A human head with a rainbow mohawk and rainbow brains melts rainbow colors down their inscrutable face

Driven to Meltdown, Castigated for Melting

I feel the weight of this quote from Pete Wharmby’s new book, “What I Want to Talk About How Autistic Special Interests Shape a Life“.

The tendency to force a meltdown upon an autistic person, and then to castigate them for acting in such a childish and ungrateful way, is a rhythm that most autistic adults will recognize and despise.

What I Want to Talk About How Autistic Special Interests Shape a Life

I added that quote to our meltdown glossary page, which has a lot of resources on meltdowns and what they are like for us.

We’ve turned classrooms into a hell for autism. Fluorescent lighting. Endless noise. Everywhere, bright patterns and overloading information. Groupwork and social time. Crowded hallways and relentless academic pressure. Autistic children mostly could cope in the quieter schools of decades ago. Not a hope now.

We cannot simply exclude autistic pupils for entering meltdowns. Meltdowns are part of autism for a good number of autistic young people.

Whilst mindful that of course everyone needs to be safe, the way to achieve safety is to stop hurting the autistic children. Punishing them for responding to pain is not something any of us need to do.

Ann’s Autism Blog: Autism, School, Exclusion. What’s fair?

This endless rhythm of melting us down and then blaming us while remaining enduringly ignorant about our perceptual worlds is burning us out.



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