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Children Playing Outdoor

Managing Meltdowns

This section contains information on how to support your child during a meltdown, if you have any further information let me know and I will add it.


Life can be hard, frustrating and exhausting for a child with SEN, they maybe struggling to adjust to a new routine and make sense of what is happening or face sensory overloads and feel completely overwhelmed. It is likely that the stresses of what is happening will impact on your child's behaviour, You know your child better than anyone but here are some useful coping strategies which may help

  • Stay calm and don't shout

  • if your child has triggers which have caused the meltdown remove them

  • remove other children and things from the situation - reduce stimulations

  • talk in a calm soothing voice

  • give clear short instructions

  • remove anything that can cause them harm

  • don't tell them off

  • Stay close and watch them without over crowding them

  • Use breathing exercises 10 Calming Breathing Techniques for Kids - The Inspired Treehouse

  • When they are calming down give them a cuddle - big squeezes help to calm

  • when they have calmed down - let them relax, give them a drink or snack, chewing will help to calm them further

  • retreat to a quiet space

  • when they are ready talk to them about what happened so that you can avoid it again in the future

Remember a meltdown is not bad behaviour, it is when your child is so overwhelmed and overloaded that they cannot communicate this - they have lost their words. They are having a fight or flight response and they have lost control, they really need you not to.

Useful Links

18 Strategies for de-escalation

18 Effective De-Escalation Strategies For Defusing Meltdowns (

Pushing a wall to settle the nervous system

Pushing a Wall to Settle the Nervous System - YouTube

Using Physical work to calm the brain

Using Physical Work to Calm the Brain - YouTube

Sipping water for self-care during the school day

Sipping Water for Self-Care During the School Day - YouTube

Taking a walk to de-escalate

Taking a Quick Walk to De-escalate - YouTube

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