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Relaxation techniques for Children with Autism

October 08, 2018 by Kinetic Kids, Inc.

Relaxation techniques for Children with Autism [Pediatric Occupational Therapy]

relaxation techniques for children with autism - Kinetic Kids, Inc.

Children with autism may scream, hit, cry, bite, kick or just have a meltdown for multiple reasons. The child may want something and not be able to tell you exactly what they want or they may be uncomfortable with the clothing they are wearing or be uncomfortable with the noise or lights in a room. Children have tantrums or sensory meltdowns for a variety of reasons and as the caregiver or therapist we have to allow the child to calm down before we can assist them with the issue they are experiencing. How do we assist them in calming down though when they are yelling at you or hitting?

Creating a visual aid of a calm down or relaxation book for the child to reference back to when upset is a great start. Each child is different, and it will be a trial and error to find strategies that benefit the child, but once you have established strategies tantrums and sensory meltdown can be avoided or decreased. It is best to practice the strategies that work for the child on a regular basis and in a variety of settings to be successful in reducing stress and meltdown behaviors.   The care giver and or therapist can make a “My Relaxation Book” for a visual aid as well as for the child to follow the pictured instructions one at a time until the child has completed all the strategies in the book. An example of a relaxation book is listed below.

-Title page states “My Relaxation Book” with the child’s name and picture if desired

1.      Hold the ball and squeeze tightly. Now let go; relax. (picture of hand squeezing ball)

2.      Make a “monster” face. Now let go; relax. (picture of a face squeezing eyes and lips tight then letting go)

3.      Squeeze the ball with your shoulders. Now let go; relax. (picture of placing ball between head and shoulder and squeezing ball between head and shoulder)

4.      Squeeze the ball with your knees. Now let go; relax. (picture of placing ball between knees and squeezing)

5.      Now hold your breath. Blow out and relax…(picture of a person taking deep breath and blowing out)

6.      Now you are nice and relaxed. ( picture of a smiling face)

In Need of Additional Awesome-Sauce? 

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Here are some other related blog articles that we've created here at Kinetic Kids that may be of interest to you:

Want some interesting calming supports?


Try making fidget balls!!  

Fidget balls generally help to:

  • keep one’s hands busy, and 
  • allows children to better focus while completing an activity


Learn How to Make Amazing Fidget Balls

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Topics: pediatric occupational therapy

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