“It’s a rollie pollie rollie pollie and I’m bigger than this”, Owen started singing. When he was younger the meltdowns felt never ending. He couldn’t share his words or emotions and I know it had to be very hard on him. He couldn’t look at me straight in the eye, a lot of times it was sideways out of the corner of his eyes. He would pull my hair, bite me, scream, and do everything to try to escape into that moment. Hours and hours of screaming from him, me wanting to scream too. It generally led to me crying myself to sleep in the wee hours of the night when he would finally be able to rest. Then one day I decided he needed to connect to those moments he was going to have a meltdown so he could see the triggers. He needed to be able to realize when something was overwhelming or he couldn’t process what was happening. When I saw the meltdown happening I would start rapid-firing questions at him. Sometimes they didn’t even make sense, but I asked them anyway, knowing that he couldn’t answer them. My goal was for him to understand that I was there with him and we would get through it together, but he had to make the connection. I always started my questions the same way, asking, “where’s purple”. I wanted him to know that more questions were coming and him to be able to think about something else besides what was causing the meltdown. He needed to use other parts of his brain while all this was happening, as well. One night he still couldn’t stop the meltdown so I started singing, “it’s a rollie pollie rollie pollie and I’m bigger than this”. I took his hands and moved him through different motions, again trying to use more of his brain to get him through the moment. He couldn’t sing it back then, but years later he still sings it to me and I can always tell when he is trying to calm himself down. He will sing it while his foot is hitting the floor hard and then he starts to release his energy. Tonight I smiled when he sang the song. I knew how much he has gone through to get to this point and I’m proud of how far he has come. Be proud of your accomplishments no matter how small you think they are. One step forward is still a step. Today is your day to shine. Smiles to all and donut daze!
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I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.