My son is now in his second year of school, although it’s really just kindergarten, he has been doing full days and full weeks the entire time. Ever since the very first week, we’ve noticed and recognized a very consistent and steady trend. Mondays are good. Fridays are bad.
Most everyone can identify with the build up that occurs all week and is the main reason that we all look forward to Friday so much… 2 days of freedom! Whether it’s school or work, Monday to Friday is a continual build up of stress, nerves, frustrations, anxiety and a whole host other negative feelings.
With Autism, they rate it from mild to severe, high functioning to low functioning, but regardless of where you ‘rate’, the emotional and sensory and overwhelming feelings are all there. And that only makes the Monday to Friday build up that much worse.
In our case, Fridays are almost always meltdown days. Cameron can go the entire week without getting a single time out at school and end up getting 4 in one day, like today… Friday.
Then he gets home and he lashes out at his little brother, he refuses to eat, he does not listen and he even gets a bit violent (pushing and kicking).
What happened from the very happy boy on Monday that gets no time outs to the little monster of Friday?
It’s not his diet, it’s not something in the air, it’s just the build up. Constant attention, constant demands, constant sensory stimulation, constant learning, constant physical activities… more, more, more and and come Friday, he explodes.
I’m open to suggestions as to what to do about this, because all that we do works for a while, but only a while. Weighted vests, short breaks, different foods… there’s not a lot available to us as parents since they’re off at school on their own.
All I do know is that come Friday, there needs to be an understanding from us parents, that there is a reason that they’re like this. Not to let it slide, bad behaviour is bad behaviour. But there is a reason for it and they are struggling too.
It’s up to you to choose the consequences and the punishments but when you do (and there should be some), keep in mind that they’re having a very very bad day already. Help them to over come the bad day, rather than simply add to it.