What are Autistic Meltdowns? A brilliant explanation from Amythest Schaber in “Ask an Autistic”

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I used to dread going out.  I mean really dread.  Especially if it was something new or out of routine!  Because there would be the risk of a meltdown.

Most people in the autism community know what a meltdown is.  Our son’s meltdowns’ used to be horrific.  Screaming and crying for hours.  He has tried to kick the front door down on several occasions just because his mother went out without him.

Calming him down could take hours.  Much of which was attempts to distract him to some other activity such as Lego or an iPad.  Sometimes a giving him a squeeze would help.

That being said over the years things have slowly improved.  While his meltdowns still happen they have become less common.  It should be noted that he is starting to learn to go off by himself if thing get too much for him.

The objective of this blog is too create a discussion space where parents with autistic children and people with ASD can share strategies that have worked for them.

For outside observers it looks as though meltdowns are just childhood tantrums.  How many times have parents of autistic children read the minds of people watching their child’s meltdown and seen “bad parent” flashing like a beacon?

So what actually are the differences between an autistic meltdown and a tantrum?  I think there are a number and it is worth looking at them more closely:-

a)      Children who are having meltdowns are not interested in the reactions of those around them.  It is not an attention seeking activity.

b)      The child seems uninterested in their own safety.  Trying to kick down a door which has been bolted does not strike me as a great idea.

c)       The child seems to have lost the ability to find a way out of the meltdown.  They often cannot see an exit strategy themselves.

d)      Often the meltdown continues after the situation which prompted the meltdown has been sorted out.

e)      Typically during the meltdown the child makes no effort to communicate anything with those around them but their anger.

So how about you?

It would be great if you could use the comments box below to share your experiences with autistic meltdowns and your tips for making them stop.  It might be useful if you considered some of the following questions when making your comments.

1)      Can you describe a meltdown?  I would say typical but there is no such thing.

2)      How often do they occur?  Are they  more or less frequent ?

3)      What strategies have you employed to end meltdowns?  How successful were those strategies?

4)      Do you have any techniques you use to avoid meltdowns?

5)      When in public how do you deal with the reactions of passers-by?

6)      Is there one piece of advice about meltdowns it would be great to share with our readers.

Feel free to share any other aspect of your autism story with our readers.  It would be great if you could link to any resources you think would be of value to our readers and the ASD community in general.

Here are a few of the tips we were given

Describing a meltdown! It is like being having a bull running straight to you! When a 14 year old is having a meltdown because of her brother is leaving for school or her dad going to work. I know the reason why she has a meltdown even though she does not. She wants to go! She wants to shop! I do NOT believe that she has any kind control when or what happens. When it’s over she just sits in a corner crying and saying “I don’t know why” Most of the time I have to hold her down on her stomach – face down for her to stop. I have to do this or there is going to be a broken door from her head banging or a broken window. What’s worst then holding her down. Taking her to the ER. In public I have had people threaten and call our local child advocacy agency for accusation of abuse…..when the officer gets to the location they are apologizing to me…… I have had the police called many many times……..by the way there is nothing they can do. They are not allowed to touch any child.
For our 14 year there is no techniques to use……her brother has to go to school, dad has to go to work. Honesty, we had to start using medication to calm and help her control her reactions. NOT helping much. Both parents do now like that this is what I have to do.
My advice about meltdowns!!!!! EARLY EARLY intervention!!! Using pictures to show your children what is about to happen…..does not always work….teach your special child just like you would teach a “normal” child…but who is really normal??? DO NOT WAIT!!!

My daughter who is 7 also has problems with loud noises. We travel with headphones around her neck and she will now put them on as she needs them. This has helped with the bolting and meltdowns.

Hi there, my daughter is the same with sounds. I would recommend kidz ear defenders. They come in lots of colours and have matching carry bags too!!! She loves her bright pink ones and has decorated them with stickers too. She’s had them for over a year now and manages a lot better. She can even go to the cinemas with them on. The look I accomplishment on her face when she does something she wouldn’t be able to with out them brings a tear to my eyes every time. Hope this helps 🙂

1) Can you describe a meltdown? I would say typical but there is no such thing. When lets say a Lego falls and wont or stay in the line shes put it in..she immediatly drops to the floor kicking screaming destroying her lil tower or assmebly 🙁 even after i fix it.. she still mad.. so mad.. and crying..

2) How often do they occur? Are they more or less frequent ?Everyday about 3 times a day i dont even know at times what started them..she can hand me her toy and i grab it and then she just crys and goes into meltdown.. shes gonna be 3 latly they are getting more frequent..

3) What strategies have you employed to end meltdowns? How successful were those strategies?I find that talking to her doesnt help..fixing the problem dont help.. if i just let her do her fit..she will cry it out even if i were to pick her up she still arches her back etc..gets more mad

4) Do you have any techniques you use to avoid meltdowns? There is nothing i can do..shes so random at them i dont even know why somtimes she cant tell me shes only at 10 words but doesnt use them much just points and grunts..

5) When in public how do you deal with the reactions of passers-by? I just focus on her.. try not to let the looks of others get to me ..my focus is making her happy and what stops the meltdown is if i hand her my phone for her fav vids…

6) Is there one piece of advice about meltdowns it would be great to share with our readers. As they get older i hope that it will get better i hope that therapy will help with communication.. dont give up.. shes or hes is just as confused and upset

For my son who is now 20, we found that the duration, frequency and intensity of the meltdowns decreased significantly when we removed all casein from his diet at age 4. We didn’t see as dramatic improvements when we removed gluten and other foods, but for him the dairy products, sugar and junk foods, artificial food dyes and preservatives were really key. The thing that completely eradicated the meltdowns though was when we introduced Heilkunst, a form a sequential homeopathy when he was 8 years old. If you re interested in more information, feel free to email me privately at weizman@telus.net.

One of our visitors just lately proposed the following website.

jesslainie My son could be very aggressive, and break doors, etc. He was on clonidine for quite a while. He is on Seroquel XR,3X/day, Concerta, Prozac, but the thing that really seemed to make the difference in him was the addition of Klonopin. The recent studies have shown that it really makes a difference in the aggression, OCD behaviors, and social issues. I was not sure, but started my son on the low dose (0.5mg 3x/day) and it really made a HUGE difference in him! It was the FIRST thing to really make a difference. My son is 19, and his aggression was getting to the point where I ddn’t know if I could take much more, but it has really mad all of the difference in the world! I would consider it if I were you.

It gets better! Age 2-5 was the worst for meltdowns, bolting, potty
training, language, hitting/biting/pinching etc. unsocial, and then it
started to all come together. But with trying many things, did detox
twice, went to nathuropath and got heavy metals removed as he was off
the charts on the test i had done. Then tried to avoid adding more-no
vaccinations, no chemicals, eat organic. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. cant stress that enough. it costs 10% more to eat organic, as once you stop buying all the junk food, which includes dairy (the worst besides sugar for them, dairy associations funds the canada food guide otherwise it would be banned, it is not meant for human consumption and cows dont drink it to get calcium, they eat greens) and gluten for these guys you SAVE money. water is all you need ot drink. i saved so much money from eating healthy and home cooking. we only eat whet the rest do when we are out with the rest. It takes time to switch them over but it is sooo worth it. When my son is having problems, pain, struggles i tell him then that good food will help and he then wanted to try it and once trying 3-4 times he finally liked it. I snuck things in so he build the flavor awareness and then it worked better. But letting them know what is
happening each morning for the whole day and then prior to each
activity/transition what it will be like and look like-the visual part
is so important as they cant make pictures in their head from just the
verbal if they have never seen the situation, it is a blank screen then.
Drawing out and role playing what to expect, what to do is the best to
make them feel less anxiety and more prepared. Visual priming.
Then
language, the best help was the website http://www.starfall.com, he did it
hours a day. and not giving anything until he tried to used a words,
then two words, then the full sentence. bolting, well had to call the
cops a few times as lost him. but we again used visual charts and visual
stories for everything and always just before getting out of the car
going over what his expectations/rules are. then at home the rules are
written out and on the walls for everything. pictures with some. joined
every play group that would take him, special needs ones and then
eventual regualr ones with an aid and now he goes alone. To practice
social skills with just one other person for a year or two and coaching
the other child to hand in there and why he just him her and empowering
her to tell him how it makes her feel when he did that and rewarding her
for her being hsi friend still lol. had a couple of kids was able to do
this with and now they are still firends and they stick up for them in
school when they get bullied as they understand.
My son hated fireworks and balloons popping. By letting him pop his own balloons he got over that one. Fireworks we figured out we needed to close his right ear and he was Ok, now nothing is needed. Lots of exposure to all thing in a variety of ways where they have some control will help with the anxiety of the sensitivities.
Other websites i love: Julie Mathews for diet help, ARI for everything including free webinars.

jesslainie My son could be very aggressive, and break doors, etc. He was on clonidine for quite a while. He is on Seroquel XR,3X/day, Concerta, Prozac, but the thing that really seemed to make the difference in him was the addition of Klonopin. The recent studies have shown that it really makes a difference in the aggression, OCD behaviors, and social issues. I was not sure, but started my son on the low dose (0.5mg 3x/day) and it really made a HUGE difference in him! It was the FIRST thing to really make a difference. My son is 19, and his aggression was getting to the point where I ddn’t know if I could take much more, but it has really mad all of the difference in the world! I would consider it if I were you.

