For us, and a lot of Autism parents, the trick is knowing the difference between a meltdown and a tantrum. What you see in the video is a tantrum for sure. Shortly after Shanell stopped the video Kate started into a meltdown. Tantrums we, deal with like most parents, but meltdowns.....well they take a gentler touch and bit of experience to get past.
We don't let Kate 'run the show' by any means, but when things get to be a little too much, it's our job to help her deal. This one was our fault, really. There was too much change happening all at once when we announced it was bedtime. After this video we gave her a few minutes longer and some hugs to get used to the idea that it was bedtime and calm down. After that she settled in OK. It was a rough bedtime, but we got it done. Kate was still mad that she had to go to bed, but not this mad, and she went to sleep.....eventually :) Lesson learned for Shanell and I.
Knowing how to read signals like these and knowing what to do about them is the real craft of the Autism Parent. It's also why we have a hard time letting people babysit our kids. Can you answer "yes" to these questions? If Kate had got extremely upset while you were watching her could you tell the difference between a meltdown and a tantrum? Would you know what to do? Could you stay patient with her while she screamed in your face, hit you, bit you?
What we've been taught by some experts, we know, is to read what the child is telling us. Are they 'losing it' because they're saying "I want something, give it to me now!!!" or are they trying to say "I can't handle this, please help me."
The difference is crucial.