Last year, a couple of weeks before Christmas, Austin's behaviour changed drastically and I do mean, d-r-a-s-t-i-c-a-l-l-y! Initially I thought he was reacting to some kind of food or was regressing. Neither of these were the issue.
Around the end of November, Austin really started to act differently. He was very hyper, he screamed a lot, cried, could not calm down, was restless, did not sleep well, did not eat as he normally would, his focus was really off, he would throw things and kick on his wall or door, he also would meltdown at the drop of a hat over the smallest thing, it was SCARY! I racked my brain trying to figure out what could be causing all of this commotion. My husband and I were very concerned. I contacted Tink and asked her, I figured she would have some insight. What did she tell me? It is because of Christmas. I thought "No way!", it could not be that. Christmas was weeks away. I actually doubted Tink, that is rare. So I tried all sorts of things, changing some foods, trying to get him to sleep at a different time, no iPad or videos to remove the stimulation factor. I tried talking to him. I tried timeouts for his behaviour ... I tried everything I could think of ... nothing worked ... nothing. :( I thought, this is how he is changing and I am just going to have to cope and deal with it. That seemed to be the only answer until he had a HUGE MELTDOWN and I started to suspect Tink was right.
The day we had decorated the house and put up the tree was the kicker. Well, OMG! The behaviours Austin was experiencing increased exponentially! I am not kidding! I was at a loss, I had no idea what to do because Christmas is everywhere, school, home, the stores, the streets ... everywhere! I had contacted another friend of mine (she is such a lovable person I will call her "Annabelle") and told her what was happening. She has a child on the spectrum too and she said something close to the following, "Oh yeah, my child went through that for weeks before Christmas. They get so excited, just like typical kids but it is harder for them because they cannot deal with that kind of excitement the same way a typical child would." Tink had said pretty much the same thing. I got it. (I was then, and still am, sorry for doubting you Tink!) Once we knew that this was the reason Austin was so out of sorts, it was easier to talk to him and deal with the situation. It did go on for weeks.
The thing that shocked me the most about the whole experience, was the day we took down the tree and decorations, Austin woke up the next day and all the behaviours seem to disappear overnight! Unbelievable but true!
Thank you to Tink and Annabelle for all your help, advice, support and understanding! :) OX OX
All the best! *HUGS*