It gets better! Age 2-5 was the worst for meltdowns, bolting, potty
training, language, hitting/biting/pinching etc. unsocial, and then it
started to all come together. But with trying many things, did detox
twice, went to nathuropath and got heavy metals removed as he was off
the charts on the test i had done. Then tried to avoid adding more-no
vaccinations, no chemicals, eat organic. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. cant stress that enough. it costs 10% more to eat organic, as once you stop buying all the junk food, which includes dairy (the worst besides sugar for them, dairy associations funds the canada food guide otherwise it would be banned, it is not meant for human consumption and cows dont drink it to get calcium, they eat greens) and gluten for these guys you SAVE money. water is all you need ot drink. i saved so much money from eating healthy and home cooking. we only eat whet the rest do when we are out with the rest. It takes time to switch them over but it is sooo worth it. When my son is having problems, pain, struggles i tell him then that good food will help and he then wanted to try it and once trying 3-4 times he finally liked it. I snuck things in so he build the flavor awareness and then it worked better. But letting them know what is
happening each morning for the whole day and then prior to each
activity/transition what it will be like and look like-the visual part
is so important as they cant make pictures in their head from just the
verbal if they have never seen the situation, it is a blank screen then.
Drawing out and role playing what to expect, what to do is the best to
make them feel less anxiety and more prepared. Visual priming.
Then
language, the best help was the website http://www.starfall.com, he did it
hours a day. and not giving anything until he tried to used a words,
then two words, then the full sentence. bolting, well had to call the
cops a few times as lost him. but we again used visual charts and visual
stories for everything and always just before getting out of the car
going over what his expectations/rules are. then at home the rules are
written out and on the walls for everything. pictures with some. joined
every play group that would take him, special needs ones and then
eventual regualr ones with an aid and now he goes alone. To practice
social skills with just one other person for a year or two and coaching
the other child to hand in there and why he just him her and empowering
her to tell him how it makes her feel when he did that and rewarding her
for her being hsi friend still lol. had a couple of kids was able to do
this with and now they are still firends and they stick up for them in
school when they get bullied as they understand.
My son hated fireworks and balloons popping. By letting him pop his own balloons he got over that one. Fireworks we figured out we needed to close his right ear and he was Ok, now nothing is needed. Lots of exposure to all thing in a variety of ways where they have some control will help with the anxiety of the sensitivities.
Other websites i love: Julie Mathews for diet help, ARI for everything including free webinars.

It gets better! Age 2-5 was the worst for meltdowns, bolting, potty training, language, hitting/biting/pinching etc. unsocial, and then it started to all come together. But with trying many things, did detox twice, went to nathuropath and got heavy metals removed as he was off the charts on the test i had done. Then tried to avoid adding more-no vaccinations, no chemicals, eat organic.But letting them know what is happening each morning for the whole day and then prior to each activity/transition what it will be like and look like-the visual part is so important as they cant make pictures in their head from just the verbal if they have never seen the situation, it is a blank screen then. Drawing out and role playing what to expect, what to do is the best to make them feel less anxiety and more prepared. Visual priming.
Then language, the best help was the website http://www.starfall.com, he did it hours a day. and not giving anything until he tried to used a words, then two words, then the full sentence. bolting, well had to call the cops a few times as lost him. but we again used visual charts and visual stories for everything and always just before getting out of the car going over what his expectations/rules are. then at home the rules are written out and on the walls for everything. pictures with some. joined every play group that would take him, special needs ones and then eventual regualr ones with an aid and now he goes alone. To practice social skills with just one other person for a year or two and coaching the other child to hand in there and why he just him her and empowering her to tell him how it makes her feel when he did that and rewarding her for her being hsi friend still lol. had a couple of kids was able to do this with and now they are still firends and they stick up for them in school when they get bullied as they understand.
Other websites i love: Julie Mathews for diet help, ARI for everything including free webinars.

GisOlivarez Agreed. He was born with a tongue tie that went unnoticed until he was 2. So the sounds that he had learned to make were wrong. He had surgery to fix that, and went to a speech therapist afterward for several months (he quit benefiting so I quit making him go). He still has the delay and has a very hard time with making the correct letter sounds.

For example, he thinks that N and L have the same sounds, and that F has the same sound as TH. It makes it difficult, but we’re getting by. He still cannot read, but he’s excellent with math. He said he wanted to be an architect when he grows up. Yesterday that changed to him wanting to be a paleontologist.

Reading is a huge challenge for us. His dad and I both work with him, read to him, make him read to us. We work on sight words and flash cards. It doesn’t seem to do too much. He can tell you what’s happening based on the pictures, and usually have it correct.

Otherwise in communication he’s alright. I wouldn’t say he’s at the level of his peers, because he’s nowhere near it. But he can communicate in a circle of children and they will be able to understand him.

He does have a bit of a stutter when he speaks. It’s not like an actual speech impediment, rather it’s more along the lines that his brain is moving way too fast for his mouth, if that makes sense. Sometimes I have to stop him and tell him to find his words. He doesn’t make eye contact usually. I force him to when he’s in trouble. I make him look me in the eyes and talk to me about whatever he’s in trouble for.

Last year during school we had a lot of issues with aggression at school. That’s a super long story, but here’s the short version:

Enrolled him in a school that thought they could handle him. They didn’t realize how ‘bad off’ he was until a couple of months in. They got in my corner and fought for his IEP and relocation to a school that was better equipped. Got him moved, but too late. He’ll have to repeat kindergarten because he wasn’t in the correct environment long enough to really benefit from it.

I say that to say this: His communication and interaction got much better once he was moved into an ESE classroom with other Autistic children. He started out in a mainstream class and was so frustrated – daily – that he just regressed. He started wetting himself again, hitting other students who didn’t want to play with him, screaming at people, etc.

Well no wonder ‘normal’ kids didn’t want to play with him. He was violent and sounded ridiculous when he spoke. Because they didn’t understand. He’s on a completely different level than them. I would be a bad parent if I expected other people’s kids to buck up and treat my son as if he’s not different… because he is.

Now that he’s in the ESE program, with a much smaller class, with more teachers, and only Autistic classmates, he’s much better off. He made a friend last school year. He actually was able to communicate enough to make a real friend. I cried when he came home and told me about Timmy and how he was so funny and really nice and on and on and on. I cried. Like a baby.

My point is that it seems the communication gets much better when the environment is suited to the child, if that makes sense. Yes, my son can communicate with me, but I’m his mom. I could understand him just by looking at him. He still can’t communicate with my family, who he’s been around since birth. He couldn’t communicate in a classroom of normal children, but he was able to communicate enough in the new school to actually build a relationship with someone.

The environment was suited to him and his needs.

Hope that helps.

