Autism meltdowns are called an extreme response to sensorial overwhelming conditions. Children with autism have overwhelming conditions, they have one channel to express themselves and they use it through a meltdown. This can be emotional verbal outbursts like shouting and yelling or physical reactions like booting, munching or punching.
Meltdowns usually have entirely distinct reasons. As they are activated by sensory overload, children with Autism spectrum disorder having a meltdown can have a few defining characteristics.
Autism Meltdowns Symptoms
- Rumbling sounds
- Any verbal or physical behaviour
- Sensory input
- Take more time than tantrums
Dealing With Meltdowns
When you are working with ASD and autism meltdowns, no child is similar to others, you have to make plans and strategies according to them differently. So you have to keep in mind that you have to make new strategies every time, and there is no guarantee that you will be successful. But you have to keep customizing according to the child’s traits and personality.
Here are some techniques that you can try out when a child is going through a meltdown.
- Another person should leave the child and place to calm down.
- Calming tools which are favourite of your child it can be a fidget toy, noise-canceling headphones.
- Select a good time for teaching breathing exercises, meditation, and counting.
- Select a safe and calm place where you can take to the children while they meltdown.
- During the meltdowns always remain calm and quiet, otherwise, the child may prolong the meltdown.
- Try to be normal do not bring tension to your face.
For parents of children with ASD, meltdowns are normal but are very frustrating. Preventing the meltdowns is the best option rather than to handle afterwards.
Knowing the Triggers
Being a mother of a child you know which things should not be used to avoid the meltdown like;
- Children can be sensitive to loud noises, bold and dark colours, radiant lights, or strong fragrances.
- Know the daily routine, eating a particular food, favourite dresses.
- Child’s favorite things are toys, cars, dolls, books for reading or snacks.
You can not always know and ignore the trigger but here are some methods that can be used to prevent them:
- Preparation for changes in daily life.
- Understand the emotions of your child and his support.
- Try to divert the attention of your child to his favourite thing.
- Try to find out to tell you why he is not in a good mood.
- Give choices and ask what you need
- See and solve your child’s problem(like if he is hungry or tired)
- Always look for the triggers, before the time so you can avoid them.
- Remember the triggers and results from the previous meltdowns and change to new methods accordingly.
Meltdowns at School
Children with ASD can easily have meltdowns at school. As you can not avoid triggers in school.
When a child is in the house and he has a meltdown it can be avoided, if not then after the meltdown it can be recovered but in school, it is not possible. In school, teachers have to take responsibility for their students.
You should talk to the teacher before sending your child to school and make the strategy of knowing the triggers and prevention of meltdowns. So, that teacher can easily know and understand the problem of your child.
Children with autism go through overstimulation the whole day, they might have a meltdown at bedtime. Some techniques for preventing meltdowns at bedtime may include:
- Give a calm, quiet bedroom for sleep.
- Do not give caffeine and sugar at the end of the day.
- Make a daily routine of bedtime.
- Ask your child when its a bed time, and he will answer you.
- Avoid things by which your child avoids bedtime routine like (watching TV, mobile phone, or playing games).