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Meltdown triggers


Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders

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  #1  
May 3rd, 2008, 04:25 PM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
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Are there certain events, items or situations you know will provoke a meltdown in your child? What do you do about it, do you try to avoid the situation or accommodate for it, or just deal with it...?
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  #2  
May 4th, 2008, 10:55 AM
MrsStuartD's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I can't think of a specific situation. But I will say I have learned how to avoid them. I find myself telling people "Don't say that or don't do that" because I know he won't react well to it. I've learned how to get him to do things by giving him the control over the situations to and that has helped.

I've also been a "tough love" parent. So I think with some things (like leaving playgroup) his tantrums have gotten much better. Mostly because he knows we're leaving no matter how much of a tantrum he pulls and he also knows we'll come back. So although our departures aren't perfect because he can't express his feelings of sadness, they have gotten much better and he walks out on his own now without me having to carry him.
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  #3  
May 4th, 2008, 08:12 PM
Clay and Carson's mommy
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Oh absolutely!!
Any high-stress evironment will set him off. ie: a crowded store or restaurant. Also, just peole in general crowding aroud him will annoy him and get him going..
We just try to avoid being in those types of settings. Certain restaurants we've ruled out. Certain stores I do not take him into.. ie ROSS! and Any store like in the mall...
We are still learning what sets him off,but, we just try our best to work through the meltdown at that moment, and jot it down in our head not to go there again!!
Or atleast not until he starts some therapy so we can as a family learn how to cope.
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  #4  
May 4th, 2008, 09:01 PM
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Gus has lots of little things. Deviation from how he believes something should be done is a big one - we have to begin anything as we mean to go on - if we let him do something one way one time, that is how he will want to do it from then on, any change will likely provoke a meltdown. So, we have to think about every new thing before we do it. Routine, specifically not following the routine, is big trigger.
Foods - big issue. If he thinks he is not going to get the food he is counting on, you can see the meltdown about to happen. I try to avert them by always having the few foods he eats on hand. It's more than just a temper tantrum, he gets really distressed, panicky. If he thinks you are going to try to make him eat something new he freaks out too. It's okay to have it on the table, but we have to slowly work a new food onto his plate.
Not giving him warning - abrupt changes. He needs time to transition from one activity to another - unless it is his decision to change the activity. You can't just say "The bus is here, time to go" and expect him to go get his coat on. We have to prepare. We use social stories for this, visual cues. We hang his backpack by the door. I bring it up well ahead of time. "After lunch, we are going to get ready for the bus to come to taker you to school". "Let's clean up from lunch, soon the bus will come...." "Time to get your coat on, the bus will be here in a few minutes" "Let's go to the window and wait for the bus to come...." and then when the bus comes, he is more likly to get on it without a fuss. Failure to prepare will mean I have to carry him kicking and screaming and he will scream most of the way to school and throw most of his day off.

I can usually anticipate what will set him off now. But sometimes, I cant avoid it and I just have to deal with the tantrum and press on. I have 3 other kids and a husband after all.
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  #5  
May 6th, 2008, 07:10 PM
Clay and Carson's mommy
Join Date: Apr 2006
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to all of the above.
I try hard to do this too.. It does def. help!
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  #6  
May 6th, 2008, 08:00 PM
MrsStuartD's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Gus has lots of little things. Deviation from how he believes something should be done is a big one - we have to begin anything as we mean to go on - if we let him do something one way one time, that is how he will want to do it from then on, any change will likely provoke a meltdown. So, we have to think about every new thing before we do it. Routine, specifically not following the routine, is big trigger.
Foods - big issue. If he thinks he is not going to get the food he is counting on, you can see the meltdown about to happen. I try to avert them by always having the few foods he eats on hand. It's more than just a temper tantrum, he gets really distressed, panicky. If he thinks you are going to try to make him eat something new he freaks out too. It's okay to have it on the table, but we have to slowly work a new food onto his plate.
Not giving him warning - abrupt changes. He needs time to transition from one activity to another - unless it is his decision to change the activity. You can't just say "The bus is here, time to go" and expect him to go get his coat on. We have to prepare. We use social stories for this, visual cues. We hang his backpack by the door. I bring it up well ahead of time. "After lunch, we are going to get ready for the bus to come to taker you to school". "Let's clean up from lunch, soon the bus will come...." "Time to get your coat on, the bus will be here in a few minutes" "Let's go to the window and wait for the bus to come...." and then when the bus comes, he is more likly to get on it without a fuss. Failure to prepare will mean I have to carry him kicking and screaming and he will scream most of the way to school and throw most of his day off.

I can usually anticipate what will set him off now. But sometimes, I cant avoid it and I just have to deal with the tantrum and press on. I have 3 other kids and a husband after all.[/b]
I read a lot about "preparing your child to avoid tantrums" and for me it does the complete opposite. I know it works for so many kids, maybe Cameron is too young? Or maybe it just won't ever work for him. I just deal with the tantrums as they come because if I give him any warning he will pull a huge tantrums until it's time to go or stop doing what he's doing. I guess what works for one doesn't always work for others
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  #7  
May 8th, 2008, 06:27 AM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yes, any kind of family outing can send her into a meltdown. Usually if its we're going to go to the movies, out to eat, etc.... She seems to be able to handle errands pretty well now.

It doesn't matter if we're trying to prepare her or if its a spur of the moment decision but any time we want to go to a movie we know that we have 15minutes to an hour of ranting/crying/melting from her before we go. Its the transition and some kids just don't handle that well. I could give her consequences for it by not taking her to the movie but imo, that would be kind of cruel as it would be punishing her for her brain not being able to handle switching gears. I have made the decision to stay home with her while dh took the other kids out....just because we weren't up for the meltdown so its one of those things that we have to pick our battles. But for the most part, we've found that the way to desenstize her in those situations is to keep doing them over and over. Unfortunately, going to the movies or out to eat isn't a weekly event because its too expensive. Actually eating out has gotten a little easier so its progress. Also wanted to add that by the time we're ready to leave or have arrived at the movie/or where we're going to eat, the meltdown is over and she is the one who ends up having the best time.

Natalie, I've found the same thing with preparation. For us its all about the transition from what Abby's doing or what she's already planned in her head for the day. She's stuck and getting her "unstuck" is the issue
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  #8  
May 11th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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the boys don't really have meltdowns anymore (for me this is different than a good old fashioned temper tantrum). When they do it can be from changes in the routine, walking right in the middle of a crowd use to set Andrew off, and transitions. They use to have several a day, now maybe one a week? The intensity is much less, I can talk them through it now, and saying shhhhhh is a calming technique for them. We have been working on teaching them to comfort themselves for almost a year now, and they have come a long way. Temper tantrums though there are still plenty of, and they are more intense and last longer then my neurotypical daughter, although they are getting better in that department too. I try to head them off before they start if I can.

Oh, for the major transitions, going from home to school and back home after school and when therapy is over, I try to have something ready for them. Often it is a movie in the car and a juice box. That helps alot. It just helps ease the transition.
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