I thought I would start my holiday update with a note about meltdowns. Not that I want to start on a bad note, but I just want to get them written about and out of the way before I reflect on the very good time we had on holiday this year.
Altogether in 7 days we had 4 meltdowns. All were in the airport, 2 on the way out and 2 on the way back. On all occasions, I can see it was ASD related.
Number 1 – Newcastle airport security area. We had been fast tracked through security and so we moved swiftly to the X-ray machines. Putting his bag on the belt and it disappearing sent T into a minor meltdown. We had explained this would happen, but in reality it was quite disconcerting for him. Cue not standing still, trying to run through to collect his bag and generally starting to rev up. The staff at security were fantastic (and I will blog about is separately) but pulled him through quickly and let both me and my husband through the scanner before others. Once we were out of security all was well.
Number 2 – Menorca airport on the bus (before it left for the resort). This was more of a major meltdown, loud, lots of hitting and screaming and crying. Very ASD. The reason for it, was that when we arrived the bus was not waiting for us. We had to wait for it. To entertain T we let him play with automatic doors at the front of the airport, allowing him to run through, let them close and then run back through. It kept him entertained for a long time, but when the bus arrived, we just made him come with us and get on the bus. We didn’t give him warning or allow him one last go and so the meltdown occurred. Total parenting fail, but a definite learning point for us. On the bus he screamed and wailed, hit, kicked, scratched and it was all very difficult, both for us and also for others having to sit and listen to it. The bus didn’t leave for quite some time which made the situation worse as T know he could have got off and played with the doors. When the bus did leave all was calm and he was a happy boy again. Lets just say that all of the passengers on the bus knew his name and on our return journey back to the airport yesterday everyone chatted with him and said hello.
Number 3 – Menorca security area on the way home. Lots of queues, no fast tracking this time and him wanting to jump the queue to get to the machine. Luckily a lovely family let us go ahead of them (she works with ASD children and recognised the signs) and we got through the X-ray machine no problem. The problem was with the plastic trays. He was playing with them, rolling them up and down the rollers until a member of staff came up and took them off him. Meltdown. We walked away from security area and T launched into his screaming and hitting fit on me. My husband told me to walk away and he would deal with him but things became worse as T fixated on again electric doors. Only this time my husband thought they were permanently open and so didn’t want him trying to push them closed. This was a major scene and T went ballistic and at one point I had him in a bear hug sat on the floor of the airport. Memories of last year came flooding back where I had to sit on him to stop him from hurting me or himself. In the end I told my husband just to let him go to the doors and as it turned out they were working, opening and shutting. He was a happy bunny and happily played opening them and walking through for a long period. Again a parenting fail regarding the doors. The queue issue could not have been helped unless we could have fast tracked through again, but I don’t know how I would go about organising this for the holiday airport.
Number 4 – leaving Newcastle airport. Again doors were the cause (there’s a definite pattern here! ) and when we wanted to go to the car T didn’t want to. He wanted to wait until the doors closed so he could open them, only a flights worth of passengers were heading home at the same time, so they were permanently open. Once we had left the airport and he could no longer see them he was fine.