Dealing with Meltdowns and Autism
Emotional self-regulation or the ability to adapt behavior when faced with situations that induce negative emotions is difficult for individuals who are diagnosed with Autism Disorder Spectrum (ASD).
This can be due to different factors, such as anxiety, communication difficulties, problems with sensations, and changes in routines, among other events.
Characterized by shouting, screaming, lashing out, kicking, crying and the loss of verbal and physical control, a meltdown is one of the most major ways that autistic people can express their intense feeling of being overwhelmed. And while these episodes can be expected, letting them continue without intervention may cause them to hurt themselves, their primary caregivers, and the people around them.
As your trusted autism service provider in Maryland, we’re providing you with ways you can take to help your loved one when they’re having a meltdown.
These are part of our protocol as well at American Caregivers, Inc., our home care agency in Silver Spring, Maryland.
- Give them time to recover from their sensory overload or whatever trigger there was.
- Calmly ask them if they’re okay and what they’re feeling at the moment.
- Be patient—it can take a while for the fog to clear out and for them to respond to you.
- Create a quiet, safe place as best as you can.
All these said, bear in mind that no two people on the spectrum will exhibit the same tendencies and that the best approach you can do is to anticipate and prevent a potential meltdown from pushing through.