How old is ur son and how are his comunication skills, like language and comprehention? I have custody of my lil niece. She is 5yrs old and her scum bag parents couldnt handle her “behavior” so CPS took her away from them and ive had her for 7mnths now, her autism level is mild but the meltdowns are the same as ur son’s. I ask you about language and comprehention cuz my niece is also ADHD and has the mind of a lil 2 yr old. Talks on third person and her language is very limited.. Only I can seem to handle her, she only wants me for absolutely everything. People tell me that its cuz she is spoiled. I know she is not spoiled cuz I treat her just like I treat my own children. I just wish people could understand that Autism is real and this kids are special therefore need special treatment.

diamante67 coombebryan KelbiBrown My daughter who is 9 has autism and we have several meltdowns most days. I find that it is when she feels out of control that she starts to meltdown. Even over something so simple as not having the tv remote by her side. It is true if you can walk out the room or send the child to a cooling off place the meltdown ends quicker. It seems when people are around trying to help or diffuse the situation, it just adds more fuel to the fire and so the meltdown goes on and on for what seems like forever. Most autistics are more comfortable in general on their own, in their own space. If you can put them in their own space during a meltdown it definitely makes a difference on how long the meltdown lasts. For a younger child that you can lift, maybe you can carry them to their own room. My daughter is too big and heavy for this now so we tend to walk out the room to leave her to calm down. The last thing a child wants when it is melting down is people trying to fuss or give explanations or reasoning when they are already having a sensory overload. Meltdowns are not a way of getting attention, they are a form of expression. Your child might not be able to say or explain how they feel. They may not even understand how they are feeling themselves. A meltdown is merely a way of communicating this to others. If you can realise what it is that brings on a meltdown, you can take steps to try and avoid them. A simple one for us is our daughter sometimes wants a drink just right there and then, there is no waiting cos she thinks she is choking or going to die of thirst or similar (dramatic I know), to avoid a meltdown of this type we carry a drink with us every where we go. I find if if your child knows what is the order of the day (whatever day that may be), there are less meltdowns. Make sure they know if it is school and what may be happening that day if anything is different to the norm. What is for tea that day and what time is tea. All these sorts of things although they seem trivial to us are important to autistic kids as they feel safe when they know what is happening or what is about to happen. When they start to worry what might happen or they don’t know what to expect then meltdowns can occur. Hope this is of some help. 🙂

jesslainie My son used to get very aggressive like that. It’s not nearly as bad, and thankfully I’ve always been enough to pin him down until we found some manner of control. William still head butts, tries to scratch (I developed the habit of trimming his nails down so short that he can’t), has the affinity for wild hay-makers to his dad’s stomach, and has been sent home a LOT for aggression at school.

My biggest thing (that I expressed to several professionals) was this: I can handle him. I can hold him down. I can put a leash on him, get a handle on him (completely figurative, by the way), etc. I’m an adult. However, what can my son do to a child his own size? My son, who is a great deal stronger than he should be, who carried a concrete block across the yard at 15 months and has only gotten stronger, is more than capable of causing someone his own size some serious damage.

Here’s where I got selfish. I don’t want my child’s actions pinned on me like that. I don’t want to be held responsible for my child tearing another child apart like that. That’s when I finally got my son medicated.

The Clonodine worked pretty well, but so far, the Adderall is what’s best for him. We went through Ritalin, Clonodine, Tenex, (forgot the other one), and finally to the Adderall. Mind you, my son will be 6 next month. He’s just a little guy.

I wouldn’t know what to advise without seeing him and how he acts in his environment. Sometimes its easier for someone to see triggers that you might not see. That’s how I figured out about my son and the noise issue.

There’s got to be some way for it to get better, and I hope you find it. Good luck.

My son’s meltdowns seem directly related to ‘people’ noise and social situations. He’s fine at home, in his own space, with his own things, and with familiar noise. However, taking him out in public results in meltdowns (sometimes) and absolute belligerence (all the time). It’s embarrassing. I try not to make eye contact with anyone. I simply don’t feel like explaining it to them or apologizing on behalf of my child. I have bigger things to worry about; like my child.

William is a runner. So out in public he has to be attached to an adult at all time. Either me or his dad have to hold his hand so that he has something concrete to keep him centered.

In places where there is lots of noise, it’s bad. It’s so bad that we rarely leave the house. Now, my son can handle loud noises. Music, the tv, sirens from firetrucks and ambulances (we live very close to a major highway)… He cannot handle the noises of people. Birthday parties are torture. Any type of gathering generally results in us having to leave early because he can’t handle it. He’ll throw himself down and start screaming. It’s very frustrating.

What I’ve done is made sure that he has his own space to come back to. No matter where we are or what we’re doing, I keep him up on how long before we get back home and he can be in his room. Counting down helps. If he can tell that it’s getting closer to time each time that he asks, it does help.

To date, though, it seems I’m the only one that can work him through a meltdown. So he might have some apron string issues, also. We’re never really apart.

His diet is sketchy. He’s super picky, and honestly I can’t afford to put him on a special diet. :/ Add it to the list of bad parenting, I guess. He eats what other children eats. We fight over vegetables and him sneaking any kind of junk food. His favorite is jelly or jam from the fridge. He’s strange like that.

I try to make sure that he eats well rounded and that he’s always comfortable in his own space. Going out is really difficult, and as a result, we don’t go out much. At least not unless I have adult backup to help me out.

Guess this hasn’t helped much… It’s still nice to share, I guess.

bliffy klshail Hi Pat, I am not a Doctor but read a lot on Autism and soon hope to have a job teaching children with Autism. I would try to give her a Probiotic. I posted a link below that will give more information on Probiotics. Hope this helps!

http://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/autisms-gut-brain-connection/4712.article#.U10MEvZub6o.gmail

anyone can tell you it is very hard to live with someone with ASD I didn’t know what it was till my son was dx now he is 15 he still had meltdown but fill bad when he dose. sometime the police get called the people around us are concerned about me and my father whom is on in years wonders if I am okay. The police don’t want to deal with it here because as I was quoted by a officer “they don’t want to show up in the news papers” so that leaves me at a loss? My son is 15 he is bigger them most men at 340 lb and I don’t want to see him get hurt but I don’t want to get hurt myself . I would give my left hand if I could find someone that can us teach behavioral action for my son I am in nursing school and don’t have a lot of money I just want to make sure my son has a chance of a good future without doing something that could hurt his future. He is a very smart child or a good head on his shoulders when he wants to use it!
It is getting to the point that if we don’t give him what he wants he will have a meltdown break things in the house. I refuse to bend, I believe If he dose good he gets good, but sometimes that don’t work, He is to big to put on time out, and trys to push my around, I sometimes think that the police are waiting for my son to kill me to understand what I am going through. Some of the doctors I talk to are not very informed on ASD or are more concerned about making the ten years or how much money I don’t make I did finally have a doctor guess his way to find out my son is bi-poloer after six or seven doctors one did hit part of the problem on the head my son is up for days with-out his meds and there are days he will refuse to take his meds and we have to start all over again, getting the med on board to take affect then I can talk to him and get my son to look at life better then before and understand he can do the things he wants if he puts his mind to it and that includes watching what he eats and going on walks with me or to the gym (only if he has his med on board) “the crowd I understand” My son loves to fly and go to the airport… he would go there everyday if I let him and that is one of our treats for him to go watch the planes take off and land I have even got to the point that if I see a piolet or first officer in the airport I will talk to them and ask if they could talk to my son, you would think my son just met the President ,someone famous if I say the wrong thing my son just dies over what I said? I guess that is the teen in him?
But , anyway I just want to make sure I can find the help my son needs to have a good future and become a productive man before I die thank Olivia

Thanks everyone, one technique I do use is to get him into his room and push him back onto his bed, and then when he gets back up to come at me again, I push him back onto his bed…after awhile he is too tired to really put any effort into aggressing. It doesn’t work every time though. As for his diet, he is GF/CF/SF. We have had a looong battle with food. He eats raw carrots, apples, bananas, blueberries, applesauce and G/F bread and that is it. No additives, food dyes, preservatives so I don’t think anything related to food is an issue, but who knows sometimes right?

bliffy KeyojesslainieHi bliffy, sounds like she has Pika behaviors with the eating anything-so does my brother. I beleive the gut brain connection is very important to study and try and heal both. The gut via GAPS diet to start then can move into GFCF with the Feingold diet. Its hard when all they seem to enjoy is the eating and then you take it away. But i think the food feed the bad bacterias/parasites etc like an addiction and they craves certain foods to keep it alive (yeast,startch, SUGAR), and it takes 6-9 months of harsh high end probiotics (possibly one strand or a multi strand or a mix of 10 billion to 100 billion twice a day) to kill them all off while avoiding adding more of the foods to irritate and inflame it, causing inflammation to the gut and brain and whole body. Then good omega 3 fish/cod liver, and coconut oil (goes through the brain barrier) daily for the brain repair and hyperactivity. The medical field will not help you with this at all, you need to go to a nathropath and have tests specifically for each person to see what is lacking or has inflammation/overgrowth etc. “Autism panel” via great plains or another place. about 1,000.00 but worth it.

