When they’ve got the giggles!

Has your child ever had an outburst of giggles that seem to have come out of nowhere?

A while back I worked with a boy called Ethan who would do this.

He would suddenly have an outburst of giggles and a rush of hyperactivity. It looked as though it came of nowhere and Ethan seemed unable to control it.

I hadn’t been working with Ethan long when one day this happened in our session. But this time Ethan was picking up items, throwing them in the air and then giggling loudly when they came crashing to the ground.

This was something I’d never seen him do before…

Ethan was picking up anything he could get his hands on and it wasn’t safe, so I decided to take Ethan out of the room for him to calm down a little…

But as soon as he was outside, and in an open space, his mood quickly escalated. Ethan started running and throwing himself onto the ground. All the while roaring with laughter…

His behaviour was becoming difficult to manage so I decided to intervene.

I stopped Ethan by holding his shoulders, then quickly taking him by the hand and guiding him onto the ground with me. Ethan sat in my lap and started pushing back onto me hard.

I could hear him breathing quickly and loudly, almost like he was panting. It was clear to see this was a sensory issue of some kind, so I slowly began giving Ethan deep pressure massage on his shoulders and down his arms.

And, after about a minute Ethan’s giggles and breathing slowed right down and after about 4 minutes his body was limp, he was calm and he was requesting more squeezing…

When I think back to this day I wonder what would’ve happened if Ethan was just to run.

Would he have gone into meltdown?

Would he have been able to recognise his own needs?

Would he have known how to self-regulate?

How would you manage a meltdown of this kind?

You may face similar challenges with your child. If so, it’s vital to observe your child so you’re able to pick up on the subtle changes they show in their behaviour when experiencing a sensory overload.

Noticing this behaviour and managing it the right way will help you understand your child’s needs on a deeper level. And most importantly help them manage their needs and self-regulate – something many children with autism struggle with.

For more tips to help you manage your child’s behaviour and how to support them in understanding their own needs join the ‘Unlimited Autism Success Inner Circle’ where I share lots more ways you can do this, plus plenty more behaviour strategies to use at home with your child.

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