What do you do when you child with autism has a meltdown? Do you know how to handle them without losing your hair? Do you know how to parent your child with love without turning him or her into a spoiled brat by always giving in in order to avoid an autism meltdown? If you are a parent who could use some help in learning how to deal with autism meltdowns without going crazy then keep on reading.
Yes I know autism meltdowns are awful. I remember having several when I was young and I’m sure they were really bad for my parents. One time in particular I cried on the kitchen floor for hours until I feel asleep because I refused to do the dishes because they were “yucky” and I didn’t like the feel of them. However, I survived and so did my parents. The reality is that like it or not, autism meltdowns are okay and in fact, if you always try to avoid them, you will end up with a brat for a child. Furthermore, what young child without autism doesn’t throw fits from time to time? None. All normal children have fits too.
That said, there are ways to limit and control meltdowns.
1. Teach your child that he or she will not always get everything he or she wants. Make sure that you don’t give in, no matter how hard it may be. Your child will learn over time that having a meltdown is not a solution to the problem.
2. Encourage your child to use words rather than over-reacting. This is even more important if your child is older and is verbal.
3. Establish a system with rewards for good behavior. Avoid overdoing it with bribery but know when to offer your child a reward for being good.
4. Know that many meltdowns are caused by sensory overload and as annoying as they are, they are a normal part of autism.
5. Find ways to stimulate your child’s senses. There are sensory toys and activities that can work well. Things such as balls, play dough, and silly putty can work well.
6. Consider using ear phones to help block out too much noise if loud noises are bothering your child and contributing to his or her sensory overload.
Keep working with your child slowly and you will over time watch the meltdowns happen less frequently.