Diet restriction in 2-4 weeks should show some progress (not the first week as it may increase a bit while the bodys fight to hold on to the addiction). Julie Mathews website is good, ARI (Autism Research Institute) a must for all.I was told by a Dr who is a top allergist in my city who worked at the children’s hospital for sick kids in Toronto that all these kids need to go on a GFCF/Feingold diet.They are all sensitive to these foods and they just irritate and inflame them more.You need to heal the body and he said why do we insist on having to feed a variety of food to ourselves. Just eat 3-5 same foods everyday for a few weeks and see how much better you feel and behave. Like organic brown rice, organic turkey and the broth from the bones and leafy greens-no dressing crap.
For exercise and calmness in my small place i got the mini trampoline and also put a couple of secure heavy hooks in the ceiling (just cover with plaster or sticky wall tape when you move) and attach a swing, jumbo tire tube, Velcro blanket with hoops to make a pouch like cocoon enclosure, all to swing back and forth which seems to be the most calming to the body and help with the 6th and 7th senses they need stimulating.
Keep up the soft kind voices, singing melodies, firm loving squishes and hope as you continue to advocate and research and keep your chin up and forget about what other people may say or look-no time for your efforts into that as they wont understand until it is their time to. Love to all you mothers/fathers and grandparents and siblings and children XOXO

jesslainie Does you lad have learning difficulties? our little ‘un is on rispredone twice a day, but is not really making much of an effect, we have her while her mum is ill, she is suffering from nervous exhaustion, and out g.daughter is to go into 3 months foster care to give her mum a chance to get on her feet. Please don’t send me un-positive feedback (not meaning you) it does not help and you don’t know all the circumstances, we love this child very much and are doing our very best as it si, without criticism (not meaning you) just wanted to post this online thanks for you post

Keyo jesslainie She puts all emotion into her food, and is continually asking for food, even when she is eating! She does eat a lot of sweet things but will eat almost anything, except rice pudding for some reason. She will eat grass, leaves, dirt etc. you have to watch her all the time, can’t let her out as we live in flat, she is afraid of dogs and seagulls and birds, so limited to how we can take her out honestly we are limited with how we can tire her out. Small flat and she is bored out of her skull!

lancashirelass Thanks! I just want to say thanks. Having ASD myself, I know what it’s like and I’d like to thank you for working with your daughter. It truly takes an amazing, caring, strong people to look after us and we truly do appreciate anyone who does and shows us love in a non-loving world. Just remember, you and your child are the only ones who truly know what’s going on. It’s very easy to open mouths and point fingers when they don’t understand what you go through, just remember that, when she has a meltdown AND most importantly, remember that she loves you very much.

jesslainie I’ve experienced and continue to experience my own meltdowns. I strongly believe what effects my behavior and makes it more difficult for me to make the right decisions, is sugar and food coloring. I find that red’s and blue’s tend to have more of an adverse effect. Also, see if there are any ways of tiring him out, hence not having as much energy to put into his meltdowns.

lancashirelass you are to be commended, I think you are doing a great job, I m in the process of trying to find which noises sets my g.daughter off, as she is only about ‘5; in her head she can not always let us know what she wants, and this causes meltdowns on it’s own, Like your child she has a great sense of humour, and many times likes to be cuddled and kissed and talked to telling her she is a good girl, with a pretty face and pretty hair, but saying that she is as strong as an ox, and can get the better of me and her g.dad.Every day we are scratched bitten pinched and hit, and our arms look like the war wounded lol. we are older now and it is getting really hard. We love her to bits, and we are not denigrating how others cope, just wanting some ideas on how to cope Patxx

My name is Jessica and my son has been diagnosed with severe autism, he is 12 and 130lbs. Pretty much non-verbal, still in diapers He is very violent, a lot of the time out of the blue. It’s not just frustration. He TRIES to hurt me. I am covered in scars, my hands, my legs and my face. He will chase me, corner me and when I have tried to put an object between us he goes for my face. I have closed a door between us and he has broken 2 of them trying to get to me. When his dad was living with us sometimes he would be the target, which was better because he is 6’3″ and can pin him down easier. I know that sounds bad but there is nothing else to do. He bites, head butts, scratched, kicks and is very strong. It’s just me with him now and it’s getting really hard. He has intensive 5 day a week 2-1 ABA therapy, school 3 days a week but usually gets sent home for aggression. He is in his own room at school because of behaviours. We are involved with several top behaviourists, dietitians, medical doctors, psychiatrists. Have tried ALOT of different meds. Currently on Clonidine 3x daily and Seroquil PRNs. I don’t know what to do next? I have taken him to the US to see drs. I have had him hospitalised at BC childrens hospital because it had gotten so bad. Any advice?

My daughter has meltdowns most days. She either hits, punches, screams spits and is “oblivious” to her surroundings. Sometimes I know what the trigger is, too noisy over stimulated,but sometimes I have no idea what causes it. This really has a detrimental effect on family life. Going anywhere is a nightmare, I try to prepare her the best I can but I do feel for her elder sister who is 10, she gets the brunt of these meltdowns its like my ASD daughter is “obsessed” with her sister yet on the other hand uses her as a punch bag.

I used to “mouth off” at people when they would stare or come out with comments such as “what a spoilt brat” or “she needs a good hiding”, now all my energies goes into my daughter to try and make her safe when she is meltdowning.

I do find it hard as I live in Swansea and all my family are “up North” and Ive not long lost me mum plus my dad is ill too, but I know there are people out there alot worse than me and u just carry on.

When the kids are in bed yes I do cry and think “why me” but in all honesty I would not change my ASD daughter for the world she is who she is. She can also be fun, loving, great sense of humour, has a photographic memory and a brilliant imagination.

klshail HI my Granddaughter is age 10 but a mental age of about 5 with severe autism, she bites and scratches us hits and kicks us, at the moment we are looking after her because her mother is suffering nervous exhaustion and she can’t cope any more, we are finding it very hard coping, she is to go into 3 months respite care with a foster family, none of us are happy with this, but know unless we all have a rest, we will not be able to function. I am 65 and her G.dad is 70. The cpn has assessed my daughter, and she may need to go into hospital. The mental health people say that the social services has let my daughter down badly, and she should not have been allowed to get into such a state. Whenever my GD has a meltdown ,we end up bruised and bloodied. Trying to get her to calm down. If we just leave her she breaks whatever she can get her hands on, plus bites herself, pulls her hair out, and hits and scratches herself. Anybody out there know how to cope with situation, we are at out wits end, and are just coping on a day to day basis Pat

My little guy has “melt downs” pretty frequently. This has a lot to do with change of routine. He is almost five and during these moments his most common reaction is to lash out in some way either by punches, kicks, head butts, or more recently spitting.
We try to stick to routine as much as possible and although this is not always easy with a family of five it is the best way for us to avoid the situation.
We have many ways of distracting him sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. He has a favorite book “over in the meadow” and if he lets me get close enough to him I recite it to him directly in his ear. He usually won’t take to cuddles but a weighted blanket or toy helps. We also have been working with relaxation techniques with him during the good parts of the day. I highly recommend jelly belly and spaghetti toes. The more he practices these when he is calm the easier it is for him to draw upon them when he feels stressed.
As for peoples reactions, as hard as it is I try to just ignore them. They don’t know the whole situation and unless a comment is made directly to me I just let them think what they will. Those close to us know how hard it can be and know we are doing the best we can as parents. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter to me.

JohnHogg bliffyyes people next door are banging on wall, and my daughter having to move, I think people are heartless at times, she can’t help jumping and as you say the scream that would stop traffic!

