Every Parent of a child with autism faces them!
Kai is now 10 and still has meltdowns, mostly when we go out he says he wants to go somewhere. When we get there he wants to go home or decides he does not want to be there for some reason and screams and shouts. People always look at you funny when this happens or talk to themselves, I know they are thinking bad parent or so on. I don’t really care what they say about me I always think say it to my face would be better though.
Well so what have I found in these 10 years of meltdowns. I found over this summer holiday the meltdowns are less, This is because I have chosen to introduce a reward style system, this goes for his xbox and iPad too. Kai is not allowed to play during the week now. He can use the PC if he is doing something educational or programming or what he enjoys but is learning.
Rewards come in the shape of stickers or sweets, ice-cream, healthy snacks like carrot sticks, tomatoes, fruit, depending on the reward and how many bad snacks his had.
Routines and why doing them
I find also sticking to his routines also help with the melt downs too. So Hiroko and I have set plans, wake up at 7, Wash and Dress, Kai cannot dress himself properly so we usually have to help. Breakfast at 7:30, Read a book, Then a planned activity 12:00 Lunch. 1PM Play toys for a few hours. 3pm do some math or science. We find activities online, he loves math and science so he does not mind doing it. 4pm free time to do app or other actives on the PC or watch some TV. 6pm dinner 7pm watch 1hr of TV 8pm shower brush teeth and bed time read a book and sleep.
We inter change with park or cinema or other activities these but try to keep to the same timings and it seems to work better.
Weekend, the same but his allowed to play XBOX or IPAD instead of some study. this works very well. I said to him I don’t want him to be cleaver, I want him to be independent so you might wonder why the study. well its more so when he goes back to school in sept that his not so shocked when his routine changes again. I also give him things he likes so its not forced learning.
So how do I reward. Well this is done when his a good boy he finishes his work. He has not melted down or he asks a good question. I will give him a tick for all of these things and when he reaches 10 ticks he can get a treat.
He does something like this at school with pegs, it works really well.
although he still has his sort of meltdowns every now and then as in Kaionthebus
This was not really a meltdown but he is noisy. lol
If you have any tips or tricks about melt downs please leave me a message I would be grateful to hear what you do.
All the best Terry