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Autistic meltdowns - how to handle them?

hicks

hicks

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Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
1,214
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In a galaxy, far far away..
Our daughter has ASD and OCD. Things related to contamination will trigger anxiety, and sometimes meltdowns. This is often crying for long periods, during which you cannot reason with her.
What's the best thing we can do as parents to support and ease this? Any insight from the perspective of a sufferer would be useful.
It's difficult for anyone who doesn't have this condition to appreciate what it feels like. I can see it's very distressing to have this level of anxiety. Daughter doesn't really discuss with us about how she feels, although we're having therapy sessions weekly.
Example this week was a toothbrush, which may have come into contact with the side of the basin, and therefore become contaminated. That triggered off a huge anxiety attack, and lots of crying.
 
E

EstherRose94

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Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
1,765
Location
USA
so I think the first thing Is like OCD is reason-proof. By that I mean reasoning with her is great after her panic subsides but won’t really break through to her during. She probably knows on some level that her toothbrush touching the sink is not a catastrophe but it still FEELS like one. So deal with those feelings first, calm her down with hugs, her favorite show, music, whatever will help make her feel safe. Distract her, get her back to baseline somehow. Then once she’s calm you can be like “okay now let’s remember that if your toothbrush touches the sink it will not hurt you or make anything bad happen. You’re okay, see? You calmed down, good job!”

Also I’m not in the UK and we don’t usually say basin and i def thought it meant toilet at first and I was like I mean...yeah that would be gross.
 
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