My Kid Had A Meltdown Tonight…

Did I film it for you? No. I have no reason to. You don’t need to see it and I have nothing to prove.

Will I tell you all the details? No. It was a very private and difficult part of our day, and my child deserves the same respect and autonomy that I expect for myself.

Was it distressing for me? Hell yes. And I know for a fact that it was exponentially more distressing for my kid, because as an Autistic adult I’ve had a lifetime of my own meltdowns.

I would be absolutely mortified if someone filmed one of my meltdowns. If they posted it online for the world to see I would never trust them again. Ever.

In my meltdowns, I’ve dropped to the floor, I’ve kicked and stomped, I’ve screamed and screeched incoherent words and sounds, I’ve ripped out my own hair, I’ve slapped and punched myself, I’ve slammed my head into things, I’ve scratched/cut myself. I’ve caused absolutely EPIC scenes, in public.

As an adult, I can make the choice to share these private details about myself. I can weigh potential consequences to my life and livelihood and make an informed decision whether or not to share and how many details I want out there.

My child can’t do that. My child needs me to protect them. It’s literally my job. The way I speak publicly about my child sets the tone for how others perceive them. What I choose to say and how I choose to say it impacts how others talk about my child as well as our Neurodivergent Community as a whole.

So no, I’m not going to demonize or dramatize my kid’s meltdowns. And I’m not going to film them. And I’m not going to post about every single one in the name of “awareness.”

Because I respect my child. I value their privacy and autonomy. And I realize they’ll want to curate their own online presence someday, and they might not want some of their most private moments out there for the world to form an opinion on before they even get a chance.

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