How do we handle Meltdowns in children?

Belinda - posted on 04/07/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a six yr old girl. She is currently being assessed for the autism spectrum; however she has also had trauma in her life. There are times when she has such severe meltdowns I am at a loss. The other day she didn't want to live anymore and said it would be okay if I killed her. Heavy hey. I know this is not uncommon considering she may be on the autism spectrum, and has a history of previous trauma. Sometimes the meltdowns go for a couple of hours. It's very upsetting, and I do try to empathise with her feelings. At the end of them she's exhausted, and relieved.

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Raye - posted on 04/07/2016

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If there's any talk of dying, then she needs counseling... starting NOW! She still needs to follow rules, and have consequences when she doesn't. And most of all, she needs love. Tell her it's ok to be upset. Ask her if she wants you to stay with her or not. If not, leave her to cry it out, but let her know that she's not to hit, throw, or otherwise be disruptive to the house or family. Those behaviors have consequences. If you stay with her, comfort her for a bit, then try to distract her from her mood. If you can do this successfully over time, then it should decrease the amount of time she spends in meltdown. But really, counseling is a must.

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Susan - posted on 04/08/2016

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Having a child on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, I can totally identify with what you are going through. And my daughter as well has had trauma in her life, which certainly has not helped her learn how to cope. Counseling for her with someone who "SPECIALIZES" in autism in children is important. It is equally important the you and your daughter feel comfortable with the specialist. If not, find another. Here is a website with info on Autism/Aspergers that might be helpful. http://1.usa.gov/1fid3oj

Take care, my prayers are with you.

Raye - posted on 04/07/2016

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My step-daughter is 11 and getting very hormonal. She hasn't started her period yet, but the emotional meltdowns are frequent and sometimes she doesn't even understand why she's upset, herself. It's not exactly the same as your situation, but the divorce of her parents was traumatic for her and she's conflicted with loyalties to her mom and to me, so she has a lot she's trying to deal with. Generally comfort and trying to get her mind off what's upsetting her is what gets her through it best. I also have an autistic nephew. I'm not around him much, but similar tactics work for his parents. And we can't be lax on rules just because we feel bad for what the child is going through. They still need to learn right and wrong, it just may take a different approach to be more effective. Sorry if you feel my advice isn't helpful. Maybe someone else reading it will find it moreso.

Belinda - posted on 04/07/2016

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She is already seeing a psychologist, and yes I already do follow her wishes when the meltdowns are happening, as in does she want my comfort, or for me to stay away. I am already on the ball with any harm to herself or anybody else. I think that I am more curious about how other mothers handle these situations, if they are in similar ones. Thanks for the input though Raye...

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