Changing mind and meltdowns — The Bump
Special Needs

Changing mind and meltdowns

I have 3 year old twins, one of which has SPD and anxiety.  She's been in OT for well over a year and saw a social worker and psychologist for awhile (but stopped since she seemed to be doing much better).  

My daughter with SPD and anxiety seems to melt down a lot more than my other daughter and she often has issues with changing her mind.  Not sure if it has to do with her issues or if this is just common in her age.  She has anxiety anytime I drop her off in a class.  Today I took the girls to a gymnastics class.  One of them was running and tripped and fell.  I took her out of the class for a second because she was crying for me.  My other daughter (with SPD/anxiety) started crying because her sister was gone.  But even after I brought her back, she continued crying and the teacher had me take her out of the room because she was screaming and other kids couldn't hear the teachers talking.  She basically went into meltdown mode for the next 45 minutes.  I took her out and she was screaming/crying that she wanted to go back into class.  So I'd walk her back to the door and she'd scream/cry that she didn't want to go in.  She went back and forth with this a few times.  I finally told her she wasn't going in and had to keep taking her outside because I felt bad for the other moms having to listen to her melt down.  

Her mind changing happens on a regular basis.  Every morning I'll give her a choice of 2 things for breakfast, she'll pick one, then cry as soon as she sits down that she doesn't have the other thing.  I'm so frustrated and don't know how to handle this anymore.  This morning I just ignored her as she cried about not having pancakes and she eventually got over it.  

Just thought I'd see if anyone else experiences this with their child and if you've found anything that helps the situation.  Thanks! 

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Re: Changing mind and meltdowns

  • Auntie - thank you for your reply.  That makes sense that her reaction was because the situation played out differently than she anticipated.  If this had happened to your son, did you have any ways that helped settle him down?  Sometimes if we are at home, I can pull her on my lap (kind of holding her down - but not in a forceful way) and read her a book and she'd eventually relax.  But unfortunately today I didn't have any books or toys on me.

    Just a little more background - my DD has been suffering from anxiety for more than half her life.  She had such severe stranger anxiety that I used to not be able to take her out of the house much.  She would scream and cry if anyone looked at her or talked to her.  With therapy, we've seen so much improvement in her.  She even went to 2 year old preschool one day a week and did really well.  She's been evaluated by Early Intervention, a child psychologist, and the school district and they found that she has SPD and anxiety.  They never mentioned seeing any signs of ASD or OCD, but I definitely wouldn't be surprised if she has GAD.  She has anxiety around a lot of things - even in gymnastics class, she will be the one kid who's too nervous to walk across a balance beam without holding on.  She does have lower muscle tone, but I think it's more about the anxiety rather than her not being physically capable of doing it.


    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • Auntie - thank you for taking the time to write out a very helpful reply!

    I like the plan of trying to get my DD to become more self reliant in terms of self regulation.  Her therapist has actually recommended that I fill up a backpack with books and bring it out in stressful situations.  I have never actually done it, but should try it sometime.  She had been doing so well, I hadn't even really thought about this in awhile.

    The therapists have never used the ASD scales to rule out her being on the spectrum.  I specifically asked a few of them if they thought she showed any signs of autism and they said no, but without doing the tests, I'm not sure if they can say that for sure?  The interesting thing is that I had a conference with her preschool teachers in January and they said they would never guess she even had any sensory or anxiety issues.  Not sure if her sister being in the same class helped though.  The preschool teachers did try to separate them once in awhile - make them sit at different tables for snacks, have one do art while the other played with toys, etc.  They said they always wanted to be together but weren't opposed to being separated.  In gymnastics, they always separate the class into 2 groups and the teachers have always separated them.  So the good thing is she can be away from her sister, but I will admit they are both very co-dependent!  

    Her OT has mentioned that she has poor motor planning skills and may have issues knowing where her body is in space.   She said she's seen improvement though and the gap between the girls is a lot smaller than it was when she started therapy.  My DD does seem really klutzy though - she trips a lot, has a harder time climbing stairs as steadily as my other DD, etc.  

    Although all the therapists seemed confident she wasn't on the spectrum, should I try to have her evaluated on one of those scales?  If so, who would I go to in order to do that?

    Thanks again for your help - I really appreciate it! 

    ETA - I forgot to mention we've had a lot of luck with social stories.  Her psychologist had us create one for going to the grocery store when her anxiety about being around people was at an all time high.  We also used one for her fear of public bathrooms.  Both worked well and now she goes to the grocery store with no problems.  She still doesn't love public bathrooms - it's usually when they have loud hand dryers, but she's actually better about it than my other daughter now! 

    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
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  • Thanks again for your reply!  You have definitely given me a lot of helpful info.  I think the 2nd scenario you mentioned about her doing well at preschool is the most likely.  She seems to do so well there but you're right that she's more likely to release when she's at home.  

    I wish pedis and therapists wouldn't try to assure people their child isn't on the spectrum if they don't know for sure.  Like you suggested, I'll just wait awhile and see how she does in school.  Hopefully with continued therapy she will do well, but if not, we can always try for an eval then.

    Thanks - I really appreciate your help! 

    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
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