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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Meltdowns & Tantrums 101: Share Stories, Frustrations, Tips, and Advice

Posted by on Dec. 15, 2011 at 7:56 PM
  • 134 Replies
13 moms liked this

Members of our wonderful group have posted many personal stories about meltdowns, offered helpful tips, reached out to each other for support and shared helpful information and resources.

Get started with these 5 tips then click below to find more:

1. Be Proactive

~ Use these tools to stop meltdowns before they begin: Take note of what triggers meltdowns so you can avoid those places/behaviors/situations, set a schedule and explain expectations to your child, be clear about consequences.

2. Use Distraction

~ Try to head off tantrums before they occur by distracting your child with something they like -- a book or favorite toy, a calming exercise or game.

3. Pick your battles

~ If your child is in a safe place, sometimes allowing the meltdown will help it end sooner.

4. Ignore others

~ Public tantrums can be particularly frustrating.  The best thing you can do is focus on your child and what you need to do for them and ignore everybody else.

5. Use rewards

~ Encourage good behavior with a rewards program.

Click here to find even more tips and advice for handling tantrums and meltdowns, or share your own in the replies below!

Need advice on a specific issue?  Start a post to share your story and receive support!

by on Dec. 15, 2011 at 7:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
ROGUEM
by on Dec. 15, 2011 at 9:25 PM
5 moms liked this

 Ah the power of one click :)  A wealth of information - how wonderful.   Anyone having problems with their child having meltdowns will find this invaluable.

Every meltdown post here for the reading ladies!!!

aidensmomma508
by Wendy on Dec. 15, 2011 at 9:58 PM
3 moms liked this

oh yeah I  sure have posted about meltdowns, read away. 

I have one to add, this morning my son had a hard time getting ready for school hitting and kicking having a meltdown, I try to use distraction which sometimes works, tickling or just being goofy. It is a good tool- Distraction, only if it's like before the meltdown gets out of hand

nicksmom217
by on Dec. 15, 2011 at 10:48 PM
4 moms liked this

   when it comes to meltdowns, pick your battles. if your child in safe place, ignore, it will stop faster. indulge in your child hobbies or interests, flourish that, it is good way to get close to your child and turn a hobby in to a profession.  read, learn is much  as you can, never let school tell you, they know more then you, about your child. your child mite not learn traditional way, but there is a lot of hidden talents that your child has.

tldle
by on Jan. 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM
4 moms liked this

For some reason, I seem to set my 9 year old off when I have to correct him. He cannot stand for his errors to be pointed out, but I have to correct him. For example, when he gets right in his brothers face and speaks in a mean tone, I quickly told him to back up. He quickly spiraled into an anxious meltdown even when I spoke calmly to him. This is a consistent problem. How do I train him in a way that is effective and appropriate without causing meltdowns? I feel like I am on eggshells   

horselover66
by on Jan. 21, 2012 at 8:33 AM
7 moms liked this

my 9 yr old attends a public school, he gets a sensory overload in the class room, lunch room where it is loud.  I am trying to get the school to realize that he needs to be in a smaller, quieter class room..does anyone else have this trouble.. with sensory overload???

2puzzlepieces
by on Jan. 21, 2012 at 10:55 AM
3 moms liked this


Quoting tldle:

For some reason, I seem to set my 9 year old off when I have to correct him. He cannot stand for his errors to be pointed out, but I have to correct him. For example, when he gets right in his brothers face and speaks in a mean tone, I quickly told him to back up. He quickly spiraled into an anxious meltdown even when I spoke calmly to him. This is a consistent problem. How do I train him in a way that is effective and appropriate without causing meltdowns? I feel like I am on eggshells   

It sounds like your boy is telling you he needs positive parenting.  I don't think correction is necessary to teach right from wrong in most cases, especially with our kids.  I'm not talking about sickeningly sweet, never say no because you might scar your poor child for life parenting.  I just mean that we need to be creative about teaching them correct behavior and give ourselves permission to avoid conflict.  The typical child's parent might consider it cowardice to redirect their child instead of confronting and correcting them.  I consider it self-preservation. One way I will be constantly stressed, afraid to go anywhere, walk on eggshells and he still won't learn anything.  The other I have at least a fighting chance at teaching him how to behave and I get to preserve my sanity (well, more than the other option anyhow).  I've read a couple of Kevin Leman's books and the main thing I take away from them is that disciplining a child doesn't mean punishment.  Disciplining them is done BEFORE the offense.  With our kids it means looking for teaching moments and taking advantage of them or creating them if necessary.   


For this child I prayed and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of him.  

1 Samuel 1:27

marisab
by Gold Member on Jan. 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM

 I use 1,2,3 magic and it really works click here for how--there is also a video and book!!it works!!

marisab
by Gold Member on Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:16 AM

 Johny is having lots of change lately.We try to use distraction,music,tickling and 1,2,3 magic to out smart the meltdowns!!!

yoyo34
by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 7:19 AM

I can relate. I thought I was the only one going through this. My son is 12 now and very big for his age. Anyway, when I am correcting him , he will get upset. He lashes out through hitting and tells me he does not like me corrrecting me. He also tries to take it out on his sister.  He will try to get in her face and intimidate her. He is getting harder to manage. even when i am using a calm tone he still gets upset. His behavior is starting to get dangerously agressive. It's confusing. sometimesyou can correct him and sometimes you can't. I noticed it depends who is correcting  him though.

twoboysmommy47
by on Feb. 1, 2012 at 8:04 PM
3 moms liked this

I have a 30 month old son who was recently diagnosed with autism.  Every day seems to be a real struggle for both him and I.  He seems extremely intelligent for his age in speech and some problem solving, but every day from almost the moment he wakes up to trying to put him down for a nap or to sleep at night there is constant resistance from him.  I can't get him to sit still for more than 30 seconds, even to eat food, and even then I have to feed him.  If I give him the utensil, 100% of the time he'll throw it along with his food.  He never wants to just sit and "chill" with me or any other member of my family and trying to play one on one with him, if we dont play with his toy the way he wants he'll start throwing a fit and has at times tried holding his breath.  I now have an occupational and speech therapist come to see him once a week but everything they try to work on with him just isn't helping.  I want to break down and cry because I just dont know what to do any more.   Anyone else have a child that has behavior issues or refuses to listen to you?   I could really use some help. 

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