JohnHogg Thanks John, can relate to this, as our g.daughter goes rigid and tenses up sweats, and lashes out scratching biting, herself and us. Her heart beats like mad, and I think of all the adrenaline coursing round her body. She is as strong as an ox, and it takes myself and Husband have to hold her wrists to stop the hurting of herself and us, I am always frightened that we will bruise her wrists she is so strong. Must be some help out there, my daughter is on her own too

bliffy feel for you, guy downstairs complained about noise my wee boy makes…. yeah the same guy who used to wake him up 1-2 times a week with party’s and loud music (even after knowing if he woke him up we’d be up for whole rest of night)…. Aye well you can go and do one as you never gave a crap about him when he was a baby-toddler and still banged once i explained i can’t do anything to stop him jumping. acht well new house soon 😉

My wee one has full on meltdowns, he is coming up to 4 and hasn’t really lashed out at others yet but they are getting worse.
He screams the loudest, blood curdling, scream you’ve heard… every muscle in his body is made totally rigid to massive extreme, so much so he arches his back massively (to give you an idea how bad… he attended a child development centre twice a week and they insisted i take him to doc as it was pain.. when i told them it was behavioural i was told they had dealt with disabled kids for 20years and assured me it wasn’t (so next time he did that i went to centre, he shut up like a switch, hugged me for a min, and popped off to get his lunch – that was 4 staff who deal with disabled and kids with mental illnesses day in day out a lot of them autistic and said they had never seen anything like it and only believed it when i showed them – they were less often and a lot easier to calm then as well).
It doesn’t really solve it… i just have to hold him in tight which sometimes makes it worse to start with but without doubt shortens the length of the meltdown massively… sometimes i think the getting worse for a short period lets him cry out a lot of excess emotional and physical energy quicker and why it calms him quicker (almost in same way a severely over tiered bairn has to have a good old cry and scream before they’ll settle for a proper sleep).

PrincessMufasa oh sorry about this, at least you can laugh a bit, our g.daughter wont even let us brush her hair, and I keep asking her mum to get it cut short lol

bliffy here again, my daughter has experienced 2 lots of hate crime also, she is moving again beacause the people next door are banging on the wall all the time, because her daughter screams and jumps all the time, she is despainging and we don’t know what to do

hi, my granddaughter is 10 with severe learning difficulties, and severe autism, she is on respiridone to help with her aggression and meltdowns, not making much difference though. She scratches and bites and pulls her hair out, to us also, her mum is at the end of her tether, and my husband and I are elderly, and finding it very hard to cope, we help our daughter as much as we can, but it is becoming harder and harder, we don’t know what to do any more, she has 4 days respite care a month but this is no where near enough, can anyone help please?

Oh
boy, I sure feel for you as I experienced this to a point when my son was 2-5
and with lots of therapy (DIR Floortime really good-can take courses online as
well, ABA, various professionals trained in Autism) for the whole family to learn together best
ways and a clean diet of basic organic foods and superfoods (also GFCF plus
Feingold diet) to reduce chances of food irritations hurting the body more (and
reduce use of all chemicals on clothes/personal body products/bedsheets/air
fresheners etc) and get autism testing’s from a naturopath to help with what
may be blocked and lacking (needs specific supplements) and needing detoxing to
remove toxin build up in the brain (brains can heal in one year) and taking 1 tsp of good quality fish oil daily and 1 TBSP with each meal of coconut oil, also the gut
needs healing thus the food putting in is vital and healing with high dosages
of quality multi strain Probiotics for a couple of years, also a good
chiropractor may help for the spine and central nervous system. I did all of
this and we have very good results now. It seemed hard a first to make the
adjustments and find the right people to help but taking constant baby steps forward
with a positive belief and using the internet resources paid off. As he is at
huge risk of abuse from someone who sees his behavior as intentional!
I
asked one of my therapist, a PT/OT trained in DIR Floortime what to do? Her
first thought is to try and capture on videotape a few episodes of the boy’s
transition from calm to meltdown. Then, when the house is quiet and mom can
gather her full attention, watch the tapes, looking for any triggers and trying
to notice when his emotional state starts to change. The boy’s emotional cues
may be so subtle and not discernible when the family is “in the
moment”. His meltdown is an emotional response to something, an
event he doesn’t understand that makes him anxious, or some kind of sensory
trigger. Also,
what seems likely is that the boy has sensory processing difficulties and
we know this leads to emotional processing difficulties. So, even though he’s
been enjoying play and hugs, he’s ok 1 minute, but quickly escalating on the
inside to an unmanageable and this scary level of emotions because of his
poorly processed sensations. At that point, he can’t problem solve or figure
out an appropriate solution, so how he then behaves is the way he has learned
from past experience will get another person to join in and take over managing his
emotional state which has become too much for him. If this seems to fit, this
would be a sensory processing delay that is causing an emotional modulation
problem. Emotional modulation problems have their origins in sensory modulation
difficulties. If the boy’s sensory systems can improve their capacity to
process sensory information, then his system won’t suddenly reach its breaking
point from too much sensory input that gets all backed up. Of course,
improvement requires a graded daily sensory diet over a good period of time. At
the same time a good sensory diet will help the boy’s nervous system learn how
to integrate all the different types of sensory information he is experiencing
which will help him make sense of his world. It takes a long time for a busy
parent to learn about this then more time to provide what’s needed. I hope this
somehow may help.

My brother is 9 and still doesn’t speak. He has awful awful meltdowns and we never know why. He loves to play and hug but sometimes while we are playing he would suddenly lash out and hit me or my parents. Other times he is eating and suddenly starts throwing food and screaming. He never really hurts himself but always hits anyone around him, especially a child smaller than him. What can we do to calm him down? We can never get too close to him because he hits really hard and speaking to him makes his screams worse. We tried ignoring him which sometimes makes these meltdowns shorter but its still a huge problem because then he rips/breaks/throws objects around him. My mother is usually the best one to calm him but she usually does this by either sitting him down next to her until he calms down or she locks herself and him in her room until he at least stops hitting. Is there anything else we can do?

Hi , My name is Norman , I have Autism to i have Asperger’s , but it hard for me to understand some things at times so friends of mine help me out , but when they see my getting frustrated it’s time for a break . I start calming down then my friends ask me am i ok and I say yes .

diamante67 coombebryan KelbiBrown I don’t know who wrote that research but they haven’t taken into account the fact that if you give unwanted behaviors too much attention you are actually ‘feeding’ those behaviours. Regardless of whether the child is seeking attention initially or not, only a fool would make a massive fuss of something they didn’t want to happen again, our kids are not stupid and will simply manipulate the situation.

coombebryan KelbiBrown I am genuinely confused – the article above states that when the child is in meltdown mode he/she is not seeking attention. Why would not giving attention help if this is not what the child is after? There is an ongoing debate with the school’s behaviorist on this and this is why I would like to understand this better.

sandraweeks TrinaWrayWallerPrincessMufasa there is a comb that has a blade built in that is sold at walgreens made by conair that it is like combing his hair for a haircut…there is no noise or cutting sounds and it has 2 different length sides to it

KenaMaeLuHosford label to him what you think he is feeling and why and label what his body is doing, this all lets him know you see what is going on with him. Oh my, you look very upset, your body is shaking, your fists are clenched, your screaming very loud, your face is turning red, your body is shaking, (all you see). I sure hope you can calm down soon, take deep breaths and try and relax. I do feel scared and my ears hurt so i will leave and go in the other room. Then as long as he is safe tell him this makes you uncomfortable and leave the area. Even take a picture or video of him. So after when he stops, as leaving will tend to shorten the time once he becomes aware no one is watching.Then you can go over what all happened. What triggered it and what did he do, show him the pictures, and what can he do next time so it does not happen in the first place or if it does what to do better to deal with it. Then role play it out the right way so he has the pictures and action in head ready to use. Over time with more practice to avoid the triggers and tools for solutions to the problems, the amount, length and intensity will decrease. make him do the work, rescuing will only drag it out. Same when they want something, not to get it if asked inappropriate or via a cry (must point, take your hand, try and pronounce the first letters/words of the item, say thank you after when older etc), reward all proper ways only or you will both not win in the end. This age you can more easily teach brain flexibility (big key for when they are older to learn now) to adapt to sudden change and finding many solutions. try and detox the brain, feed only healthy food and drinks, no sugar anything for sure, ween off the cheese/cows milk and bread and push raw vegetables, nuts, seeds etc. BEST TRICK: Giving an (organic) veggy tray in the car everyday on their lap driving anywhere, (especially when hungry of course and even when we are on the way to a fast food place because we are on the run) my son will eat a huge amount due to boredom or what have you with only saying eat this.

hotdiva37 I recommend that you read wrightslaw.com re: special ed issues. The website has a wealth of information. If possible attend one of their advocacy workshops. I have attended one, and plan to attend again this year to refresh. I have learned a lot in my journey fighting for my son. School districts sometimes aren’t as knowledgeable in special ed law as they think they might be, or they hope that you aren’t…

