On Twitter in the past 24 hours the questionably named Thinking Persons Guide to Autism does what it often does: distributing unproven, non evidence based, opinions as representing all there is to know about autism.
On this occasion the TPGA Re-Tweeted one person's opinion about meltdowns; offering the less than carefully thought out over simplification that autistic meltdown are panic attacks not tantrums. The problem with this statement is that it oversimplifies what is often, at least for my severely autistic son, a very complex behavior. With the concluding remark the "Thinking" Persons Guide To Autism then encourages others to RT this oversimplified, incorrect notion that all meltdowns are panic attacks:
RT ..... Autistic meltdowns are panic attacks, not tantrums. Pass it on. http://tmblr.co/ZufSAyU29DkK
My 16 year old son is severely autistic. He is also assessed with profound developmental delays. His meltdown behaviors are complex at any time. His meltdowns are not all triggered by the same events. Some appear to be frustration based in terms of the inability to do ... or to stop doing something when he obsesses with something like a Little Einstein video. Some times his meltdowns appear to be triggered by internal physical discomfort of various sorts. Some times they appear to be related to seizure activity.
I am talking at this point only about my own severely autistic son not about other persons with autism disorders whether they be severely autistic with limited communication skills or whether they are High Functioning Neurodiversity activists promoting their perception of their autism condition as the universal reality for all persons with autism disorders.
I can not, and do not, say that ALL persons with autism disorders experience meltdowns in the same way or for the same reasons as my son. What I do say is that the person involved with the original tweet and the Thinking Persons Guide To Autism can not say that my son's meltdowns are always panic attacks.
My son's complex meltdown behaviors are just not that simple..... pass THAT on please!