Meltdowns in Younger ASD children
My son is 3 1/2, he's never really been much of a challenge behavior-wise, but his communication is slightly improving and with that his tantrums and meltdowns have gotten worse. He's still pretty good, but the occasional meltdown he does have is just...really hard. Probably moreso just because I'm used to him being so easy going and happy.
I'm coming up with a few ideas for heading them off, for example, this morning I think he thought we were playing outside but then he saw the van that takes him to school and went crazy. I NEVER give in when he does that, but he's been sick this weekend, plus we didn't have the regular driver, and I couldn't get him in the carseat so I just brought him inside and told him that wasn't going to work again. My solution for that is to start using a schedule like he does at school so I can show him the van picture and when we head outside he'll understand. A lot of times I tell him what's going to happen and I can tell it doesn't register. He'll be happy and excited and think he knows where we're going and just not register what I'm telling him.
Anyway...I think I started rambling. My question is, how do you deescalate the meltdown once it's started in a younger kid? I'm not sure where he is age-wise developmentally. I try to get him to take deep breaths, because the jerky breathing when he's calming down sometimes starts him up again. I just don't know how to help him calm himself. I don't think understands when I'm telling him to take deep breaths.
Man, that meltdown this morning took an hour to end. The fact that they aren't regular makes their occurance really stressful. I'm just kind of emotionally drained. I probably shouldn't complain too much, becuause I know there are mom's here that have to deal with many more meltdowns than I do.
Thanks for any advice!