God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil - for the devil is cold - let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.
- St. Seraphim of Sarov
Excellent article! Found it via a Facebook friend.
Say you have an #Aspie friend or loved one and you want to learn how to better support them through a meltdown. There are some do’s and don’ts (mostly dos), all very common-sensical, really.
First, recapping what a meltdown is:
- a neurological response to stress
- overwhelmed, not over-reacting
- sensory overload
- too much input from too many sources, too fast to process
- amygdala overstimulated, not providing enough feedback to the frontal cortex
- flight-or-fight in high gear
- More embarrassing to the person having one than it is to any onlooker :3
- capable of being averted IF a) recognised early and b) dealt with properly
What a meltdown is not:
- Controllable. Once a meltdown has started, trying to control it is like trying to tell the weather where to rain
- a temper tantrum. A meltdown is not motivated by anger
- an anxiety attack or panic attack
- a threat to others unless provoked
A person having a meltdown may appear aggressive to others who don’t know what’s going on: They may raise their voice or yell, but quite often, it’s not intentional and may not be fully controllable - this is often the case for AS males, who often have difficulty modulating their voices and often sound loud. AS people often talk with their hands, and during a meltdown, this may escalate to wild gestures. It’s important to understand two things: 1) Despite appearances, the behaviour is not usually violent towards others and 2) the AS person’s flight-or-fight response is over-stimulated during a meltdown, and the AS person’s hindbrain may interpret provocation as a threat to themselves, in which case, they may try to defend themselves by instinct. Hands up who can see the problem here? Exactly — despite that the meltdown behaviour is not usually aggressive by itself, add the wrong trigger and it can become violent VERY quickly.
When helping your AS friend with a meltdown, you need to minimise behaviours that could be interpreted as threatening by the AS person’s subconscious. The problem is, many behaviours that NT people use to calm each other down, ARE very threatening to an AS person in meltdown. So here’s a list of suggestions.