I’m not sure how much you have learned already, my son was finally diagnosed last spring. Since then we have started OT a couple of times per week to deal with the sensory processing issues. Also, if he isn’t already in speech, have him tested by a SLP. My son is extremely verbal, which was misleading, he lacked pragmatic and recipricol speech. He still has meltdowns but not as severe, because we have learned some of the sensory triggers for him, and strategies to help. With speech he is learning to communicate his frustrations more, also resulting in less meltdowns. Also, look in to ABA therapy, it has been helpful for my son too.

sondrajo YES! “Priming” them was extremely helpful for us.We all want to know what to expect when we go to places, even more I imagine when you are less in the know and sensitive to light, sound, touch, smell, vibrations etc. That is like be irritated or under the weather all the time and trying to stay focused and positive to all the newness when you are even more bombarded by the environment. As many of them are mainly visual learners, to first visually prime (as the verbal can mean nothing if done first as they often think in pictures like if you google a word you get a bunch of images it has stored, and if no past pictures to pull up then it is a blank screen), so with pictures, story books-make your own specific to them with there faces and surroundings in it even, written words, role playing it out so they can act how you want-and then verbally prime, AND then visually (if you can) and verbally primed right before you enter again.As them being primed right before each new thing or same thing they can recall from if it requires puts it in their forefront. Then giving motivational rewards along the way or if they can sustain that long at the end for following through along with lots of praise, but visual reward may be required.

I have 9 year-old daughter that is autistic and melt downs are the worst. I took her to my son’s graduation 3 years ago and she freaked so bad that she broke my dads glasses and was kicking and hitting everyone around us (not intentionately just trying to get away from the noise) so I had to leave and take her outside. Now before I take her anywhere I explain to her where we are going who is going to be there and how loud it will be. It usually helps if she knows what to expect.

I don’t doubt he hears the cutting; I can hear it when I get my hair cut and it’s 2 feet from my ears. Lol perhaps you meant to say feel? If so, this may stem from how we “teach” them to feel things and the association of the word “cut”. To a child, this directly means “ouch”. So while we logically know getting a hair cut doesn’t hurt, they have learned that getting anything “cut” hurts. Try using a different word when referring to hair, nails, etc. Like getting a hair “trim”. That word doesn’t hurt. As for the penis-touching, I think that probably has less to do with autism and more to do with being male. Lol the challenge with the autism is going to be teaching what is socially acceptable. Good luck on that. Lol

TrinaWrayWaller PrincessMufasa good tip, we need a book of all these! He does not touch their but he is a big penis toucher./squeezer. Tried to give fidget toys but it feels good to touch he claims lol. So we did the whole visual chart on touching privates when and where but he is still so automatic to it, need to do a heavy duty chart with consequences/rewards that i am on top of i think as this usually will work if i have the right motivators. For his haircut he claims he hears the cutting and will say ouch even?? But runs wild away each snip. He also says he is colder after a cut, so I we leave the back bottom longer in the winter.

PrincessMufasa Does your son often play with his hair? Perhaps the reason for his haircut meltdowns have more to do with his hair being a comfort for him? This is true for my son. When he is upset, tired, confused, scared, etc., he plays with his hair. We’ve learned this is like a security blanket for him. He has to be able to intertwine his fingers in it, otherwise he can’t calm himself and becomes more worked up. So now, when we get his hair cut, we always make sure that the part that he plays with the most remains long enough for him to comfort himself with. This doesn’t eliminate the meltdowns during the cut, but he is still able to soothe himself afterwards so there is no lingering issues. Just a thought.

KelbiBrown I know it’s difficult, but you really must stop giving too much attention to these behaviours, try walking out of the room and ignoring completely, hard but well worth it, my daughter started to self harm and internally I was screaming ‘stop’ and crying, externally I walked away without blinking an eye, she only did it twice.

PrincessMufasa Try cutting a minute piece of his hair every day, this will take months, poss even years, but I can now cut my daughters hair without all the fights, screaming, kicking etc. When you manage to cut his hair, do you give him a massive treat?? I do, this always ends the exercise on a positive note. Best of luck

PrincessMufasa sandraweeksAwhh, happy late birthday! sorry for the delay, we went skiing in the mountains, he feels so much freedom and independence to fly down the hill all over on own, and great good fresh air for hours at a time. I believe it is called the hyperbolic oxygen chamber. You can go in with them and read or what have you for the hour as it is enclosed in. My friend took her son who was not speaking at age 5 and he started to speak and many words after a few weeks of constant use. I heard some continue to speak well long after and some lose the language after time again. The ARI website has an area where they show all the numerous Autism treatments and percentage that have helped parents-awesome website!!

4.5 years mine finally was fully potty trained as we were starting kindergarden and i said you can not poop your pants in kindergarten, warned him for two months prior as he wanted to go so bad, and that week of he stopped it surprisingly, besides the odd accident the next 6 months and even a pee accident to date as he does not want to stop playing, but heavily consequenced when that happens which helps for sure. Made him clean his own underwear in the sink from age 4 on and then take it to the machine and throw it in. He also hated baths so he had to have one after each time, natural consequence. I laughed at the memories of the screaming bloody murder trying to bath them, wash hair lol. I try and remember to close all windows in the summer before giving him one. Yes surprised no one ever called cops but i am sure i am considered a mommy beater by some. It took until just recently that he stopped that. Cutting nails and hair was similar, nails have been better since about 5, but hair is still the fasted cut i can do, no way he would survive a barber. That’s all right never paid for a haircut for him and its done in under 2 minutes. luckily he has curly hair so cant tell the hack job. I buy organic no tears shampoo and he holds a face cloth over his eyes, and i don’t use my nails but palms to scrub head and no soap in ears until the last second that he quickly rinses out first.

sandraweeks what about and oxygen bar would that help or do anything close to what your seeing with the oxygen therapy tank? and what are those exactly?? my boy i just turned 4 today i would love to know about this

LOL its so funny that the topic is hair cuts lol i am sporting a mean fat lip from the lets call it the bi-annual torturous hair removal match (fight) lol of which i am gonna call it a drawl lol i may look more injured than he but inside i feel he is as equally injured as he still keeps getting the hair out of the trash to show me it doesnt stay on his head anymore with the saddest gestures about this lol so i will say that i am shocked the cops have never been called at the time of hair removal because it sounds like a murder is taking place (same as baths) maybe they think im beating him and just dont want to get involved lol but thats really not funny except to us lol honestly i have tried everything and for me the best least traumatizing is at home while he screams bloody murder lol honestly 🙂 just another mom working out the kinks lol

My daughter is 3 years old she was diagnosed about a year ago with moderate to severe autism she has horrible meltdowns she will bang her head against things( on one occasion a car) at first I was shocked and didn’t know what to do or how to fix it so I started the process of elimination I did everything I could think of when she was having one of her meltdowns depending on what kind of meltdown it is in use one of these techniques I either hold her real tight where she can’t hurt herself and apply pressure to her head or rub it gently l..other time just whispering to her can help to also at one point we had a small space between our couches that we put pillow and blankets in for her calming space and any time she had a meltdown she could go hide and have time to calm down I hope some of these methods can help others that are just as lost as I was

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TinaNekoDesiImvuLynnthank u i will try it for sure

KenaMaeLuHosford big sueezes and run your hands down his arms and hands and each finger and massage them and see if that works it does with mine (or did when he was little) i also had a vest for him that helped quite a bit i got it from first steps a program which gave me therapy for him.

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JoT lucky29 hi, im looking to move to redbridge borough near ilford or barking but thanks any way. good luck

well my son who is 3 years old was just recently diagnosed high functioning autistic meltdowns are horrible screaming hitting throwing himself to the ground they last long time but nothing i do brings him out of it. he usually lasts till he himself out or gets whats he wants like im not sure what to do or how to deal with meltdowns….when he was diagnosed i was shocked i was thinking ADHD or something similar to that but autism i kno pretty much nothing besides what i have read i need help i feel bad exspecially during meltdowns cause i have no idea how to handle this……………….

Found this too. Swinging, jumping, climbing, running and then heavy pushing and pulling. I wounder if this brings more oxygen to the brain that is helpful, as oxygen therapy tanks have been very successful for some. But that is expensive and you need an hour 5 days a week for 6 weeks I believe, but language skills can also develop. I like doing count how many summersats in a row I can do. We made it up to 168 over a summer. I also installed a couple hooks in the ceiling and hung swings, tire tubes and lykra hammock like to do indoor off balance moving stuff. The mini indoor trampoline was a must for us. gymnastics places is great too. We started swimming g at 4 months and loved it. I am just a big Leary of how much chemicals in water. There are the odd pools that have salt water. I use 2 cups of Epsom salt for detox and dechlorination tablets in his bath water. Mtie hours of physical activity a day also great forks muscle tone, balance, building core, hyperactivity etc.

