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The 4-Alarm-Emergency, All-Hands-on-Deck Child Meltdown: 7 Proven Strategies That Help

Even adults struggle with handling emotions from time to time, so why do we get so frustrated when kids handle their emotions poorly in the form of a 4 alarm-emergency, all-hands-on-deck meltdown?
Meltdowns happen for many different reasons– but it all boils down to communication, understanding, energy level, hunger level, and coping for a child. If you have the magic potion to end meltdowns all together, please email us!
In the meantime, here are 7 proven coping strategies that help children handle their emotions more effectively when they are upset.

Don’t give in to Meltdowns

If you give in to meltdowns, children will learn they can get what they want by exhibiting this behavior, and will not learn to deal with the emotions they are feeling.
Teach Self –Calming Strategies/Relaxation Tips when your child is upset.  Here are some strategies for teaching your child to calm down.

Kid Tips For Calming Down

1. The Balloon

Have your child hold his hands in front of his mouth like holding a small balloon.  Tell your child to blow up the balloon.  As he blows, he spreads his hands apart to pretend the balloon is getting bigger. Once the balloon is as big as it can get, your child claps his hands together to “pop” the balloon.

2. The Pretzel

Have your child fold herself into a pretzel and squeeze.  Have her wrap her legs together and fold her arms across her chest like she’s hugging herself.  When she is as twisted as she can possibly get, have her squeeze hard.

3. Take a Walk

Have your child take a walk to cool off.  Sometimes just walking around a bit can help.

4. The Bunny

Have your child pretend to be a bunny.  He can get down on the ground like a bunny or just sit on his bottom.  Have him breathe like a bunny does in short, quick breaths.  Don’t let your child do this too long or he might get dizzy! A little bit of shallow breathing can bring his breathing back under his control.  Follow this up with some long deep breaths, like hissing like a snake or blowing out candles.

5. Count or Sing the ABCs

Have your child count as high as he can or sing/say the alphabet.  Many times this is enough to bring the breathing back under control to quell the tantrum.

6. Hug a Pillow/Stuffed Animal

Have your child pick a pillow or stuffed animal to hug.  Tell her to squeeze it hard so she can get all of that upset out.  She could also tell her stuffed animal why she’s upset.

7. Teaching Calm vs. Upset

This understanding can be helpful when talking about your child’s feelings. In order for your child to be calm, they must understand what that means and looks like. Providing examples can help!
– Carrie Ravine, SLP

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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