Do any of you remember last year, when a number of us observed behavior squalls in our children around this time of year, or perhaps just a little earlier?
I just Googled "spring" inside Autism's Edges and I found lots and lots of meltdowns!
This year I've been hearing the same sorts of things from autism moms and dads . . . not necessarily posts in their sites, but by email and in conversation. My cause-and-effect, social scientist, regression analysis* mind has been snapping, crackling, and popping.
I can't exactly show you the sample I'm working with because only Kyra has posted publicly, but others have commented on various mishaps and difficulties and their own adult meltdowns.
My own personal meltdown involved a bottle of expensive medicinal liquid facial cleanser that Sweet M seemed to have assumed was communal property and so took in the tub with her, thus introducing tub water into said expensive facial cleanser, rendering it essentially useless in its medicinal function. I was so angry . . .
But the thing that was hilarious was that Sweet M was in the tub and she looked up at me with a great look of eagerness and said, "Wow, am I grounded?"
"You are so grounded," I replied.
"Really?!?!?" she asked, with the most eager anticipation, "Am I double grounded?"
"You are so so double grounded."
"You mean, like no TV and no ice cream and . . ."
She couldn't conceal her delight at the idea of being grounded.
And then I realized, oh my god — masochism. I was talking with a masochist . . . "Are you going to hit me? Oh no, oh, yeah, oh no, oh yeah, no, yeah, no, yeah . . .."
Later on I checked the soap and there wasn't any water in it at all. I apologized for getting angry with her, and she was visibly disappointed that she wasn't grounded. More on this another day, as I have digressed . . . .
Spring fever is my topic here today . . . This year it was my own spring fever rather than hers that I noticed so clearly . . . I'm wondering if others are having spring fever as we come up on that holiday marking the launch of summer . . .
When I taught in Japan I was impressed by all the talk about the change of the seasons. . . there were special foods for the change of the seasons, rituals like cherry blossom viewing that constitute a very big part of daily life, and anticipated bodily transitions that were just part of the conversation. Being out of sorts (or in transition) at the change of the seasons was expected . . . a given. If everything on the planet shifts with the seasons, why would humans expect to be exempt? (Other than our overall species chauvinism and arrogance.)
In the West we have the idea of spring fever, and more recently of seasonal affective disorder (to put a DSM spin on it), but I wonder if our exquisitely sensitive kids (and sometimes selves) are just highly attuned to the changing of the seasons . . .
* a statistical model, not our kids and our own regressions!