Meltdowns are a fact of life when you live with a child with Autism. Meltdowns can be violent, including biting, kicking and screaming. Meltdowns can be very emotional, including crying, extreme sadness and actually "melting" to the floor. There are some things a parent can do in the moment, after the meltdown and in the future to to try to avoid the same situations.
First, some things that cause meltdowns:
Being tired or hungry
Changes in routine
Feeling out of control
Remember that a hideous disease has control of your child at that moment. The child certainly does not want to be in this situation. Try to remain calm and keep your child safe. Be ready to love them in any way they will allow after the meltdown is over.
Evaluating the meltdown can help the parent in the future. If your child has a meltdown over being tired or hungry, plan breaks and snacks during a long day. When you know the routine will be different, prepare your child by talking about the change in routine, use a dayplanner or pictures to explain in great detail how it will change and what is expected of the child. This is more difficult when routines change unexpectedly, things that will help will covered in a future article.
Other people many times cause meltdowns without meaning to. One memorable meltdown my son had was caused by a cashier at a bookstore. She asked if he wanted his book in a bag and he said no. She put it in the bag anyway and the meltdown began. He felt out of control, he got emotional and began a melt to floor type of meltdown. I explained that he could take the book out of the bag and give it back to her. It didn't completely stop the meltdown, but it did put him back in control.