What causes a child to meltdown?

What causes a child to meltdown?
As a caregiver to a child, we have all experienced temper tantrums one way or another- whining, crying, screaming and rolling on the floor, but we may not always know why it happens and what causes it.

In most children, a temper tantrum is an emotional outburst in the face of an unmet need or desire. These outbursts are a normal part of a child’s development and should subside as the child grows older. As children develop, they learn strategies to cope with the feelings that arise from not having their wants and needs met.
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.
The Environment
Special Children with sensory integration issues are affected by the sensory stimuli that they are particularly sensitive or unsensitive to. The child could be sensitive to tactile, noise, taste and visuals. You might have noticed that some woollen scarves make our necks itch; it just gives off a scratchy feeling that we would rather not have against our skin. Now, multiply that sensation by 10 to 100 times- you would be unable to long withstand that level of irritation. When we hear a noisy motorcycle going down the street, most of us wince and we may even try to cover our ears; but special needs children may experience sounds like those at an elevated level, and constantly from  their daily surroundings. The constant irritation of things the rest of us can tune out and ignore would lead anyone into a meltdown, much less a child.
Everyone handles stress differently- we pummel a stress ball, binge eat or maybe head to bed early and sleep a weekend away. But usually, we hold all our emotions in until we are in a “safe-place” to unleash them on whatever medium we want to use to relieve our stress. For a Special Child, holding their emotions in may be a tall order. Their capacity to adapt to a stressful situation might be far less than another person and the only way they can help themselves from figuratively combusting is to, have a meltdown
Imagine that you’ve settled into a new job- you’ve got all the schedules memorized, your work table is arranged exactly how you like it and you are all revved and ready to become the most efficient worker ever. Then your boss tells you that you are being assigned to another department, working with a totally different timetable and a work table where you have no idea where anything is. Imagine the frustration that you would feel. This same frustration could boil up in a Special Child, with changes that might appear minute to us but are huge deal for the child.
Like anyone else, children need a sense of stability and safety. When they don’t have this, they end up communicating this lack of stability  in the only way they know how. There are more considerations that have to be taken into account for children with special needs, but they too react to the same things, by communicating through their meltdown.

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