Find sensory tools that can comfort a child at times of stress. These may include squeezy toys, weighted blankets, a calming video or book, a swing set, or even a pet. If a meltdown occurs, allow your child the time and space to calm themselves down and learn to self-regulate.
During a meltdown: what to do
Give your child space, don't touch them, and keep other people away. Turn down lights and keep things quiet, or give your child noise-cancelling headphones. Let one person speak to your child, but don't say too much. Stay calm and wait.
Strategies to consider include distraction, diversion, helping the person use calming strategies such as fiddle toys or listening to music, removing any potential triggers, and staying calm yourself.
Try noise-cancelling headphones to reduce sensory overload. Use sensory tools and stimming to reduce anxiety levels, if that works for you. Try relaxation methods such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga and exercise. Visual schedules to help structure the day and reduce uncertainty within your day.
First, parents need to try to comfort and soothe their children's tantrums / Have a reasonable behavior management strategy: Can pretend not to care (ignore abusive behavior, yelling) if you know it's a bullying behavior to get attention. Pamper your child if he feels really insecure.
Sensory overload, changes in routine, social isolation, co-occurring conditions, and lack of support can all exacerbate the symptoms of autism. However, with early intervention, therapy, and support, individuals with autism can manage these challenges and improve their quality of life.
Many autistic people experience hypersensitivity to bright lights or certain light wavelengths (e.g., LED or fluorescent lights). Certain sounds, smells, textures and tastes can also be overwhelming. This can result in sensory avoidance – trying to get away from stimuli that most people can easily tune out.
Lithium is another option for children and adolescents with ASD who present with symptoms of a mood disorder, such as elevated moods/euphoria, mania, and paranoia, whether accompanied or not by irritability.
There are many different things, or combinations of things, that can trigger sensory overload. They include: crowds, or tightly packed spaces. loud sounds, such a loud music, fireworks, a crowd, a festival.
Many children find repetitive and rhythmic vestibular input, including rocking, swaying, or gentle swinging to be extremely calming. This kind of sensory input can be a great and easy way to help a child reset when they are overstimulated, overwhelmed, or dealing with tantrums.
Kids with autism experience “deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to the absence of interest in peers (DSM-5).”
Yelling at children with autism can cause depression and negatively impact the emotional wellbeing of the child. Depression is associated with several negative outcomes, including functional impairments beyond those associated with autism itself and significant burden on the family system (Pezzimenti & et al., 2019).
Science fiction and fantasy are often of great interest to autistic people. Depending on their interest levels and abilities, people on the spectrum may learn every detail of a particular "universe," write their own stories, watch and rewatch movies, read comics, attend conventions, or even make their own costumes.
Many autistic people have intense and highly-focused interests, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be lifelong. It can be art, music, gardening, animals, postcodes or numbers. For many younger children it's Thomas the Tank Engine, dinosaurs or particular cartoon characters.
Although your son's reaction sounds more severe than most, many people with autism struggle with a range of fears, phobias and worries. These can range from a debilitating fear of, say, spiders or the dark to chronic anxiety about making mistakes or being late.