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Featured Looking for insight: episode at night

Discussion in 'Parenting & Autism Discussions' started by Maiki, Nov 4, 2020.

  1. Maiki

    Maiki Well-Known Member

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    Late last night, I inadvertently discovered that my 15 year old dtr had climbed out of (a very secure) window in her bedroom. She was wearing slippers and thought to take a small back pack with several items in it. She was walking through a sub urban area for an unknown amount of time before returning home and coming back through her window. Dtr has an anxiety disorder and was diagnosed with ASD at the start of this year. She is intellectually gifted, sensitive and has not had done anything erratic, that I'm aware of. She was super freaked out! She couldn't really explain why she took off, but thought maybe she deserved to get hurt. She said she didn't really think what she was doing was real. Spent much of the night with her, letting her snuggle up to me on her own terms. She said she was scared of might she might do, and wasn't sure she was in control of her actions. No reason to think of substance abuse or other factors. Could this have been an autistic 'meltdown' ? Anybody else find themselves on 'auto pilot' running away or hiding when dysregulated?
     
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  2. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I tend to have the need to hide in small spaces when distressed, like behind a wardrobe or under a desk, but it's more connected to PTSD I think.
     
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  3. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've heard of kids with autism of all ages walking away from school quite a few times. And have heard on occasion of the same from home, but those seemed to be very young kids. But in both they seemed usually to be impulsive without previous planning (ie. like in running away from home).

    I don't know what to make of your daughter's episode, as it seems to have elements of each. But her fear (not to mention yours) of it happening again, and expression of having lack of control make me think it should be addressed with mental health professionals as well as take safety measures (sleep in same room, get a tracking ankle bracelet, etc).

    I'm not a professional so don't really know, but my gut feeling is to take it seriously. On the positive side I would be hopeful that the right therapy can help resolve this and it will only be a phase.
     
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  4. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    So glad she is safe. Can you ask her to explain what happened before she took off? Like what did she experience? And can she talk to you if it should happen again?
     
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  5. Maiki

    Maiki Well-Known Member

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    She has previously sought dark, small spaces in which to hide. Again, I only found out she was doing this by accident, when she didn't answer my call that dinner was ready. I wondered whether this was sort of an amped up version of that behaviour, which she said she did "without thinking" when overwhelmed.
     
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  6. Maiki

    Maiki Well-Known Member

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    I truly appreciate your input. I agree that this should be taken seriously. I called our local distress line at the time of the incident, but they were only able to suggest taking my dtr to the hospital ER. I'm a healthcare professional there, and didn't want to add to her already stressed state by waiting in ER for a psych consult. Today, she is speaking with a psychologist who knows her. We will continue to follow up with the mental health side. I was just wondering if this might be something that other autistic individuals had experienced.
     
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  7. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    At that age, and earlier I ran away many times. I had a favourite place to hide near a lake in an abandoned shelter and another was an old factory. My brother knew where to find me, if I went missing. Usually I returned when it became dark or cold. But a few times, I walked all night long.

    At fourteen I found things confusing, even agonizing, family, school, boys, girls. I wanted to run away from it all, and be by myself. Also wanted to explore the entire world at that age and later. I thought I would be a great adventurer/explorer, but didn't realize that I was essentially a child, who lived somewhat in a kind of fantasy world where anything was possible. Emotionally I was eight and not really fourteen. I didn't know what the world was really like. I had spent my life up until then protected from many things.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
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  8. Maiki

    Maiki Well-Known Member

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    Wow. That really resonates with me when I think of my dtr. She often talks (and worries++) about how she will manage adult things. She puts herself at risk, perhaps to feel less like a little kid? Thank you Mia.
     
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  9. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    The world feels so overwhelming. And we feel how are we ever going to handle it all because we don't realize how amped up we are on hormones overload which our teenage bodies kick out by the boatloads. So our hormones amp up the bass line of our feelings and we feel too much. By hiding, we shut down some of this. Think if you try to explain this maybe she will get it. But by 20's, it's settled down. The teenage years are rough.
     
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  10. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Your welcome Maiki. I have been a risk taker since I was quite young, although not so much anymore. As a child I found it exciting, walking on high walls, balancing on the handrails of bridges, I had no idea that I wouldn't live forever or even get hurt. I used to ride my bike down a hill and smash into a brick factory wall, to see what would happen. Rarely did I even walk away with a scratch. My family thought I was crazy.

    But much of the time, it was to face any fears I had. I wanted the freedom to do anything in those years. I was so protected that every moment of my day was supervised by nuns or my parents. It was stifling as I had no privacy, and I pushed back whenever I could. It was about becoming more independent a little at a time, I realize in retrospect.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
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  11. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    I ran away a few times as a kid and a teen, when there were things at home I didn’t want to or couldn’t deal with. My parents fighting was a big trigger for me, my parents being mad at me even more. I didn’t have a bad childhood, I was (and am) just extremely sensitive to negative emotions and quickly become overwhelmed. I would usually ride my bike to a nearby park and watch ducks, or visited te library, or if it got really bad I went to a local petting zoo to hang out with goats.
    However, generally when I was feeling anxious or overwhelmed it was caused by factors outside my house and family, in which cases I did the exact opposite and didn’t want to leave my room. I hope you and your daughter can get more clarity on what happened and what made her leave.
     
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  12. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I never had the desire to run away from home as a child, but, as an adult, I always have had the
    urge to flee when upset.

    That would be the trigger for me. I don't know about her, but, if someone says or does something
    that upsets me or makes me feel angry or unwanted, I feel trapped unless I can get out and go somewhere.
    Doesn't really matter where. A lake would be first choice or a park.
    I just sit alone in the van or sit by the water until I feel more collected and less overwhelmed.
    Sometimes this will be all day and most of the night.
    I keep a get away back pack ready for when this happens too.

    Maybe she could talk with you about anything that might have emotionally upset her and was on
    her mind prior to the need to do this.
     
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  13. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    I do remember riding down a steep hill just for what would it be like. Of course l crashed and burned. lol.
     
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  14. Maiki

    Maiki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!
     
  15. Maiki

    Maiki Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I wish we had access to goats. I LOVE GOATS.
     
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  16. Maiki

    Maiki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your insight:)
     
  17. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    Oh yeah, goats are the best. I’m 34 now, but when life gets really overwhelming I still go to the same petting zoo on rare occasions. It’s a 30 minute bike ride, but it’s worth it :)
     
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