We Have a Runner!

If your Aspergers Syndrome child tends to run away when he's melting down, it can cause their parents, teachers and carers stress and concern for safety. Please try and remember that it’s the child’s brain that is telling them to run – the flight response – triggered by a feeling of fear. Never chase fleeing AS children - this only makes them run faster and sometimes straight onto a road. Instead tail them at a distance, keeping them in sight - following at an easy walking pace. When the child has run his meltdown out, he'll usually allow you to catch up with him, or come back to you.

Don't try to debrief the situation too soon, as this may ignite the meltdown all over again. You are on a hair trigger at this point. Stay calm and help the child to calm himself. Offer him something to eat and drink to replenish glucose levels - remember, he's just had a HUGE adrenalin rush, and this can leave him feeling exhausted, shaky and/or nauseous.

When your Aspie child is calm (and this may be days later) talk to him about the safety aspect of running when melting down. Ask him to suggest where he could run safely until his meltdown is over. Discuss the most appropriate solution and decide to try it next time he's melting down. e.g. at school he could run around the oval, and at home he could run around the back yard or around the block if he's older. Ask him to suggest his preferences for how his meltdown is to be managed e.g. teacher/staff member observe from a distance, but not approach.

If you ask questions and really listen to your Asperger child, you'll often be amazed at their answers! Remember, they wouldn't meltdown if they could stop or prevent it, so helping them manage a meltdown and giving them some control over their options can really help to reduce the intensity and duration of it.

Nelle Frances 08-Oct-2013 0 Comments
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