14 Feb Manage a Child’s Meltdown Stage by Stage
Posted at 02:56h in
As an autism parent, meltdowns are an unavoidable part of raising your child. Fortunately, there are ways to manage them. Understanding the phases of a meltdown will help you to prevent or lessen the behavior.
Learn from licensed clinical social worker Barbara Lester as she breaks down the process of a meltdown into phases, helping parents and caregivers to understand what to do at each stage of the meltdown.
What We Learned from this Video:
- The build-up phase is what takes place between the trigger and the actual start of the meltdown. This is your best opportunity to prevent, or at least lessen, the meltdown.
- During build-up, the part of your child’s brain responsible for reasoning is starting to be affected by the strong emotions they are feeling.
- Don’t engage your child on the specifics of the situation. Your only concern should be calming them down.
- Tag-teaming with another adult can help both of you maintain your calm when dealing with a meltdown.
- Tell them what you want them to do, not what you don’t want them to do.
- Have a plan in place that you’ve gone over with your child beforehand, such as having a place to calm down or having toys or music to help them calm down.
- If you cannot prevent the actual meltdown from starting, your number one priority should be to maintain safety.
- Move people away and put any dangerous or fragile objects out of reach.
- Avoid physical restraint if at all possible. It can result in you or your child being harmed.
- When the meltdown is over, soothe and comfort your child.
- Go back to the regular routine of the day. This is not a good time to try to process what happened.
Dealing with meltdowns requires an understanding of the structure of a meltdown, from its cause to its conclusion. Browse our free videos on everyday tips and behavior management for more advice on managing tantrums and meltdowns.