Special Children have meltdowns due to different reasons, and these showcases of displeasure will run their course whether you like it or not. A meltdown could be the result of a wide range of factors, but here are a few ways you can help to support your child during a meltdown.
First and foremost, a meltdown can be prevented or made more manageable by first pre-empting a child of the possibility of something happening that could trigger them feeling negatively.
When we touch a hot pan, we recoil from it and remove our hand from the surface that is causing us to feel pain. The same can be done for a child during a meltdown. Removal of a child from the stimulation that caused the meltdown in the first place will remove the reason for the meltdown. There is little point in trying to calm a child down when they are still feeling affected or uncomfortable.
A meltdown will run its course, even when the stimulation is removed, but we can help the child run through it at a quicker pace. Distraction can help a child disassociate from the feelings that they are experiencing at the moment and shift their attention to something else. If you have packed a meltdown kit, it should have items that the child is attached to or likes and that is able to invoke a sense of calm in them.
As tough as it is in the face of a screaming child, STAY CALM. Yelling at a Special Child in the middle of a meltdown will do nothing to stop it; it might even cause it to become worse as the child receives additional stress on top of what they are already suffering. If you need to, ensure that the child is in a safe environment before taking a little time to calm yourself down if you feel like you are going to have a meltdown yourself.
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