Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to Survive a Sensory Meltdown

In light of the horrible meltdowns my son had last night, I thought I would write a quick list as a reminder to myself and others that these meltdowns do end and we can get through them. I will say that prevention is key, but then again you cannot always prevent every trigger a child may have. For example, my son flipped out at one point because he thought I had my husband's pillow downstairs when really it was my pillow. My son is 27 months and did NOT get this concept in the midst of his meltdown.

1. Take deep breathes. Just do it. It works.
2. Be patient, though this is easier said than done.
3. Walk away if your child is in a safe place and you need a moment to calm down.
4. Give a bear hug or take a step back depending on the signals your child is sending regarding how close he wants you to be.
5. Remember, meltdowns may be resolved quickly or they may drag on. If it takes time, then it takes time. BUT the meltdown WILL end eventually. Sometimes endurance is necessary.
6. Make sure you have enough to eat and drink. If your energy is low, you will be less likely to deal with the meltdown properly which may escalate your child's behaviors.
7. Get support from friends, family, a mom's group, or others. Have someone you can call, email, or invite over if you need support.
8. Remember, this will pass. It will be okay. There is no emergency, though your child feels as if there is an emergency. You must be calm to show your child that it will be okay. By showing a calm example, your child will see that it is possible to calmly deal with stress. Keep in mind that it takes a long time for some sensory children to get this concept. Consistency is key.

You can do this. The meltdown will end. You are an awesome parent!


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