The day the Music died
Well, not really. It was more like the internet.
Today the internet went out. It has been flaky for the last couple of days. (something on their end)
This morning it went down for quite a while. I know, hardly a tragedy however Zach didn’t handle it well. He never does.
When it starts having issues, Zach gets frustrated. He starts yelling, then stimming. Every little thing sets him off.
Pages not loading quickly or at all then he pushes, hits, and flails. Never with the intent to hurt me but he simply doesn’t handle frustration well. If it isn’t fixed quickly it escalates.
First he starts yelling normally this is gibberish this time it was more. Why does he act this way? Changes stress him, it stresses a lot of people but sometimes it is more than he can handle.
Zach has sensory issues, he loves having music in the background, and the repetitiveness of techno is his thing. While he does things offline, he requires some other noise to balance the background. It is never quiet, complete quiet is chaos for him. While it is not always techno, the noise is there. He needs a certain level of background noise to help him regulate the world. If the noise level is too high or too low he gets stressed. It always has to be there, even when he sleeps.
While Zach seeks sound he avoids touch sensory. He doesn’t like being touched. Clothes are simply tolerated. His version of a cuddle is to brush up against my arm or hold my hand. When I was really sick last month and had trouble getting out of bed he would lay next to me. One day I was having a really hard time and he could tell. He actually pulled my arm to him and held on to it even when I tried to move, this was the 1st time he actually “cuddled” me.
Even when he was a baby he didn’t like being touched, he loved his swing but to hold him and rock stressed him. I pushed him a lot through this, not to be mean but so that I could help him tolerate touch. Never to the point where it made him more than a little uncomfortable, I didn’t want him to go through life screaming every time someone touched him, there are too many people in the world who can’t respect boundaries.
As I type this, he is mid-meltdown. Tears, frustration, screaming. Slamming down the mouse. I could try and calm him, but I know he needs to get this out. The net will come back, so instead I just say now and then, “Zach it’s okay, it will come back we just have to wait, they are working on it.”
Just a minute ago he even called the internet people “stupid”. Is it bad that I am silently thrilled? For years he couldn’t tell me what was wrong, meltdowns were epic guessing games, what changed? Who did what? What’s missing? 5 short years ago he would have just screamed, thrown things, bolted and hit. Nothing would help him, nothing could calm him until the frustration was gone or he fell asleep, sometimes even when the problem was fixed he would still stress for a while, I guess he needed to address the frustration of not being able to communicate. Today he is frustrated, today he melted down, but this time he kept is words. Slowly we get where we need to be. Even if he curses now and then, even if he still melts down instead of talking. Those words, mean the world.
The net has been back now for about 30 minutes, he is back to quietly playing a game. His headphones on, music in the background, regulating his world again. He is in control now, and all is right in the world. Let’s hope they fix this soon, I am not sure he can handle this for long.
Oh and changes in routine often cause him some regression issues. Last month when I was so sick I spent extra time lying in bed. He decided to lay with me for some of that time. When he goes to bed he only wears underwear, so when I was sick and spending more time in bed he would join me and take off his pants and sit on the bed with a shirt and underwear on. This had an interesting side effect, now he doesn’t want to wear pants anymore. I guess I can live with the no pants thing (as long as he keeps his underwear on) to keep him talking. Today we had company so I asked him to put pants on, apparently he couldn’t find any (that he wanted to wear hehe) so he took the underwear to a whole new level.