This series of posts on “Ten Things” is based on the article “Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew.”

Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns.

I mentioned in part 2 how a simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a nightmare experience. Understanding that Alyssa does not (usually!) have tantrums because she just decided she wanted to be difficult makes it easier to deal with the tantrums when they come.

It does not meant that there is a magic pill of wisdom or patience. But knowing that a tantrum is probably brought on by external circumstances helps me to try to work with Alyssa.

For example, when she freaks out because we’re not going to the library when we said we would, it helps to know that it is not just because she wants to get her way. Her mind processes things slowly and very deliberately. If she was told one thing would happen and it fails to materialize, her brain just doesn’t understand how to adjust to the new information. There are so many little things that we take for granted that simply don’t connect in her mind.

And even though those connections may be difficult to make… she’s still beautiful.