Autistic children and meltdowns

When your child is upset or distressed and showing negative or inappropriate behaviour… (also known by some parents as “going off on one, totally losing it, having a meltdown, blowing up, having an outburst, etc.) What do you do?

If their behaviour escalates, how do you help your child?

When and how to you intervene, if at all?

I’m sure, at some point, most parents and carers with autistic children have asked themselves these questions.

Perhaps you feel as though you’re constantly asking yourself these questions.

So, what is the answer?

Because it may feel like you’re giving in to your child if you intervene.

It might be utterly heart-breaking to watch so you help your child in any way you can.

Perhaps you leave the room completely out of pure exhaustion.

Sorry to disappoint, but there’s no real answer to this. It very much depends on why the behaviour is happening. (if you know that is!)

Having a few little provisional strategies in place, however, can be really helpful. Especially as in the moment of screaming, shouting, hitting or kicking out it can be so difficult to think ‘what’s best to do’ over ‘how do I make this stop’…

I’ve made a list of a few little tips below for you have think about…

  • Remove anything that they could hurt themselves with or on
  • Dim or turn the lights off entirely / pull the blinds
  • Give them soft cushions
  • Give them space
  • Only talk with them once the behaviour has come to an end
  • Offer a drink or snack after
  • When you do talk, use clear, straight to the point language
  • Get some fresh air once they’re calm
  • Keep siblings away, so they are not potentially irritated further
  • Let go of guilt (easier said than done right?!)
  • Have a think about whether any of these strategies would work for your child and try them out.

Inside the ‘Unlimited Autism Success Inner Circle,’ I talk more about meltdowns and how parents and carers can best manage their child’s challenging behaviours.

It’s something I help parents and carers with regularly and something I am passionate about.

Join the ‘Unlimited Autism Success Inner Circle’ to discover more and for ongoing support with your child.

Join here

Plus you’ll get heaps of helpful videos with tips and tools which will help your child progress in every area of their development.

Click here for more information and to join

Speak with you soon until then,

Live every moment, Love beyond words and make a difference today

Emma Ottaway

The Ambitious Autism Ambassador