ADHD, Autism and Meltdowns (video)

ADHD, Autism and Meltdowns (video)

 The following video is an excerpt taken from the Parent Workshop at the Neuro-linguistic Learning Center in 2010.

In this portion of the workshop, Gerald talks about the process leading up to meltdowns and how to prevent them. There are a number of symptoms and behaviors that can help parents see meltdowns coming. 

Armed with this information, a vigilant parent can help avoid many meltdowns that might otherwise occur.  


Another issue is how to respond once a meltdown occurs. At this point, the child is beyond reason and logic, threats and rewards. Any perceived threat is likely to simply exacerbate the severity of the meltdown. A few more ideas to help avoid meltdowns are: 

  • Take regularly scheduled breaks to avoid mental fatigue.
  • Honor calendars and project schedules to avoid undue stress.
  • Maintain clear goals and expectations to avoid uncertainty and anxiety.
  • Provide a “place of refuge” where persons experiencing feelings of stress or overwhelm can go to de-stress or decompress.
  • Maintain good light quality – LED’s are best; some fluorescent lights can cause visual stress.
  • To the extent possible, limit background noise, overlapping conversations, and excessive interruptions.
  • Maintain a safe environment—predictable with few sensory “surprises”.
  • Encourage employees to address differences in perspective calmly and respectfully.
  • Be ready and willing to cut activities short. Two successful 15-minute trips to the market are far better than one 30-minute trip that ends in a meltdown.
  • Parents should consider learning stress-reduction and sensory integration strategies to further avoid meltdowns.
  • Parents should consider learning "Multiple Futures", "Sensory Anchoring", and “Pattern Interrupts” to avoid or mitigate meltdowns when they do occur.
  • Lastly, parents must not take meltdowns personally. If helpful, repeat to yourself, "It's not about me. It's not about me..."

Learn to mentally step back (dissociate) from the meltdown situation. This can help maintain good judgment as well as avoid getting overly stressed yourself.

Obviously, if the child appears to be a danger to himself or others, restraint may be the only option But, it should always be a last option. If possible, it is better to provide the child with a safe space to release the intense feelings.

For more information on preventing and mitigating the effects of meltdowns, contact us at



  • Tags: adhd, anxiety, autism, brain, brain dominance, brain hemisphere, Dyslexia, education, meltdowns, Neuro-linguistic Learning Center, parenting, stress, Sympathetic Nervous System

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