Taking into consideration that my daughter is 3 years old what strategies do you use to calm your child from a meltdown when the reason is unknown or a trigger has been set off & they need help calming down???? Breathing exercises or counting to 10 don’t work for her as she is 3 & nonverbal w/ ASD level3.
A child proof space with some favorite ideas where, maybe a big bag chair, soft mat or couch cushions. Sometimes a walk or swinging. Occasionally a favorite video or song. Space and time. Sometimes meltdowns that appeared to be without cause for my son would eventually alert me to things like dental issues, stomach issues, or ear infections.
Our son will be 3 in January. The absolute only way to calm him is going to be hard to explain. But imma try my best! Any meltdown our son has, no “calming” techniques work. Redirecting does not help, it makes things worse. He will either toss or shove whatever you’re trying to give him back to you then drop to the floor. Deep breathing just makes him madder. Putting anything on him like a weighted blanket or vibration or even a tight hug will set him off even more and he will drop his whole weight to the floor. The first thing we had to take accountability for was our personal emotions during his meltdowns. We had to legit just sit and watch him meltdown. Doing so, helped us actually see that he was trying to seek out his own calming remedy. Everything we tried wasn’t working. Hell, he don’t even like being looked at during a meltdown, and video tapping him makes him feel like hiding. Doing all this helped us realize that the quickest way to calm our son, is to follow his every lead during the meltdown. If he wants to be held we are ready to hold him and just as easily ready to let go of him when he realizes it’s not helping. If we hand him his tablet and he takes it and realizes it’s not helping then we are quick to lend our hands out to take the toy back before he tosses it. He then rolls around on the floor, which is always cold. Eventually he gets calm enough to want to be in one of our laps but still not want anything. We also realized that whoever lap he ends up in after the meltdown, the other must still leave him be. Even in the lap he chooses, to him that’s not the “que” to shower your affection.
Every kid is different. But after everything, the best way to calm our son is to have him calm himself. I hope this helped some. 🏼🏼🏼🏼
Meltdown suck! Especially when they are triggered on purpose during OT/ABA