Not All Meltdowns Are Behavioral!
Updated: 2/3/2020
Not All Meltdowns Are Behavioral!
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  • I can't seem to figure out what's going on with Amy, the one in the yellow. She's our new student and she's frequently having meltdowns like this.
  • Has it been going on all day?
  • This one started right when the bell rang for recess. She was even kicking, screaming, and trying to push students when lining up with the other kids. I've tried different things like social stories and token boards. Nothing seems to work.
  • It could be that she is hypersensitive to certain stimulus, like crowds of children running around or loud noises, like the school bell. This is known as sensory overload. Studies have shown that sensory processing is a part of the earlier developmental stages, so difficulties with this can cause issues with self regulation.
  • I have definitely noticed her covering her ears throughout the day!
  • Not all meltdowns are necessarily behavioral. Sometimes, they indicate sensory needs. Amy was covering her ears in the playground and seems to be overwhelmed in these situations.
  • There are various sensory strategies that can help promote her self-regulation. For example, create a quiet corner with noise cancelling headphones, a weighted blanket, and theraputty as a fidget. She can also go to lunch and recess earlier than everyone to make the transition less overwhelming.
  • Wow, this is so helpful to know! What are some ways I can help Amy? It seems to really be impacting her learning experience.
  • Hey, Amy, let's take a break here and try out these headphones and this comfy blanket.
  • She seems like she's already calming down!
  • Yeah, I'm pretty happy about how well it worked. Although, remember there may be good days and bad days. It takes practice but there is also more strategies to try if one doesn't work. Now, when Amy is ready, she can rejoin the rest of the class from her quiet time.
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