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

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

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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
Replies (61-70):
lella1972
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 3:18 PM
1 mom liked this

My 7 year old keeps getting in trouble at school because he throws huge tantrums when he gets into trouble. He was suspended for hitting/kicking a couple of teachers and destroying a conference room. He has sesnory breaks written into his IEP, but it seems to be getting worse this year.  Anyone dealing with a less than effective public school? It's so frustrating.

Cafe AmyS
by Head Admin on Nov. 29, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Have you considered a reward system for him to earn things for good behavior?  Maybe he needs more breaks?

Quoting lella1972:

My 7 year old keeps getting in trouble at school because he throws huge tantrums when he gets into trouble. He was suspended for hitting/kicking a couple of teachers and destroying a conference room. He has sesnory breaks written into his IEP, but it seems to be getting worse this year.  Anyone dealing with a less than effective public school? It's so frustrating.


Lissett2
by on Dec. 22, 2012 at 11:32 PM

I'm having lots of issues with my son at school. He's having meltdowns like crazy. The principal even told me if this keeps up they will have to call the police

 

Cafe AmyS
by Head Admin on Dec. 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Does your son have an IEP? If so, is it being followed?

Quoting Lissett2:

I'm having lots of issues with my son at school. He's having meltdowns like crazy. The principal even told me if this keeps up they will have to call the police



Issyoli
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 4:53 PM

My son is 10 and finds school very hard, he hates play times and lunchtimes when the school is busy and it is a sensory overload for him too.. I've had to repeatedly go into the school and explain to them that although he looks ok on the outside , on the inside he is struggling to hold himself together!!!!!

they have finally realised that by telling him about any changes in their routine and taking him away from these issues he is a happier boy.

i can only suggest that you go into school and ask to speak to his teachers and explain to them how hard it is for him x

Casper7844
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:29 PM
We have a 15 yr old son who has developed echolalia which can result in a melt down. We put him on medicine for the first time in July. We just pulled him back off because they didn't really seem to help and we were told that they could injure his health. That is just what we wanted to here. We have had him in swimming and track. Exercise seems to help. I also try to give him probiotics, which seem to help.
Bobcatridge
by Carol on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM


Quoting Jenny7153:

Has anyone with a child with Asperger's tried counseling?  We're just wondering if we should pursue it, since our 11 year old is becoming more unacceptable with his speech and some aggressive behavior.  We have found that if we see even a little frustration creeping up, we immediately go to calm down mode to prevent an explosion.  This has helped immensely, however it's not possible in every circumstance.  Especially when it comes to his brother who isn't old enough to understand this and sometimes engages in arguments that end in "I hate you!".  We're trying to teach him that the yelling and terrible things that he says are unacceptable.  Any ideas?  Has anyone found counseling to be effective?  Oh yes, another thing that helps in case anyone is interested, is that we've started making daily exercise mandatory.  We explained to him that he gets angry more than most people, and needs this to relieve his stress.  I think it does get him in a more positive mood.


msbchoc
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Oh my!!!! This posting was a Godsend.  My son will be 4 the end of Feb and was diagnosed with Autism in April 2012 and ADHD in Nov 2012. It has been a challenge accepting the diagnoses and being proactive regarding them. The meltdowns have started to come more frequently and sometimes for no reason...that I can determine. My son takes medication currently and this prevents any type of disruptive behavior at school, but when his meds wear off...It can be an issue.  

Public meltdowns are the worse, so I was glad to get that info about focusing on the child.  I tend to get so stressed that I just want the meltdown OVER and it is normally a longer than usual meltdowns.  I will begin to apply these suggestions to see how they work for us.  Thanks for all the tips.

I am so glad to have a community that has some of the same issues and can give constructive feedback.  God Bless You All.

PS--Does anyone else feel like running away sometimes or is it just me? LOL


Cafe AmyS
by Head Admin on Jan. 28, 2013 at 4:08 PM

LOL - You're not the only one who wants to run away sometimes.

Another thing for you to remember is that while the meltdowns seem to happen for no reason, your son has a reason and to him it's very valid and real.  (((hug)))

Quoting msbchoc:

Oh my!!!! This posting was a Godsend.  My son will be 4 the end of Feb and was diagnosed with Autism in April 2012 and ADHD in Nov 2012. It has been a challenge accepting the diagnoses and being proactive regarding them. The meltdowns have started to come more frequently and sometimes for no reason...that I can determine. My son takes medication currently and this prevents any type of disruptive behavior at school, but when his meds wear off...It can be an issue.  

Public meltdowns are the worse, so I was glad to get that info about focusing on the child.  I tend to get so stressed that I just want the meltdown OVER and it is normally a longer than usual meltdowns.  I will begin to apply these suggestions to see how they work for us.  Thanks for all the tips.

I am so glad to have a community that has some of the same issues and can give constructive feedback.  God Bless You All.

PS--Does anyone else feel like running away sometimes or is it just me? LOL



Panky08
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 8:05 PM
1 mom liked this

Need suggestions!!  My son is 13....going through puberty.  OMG!!!  His behavior has changed so much.  he is more aggressive and hits himself on the arms and in the chest really hard during meltdowns.  Well this has caused issues in school, of course.    We decided, against my better judgement, to try mild dosage of meds to see if it would help .  The medication made things worst.  I told doctor to change med. because of how it was making him act.   I can deal with a regular meltdown.  We know most of the triggers and deal with it.  Changed to another medication that started out fine, but same thing.  He's hitting, I think he's having headaches, aggression, aggression, agression..... did I say agression.  Needless to say that med is not something he's staying on.   

Just needed to know if anyone had a child that had trouble with behavior, etc while going through puberty and used a low dosage med. that worked?  I have to keep reminding them that I'm not looking for a medication to cure his autism.  If there was a pill we all would be giving it.  I just want to know if there is such a medication or are people just riding it out.

 

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