A shutdown in motion
We often read of the classic autistic shutdown, the feeling of moving through space with no gravity weightless and ungrounded.
The need to sleep and not feel, not be connected to anything is a self defence mechanism that is employed unwillingly by us when there’s to much stimuli and upset around us.
But what does an autistic do when they cannot shutdown?
I often feel a shutdown approaching, a dreamlike state of detachment to my surroundings but if I am out with the children or alone with them I have learnt to get them home safely and breathe until we are in a safe environment to do so.
I will know one is coming when I begin to be unable to tolerate conversation, noise and become short tempered and feel a sudden extreme tiredness.
We will go to the bedroom, put a DVD on and a lamp for low lighting.
I get some toys out for them put on the safety gate while I slowly shut down in bed and if need be sleep.
A shut down is not an unpleasant feeling, it’s disorientating and feels a little like being tipsy after a glass of wine.
If you feel a shutdown coming on do not panic, breathe and head to somewhere safe quickly.
If you are shopping leave your trolley, jump in a cab.
If its your child shutting down try to get them home, if it’s to late allow them to sink to the floor and stay with them, do not force them to rise as they may very possibly meltdown.
Think of it as a break your brain needs, allow that time as pushing on through can cause meltdown or a painful sensory overload.Share