If you are raising a child on the autism spectrum, chances are you have witnessed a meltdown or two. Autistic children simply have a lower tolerance for loud noises, crowded locations and situations that are not familiar to them. As a parent to a child with autism, it can be overwhelmingly stressful when your child is having a meltdown. There is hope. There are some things you can do to help calm an autistic child down and today I am sharing some tips to help you along the way.
Diversion techniques may work if the meltdown is not a super powerful one. Try to make silly faces, distract the child with their favorite toy, perhaps mention you are going to do something together that they enjoy. Diversion may work with some of the milder meltdowns.
As the parent you must remain calm, speak in a firm yet friendly tone. Your autistic child will be fueled by the energy you put off. Remaining calm, speaking in a firm yet compassionate tone will help to calm your child down. Your response both verbally and body action wise can help to soothe your child.
Strong, Firm Hug
Some autistic children can be calmed by having a parent or other care giver simply grab ahold of them and give the child a strong, firm hug. Think about a basketball type hold on the child, hold onto your child as firm and strong as you can while you wait for them to calm.
If you can get your autistic child to focus long enough to place earphones on their head with a MP3 player, do it. Often time’s music therapy can work to trigger your child back to a calm place. Have a MP3 player ready on hand with soothing music loaded into it to use when a meltdown occurs.
Some parents have used various essential oils to have around the home such as chamomile and lavender. Known for their soothing properties, these may help calm your autistic child down if they don’t have a sensory overload to such smells. Perhaps aromatherapy can be used as a proactive measure to keep your child calm.
Research the Triggers
Once you have calmed down your child it’s best to research the triggers. Take time to think about all that occurred prior to your autistic child’s meltdown. What things can you change so as to avoid this meltdown in the future? Take a moment to fully comprehend what set your child off and find ways to reduce the impact so future meltdowns are less explosive. There’s no solution to fully stop meltdowns. You can simply work to minimize the triggers to help alleviate major meltdowns in the future.