How to Calm Your Child When Having a Meltdown

One of the biggest challenges for many families who have a child with special needs is dealing with negative behaviors and meltdowns. “What calming strategies have you found to be successful?” is a question I get asked often. Here are my Top 10 Tips to calm a child having a meltdown:

1. Prevention is the best policy. 

This will become easier as you learn to identify and avoid meltdown triggers.

2. Do your research.

Especially if triggers aren’t obvious- to determine what factors were in place that resulted ina meltdown: make a list of things going on before the behavior took a turn for the worse and see if you can find patters.


3. Use deep pressure

This includes weighted blankets and massage to ease your child back into a calmer state.

4. Create a diversion 

Take you child’s attention elsewhere. This could be singing a song, taking a walk, making silly faces or whatever usually makes your child laugh.


5. Keep yourself calm

And seek a calm environment to encourage de-escalation.

6. Aromatherapy

This can be soothing especially lavender and chamomile oils.


7. Provide positive verbal reinforcements

Due this as your child shows signs of calming down.

8. A pop-up tent

This can be effective in easing your child by providing alone time. Place soothing objects inside such as a bean bag, soft blanket, a favorite book, etc.


9. A Gluten-Free diet and various biomedical treatments

Over time may result in a lessening of meltdown tendencies.

10. Consider noise cancelling headphones

This can eliminate auditory input which can lead to sensory overload.