How to Help with Autistic Meltdowns
Autistic meltdowns are often a result of continual masking or “camouflaging” whilst being made to meet certain neurotypical expectations without adequate support or understanding.
Autistic masking takes up so much energy as we try to “appear normal”.
Huge amounts of energy are poured, from a very early age, into copying, mimicking, suppressing stimming (which is actually vital for self-regulation) bottling up feelings, overthinking, as well as scripting conversations and responses.
The long-term effects of maintaining this, trying to standardise ourselves to blend in, can seriously impact our mental health, leading to autistic meltdown, autistic burnout and eventually autistic shutdown.
Recently I’ve been working with many children and young adults whose schools have tried to “standardise” them, and the results have been heartbreaking.
The only result of hammering a square peg into a round hole is that the person gets broken.
As parents and professionals, we need to keep on advocating and educating as much as we possibly can.
In the meantime ensure that you or your child get plenty of rest and sleep, spend essential time unmasking, engage in special interests or passions, immerse in sensory experiences and ensure that all the appropriate supports and accommodations are in place. Weighted blankets are also wonderful as is sensory soothing such as touch with pressure or body brushing.
Mindfulness, gentle yoga, breathing exercises and immersive/ sensory meditations are also very beneficial. I share many therapeutic ideas daily on my public Facebook groups. ( See below)
It’s a still a tough world out there for autistics and we have a long way to go.
We are all in this together and we won’t stop joining our voices together until real change, real educators and true acceptance happens.
However in the meantime try to unmask little by little and accept the wonderful, whole, neurodivergent you and all your many possibilities.
Have a wonderful Easter break,
Lots of love,