Meltdown and Tantrums

We're all familiar with the meltdowns/tantrums of those on the Autistic Spectrum...varied though the behaviours may be, parents of those on the spectrum know exactly what a "meltdown" in their child looks like. Many can "feel" their children building to an inevitable outburst. Some tantrums are short-lived; others can continue for hours.
However, I was doing some research on YouTube the other day, and was horrified to find that there are quite a number of video clips of children having meltdowns. The fact that the video clips are on YouTube wasn't what horrified me. What horrified me was the "agitative" behaviours being displayed by the vaious parents/carers in the clips.... their behaviour (body language, tone, voice, words etc) was inflaming the situation and causing further distress for the child.
We all know that a meltdown occurs because our children are OVERLOADED - either with sensory input or emotions (that they don't understand). Adding to that torment, albeit unintentionally, just seems cruel.
There's only 4 rules parents/carers need to know for managing meltdown:-
1. Calm down - remain calm yourself - minimise eye contact - stay outside child's peripheral vision
2. Quiet down - don't speak unless absolutely necessary and use a quiet, calm tone
3. Slow down - don't worry about the clock - meltdowns usually happen at the most inconvient time
4. Allow space - keep others away from a tantruming child, and if you need to relocate the meltdown, simply wander off to where it needs to be - the child will usually follow. If the child runs away tail them at a distance - never chase them, as their "fight or flight" instinct is already at work.
Believe me when I say that no child would have a meltdown voluntarily or intentionally and they would stop them if they could. It's up to us (adults, parents, carers) to decode what the child is trying to communicate with their behaviour.



We all know the stress that accompanies meltdowns.
Great reminders for many of us and good advice to new parents!