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How do you calm a melt down

My son has autism and will sometime melt down completely. I am not sure why and what causes it.


Asked by sweetangie79 at 1:21 AM on Apr. 28, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (9)
  • My 14 yr old son has autism and he has meltdowns. We have designated his room as his 'calm place' and when he has a meltdown he is to go to his room and start working at calming himself down. I have learned that when he is in meltdown-mode I need to leave him alone (and tell everyone else to leave him alone as well) and give him the time and space he needs to get himself under control. When he is calm again we talk about the meltdown and what could have caused it. If it was caused by something that we can control then we will make adjustments and change what we can to try to prevent the meltdown from happening again. My son is in counseling and that seems to have helped as well, the therapist has helped him to learn about anger, what can trigger it, and how to calm himself down. At school we have an IEP in place, and when he has a meltdown at school he knows he needs to go to Ms. B's room and calm down.

    Answer by MizLee at 10:50 AM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • It depends on the type of meltdown-every child on the spectrum is different...Some need to be held firmly...some need a soft spoken voice,one thing is ti get down to eye level if your child is younger. If ya gotta drop down on the floor in the middle of a grocery store and gently rock your child-ya do it-block out the world,you do what you have to.
    If you can remove your child from the area that over stimulates them,frightens them-do it. There's no exact trigger factoer-every child is different-over time you may start to distinguish "what" those factors are and work to prevent meltdowns. It's a learning experience for both child and parent. Please know that a meltdown IS NOT the same as a tantrum. Meltdowns are fears locked within one's own mind and can last minutes to hours...Tantrums are short burst of anger driven by self desire (I want... I didn't didn't satisfy ME) Hope this helps

    Answer by ZsMommy at 1:47 AM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • Is there too much noise or other activities? that could be a trigger . Maybe some soft music or perhaps he senses you're stress.

    Answer by sweet11-12 at 1:31 AM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • He never tells me what is wrong he just gets mad and hits himself. His doctor has told me to give me a time out when he does it, but that doesn't always help.

    Comment by sweetangie79 (original poster) at 1:48 AM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • Come to this group-... Autism/Asperger's/PDD Awareness I'm one of the adnins there-there's an awesome post on tantrums vs meltdowns...try using some of the techniques I mentioned above...A time out is useless on an ASD child,especially if they have communication delays.

    Answer by ZsMommy at 1:51 AM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • He is really different everytime. He is usually good with most of his friends, but sometimes he doesn't want to be around anyone, other times he just seams to zone completely out.

    Comment by sweetangie79 (original poster) at 1:51 AM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • How old is your child?

    Answer by ZsMommy at 1:52 AM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • He is 7.

    Comment by sweetangie79 (original poster) at 2:38 AM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • Some techniques my son uses to calm down are sucking on sour candy or chewing a stick of gum, listening to his favorite music, playing his favorite video game or snuggling with the cat (if she lets him).

    Answer by MizLee at 10:56 AM on Apr. 28, 2011

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