. I find that I sleep more peacefully when I know there is another adult in the house to be alert, too. When Miguel and I lived alone in an apartment, I'd wake for EVERYTHING, sleep on the sofa (to watch the refrigerator and the front door) or just sleep on his bedroom floor. He can be a bit of a handful at times. By "at times", I mean "all the time". =)
Anyways, I am hoping to find another job soon and I hope it is better paying, so that Miguel and I can get a place of our own and return to an independent state of normalcy. I feel bad "living" in my brother's house so much. We wear it out pretty good.
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."
--Henry David Thoreau

Friday, January 18, 2008

Social Worker follow up...

The school social worker contacted me, as a follow up from my initial concerns I voiced to the school on 1/8/08 re: Miguel's uncontrolled acts of aggression, need for consistency due to difficulty transition and my inability to manage him for the past month, or so.

With regards to resources for Miguel, he'd be better serviced and serviced more quickly if he were on Medicaid. It's a shame that my education and employment makes my son suffer in regards to receiving services and I suffer in regards to my son kicking my ass on a whim. Nice. ;) Well, we'll make it through fine. I called to get on a waiting list for services, which it will take 8-10 years to be serviced. They may even find a cure for Autism before I get called! LOL!

Anyway, I told her that I was seriously considering placement for Miguel, based on his mood, behavior, aggression and need for more support. With that said, I may move to the front of these lists for assistance.

This morning Miguel was cooperative. A little bit of fussing and grunting but no swinging! :)

"Let no one who loves be unhappy, even love unreturned has its rainbow."
--James M. Barrie

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Smooth far. =)

Miguel went to bed without a problem last night. It appears as though his appetite has decreased over the past couple days, as it doesn't appear to be as VORACIOUS!

When I went to bed around 2330, he was laying awake in bed. I took him to the bathroom and he fell back to sleep. He was easy to get up this morning and get on the bus.

Yeah Miguel!!!!
"Do all things with love." --Og Mandino

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


First and foremost, let me say.....Miguel weighs 123 pounds!!!! That's NUTS!!!! Actually, it fluctuated between high 124 and 123. What a beefcake!?!? :) Sweet boy.

Yesterday when I went to pick Miguel up from school, he was SO EXCITED to see me at school!!! He was smiling, laughing, chattering away and studder stepping (he does this when he is excited or playing's super cute). He showed off for his teacher by singing "You are my Sunshine" with me.

The sweet guy snacked on bananas, carrots and raisins without any complaints or meltdowns in the afternoon.

The neurology appointment went very well. I am so pleased with the doctor, his background working with aggressive children with Autism and his knowledge of panhypopituitarism with septo-optic dysplasia. Miguel was good for the doctor while he inspected his eyesight, belly and back (probably looking for bruising to see if I beat him...seriously).

The doc was well-versed in medications, frontline and heavy duty meds. We altered his medication regiment and slightly increased the Risperdal and Clonidine, starting with the Clonidine. He restored my hope in Miguel being able to "act right" again.

Miguel wasn't always like this. He was a sweet, happy and FUNNY baby. I couldn't have asked for a better child.

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."
--Henry Ellis
Side note: Miguel was good last night. Meds administered at 2000 and put in bed. He was up at 0400 but was redirected and able to stay in bed. He fell back asleep and was agreeable with getting ready today.
Tuesday he was up at 0300, was redirected and able to stay in bed. Fell back asleep and was combative getting ready for the day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mood log

Based on my regular blogging, I've been able to put together a mood/behavior log to track his meltdowns and possible precipitants, in an effort to minimize the behavior or reduce the aggression.

This has been helpful and I found that I need to be more detailed on his sleep time. Nonetheless, the results for December show Miguel being aggressive 14 out of the 31 days. That is just AMAZING! It felt more like 31 out of 31. ;)

On another note, it was a rough morning. Miguel didn't want to get up. Didn't want to go downstairs. Screamed and swung at me.

Today is a neurology appt. Wish us luck!!!

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."
--Albert Einstein

Monday, January 14, 2008

Goooood mooooooooorning!!!

Yes, it was!!! Miguel's day went off without a hitch the rest of Saturday, all of Sunday and this morning!!!

After church Sunday, he had no problem waiting at Jiffy Lube for a couple hours to have some needed maintenance to the car. We had some good grocery shopping and vegetating this weekend, post Saturday morning.

Good job, Miguel!!!

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." --Buddha

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tough transitions...

I didn't blog on Thursday or Friday because we seemed to be in "the clear" regarding Miguel adjusting to the transition to school....but things aren't always as they appear.


Friday night Miguel had a meltdown when we returned from respite at HARC. I had to put him in the bathroom and hold the door shut so he'd stop attacking me. When I let him out 10-15 minutes later....he was back to "normal". I survived with a good scratch on the arm, as if I fought an angry cat....I think the cat won.