My daughter seems to have less meltdowns if I make sure she gets enough physical activity on a regular basis. Now that she has embraced the pool (water on her face used to be a trigger) she loves to swim and play in thw water. I also take her to the park and playland to get some physical activity. When we do this regularly, ive notice her meltdowns are leas frequent and, more importantly, less severe qhen they do occur. Im a big, strong man but the intensity of her meltdowns have broken my nose, left me with several nlack eyes, bloody noses, and recently, a broken toe. It really helps when I have a blanket to wrap her in (aka the burrito game) which keeps her from hurting me or herself.

hurtmummy I home schooled both my children for some time, all you do is write a letter to schol taking your child off the register, and home school. You will have an inspection once a year as long as learning is satisfactoy. Look online at Education Otherwise.

Lucky 29.. where do you want to move to, I have a 6 yrold little boy who is autistic and i want to move back to london from nuneaton in warwickshire. We have a gorgeous big new house but my family are all back home in london x

lucky29 Where do you want to move to!! I have a little boy of 6 and want to move back to london from nuneaton in warwickshire.

*in and out of school suspension

My daughter’s school did ‘kick her out’. She was in a special ed program for her behaviors and they kept giving her detention, in and it is school suspension when ever she would have a meltdown. And is not attending a different school that specializes in cooing skills, but I worry that it is not challenging her academically. If anyone on this bold ifs from the Albany, Ny area. I would like to network to get some advice on what do to for my daughter. There was so much more that happened and I truly feel the school system failed her. She is in 7th grade.

Ank37 I don’t do fb lol. Do you want to email me and i will give you my phone number and we can chat? sandraweeks@shaw.ca

Hi could you please message me on fb!? I have a younger brother who was diagnosed with Autism and PDD. I am also currently doing my student teaching in an Autistic support classroom. I would really love to hear from u! Thank.

Hi would u mind messaging me on fb? I have a younger brother who was diagnosed with Autism and PDD. I’m also currently working as an Autistic Support teacher and would love to find out more about your success with your son!

lucky29 YES! He was diagnosed at 2.5 years with OCD and at age 3 when they were allowed to diagnose with Autism, then told me he had classic moderate autism. Of course most anywhere in the medical field i went or read said it is not curable, life long, just get some ABA therapy. When i broguth up how about alternative healing or diet/supplemnts, all i woudl get is a stern, NOT PROVEN as oppose to check it out i hear many paretns say they are ahaving scuccess. As the professionals should be aware you would think, but insterad of being encouraging they were the opposite i found. But he just turned 7 and is in grade 2/3 class in his neighborhood school getting honors again this year. 3rd year hockey, soccer, baseball, 4th year piano (music therapy, singing, listening to symphony music, dancing and any hard exercise like doing somersaults 100 times in a row, running around the block 10 times timing each lap, pushing wheelbarrows, pulling sandbags etc), and now some TKD and BJJ.
We actually started him on the computer at age 1ish just because as we did not know anything wrong yet, AWESOME WEBSITE for all learning to speak, read etc. is http://www.starfall.com very user friendly too. Did not notice until after the 18 month vaccination that language was not all there, doctors and others said but just takes longer for boys, don’t worry, he could just be a bit slow blah blah. at age two he could say about 5 words (norm is 50 plus some 2 word sentences not including hi mom, but come here etc.), but he could pronounce all his letters phonetically from the website which is the key to reading. Knowing how to say A-Z song is not helpful, that is not how to pronounce words. Then he could send emails to people before he could talk much as well as it was easier for him to do.So i am sure this all helped his brain development and future reading skills once he did learn to speak. Lots of humor and laughing too, rhyming everything. Did lots of detoxing with certain supplement by the naturopathic starting at 3.5, and B12 shots in the bum and mineral supplements. a mixed strain of probiotics of 10 billion units twice a day for the stomach, home made broth from soup bones with no added spices unless natural. 1 tsp of fish oil a day, high quality brand like cod liver oil-come flavored now and not that bad. We still do most of this but to a less desperate degree and have pizza once a week, never took that away from him but some have to be totally strict as it can affect behavior for weeks on one slip up. He had his many meltdowns, I was told to just stand by and explain to him calmly the feeling he must be having so he understands what he feels and maybe why he is so frustrated that he can not communicate well or have his way or his stomach and head hurts or didn’t like the spoonful of supplements i gave him but it will make him better and believe that this is the best way to feel better, or he feels different pain from the light, sound etc. If he was really melting, i would need to wait a minute or three or five before i could empathize with him to try and reduce frustrations as he did not absorb. He did his share of hitting, pinching, biting, need to touch everyone, go right up to them and sniff them, could not stand in a line without spooning them. Worked with the strengths, played with him on the floor level tried so ever hard to engage him for a few seconds then longer and longer without being distracted to look away or get the phone or text or anything but keep him engaged or reingaged with a loud noise or whatever it took to get him to look at me again. Everything kept improving, behaviors decreased, frustrations went down as language developed and if i was upset or high anxiety, so was he, talking very calm was a challenge for me but makes such a difference to keep them calm. I would apologize to him and tell him i will work on it as i asked him to work on so much he needed to see fairness, a two way street, this fairness calmed him and gave him sense of power and control to cue me too.We started yoga, praying, spiritual stuff too and asking for what we want out loud together and saying thank you for all we have, really building on that now. Social skills has also been the latest big challenge but finding a couple kids that will hang out and take the punches and coaching i give both over and over for a few years one on one then group of three-really hard is just paying off now. Babysit one for free after school each day so had 1-2 hours a day of practicing as he is a single child. Going to group social skills class with trained physiologist doing Michell Garcia Winner stuff has been awesome. Can order books online or even library. Model Me Kds video, and Zones of Regulations program. Sorry way more, but i am grateful and want to share as much as i can of the things that have helped, a holistic approach, where diet/nutrition/supplements/DETOX is absolutely a huge part. whatever we breath in, absorb in us is huge and how we digest it and eliminate it. Heavy metal in the brain barrier are hard to get out, so detox is needed so repair can take place and inflammation can be reduced.

My son is 7 now and he seems to be almost typical now for behavior. We stopped seeing regular doctors and went to nathropaths, homeopaths, reiki, etc. So tests from the USA-great plains laboratory and got on supplements, and DETOXED, and continually DETOX. Switched to all organic food (meat, dairy-even goats milk better or homemade almond milk, vegetables and fruits), no sugar/artificial sugar or additives and preservatives, lots of raw vegetables-hard at first as they are picky eaters wanting cheese and bread, but took him off and did fancy tricks and fun games with the new food. Lots of probiotics to heal the gut and high quality fish oil for the brain. No chemicals like clean free or dishwasher rinse, cleaning and personal products etc. Gluten free/casein free -baby stepped our way there and now we eat so healthy easily. he reads labels and No GMO’s or fast food chains at his instance. Along with great training from DIR Floortime, online and therapist in your area and many brain development things, like iPad apps, lumosity, tons of exposure and change to gain brain flexibility. And love and hugs and squeezes during to get through it. No meds and never anymore vaccinations or Tylenol or fluoride (toothpaste or water). Found lots of help on the internet. Hang in there, as they detox they can get healthier as long as more toxins are not coming in faster than you are getting them out. You can do it, take baby steps and the switch over will save the whole family in the long run.

My sons meltdowns have gotten much better since my daughter was born. Before he would try and hurt himself by hitting himself or by running in to walls. I would have to hold him to stop him from doing so. Now when he has a meltdown he runs to my room and covers himself with a blanket, then calls for me and rubs my ear until he calms down.

