ND Review: Meltdowns? Or reading someone the riot act?

As I was raised an ableist 😖, I can sometimes infer more meanings to words than other fellow auties. As this ableism is consciously waning, there are certain words that “trigger” me more than others 😩.

And, meltdowns is certainly one of those words 😤. It does actually make me feel physically sick. But, obviously, I don’t want to be negative. So, I’d rather try to take a different perspective, and argue that they should be called outbursts and should be understood and valued as expressions of self-respect, assertiveness, and self-determination 👩‍⚖️.


X is on the way to work 🏘️. Walk to the bus stop. Bustling around. Breathing exercises while on trying to hang on to the handle on the bus. Take a train. Try to think about something and not look around. Someone shouting something in the background. Get off the train and walk the final leg to work. Kids going to school. Although their sounds are happy, they are still loud 🎢.

Arrive at the office. Make coffee. Someone says something. X replies

Sorry mate, not had my 3 cups of coffee yet, came back in a few hahahahaha 😔

with a wide

I hate you but I’m socially competent 🫤


X spends the day trying to stop themselves twitching from their overstimulation. Also, the so comfortable stimming is prohibited, so no self-soothing of any kind 🥺.

As the day goes on, all of this pile up, and already by lunch time blood is boiling and head is thumping 🥹.

At some point someone says or do something inconsiderate 😲. Like open a window next to you when outside the traffic is especially noisy. X asks their colleague to open a different window please! yet they make some excuses why it bothers them to respect X’s wishes ☹️.

Eventually X will have a “meltdown” and tell everyone to f@ck off 🤬.

But is that what it is? A “meltdown” has implication of poor self-management, of being emotionally incompetent, of being a victim of circumstances 🤷‍♂️.

To call it a “meltdown” is a form of victim blaming! Language is important 💢.

On the other hand, even if we take aside the stressors that precede the trigger event, X was polite, socially acceptably behaved, and made one or more attempts to change the situation 👼🏽. Yet, it was ignored.

That’s why I call it an outburst. It is an expression of assertiveness, self-respect, and self-determination. It is how we say you may not respect me 🚫, but I do!

That’s why meltdowns are worthy of respect and should be referred to as OUTBURSTS! They are the equivalent of giving someone what for, or reading the riot act! 🤔 (although always beware of how to manage your feelings)