Saturday morning came with vengence! Our normal routine, as it has been for 3+ months, I drop him with my sitter at 0700 and I go for a long ride. I think Miguel thought it was Sunday... He was fairly compliant with me until we reached the stairs. He wanted to go into UnJay's bedroom, not downstairs. He caught me off guard and clobbered me in the face, to let me know his intentions and concerns. This landed him in a secluded "time out" for 20 minutes, until he was calm.

When I went to let him out, he was smiles and laughs...

Yeah, real funny.

"Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love."
--Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

You are my sunshine...

Monday and Tuesday night, Miguel was AWESOME!! His vocabulary was emerging more, as he became less vocal over the winter break, and he was in a great mood!

Those two nights were spent singing "You are my sunshine" and laughing. Last night, Miguel had picked up every other line to the song! So I would lead the song and he'd chime in every other line. Yeah, that's awesome. He does it with counting, too.

Yesterday afternoon, when I picked Migs up from Daycare, he was ALL SMILES AND HUGS!!! Poor little dude had a dark blue goose egg on his knee that he was still rubbing from the pain. :(

In the car ride home, he heard me going through papers in the front seat and he reached forward for the snack he thought I was opening (CLASSIC Miguel move!!). I told him that it wasn't a snack and to "sit right". I rubbed his leg and gave him "five". I said, "I love you, Miguel." He responded immediately in his little sing-song voice, "I love you, too!"

This, of course, MELTS MY HEART!!! and makes me feel awful at the same time. Earlier that day, I spoke with his father for a couple hours about Miguel's uncontrolled aggression and cans of whoop ass that he opens on me FREQUENTLY.

Here's dad:

****He is a fugitive running from the law. This is where the last decent picture of him was taken before he transformed into a Mexican peasant field worker. He isn't recognizable anymore.****

We discussed Miguel's future and the emerging need for a staff to raise him, than an individual. It wasn't an easy discussion and it's hard to think of when Miguel behaves well.

What is a parent to do? I know who to call if an adult assaults an adult. I know who to call if someone assaults a child. I know who to call when a child assaults a parent. But who do you call when a special child, who doesn't know any better, assaults YOU? Who intervenes? What is the intervention? Where would the child go? What happens to the child? Miguel has been aggressive since he was 4 and has handed me my ass on a few occasions. Now he is 117+ pounds and angry, what about when he is 200+ pounds? Then what?

This is when I wish that I had an Autistic kid of the happy variety.

I addressed this concern to the school yesterday....we will see what comes back.

"It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe." --Muhammad Ali

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ever Wrestle a Wet Seal?

I do not recommend it!

This morning started around 0530, when Miguel woke up ready for the day. I had him dressed by 0600 and then I started to get ready. While I was in the shower, he helped himself to Uncle Jason's jacuzzi tub. The only problem is that Miguel didn't want to get out. He wasn't done. However, according to me....HE WAS! It was 0700 and the bus pulls up around 0705-0710.

The HUGE tub was already half full and Miguel likes to wait until it is completely drained before he even considers getting out. Today, this was not an option.

I had my hands on the knobs so he wouldn't fill the tub up, while I spoke to him in a calm, even keel voice about getting out of the tub, getting dressed, getting on the bus....all while he grunts and swings at me....yes, I see the trend and FUK! I hate Autism more than most people. I continue to talk to him while he unsuccessfully swings at me.

Actually, he swings at me, hits the tile trim around the tub and then holds his hand out for me to hit it. He likes the sensory input of pressure on the nerves on the back of his hand.... so, of course, I don't hit him because aggression breeds aggression and I'd be reinforcing his negative behavior.

So on the last swing, I grabbed his wet arm, pulled him towards me, locked my arms under his armpits and pulled the 117 pound, wet seal from the tub.

He was on the floor on his hands and knees, where I quickly dried him off and picked him up to get dressed again. He was fairly compliant walking down the stairs. He only reached back and tapped me on the leg once. He put his shoes on, at my request, but then he wouldn't stand up from the stairs. I heard the bus pull up and I couldn't get him to stand up! He pulled his hands in and leaned back with all his body weight, so I couldn't pick him up.
Damn, he is smart AND stubborn!!!! I'll never know where he got THAT from!! ;)
After much coaxing and encouraging, he was kind enough to stand up and walk to the bus. At this point, he was genuinely crying because he had a goose egg on his right knee from the shenanigans in the bathroom. NOW, I feel AWFUL!!! Poor baby!

"There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people."
--Muhammad Ali

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to School....

Crap, it was a tough morning. I put Miguel down early, so he'd get a full night sleep and be ready to wake early......maybe I should have let him in on my plan.

He was indignant this morning. Grunting at me and swinging. What I find different in his aggressive tendencies is when he experiences the massive meltdown, he aims for my head/face and hands/arms, like he wants to do damage (swinging at me while he comes at me in an attacking manner). When he is contesting something he may not want to do, he hits me in my hips or sides (swinging behind him in a downward motion while I try to move him towards the door). Nonetheless, it's aggression but communicating two very different feelings.

Let's hope his day went well, as I am sure it did. He can make a liar out of me. :)

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
--Muhammad Ali

Friday, January 4, 2008


The weekend is here!!!

