Meltdowns in Autistic people are fairly common and they are often mistaken for tantrums but that’s not the case. This post will clear all the misconceptions about meltdowns and also prove as an instructive guide to deal with it.
Meltdown is a complete loss of behavioural control. A person having a meltdown tends to scream, attack people, hurt themselves, break things, and generally go all-out. Once you reach meltdown point, they’ve pretty much lost it – and the chances are fair that they won’t be able to get hold of themselves for quite some time.
A tantrum is basically a bid for attention or control. You’ll notice that a tantruming child often sneaks the odd glance at their parent or caregiver to see if it’s working. A meltdown has no plan, and often seems as if the boy or girl can hardly tell what other people around them are thinking, never mind trying to manipulate them.
SOURCE = "Lakeiya Moellers"
These are some of the most common Triggers of a meltdown that an autistic adult or a parent of an autistic child should be aware of
Understanding the symptoms of a meltdown is the most important thing of all and once you’ve got it all figured out that how and when a physical/emotional meltdown occurs, then you can work on how you can deal with the meltdown the right way in order to tone it down or let it subside.
People who deal with frequent cases of these outbursts can tell that if a meltdown is going to happen. Anticipation helps because the possible triggers can be eliminated before the possible outburst.
Identification of the causes is the next step after the anticipation.
Now, after having identified the triggers; they can be purged.
If a meltdown is brought on by sensory overload, it may help to calm down in a dark, quiet room.
Change may help to increase structure around ordinary transitions, helping the person to navigate the change from one activity to another throughout the day. Using a clear timetable explaining when the transitions will be, using timers to countdown to transitions, using a favourite toy or character to be part of the transition, can all help.
Anybody can have meltdowns regardless of the age but children and people with autism are seen to have more frequent episodes of meltdowns than other people. With adults the intensity, transition and preventions are complex.
Most adults having a meltdown would want to be left alone and this is what one should do if they are in the vicinity of a person experiencing meltdown.
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