I need to pull out my “soap box” for a moment and encourage folks to use person first language when referring to children with autism or any other person with any other disease/disability. Recognizing that these are people/children first and foremost – who just have a significant diagnosis.
My daughter has autism and epilepsy. She is NOT an autistic or epileptic child – her diagnoses do not define the person she is. Thank you.
Now about melt-downs – my daughter is now in her mid twenties – I can’t say the melt downs have ended – I can say they are few and far between. With much support she has gained the skills she needs to walk away and find a place where she can make sense of what is going on.
She did not receive a diagnosis of autism until she was 15 – so we dealt with the melt downs prior to that as behavioral/parenting issues. With that diagnosis came information that we could draw from to help her when a meltdown happened. For her it was begin wrapped tightly in stretchy fabric, rocked back and forth by us her parents until she calmed. Sometime we could manage with just our arms around her – not often. We had a net swing under our porch where she would curl up and just rock and rock herself calm. Burying herself under piles of blankets on her bed and allowing her father or I to “squish” her also worked well. Deep pressure – for my daughter that was the answer.

My son was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 7 after his mainstream couldn’t cope with his meltdowns. He would be given work to do but would just stare at it then screw it up and scream. He would start to throw chairs around so the whole class would be evacuated, leaving him to calm down. He really didn’t know what he had to do and this would really upset him.

He is now just turned 19 and like every parents nightmare (more so with parents of an autistic child), has been in trouble with police and ended up in a mental health unit in our local hospital several times. This being mostly due to transition, leaving school, not knowing what to do with himself (drastic change to his life)

With help from our local learning disability team, Mental health team, Doctors and Social Workers and other organisations we have hopefully started to get him back on track and feeling better in himself (Its taken 7 months of complete meltdown hell)

People will never understand unless they have a child or look after a child with Autism. I’ve seen the looks many times from passers by, been told to leave shops because he was upsetting other shoppers. I think I’m better than them people because I know what’s really wrong with him so much more intelligent than them. They definitely couldn’t cope 😉

My life has been hard but I know my son has found it harder to deal with. I will always be there to help him if he needs me, I love him and wouldn’t want him any other way 🙂

My son is 6 years Old and only has meltdowns if his 2 year old sister annoys him while his on his laptop, then he would get really angry and push her about or sometimes scratch her. If I was to tell him off that it was wrong then he losses it and has a anger tantrums and starts screaming load then he will attack me and follow me everywhere but it happens sometimes. He has missed alot of school in the pass due to high fever and then the school informs the education welfare officer, who came around to my home and he wasn’t nice but made court threats. Apparently they want me to provide sick notes from the gp but his always went to the gp and there is a record of him being unwell. Apparently if I give too many sick notes the authority will have to investigate why he falls ill so much. I’ve actually had enough of the schools headteacher and the area I’m living at and I’m at the moment looking for a home swap out of London area as I want to give my son to a private religious school nearer to the area I want to move to.

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TrinaWrayWaller
flutterbyflirt@gmail.com
70.78.216.178 In reply to JackyFunaki.
Jacky, I can relate to this. A lot. My daughter has always been strong, but now she is 4″ taller and outweighs me too. It can be scary. There have been times when she has hurt me badly. I don’t have any words of wisdom in dealing with that, but I do know that it us important that you as a parent find a way to cope with it, and all the guilt surrounding it. Self-care is so important when struggling with the more challenging aspects of parenting our kids. Finding and making time to take care if yourself is probably one of the best things you can do to help your son.

i think for us its the danger factor as a mum you want the best for your child autism or not…
i have 4 children 1 with autism..
he is only 7 but has the strength of an adult the legs of an athlete can out run out jump out hurt any of us or all of us at the same time…
melt down he starts it usually unaware of who is around him … if theres anything he can throw he will…its mostly emotional issues he cant express…
its hard really hard
how do we (i) cope….. i DONT…

I am raising 2 kids on the spectrum, my 15 year old daughter has had severe and frequent meltdowns since she was little, but thankfully, my 5 year old sons meltdowns are so seldom that they barely rate mentioning. Like someone else said, they best way to handle a meltdown is to avoid it altogether. Learn their triggers, their cues, and recognize when they are becoming upset. Know when they are having an off day and plan accordingly. Most importantly, pick your battles. If you recognize that your kid is tired, don’t force them into situations where meltdowns are probable.
Learn how to not care what other people think, or say. Having children on the spectrum should automatically come with thicker skin, but it doesn’t. Just know that despite good intentions, people are so often misguided with their advice. Especially those that have no idea what autism is. And remember that you know what is best for your kid, even if others don’t see it. My daughter has horrible attendance at school and every year it’s the same thing – some jerk teacher gives me crap for not forcing her to attend more regularly, yet I have spent enough time with her to recognize when she wakes up whether or not today will be a good day or a bad. If it’s going to be a bad day, we stay home. Granted, there are many times in life where that isn’t possible, so we prepare. A lot. We prepare by going over what to expect, what the plans are, how we are going to behave, and what is expected of us. We also go over how we are going to handle a meltdown if it happens or if we think it’s going to happen.
I’ve also learned that techniques that worked in one meltdown don’t always work across the board, so quick thinking on your part is going to help. Recognize when they need to just get through it on their own or if they’re going to need your guidance. With both my kids though, the calmer I am, the quicker they get through it. I get right down to their level, calmly ask then to look at my face (somet

I never knew that a three year old could be so out of control. Anything, and I mean anything can set her off. Yes the big typical things…going to the store.etc. But even when people speak to her, it can set her off. and then, theres the greatest of joys……..Absolutely NOTHING at all. This, I dont get. If I can see it coming then I have a better fighting chance. But when shes just sitting there and all of a sudden looses it………….it breaks my heart. She has pulled out clumps of her hair, head bangs, scratches and bites. All I can do sometimes is, cry with her. Shes not my baby. Shes my Grand baby. But you cant tell her that. Mama chooses not to be here, Daddy is a dead beat. And at times I resent everyone for turning their back on her. It seems that she has stabled out for a little while at least, She no longer wakes up screaming at the top of her lungs and gets EVERYONES day off to a great start and we have been able to have maybe a small trip to the store without one( all I do while we are in there is PRAY no one speaks to her).I know others stories are a lot more troublesome, and outshines mine in comparison, but Im thankful for her, whatever her damage is(she also has epilepsy and her doctor suspect mental retardation) I love her and nothings going to change that.

My son is waiting on diagnosis but has several meltdowns. He won’t eat in front of anyone if he thinks someone has looked at his food that’s it! He won’t leave the house I cannot get him to school& have requested home schooling but because he hasn’t been diagnosed the relevant authorities don’t acknowledge his problems. I am at my wits end as this has all happened over the space of 6 months. If I was able to make them see his problems are connected then hopefully they will get me & my beloved son help.

I have an autistic daughter who used to have horrific meltdowns!! Meltdowns that alarmed the neighbors to such a degree that the police where called (several different times by different neighbors) When Sharon (my daughter) was younger one of the things that worked for us (and I know this sounds weird) was to grab a large blanket from a queen sized bed or larger and wrap her in it. Swaddle her like you would a newborn. Sensory issues you know. This started working so well that she got to the point when she felt a melt down coming on she would go get the blanket herself. And remember it does get better, Sharon will soon be 20 years old and I honestly can not remember the last time we had a true melt down.

If you use something external to stop a meltdown, that external item will become associated with the stopping process. For some, that’s going to be the right solution. Especially for someone who’s non-verbal and might respond well to a weighted blanket or other proprioceptive input. What is the end goal? (Recognizing the start and nipping it in the bud maybe?) Practice what that looks like outside of a meltdown situation. Mastery of the skill happens when it becomes reflexive (aka automatic) and done without thinking. That is the the process with someone who is higher functioning (Aspergers).

The best way to deal with a melt down is frankly to try to avoid them from happening in the first place. Once your child has gone there all you can do is keep him/her safe and weather the storm till it passes. Ways to avoid them is you have to get really good at predicting them. You have to know your child’s trigger points and avoid them. When you see the child working themselves up toward a melt down try and immediately use a really good distraction tactic, something the child can’t resist and could serve as a diversion from the meltdown and possibly hold their attention long enough to keep them from slipping back. If you catch it early enough this may work.

I have 2 boys with Autism. One is 17 and the other is 12. The best advice I can give you is to try to stay calm during a meltdown. Try to ignore the people around who do not understand because they do not know what you are going through. What I do with my boys is try to get them to look at me or at least in my direction and talk gently to him. I will tell him to close his eyes, take slow breaths and try to calm down because it is not as bad as it seems. This does not always help but it does usually help an episode pass more quickly. I hope this helps you in some way.

My son is Turning 15 on Mar 12/14 he is Joe I would like to hear about your thoughts I am in nursing school myself

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