Common Causes of Meltdowns

The Autism Discussion Page on Facebook is another wonderful resource. It offers strategies and explanations for making autistic children “feel safe, confident, and competent.” Some of the techniques actually also work for older kids and neurotypical ones. As a middle school teacher (currently on “sabbatical”) the ones in the “About” section is something I also find practical for students going through puberty: structured daily activities, visual strategies, slow it down/break it down, clarify-verify-preview-review, and clear boundaries & expectations.


Our son was 18 months old when we moved from Pakistan to Nigeria. All these causes occurred simultaneously for him and everyday was a constant struggle with him over almost everything. Changing clothes, eating, bathing, seeing us leave for work, leaving for school, brushing teeth, putting away toys, and going to bed all set off meltdowns. A PT/OT recommended a sensory diet and got us to buy the book “The Out of Syn Child.” It was a major eye-opener, and our son’s improvement was just as dramatic when we began addressing the causes of his meltdowns. We stopped blaming the child, stopped accepting the “terrible two’s”, stopped passively waiting for it to “blow over,” and began focusing on the triggers.



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