Not all individuals with ASD will experience a “meltdown” and instead may “shut down.”
It is very important you are familiar with each child’s triggers and responses.
- What is a Meltdown?
- 17 Common Causes of Meltdowns
- 7 Key Difference between Meltdown & Tantrum
- What to do with a Meltdown / Shutdown
A Meltdown is not a Tantrum
Recognising and managing meltdowns and tantrums is vital to support people with ASD. Every child with ASD will experience very individual symptoms that are unique to them. Not all individuals with ASD will experience a “meltdown” and instead may “shut down.” It is very important you are familiar with each child’s triggers and responses.
The book From Anxiety to Meltdown by Deborah Lipsky is full of insight, information, strategies and more. It will give you the keys to differentiating between a meltdown and tantrum, and more importantly how to deal with them effectively. Below are some great excerpts from the book.
“Meltdowns and catastrophic reactions are involuntary responses while tantrums are purposeful manipulations of behaviour to achieve an intended end result. Whereas meltdowns are an unconscious reaction, tantrums are a voluntary choice. Understanding the difference between a meltdown and tantrum is critical because the interventions are completely opposite, and using the wrong strategy will only worsen the situation in both cases.” (pg 108)
“Meltdowns are extreme emotional and/or behavioural responses to a stressful situation. They are always involuntary. Meltdowns come from prolonged exposure to sensory triggers or cognitive overload without a chance to get away from the overwhelming stimulation. Usually there will be signs of increasing frustration with accompanying anxiety that slowly starts to escalate if the situation is ignored. Catastrophic reactions on the other hand are explosive immediate involuntary reactions to something having gone off script or not according to plan. One moment the individual is content and the very next completely out of control with no forewarning of such an intense reaction.” (pg 112, 113)
What Causes a Meltdown? – 17 Causes …
1.Sudden abrupt changes (novel situations).
5.Being given too many choices at once.
6.Vague or unclear instructions and/or commands.
7.Being asked open ended questions that are too broad.
Easy read, Insightful, Practical and Strategies work! 5 Stars Rating from me.
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