Calming Strategies for Children With Autism -
Great Tools to Use For Transitioning Back to School
Children with autism are frequently overstimulated by lights, sounds and touch. They may become frustrated and overwhelmed when routines change. They may want to eat only certain foods and become agitated when that food isn’t available. As any parent of a child with autism will tell you, there are many different situations that could cause meltdowns, agitation or frustration. Calming a child with autism sometimes seems just part of the daily routine.
The following are strategies to help you calm your child:
Pressure Input: Applying deep pressure input through the muscles, joints, and skin provides children (and adults) with some of the safest and most effective calming inputs.
- Swadding or wrapping your child in blankets; wearing a body sock
- Pillow to nestle, wrestle, and cuddle in; use a variety of sizes and textures
- Weighted blankets; weighted or inflatable vestsor cuffs at wrists/ankles
- Wearing ace wraps on arms, legs, or trunk; wearing spandex undergarments or neoprene gloves, shorts, headbands, etc.
- Wedged into a squeeze machine
- Wedged into a barrel with pillows
- Roll a Swiss ball (gymnastic ball) over a person wtih careful pressure: For kids, we recommend a 55 cm ball in diameter that is slightly deflated
Heavy Work: Involves active pressure input to the muscles and joints through pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, and "working"!
- Kneading bread dough, stirring baking mixes, using a rolling pin
- Vacuuming, carrying the laundry, carrying any load, and mowing the lawn
- Pushing the grocery cart, pulling a wagon, riding a bike
- Push-ups or pushing against a wall
- Climbing stairs, stair master, or rowing machine or rowing boat
- Carrying a backpack.
Heavy Work in the Hands: This effective technique can be used in different environments, and is characterized as "fidget and focus."
- Play dough/therapy putty work
- Playing with fidget balls (Check out the how-to guide mentioned below, on creating amazing fidget balls!)
- Having access to one or preferably more small manipulative toys
Interested In More Techniques To Support Your Child?
Here are some related blog articles that we believe would be helpful:
- 9 Ideas to Support People with Autism [Infographic]
- Sensory Activities - Pediatric Occupational Therapy [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Does My Child Have a Problem With Sensory Processing [SLIDESHARE]
Do you need some great ideas on getting your child to focus?
Want some interesting calming supports? We have the answers for you!! Try making fidget balls!! Fidget balls generally help to:
- keep one’s hands busy, and
- allows children to better focus while completing an activity.
Now it’s time to say goodbye . . .
Thanks so much for reading our post! We hope that you've found this information to be helpful!
Until next time!!