Based on dozens of intensive interviews with parents, clinical psychologists, teachers, and more, Meltdown is the fictional story of Benjamin, a boy diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder and additional challenging behavior. From the time Benjamin is a toddler, his parents know he is different: he doesn’t play with his sister, refuses to make eye contact, and doesn’t seem to understand how to communicate with others. And his tantrums are not like normal tantrums; they’re meltdowns that will eventually make regular schooling—and day-to-day life—impossible. From first clues to diagnosis, navigating the special education system to securing expert help, Benjamin’s parents must become his greatest advocates. Together, they learn that the journey toward hope isn’t simple—but with the right tools and teammates, it’s possible. This book is part of the ORP Library of disability books. SPECIAL NOTE: Asperger’s disorder is a complex syndrome that affects children in different ways. The child with Asperger’s disorder depicted in the following story struggles with significant emotional and behavioral difficulties that require a therapeutic environment. The great majority of children with Asperger’s disorder do not resemble the child shown in this story. But those who do face challenges that have made it difficult to benefit from education in the public school system. At Genesee Lake School, we strive to build relationships with the children in our care so that they learn new skills that will lead to a successful return to their home, school, and community. It is our hope that the following story will add to your own understanding of the often lonely journey experienced by families with children with these unique challenges and gifts.