Friday, August 20, 2010
Zero to 180
This morning was another instance of Nikko going from zero to 180 at the drop of a hat. He was on the floor crying about who knows what at the start of breakfast. He got over it eventually, but it's a mystery to me. Melisa came over for therapy today and he started out very happy. But with about 40 minutes to go I could hear him whining and screaming about something. It sounded like he didn't want to work. When they came upstairs, Nikko's cheeks were flushed, eyes teary, but he still asked and signed, "Ice cream?" Melisa told me that she was reading a book on emotions, that when we got to the happy face Nikko was smiling and laughing and signing Happy, but then he suddenly threw himself to the ground and started wailing. For a long time. Melisa was like, "Ooookkkkaayyyy...." and she tried to redirect him but he wouldn't get out of his mood. I didn't know what to say to her except that I've noticed this happening lately. A friend on an ASD board mentioned that this is called emotional lability, defined as a condition of excessive emotional reactions and frequent mood changes. That doesn't sound good!! It doesn't happen all the time, and Nikko doesn't have "excessive" emotional reactions over things. Many times he's rather indifferent to something. But the mood changes are disturbing, especially when I can't pinpoint what had just happened, what just floated across his path or in the air or pushed something over enough to upset him. I think I also freaked out when reading the definition because further in the paragraph it talked about bipolar disorders. YIKES!!! Please, God, don't make me walk that path! It's just speculation right now, anyway. Another person suggested perfectionism possibly causing the whining/screaming/anxiety. That's plausible. Nikko's anxieties cause him to get antsy and agitated, so maybe if he can't set something down the way he wants to in his mind, it overwhelms him to the point of tears and dropping on the floor. Maybe? Maybe?