Download e-book Managing Meltdowns: Using the S.C.A.R.E.D. Calming Technique With Children and Adults with Autism

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Often when a child begins to have a meltdown or becomes aggressive, parents appeal to reason in the hopes of stopping the behavior. Adding verbal input or commands adds to the cognitive load the child is experiencing and can amplify the crisis instead of de-escalate it. The strategy detailed in The Way to A offers a simple, logical, and systematic method that parents and teachers can use in times of crisis. The primary audience is ages 3 to 9, however the author offers modifications for older children. The Way to A teaches children that in difficult moments there are only two choices, A or B.

When a child chooses A, she takes a positive, appropriate, and non-aggressive approach to resolving a situation. When a child loses control and engages in a meltdown, she is choosing B. This book helps kids learn how to evaluate the consequences of choosing A or B and teaches problem-solving strategies to give kids the skills to choose A.

This approach helps kids develop an awareness of their feeling states and teaches them to consider the consequences of their choices.

Anxiety in children & teens with autism | Raising Children Network

The system is highly visual, reducing cognitive demands of processing spoken language. Summary: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy CBT approach—often recommended for individuals with ASD—offers the opportunity to bring awareness to thought patterns and behaviors that can be obstacles to functioning and to practice goal-directed strategies to alter them.

The What to Do When…. Series is a collection of individual workbooks that use a practical CBT approach to address a myriad of challenges that face kids with ASD and can be used at home or in professional settings. The series covers common challenges for kids on the spectrum, such as what to do when they experience anxiety and worry, OCD-related thoughts and behaviors, chronic negativity, challenges surrounding bedtime routines, anger management problems, and perfectionism, among others. Why we recommend this series: The workbooks in the series cover many common challenges and can be purchased individually to target specific areas of difficulty.

The author uses kid-friendly language, humorous explanations, fun games, simple strategies, and engaging exercises for practice to empower kids to overcome obstacles and recognize their own efficacy and independence. Four colors represent four zones of emotion and alertness e. Why we recommend this resource: This user-friendly curriculum teaches skills useful for anyone who struggles to regulate their emotion, attention, and behavior.

Many children struggle to identify their emotional states but can learn what the zones feel like and which feel better than others. The techniques for helping get to a more comfortable zone are lifelong skills. Log in. Events Events Calendar. Past Events. Services For Students. For Parents.

For Educators. Resources Abbreviations. Local Resources Professional Members Guide. Recreational Activities. Sensory-Friendly Activities.

When My Son With Autism Melts Down, Here’s What I Do

Summer Camp Guide. Recommended Reading Advocacy. Behavior Management. Executive Function. Life Skills. Social Cognition.


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MCPS Placements. Diploma-Bound Elementary Services. Non-Diploma Elementary Services. Diploma-Bound Secondary Services. Non-Diploma Secondary Services. IEP Guidance for Parents. IEP Abbreviations. Read Our Full Editorial Policy. Hi there. Maxine, it sounds like your son is having some regulation problems.

This is something an occupational therapist can help you work on. It sounds like you are waiting for an assessment which is a good route to take. She is 5 years old. She will be fine one minute, then if we stop her from doing something that could be dangerous, she gets really mad and tries to either hurt herself or others around her. She will eventually calm down, but it could happen again in an instant. Tonight, she only slept for maybe two hours and she woke up having a meltdown it took an hour and a half for her to calm down. Nothing my husband could do to soothe her. She seems to be becoming more violent and unpredictable as she gets older, she grabbed her brothers face the other day and really hurt him.

How can we intervene properly to help stop or lessen the violent behavior? Renee, it is always hard for me to comment on specific behavior because I have not been able to observe the complete context in which is occurs. Sometimes these unpredictable behaviors can occur because the environment and routines are unpredictable. Make sure consistent routines are in place and that you are addressing her sensory needs. She also needs to have a way to communicate that is effective — PECS, augmentative communication devices etc.

For example he starts crying and reapiting words or phrases in the morning. So nobody can says that he is sensory overloaded as soon as he woke up. The same behaviour can take place in the middle of the day … it;s all so complicated. He seems that he wants something but still is not clear. He seems to be angry, a bit agressive but he tries hard not to be and generally he looks like he is suffering.

He is semi verbal and after when i ask him why was he crying he says he is sad.. This crying and repeating words first thing in the morning can be a reaction to stress. Your son may not know what to do first thing in the morning. Try and help him by giving him a breakdown of what will happen in the first 10 minutes of his day. Take covers off, sit up, put feet on floor, stand up, etc. He may even feel discomfort with a full bladder first thing in the morning and not understand what the sensation is. Our children with autism have executive functioning problems.

This means it can be difficult to get the day organized and get moving. The only thing I can think of here is catatonia. There are two really good behavior books to have a look at. Maybe he does have autism — I am not sure. Challenging behavior can be managed but it has to understood first. It can be short or long. What do we do? I would have a look at the Low Arousal Approach www. Usually, we are the ones that are the triggers for this behavior without meaning to be. He is not in control of them. You will have to figure out what the triggers are and change those if you can.

For example, does he blow up when you start asking him to do a task before bedtime? Start to keep some notes on what has happened just before the outburst.

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He is more prone to these outbursts when a transition is happening? He is non verbal and think that is a big contributor to the meltdowns. I wonder if I should get him out more to help him adapt to different settings. Is it common for the meltdowns to decrease with age? Any advice?


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Elementary school children demonstrate the tantrum or meltdown behaviors and it is difficult to detect the difference. I often see reaction to NO….. To me this is a tantrum. Your thoughts?? My 9 year old grandson has meltdowns which are extremely violent but only occur at home. I regularly mind him, I have clear rules and expectations of ok behaviour and am able to stop him by telling him it is not acceptable in my home and limiting stimuli. His mother tells me it happens at home because he feels safe to let go there.

I believe that a lot can be achieved in managing the behaviours. I think that a lot of what occurs at home is that is now what they expect from him and he duly complies. She is a special ed teacher! I am a firm believer in something called the Low Arousal Approach. This is understanding when arousal mechanisms are becoming engaged and how to deescalate situations that can become triggers for challenging behavior. Usually, we are the ones playing the major role in triggering challenging behavior.

Deborah Lipsky

Limiting stimuli is key to lowering arousal states. Exercise is also a good stress manager. Clear expectations help as well as less talk when a meltdown may be building. My daughter exhibits withdrawal when overwhelmed or upset. Lipsky is on the spectrum — this book is a very good read.