How to Manage School Meltdowns

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How to Manage School Meltdowns

How to Manage School Meltdowns | Los Angeles Special Education

Meltdowns happen with toddlers and young children quite often due to their underdeveloped processing systems. With special needs children, they can happen even more frequently, last longer and have more concerning side effects for parents and teachers. Particularly concerning for most adults is when these meltdowns happen at school. Whether your child suffers from diagnosed panic attacks, general temper tantrums or meltdowns based on sensory overload, here are a few tips for making the transition back to calm easier than ever.

Figure out the Cause

If you can target the exact cause of the meltdown and remove the trigger, the meltdown may be able to end naturally on its own. For example, some children are triggered by noises, smells, or materials that feel a certain way.

Learn and Teach Calming Methods

Parents can help their children calm down by practicing certain relaxation methods. Many of these are taught in cognitive-behavioral therapy or other therapy classes. Some popular options include breathing exercises and sensory therapy. Other children calm down naturally with massage or exercise.

Come up with a Plan

Instead of winging it the next time a child reaches a meltdown, adults should create a plan for dealing with problems. A plan will decrease the amount of time that the meltdown lasts.

Be Consistent

Being consistent with the plan can create a calming ritual for the child. Even when it is difficult to continue with the plan because it does not seem to be working, parents and teachers must persist. They may need to make adjustments to the plan especially as the child ages, but the basics of the plan will remain the same because most children keep the same anxieties for years.

Of course, no two children respond to stimuli or to mood adjustments exactly the same. Instead, parents must take these tips and work through them in such a way to blend them with their child’s emotional and physical needs. This can be quite difficult to do when a child is in school and is away from parents. This is why public schools must have systems and policies in place to deal with certain behaviors from special education students. If you need help working with your school district to get the programs that would most benefit your child, contact Newman, Aaronson, Vanaman to find a special needs lawyer who can work with you.
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