Both children and adults with autism often display a co-occurring disorder of anxiety. Meltdown typically occur when an event triggers a reaction which can be due to a new or unfamiliar situation that is seen as a potential threat.
The following articles provide information on managing autistic meltdowns:
Published by:Different Brains Blog
Written by: Tim Goldstein
THE MELTDOWN BEGINS
I was at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz with my wife this past weekend. We were sitting down eating my all-time favorite junk amusement park food, funnel cake. To the side and a little behind me, I started to hear a disturbance. I turned and looked. It was a boy in the 7-9-year-old range with who I assumed to be his mom.
I missed the start of the meltdown which my wife saw from her side of the table. Another boy had come up to the boy making a disturbance and prepared to punch him in the face. My wife said the boy throwing the tantrum had that distinctive, scary 100% focused level of emotion on his face that she knows all too well from my meltdowns over the year. It is a look of every bit of energy being released in total rage.
The other boy left, and the young boy began verbal outbursts directed at his mom that packed all of his intensity into the words. I recognized this as it is a meltdown pattern I have struggled with. I listened in, it was obvious to me that he was having with I call the “straw that broke the camel’s back” type meltdown. This is one of two types of meltdowns and frequently the more troublesome as it appears to be completely out of line with the event that seemed to trigger it. Click here to read the rest of the story
Anxiety can be a masterful imposter. In children, it can sway away from the more typical avoidant, clingy behaviour and show itself as tantrums, meltdowns and aggression. As if anxiety wasn’t hard enough to deal with!
When children are under the influence of an anxious brain, their behaviour has nothing to do with wanting to push against the limits. They are often great kids who don’t want to do the wrong thing, but they are being driven by a brain in high alert.
If we could see what was happening in their heads when anxiety takes hold like this, their behaviour would make sense. We would want to scoop them up and take them away from the chaos of it all. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they should be getting a free pass on their unruly behaviour. Their angry behaviour makes sense, and it’s important to let them know this, but there will always be better choices they are capable of making. Click here to read the rest of the story
You enroll your autistic in a preschool soccer program and watch as your child wanders off while the other children happily kick the ball and run toward the goal.
You carefully dress your child up for Halloween to look like his favorite TV character, only to find that he can’t stay in the costume for more than two minutes without having a sensory Meltdown. Click here for the rest of the story.