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What is the best way to handle an autistic child when "meltdowns" get out of control?
in Parenting Autists by

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2 Answers

As a parent, we have to be in a good place first, and if not, our dependent needs us to get it together fast, call in support or pass it off to someone else.  Sometimes all we need to do is ignore bad behavior, sometimes the situation requires patience and softness, sometimes firm boundaries and strong, confident, swift intervention.  Even the same situation on the surface can require two different responses to maximize success and minimize damage.  That is one of the first principles- maximize success and minimize in every situation.  Front load- meaning, be prepared for all possible crisis so there is a plan; then there can't be crisis.  Have a relationship of influence and love in place as much as possible so that you can have influence without it being sheer power.  Take safety as the first priority, even if it requires extreme measures like calling police or asking strangers for help.  Don't worry about what others think or if they are "put out"...  They don't know what the reality is and if they understood, most people would be compassionate.  Melt downs are an autist saying, "I don't know how to cope with this!"  Our job is to help them through it with as little damage to us and them as possible:)  It isn't personal.
by Wizard (1.3k points)
Plan ahead. Once you realize you Johnny doesn't like to take a right on a certain road because for the last three weeks you have taken another road, plan ahead. Try using a dry erase board and write out a list or use pictures to plan the day ahead. You don't have to have EVERYTHING planned but the bigger picture.

First we are going to drop sister off at school, then we are going to the carwash then to the store etc.

Sometimes this just lets them have relief in their anxiety knowing whats to come. :)
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