I saw this post and this resonated with me throughout the period of lockdown. I struggled to find ways of explaining to others just what my learners may be experiencing during these unprecedented times.
Me, having never experienced a meltdown myself, what do I know, or have I unknowingly experienced my own meltdown?!
As I sit here realizing just how synonymous a meltdown and lockdown really is…. could I maybe……just maybe…. possibly, give you a glimpse of their world.
So here goes……
This global pandemic experience is their reality. What we call the “new normal” is their NORMAL. Lockdown, just as a meltdown, is wrought with uncertainty, the fear of the unknown, a loss of self-control. Lockdown is described as a ‘great and sudden disaster ‘or ‘sudden collapse in mental health’, caused by what was perceived as an unknown trigger; health professionals racing for a vaccine. It happened so suddenly, a traumatic experience – frightening! Terrifying! Isolation a by-product. The response can be displayed by outward distress or withdrawal and shutdown or manual override of functions. A sudden change in routine and schedules. Coping mechanisms being a process of transitioning. We are told to rest and calm down. Too much talk such as news and social media sends us back into overdrive. All we need are simple gestures from our loved ones, reassurance, and comfort.
Does this all sound too familiar??
‘Ushered into a new era’ they say.
Scared and lonely, overwhelmed with sensory input, powerless and trapped!
Level 5,4,3,2,1…………………. meltdowns running its course. Trying their best to ‘flatten the curve’.
Our learners face challenges with communication and social interaction, it’s like constantly being socially distanced from human connectedness while wearing a mask.
The parents being the ventilators – so their kids can just breathe!
They are survivors of a ‘lockdown’ – I mean meltdown – with resilience and adaptability. It’s an unprecedented change where they advance to a new state of being – a mind shift of exponential change. If you were to ask me who the true experts are for surviving a lockdown, I would say the Autism community (not the government).
They live it, they breathe it, they survive it…………on the regular.…. bravely.