Emotional Stimming Hangovers

Oh goodness. I feel today got off on the wrong foot with Miss Em. So I wanted to talk about the emotional and stimming “hangover” that happens after and emotionally and stim crazy day. We finished a book. It’s “Where the Red Fern Grows”. The death of the 2 dogs and burial of Old Dan and Little Ann got to Em just like most people who read this book. It’s just an emotionally draining book to begin with. She could relate to Billy and the dogs. And the loss of the dogs is exactly how she’d have reacted and wanting to do it herself just like he did.

It was a required book for reading. I knew how it was going to play out for her but she is determined to do what her peers do academically this year. She is pushing herself hard and advocating so I watch her and we make sure we have safety nets in place. The lines of communication are completely open between her resource teacher and me to make sure if she’s having a morning like today she can implement alternatives right away knowing that Em’s coming in on edge. So it’s been a win-win this year for Em.

 I have to say though; it was A LOT for Em to take in. Today she’s on an emotional overload, like a hangover, with recuperation from her stimming and emotional output. It appears she’s going be a little more sensitive to stuff today. She begged me to stay home.

During the whole time she read (or Matt read to her the last chapter), she was sensory seeking, fidgeting/stimming, and doing whatever it took to get through the book. I know that they were supposed to be watching the movie in school, soon. So I messaged Em’s resource teacher that when they are watching the movie, I’d make sure that she has an out to leave if she so chooses. I’m not sure she’d either willingly or want to stay for that. It has to be her choice.

This morning she’s saying she doesn’t feel well. Yet I put on my mommy senses and figured out this sensory/emotional hangover. Something I’ve noticed over time is when she has those high emotion/stimming/sensory seeking times she needs time to come down. Be it overnight or just some down time in her room, she needs that down time. It is when she comes down and does calm that she gets the headache, the stomach ache, being tired, not want to do things, feeling off for lack of a better explanation.

She’s not the only child on the spectrum I’ve heard that happen with. Yet, if you think about it, when the adrenaline and nerves are pumping, and the body is seeking sensory input eventually it will need to come down. The brain is overworked and needs time to adjust to less adrenaline/nerves and the outside stimuli. Now I’m not a doctor or an expert in anything but my daughter’s experiences but it makes sense to me.

Today and anytime this happens, I just want to wrap her in my arms, if she wants me too, and let her stay home but I know, and I need to push her through this. So we did. Hopefully, today goes well. I’m here when she gets home for some TLC and downtime.


2 thoughts on “Emotional Stimming Hangovers

  1. My son is the same way sometimes it can take him a day or two to fully recover after a day of complete over stimulation. I commend her for being so determined to do as the other children do she sounds like such a strong, brave girl.

  2. Reblogged this on My Puzzling Piece: A Glance Into A Puzzling Existance and commented:
    I love the term “Emotional Stimming Hangovers.” Today Cassius is definitely experiencing one of *these*. Hard. Core. It’s as though his nervous system is so overloaded, and he is working so hard not to meltdown, that it literally has made him physically sick! He won’t eat, he’s lethargic, weak and exhausted. He can hardly walk. Poor, poor baby.

    As a “NT” parent, I will never really KNOW what it is like to be an autistic child. On one hand, he wants to have friends and be funny and silly and play. On the other hand, it requires an incredible amount of concentration and focus in order for him to be able to do these things. Watching him fall down, pick himself back up, and jump back into the game over and over again simultaneously inspires and shames me.

    There is so many more things we can learn from our autistic children than we will ever teach them. We just need to know what to watch for.

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