8 meltdown tips
Jessica Glenbocki

8 meltdown tips to help your child avoid a tough time after school

8 meltdown tips
Jessica Glenbocki

8 meltdown tips to help your child avoid a tough time after school

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Does your child hold it together for most of the school day and then have a meltdown at home?  As a pediatric therapist, I often hear this and put together some simple meltdown tips to help you avoid that meltdown!

What causes meltdowns?

The school day is full of multi-sensory input, placing great demand and stress on the nervous system. This is especially difficult for those kids who struggle with sensory modulation and self-regulation. Your child tries hard to follow classroom rules, please the teacher and staff, and meet peers’ social expectations. When your child returns home from a long day of stress on the nervous system, they may need to meltdown to let it all out in an environment where your child feels safe, is not judged by others, and can be with those who love and respect the sensory differences.

8 tips on preventing a meltdown

  1. Respect a meltdown as a true signal that the school day was overwhelming and challenging.
  2. Try not to lean towards the theory of “Why do they do this at home and not at school? Doesn’t that mean they can control it?”
  3. Offer a sensory retreat (small, quiet space) to help unwind and unload the sensory input from the day.
  4. Provide an indoor swing such as a hammock or cuddle swing, as swinging in slow, rhythmical planes of movement can be very calming and regulating.
  5. Provide full body pressure touch (hugs, massage).
  6. Provide opportunities for proprioception (deep pressure and heavy work activities).
  7. Decrease the number of stimuli for at least an hour when your child gets home from school.
  8. Refrain from chores, homework, and other demands during the after-school hour.


Related articles you may find useful:

The rundown on meltdowns

Everything you need to know about meltdowns

Homeschooling children with intellectual disabilities

About the Author

I am an occupational therapist with 12 years of experience working with children of all ages and diagnoses. I graduated from Cleveland State University with a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. After working in the field for a number of years, I obtained my certification in sensory integration. I currently work with school-based children in a virtual setting, focusing on fine motor, visual motor, self-help and sensory processing skills. I am also pursuing my Doctorate of Occupational Therapy through Shawnee State University’s on-line program. My pediatric experience includes working with children of all ages in various settings such as hospital based out-patient clinic, private out-patient clinic, early intervention, and school-based; brick and mortar and virtual schools. It is my hope to help educate and provide you with the tools to allow your child to reach their greatest potential. Treatment approaches focus on play and client/child centered interventions. My passion is helping children and families live their lives to the fullest!

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