7 Easy Steps To How To Help A Child With Autism Calm Down

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When I was growing up with Autism I had a lot of meltdowns.  Too many to even count. Today I am going to share with you how to help a child with autism calm down.

How to help a child with autism calm down

My Autism Meltdowns And Aggression Got Me Into Trouble

When I acted out in school I was sent to the nurses office to cool down.  I was either sent there or to the principal's office. In the nurse's office I was put in a room with only a bench.  The walls were white everything in the room was white except for the bench.

I was isolated off in a room in a nursing office.  I could still hear everything because it was close quarters.  This happen all the way up to beginning of high school. Looking back at those dark times in my life I wonder now if there were any other ways to calm me down.

When I was in high school when I had those meltdowns I just got sent outside the classroom or down to the principal's office where they called my mom.  Then I was grounded when I got home.

How To Deal With Autistic Meltdowns

When your son or daughter has an Autism meltdown do you know what to do? I wouldn’t recommend putting them in a room by themselves. Here are some alternative ideas that may help you.

boy resting his head against his arms

boy resting his head against his arms

  • Ask me why I am getting frustrated before it gets out of control: when I got frustrated I started getting out of control.  I don’t remember why but I wish someone asked me why I was getting frustrated before it got out of hand. When someone asks me what’s wrong I feel like they care about my well being.

bearded man having coffee in a coffee shop with a lady

bearded man having coffee in a coffee shop with a lady

  • Let me take a break: there are certain things that just overwhelm me to a point where I need to take a break.  Perhaps if I was able to take a break to clear my head during class, maybe I wouldn’t have behaved the way I did. I find this to help me when I am feeling frustrated when the bullies made fun of my autistic learning challenges.

Now that I am an adult I still take breaks before the next thing on my schedule.  It just gives me a transition period to go from one activity or event to the next.

women wearing an orange dress planning out her schedule in her calendar

women wearing an orange dress planning out her schedule in her calendar

  • Help me stay on a consistent schedule: During my time in middle school and in high school I personally was not on a consistent schedule.  There were some days where I would have art class as an elective, while other days I would have gym class. This changed during semesters which I didn’t quite understand. This really gets confusing for me with my autism.

In my opinion switching the electives up each semester was annoying to me because I don’t like change. Change has never been easy to me.

  • Help me figure out the triggers that get me frustrated: This goes back to the first idea which is ask me why I am getting frustrated.  Even if I don’t know why help me figure out what causes those triggers in the first place.

  • Listen to me when I talk before you try to interrupt me: I personally don’t like it when my parent’s, friends, other members of my family interrupts me.  However, when someone says excuse for one second I don’t mind.

mime wearing sunglasses leaning against another person

mime wearing sunglasses leaning against another person

  • Don’t make me guess on how you are feeling: Sometimes I have a difficult time telling when someone is getting annoyed at me.  However, I am getting better at reading the facial expression of people when they are angry, sad, happy, or excited.  But to make it easier for me please just tell me when you are not in a good mood.

women in a red shirt staring straight ahead

women in a red shirt staring straight ahead

  • Don’t ever tell me I don’t know how to show emotion or lack emotions: When people hurt themselves, they got great news, or a new promotion sometimes it takes me a minute or two to react.  

Just because I don’t react right away with the whole crowd or to your news if we are talking one one one.  Don’t assume I don’t know how to show emotions or lack emotions.

  • Have Patience with me: Perhaps someone might get frustrated with me when I don’t understand something right away.  I might need you to repeat something to me a few times before I understanding it.

Maybe the next time I do something wrong explain to me why it’s wrong.  I can’t tell you how much it frustrates me when people are not patient with me because I don’t understand something.

  • Don’t tell me to look you in the eyes: I personally don’t like looking people in the eyes because I don’t know how long I should hold eye contact with you.  Then I feel like I am staring at the person which then makes it feel creepy.

Even if I don’t make eye contact don’t assume I am not listening to you.  I just don’t want to be accused of staring at anyone and making them feel uncomfortable.

Amazing Autistic Meltdown Strategies

Follow these tips to help de-escalating sensory meltdowns in the future

  1. Come up with a signal - If your son or daughter is in a classroom environment or at home come up with a signal so that you know they are beginning to have a meltdown.

  2. Schedule in breaks - In my opinion the school days are long enough so why not schedule in breaks for the special needs classrooms for 10 min breaks?  Even when your kids are home let them take breaks before the next even or task.

  3. Keep calm and cool - I don’t know if you like to be yelled at by your boss at work?  But kids in general don’t like getting yelled at by their hot headed parents even the kids who have Autism.  Always remain calm and cool.

  4. Make sure you pay attention - Everyone likes when everyone pays attention to them when they are talking.  Even if it takes your son or daughter a few extra mins to finish a thought, don’t interrupt them.

  5. Setup a reward system - Everyone likes being rewarded, even at work.  It’s like when you get your promotion at your job.  When your son or daughter does something good setup a reward system.  

  6. Don’t overload their day - When I was in my teenager years I no longer let my mom set up doctor appointments for me.  Sometimes I had back to back appointments it was so unpleasant. So don’t overload your kids day.

  7. In case of a schedule change - On Sunday my mom told me she would be busy on Tuesday morning so she couldn’t help me with biology, so we rescheduled to the afternoon.  In case of a schedule change with your kids schedule tell them ahead of time. Perhaps a day or two before and not the day of.

I think the first one should be on the list on how to calm an autistic child list.


I hope you found these tips to be helpful and I hope for your sake that these tips will help your Autistic child to keep calm.  

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