i wonder if any parents can offer advice on helping with meltdowns. Our daughter will have a meltdown every morning. Or when there is a change. We try to avoid them thinking ahead etc, one was caused as she couldn’t find her socks. The meltdowns are crying and wailing and screaming, punching herself, biting a towel. I stand out of the room and tell her to hit the pillow instead but that also annoys her. So usually we leave her and say when you feel better come and see us and we’ll have a drink etc. She often apologetic about her behaviour but we just move on.
I am concerned as the meltdowns are getting worse and she doesn’t understand why she has them.
How does your child meltdown ? Is it similar to our daughter ?
What works to help your child?
I know everyone is different but any advice would be most welcome x
When I have meltdowns (and mine have always been similar in nature to what your daughter does) I find deep pressure works well as a soothing aid to help them pass more quickly; e.g. being wrapped tightly in a blanket does the trick.
Out of the moment, helping with her self-understanding is a good idea too in the long run. If she can notice when she's building up to a meltdown (they are rarely as single-trigger as they appear to an onlooker; it's often hours or days of sensory overstimulation or minor frustrations building up) and discover depressurisation strategies that work for her (e.g. mine are; immersing myself in loud music, eating very spicy food, going for a walk alone or spending some time alone in a quiet room) then she can try to head them off before they happen.
Encourage her to self-reflect afterwards re. what factors led up to the meltdown if she can without distress. Reassure her that it's a normal thing to happen for an autistic person. Depending on her age read some books/watch some videos about ASD with her so that she can increase her understanding of what it means to be autistic and get some ideas that might help her cope, or notice things she hadn't consciously realised that could be a trigger. (Obvs watch/read anything you'll be using by yourself first to check it's suitable and accurate, the ones made by autistic people tend to be best).Successful meltdown management is very much more prevention than cure and you can never get rid entirely because the world is unpredictable; I still have one or two a year in my late 20s despite knowing so many strategies that work for me when I get overstimulated or distressed.
It sounds like you're doing well so far with the thinking ahead and letting her have space to recover. :)
In terms of prevention, the school was giving my daughter proprioceptive breaks, i.e. giving her something heavy to carry to the office... so it was a covert preventative thing:)