One of the biggest challenges for many families affected by autism is dealing with negative behaviors. We recently polled our readers for their answers to the question, “If meltdowns are ever an issue for your child, what calming strategies have you found to be successful?” Here are your Top 10 Tips of the Week:
1. Prevention is the best policy. This will become easier as you learn to identify and avoid meltdown triggers.
2. Do your research —especially if triggers aren’t obvious–to determine what factors were in place that resulted in a meltdown: make a list of things going on before behavior took a turn for the worse and see if you can find patterns.
3. Use deep pressure including weighted blankets and massage to ease your child back into a more calm state.
4. Create a diversion that will take your child’s attention elsewhere. This could be singing a song, taking a walk, making silly faces or whatever usually makes your child laugh.
5. Keep yourself calm and seek a calm environment to encourage de-escalation.
6. Aromatherapy can be soothing especially lavender and chamomile oils.
7. Provide positive verbal reinforcements as your child shows signs of calming down.
8. A pop-up tent can be effective in easing your child by providing alone-time. Place soothing objects inside such as a bean bag, soft blanket, a favorite book, etc.
9. A Gluten-Free diet and various biomedical treatments over time may result in a lessening of meltdown tendencies.
10. Consider noise cancelling headphones to eliminate auditory input which can lead to sensory overload.