Often, despite doing all the right things a meltdown is a physically and mentally draining experience for person with autism and their caregiver. K usually has a meltdown to the point of exhaustion or until whatever it was that was overwhelming him or making him anxious has abated by itself.
Sometimes your behaviour is not the antecedent to the meltdown. The meltdown is about something that is not under your control and you cannot control the emotional state of the child. The only option then is to wait for it to be over. In the midst of the storm all you can do is try to keep everyone safe, and make sure you are not reinforcing anything negative and not overreacting. This might not make any difference in the short term but at least you will not make things worse. All the while you are fighting feelings of embarrassment, failure, helplessness and so on.
Prevention is the best cure, but not every scenario can be anticipated and you cannot make every single environment bend and contort to suit the specific needs of your autistic person.
A few years of meltdowns and screaming fits have trained me to become relaxed, analytical and easy going about tantrums, while they are happening, but at the end of it all I still find myself exhausted. There is effort required to be relaxed, analytical and easy going, although does not seem like effort while you are in the moment, I will notice its toll later when things are calm.
Give yourself time to recover.
Sometimes it can take several hours to a couple of days.
A feeling of resentment towards your kid is a natural human emotion. I am not a saint (yet). And although he has gone back to “normal” being his usual self, I feel no inclination to be near him or have anything to do with him outside of necessity after he has screamed himself purple for hours throwing things around and banging doors.
I feel strongly, that as a parent you are definitely not allowed to pity your child. And it will take me some time for me to forgive him despite knowing that his behaviour is often not under his control.
Unlike a lot of kids on the spectrum his age, K is aware of someone's upset with him. He tries to repair after he has regained his composure. He will follow me around the house saying "Look at my face. You want kiss". Or something of that nature.
I used to feel guilty about these emotions, but now I recognise this as a part of my recovery process.
As long as there is recovery, repair and you are ready to face another battle for the sake of your child and his/her learning, then why should there be any shame in being truthful about the difficulty you are facing?
There is no need to deny the existence of your frustration and paint a false fairy tale picture of harmony and joy for the world. Whining and complaining is wrong, but being honest is not.
Autism is difficult to live with. I wish my son was easier to live with. There is no shame in that.