Children with autism can often become overwhelmed or overstimulated in situations beyond their control. It is important for caregivers, teachers, and therapists to be able to have calming strategies to help these children even if they may not know what caused their discomfort. As a behavior analyst, we often provide advice regarding overstimulation and stress management.
Here are some of the key points analysts always keep in mind especially during behavior therapy:
- Remember the rule of one
Have only one person talk to the child and ask them to do only one thing. Having too many people talking all at once can escalate it.
- Have the child practice deep breathing
Their breathing can become fast and shallow as their heart rate increases. Help them calm down by taking deep breaths.
- Use Isometric exercise
As done in ABA therapy in New Port Richey, Florida, they can perform an isometric exercise to let go of tension. Have them stop for a moment, squeeze their hands together then open them.
- Keep a calming area
Have a corner with fidget toys, pillows, bean bags, and other calming items and places they can identify as a safe space.