Miguel will return to school on Monday!!! The bus will pick him up and drop him off!!! He will have structure!!!! Maybe even get a bit of an edumacashun!!!! Oh, and I won't have to pay a crap load to daycare.

Over the summer, daycare cost $600 a month. :( This is a fee that will have to be afforded for him his whole life, since kids without disabilities eventually TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES! What a luxury?!?!

Miguel was great the past couple nights and this morning. He liked the turkey chili I made for him and the GFCF peanut butter cookies (w/ Splenda). So we are on good terms and the year is off to a great start!!!

A little side note: BM and mood. Miguel's lack of BM affects his mood IMMENSELY! His BMs this week have been regular and he has been happy....I wonder if it is the chili or cookies that had this effect on him b/c he normally isn't "regular"? Alright, that is my deep thought for the day because it is Friday and I am not capable of functioning well on Fridays. :)

Look, I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive you've got to flap your arms and legs, you've got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you're not alive."-- Mel Brooks

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!

First, I would like to say "Happy New Year!!!" to all three (maybe four) of you that read Miguel's blog. :) LOL!! It has been a fantastic year of change and growth for all of us.

I wish I could write a reflective piece on the past year and then hypothesize how great '08 will be....but I won't. :) I'm new to blogging and I think we are up to speed with the past year's events, so I am going to focus on the past weekend.

Let's talk about meltdowns!! (Cheers from the peanut gallery...)

This is not my favorite topic, even though there has been a "meltdown" trend in my recent blogs...I don't like to talk about them, nor write about them. I think it paints an inaccurate picture of my son b/c I don't believe he chooses to meltdown or can he control them. So, I will continue to mention each meltdown, intensity and precipitating events leading to the actual meltdown, in an effort to find a method to the madness.

-On Thursday 12/20, Miguel was released from school for Winter Break and he attended daycare Friday.
-On Saturday 12/22, my mom "Meema" came to town.
-On Sunday 12/23, Miguel had a mild meltdown at Chipotle. Banging his head on the table, screaming and he knocked his apple juice across the table trying to head butt the table.
-On Monday and Tuesday (12/24 and 12/25), I was home due to holiday and we had very nice Christmas celebrations at a variety of places.
-On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (12/26-12/28), I dropped Miguel at daycare at 0730 and picked him up around 1730. I blogged that day about him headbutting me in the face and chest.

So Friday night we were trying to go out for dinner and Miguel would not put his shoes on. He kept screaming and sat on the floor. I squatted down to talk him through it and he started swinging and headbutting. (I swear he could be a UFC fighter!) I ended up grabbing his wrists to restrain him until the headbutting began. Then I literally LAID ON HIM to stop him from injurious behavior, of which he started kicking me and trying to pull his arms in to bite my forearms. Here I was laying on top of my son in our family room. My legs were spread eagle and bent to avoid getting kicked. I was balancing on top of him with most of my weight in my midsection to hold him down and holding his wrists straight out from his body (almost like a skydiving position!) b/c it hurts like hell to get bitten by him.

When these massive meltdowns occur, I wish that he wasn't my son and that I could use all my strength and pummel the perpetrator until they were unconscious....or until I felt better about the whole situation.

I was sweating like crazy and my brother had to step in to assist me. It seemed like forever before we got him to his room to "timeout". Jason had to walk him up the stairs to the bedroom and Miguel fought him the whole way. Once we got him to his bed, told him "no, sir" and that "it isn't nice", he screamed, cried and shouted obscenities for approx. 10 minutes before he calmed down.

The amazing part of the meltdown is, when it ends, he is FINE! He is in a great mood! He thinks nothing of the fact that I was restraining him 30 minutes ago while he attacked me. He laughs heartily, hugs us, kisses us and MORALE IMPROVES!

What I have gathered from a history of these incidences is that he doesn't "just have a meltdown", rather a build up of frustrations until he reaches a pinnacle and EXPLODES and then he returns to a baseline.

I believe, in this case, Miguel's loss of structure, change of routine and change in home life (UnJay was home, Meema was in town, we visited numerous people, etc) precipitated the event. If Miguel were to have at least half days of school, would this meltdown have still occurred?

So the questions remain:

What is the precipitant?

What are the symptoms?

How long does the "building" period last?

How do you identify the "building" period?

What is the time between "massive meltdowns"? How do you extend that grace period?

What can I do to avoid the "massive meltdown"? Can it be avoided?

Can the "building" period subside w/o reaching a pinnacle? How? Medication? Behavior modification? A swift kick in the ass? Just kidding. ;)

I've had these questions in my mind for a few years now but I find it hard to live with him and identify the symptoms as a "building" period while I live with the symptoms (can't see the forest for the trees scenario). Then there is always the HOPE that it will get better and the denial that it isn't going to happen.

This would actually be a great study for my Ph.D.....but that ain't happenin!!! :)

The good news: Miguel will see, what I hope to be, A REAL NEUROLOGIST on Jan. 15 and I can bounce this crap off him. Let's hope he knows what I am talking about. It's tough being unique. ;)

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."