Autism is incredibly common, with about 1 in 59 children identified with having autism spectrum disorder. Are you wondering how to calm an autistic child so they feel more relaxed in a situation?
Explore the answer to this question so your child doesn’t have to suffer. Read on to discover how to help your child so they will feel calmer and not as upset in a stressful situation.
Causes of Meltdowns
A meltdown doesn’t mean your child is doing it for attention or to gain something such as a new toy. They can be experiencing sensory overload such as frustration or anxiety in a situation.
Some children can be upset by a change in their routine, while other children with autism aren’t impacted by this. The lighting at grocery stores, loud noises, or even strong odors can upset them.
While it can be difficult at times to know when a child will be upset by certain things and not upset, it’s important to notice any signs before a meltdown.
If you notice them making screeching sounds or self-harming behavior it’s important to calm them at that moment.
They could also show harmful or aggressive behavior toward others although this is rare, covering their eyes or ears, or compulsive behavior. Your child is trying to calm themselves by doing these behaviors or showing externally that they’re upset.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and looking for help, check out the leader in ABA therapy and ABA research for ideas and help with calming your child.
How to Calm an Autistic Child
Make sure to always strive to be communicative and empathetic with your child. Guide them gently during their meltdown making sure that they’re not hurting themselves or others.
This can be their way of expressing their emotions and sensory overload, so it’s vital to be empathetic toward their feelings. Always offer an escape from what’s upsetting them, especially if they’re easily overwhelmed.
See if there’s a place to retreat, such as the bedroom or going outside. You can also buy sensory toys that can help with their anxiety. There are a wide variety of toys out there that you can find for your child.
Teach them coping strategies when they’re calm so that they can use them when they’re upset. You can explore different ideas together to see what works best. Some different ideas are going for a walk outside or doing yoga.
Sometimes when a child is experiencing a meltdown, it’s best to give them space. They need time before they’re ready to re-engage. Don’t punish them or lock them in a room. Ensure that they’re safe where they are during their meltdown.
Learning How to Calm a Child With Autism
While it can sometimes be hard and overwhelming to know how to calm an autistic child, this guide can help you ensure you’re understanding why the meltdowns occur, warning signs, and how to help your child cope with a meltdown.
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