If you are the parent of an autistic child you know many of the struggles that we moms face. Although everyone is different and has experiences that are unique to each family there are some ways you can help to avoid the problems that lead to your child's meltdowns. These meltdown strategies for your autistic child may help you avoid the meltdown before it starts
7 meltdown strategies for your autistic child
- Warn your child of changes to his/her routine: If you know your child is very attached to a routine be sure to warn them well in advance of any changes that will occur. If they have a chance to process this change beforehand, it should be handled better.
- Give your child rules for specific situations: If your child can understand giving simple rules for how to act in different places will help. Each child needs to know the behavior you expect from them in order for them to be obedient. Knowing that they have consistency and structure will help avoid meltdowns before they begin.
- Help your child learn strategies to handle stress: Everyone handles stress differently and for an autistic child the meltdown probably occurred because they didn't know how to handle the stressful situation. If you teach them methods of handling stress, like take a deep breath and count to ten before you react, it may be a great help to them. They just need to learn and practice the strategies, in order to implement it, when it is needed.
- Reward your child when they are doing well: Rewarding your children when they are doing well is a great form of positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is a much better motivator than negative.
- Be patient and don't let their meltdown become your meltdown: You have to be patient with your child. If you need to step away to avoid becoming overwhelmed and having a meltdown yourself, than that is what you should do. Exploding on someone who is upset will never make a situation better. I use Lavender Scented Moon Dough to help Mini calm down before we get to meltdown mode.
- Take appropriate action every time they need an intervention: You have to be consistent and take appropriate action every time your child needs an intervention. If your child gets overwhelmed with too much noise then take them somewhere quiet before it becomes a problem. If they need punishment, like time out or taking an item away, for something wrong they did be consistent. If you follow through every time then they know what to expect.
- Evaluate the triggers: If you evaluate the factors that led up to each meltdown, you can plan strategies to avoid future meltdowns. It is easier to avoid a problem before it begins. If you plan ahead knowing what to avoid or what steps to take to handle a situation, you will have a much happier child. You know your child best and you can make strategies to help avoid future meltdowns. Your child will be confident that you are in charge, and that he or she can count on you for stability and security.
Consistency and avoiding triggers that lead to meltdowns will help give you peace of mind knowing you have a plan of action. Even if something comes up that you didn't expect or plan for being patient and calm in handling the situation. This is the best way to help get your child calmed down, as well. Just take a deep breath, and do the best that you can to keep your family happy and healthy.
Do you have strategies that work well for avoiding meltdowns? Please share with us the strategies you use you avoid meltdowns for your child, they may just be the saving grace in someone else's day.
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