As the parent of a child with autism, we’re sure you want to do everything in your power to help your child cope with stressful circumstances. Sooner or later, you will inevitably have to help your child through a meltdown. But the more meltdowns you help them through, the more adept you will become at learning the most effective tools and techniques to do so. Today, we’d like to share a few sensory tools that may help calm your child in the event of a meltdown.
Many children with sensory sensitivities are set off by light. If this is the case with your child, you may have noticed such behaviors as them retreating to a dark closet or covering their eyes when stressed. But when in public—and when averting a meltdown is the most imperative—this might not always be an option.
If your child falls into this category, an excess of bright lights may be what is causing their meltdown. Try giving them a pair of sunglasses to cut down on bright lights.
If your child does not have significant sensory sensitivities to light, they might to sound. You may have utilized earplugs or earmuffs as a way to help your child deal with stressful sounds in the past. But noise-canceling headphones can be a far more effective solution.
Noise-canceling headphones aren’t cheap. But they might be worth the price of admission if you find them effective sensory tools for helping your child through a meltdown.
In the past few years, there has been an influx of weighted blankets on the market. This is because of a growing body of evidence suggesting that they can effectively reduce anxiety in a majority of people—not just those with ASD.
The next time your child has a meltdown or seems on the verge of one, give them the opportunity to relax with a weighted blanket. These might not be practical to carry with you in public, but they’re a great sensory tool to have around the house.
A quick search on the web for ‘fidget toys’ will yield tons of results for products that may help your child relax during a meltdown. These sensory tools are also widely available at specialty stores in shopping malls. Have your child try a few. If you find that any are effective at helping them through a meltdown, you may want to keep them on hand.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.