How to help a child with autism handle spiritual abilities and meltdowns

As a clairvoyant and spiritual therapist, I help several families with children with autism spectrum disorders handle their child’s spiritual abilities.

It is my experience that many of these children are gifted children as well, despite society calling them autistic children. Many of these children come to our world as pure souls. They are not able to manipulate, and they do not have an ego either. Many of these children are very fond of animals and nature; some can even see souls you cannot see. They tell you about it as it is the most natural thing, and the parents start to doubt if it is their imagination or if it is a possibility that these children are truly gifted.

They are super sensitive and experience a sensory overload faster than “normal functioning children”. They do that primarily because their brains aren’t that developed in their frontal lobes, and they are higher sensitive towards the noise you and I have gotten used to over time.

Noise comes in many forms. Not just as a sensory challenge but also as all the stimuli we are surrounded by every day. We have radio, TV, tablets, cell phones, and people who constantly ask us questions and things to learn or give.

Many of the autistic children I help can find peace in their own safe spaces. That is often found in a room with something that interests them, such as a book or on YouTube on a tablet, computer, or cell phone. In their safe place, they can control what kind of stimuli they want, how high the noise can be, or the volume of what they see, and they do not want to be disturbed.

The autistic children I help in therapy can read other people fast.

They scan them with their eyes or other senses, and they feel other people’s intentions immediately. That’s why I always support the children to be selective because they are always right. They simply see it before the adults do.
The positive behavior of these children is found in trusting that their senses are better and higher well functioned than the rest of us.

Some of these children appear shy at first. Some parents force their children to be well-behaved and shake hands with people they know or do not know because this is what we do when we behave. I always tell the parents that we cannot force the children to shake hands with people if they are not ready. We, as adults can take away that pressure on the children and tell other people, that the child will say hi when the child is ready.

The parents I work with, who have a problem with this, are often afraid of what other people think of them and their upbringing, more than speculating about what’s best for their child.

In those cases, I always remind the parents, that if we don’t support them in what they feel and need, it can quickly turn out into a temper tantrum, where the child must act out or let out steam, which consists of a high-pressure and built-up energy.
And then here comes the next question.

When is my child misbehaving and when is my child having a hard time?

Deep down inside you know the difference even though it is hard to tell. Your child will also try to push your boundaries and that is healthy if he or she does that. If you give in all the time, it is natural that your child will have difficulties with you, when you are saying no in the future. But there’s a big difference between your child who wants something and when your child needs something.

Your child, spiritual or not, wants to fit in and be as normal as possible – just like you. Your child is aware of the energies around it and collects the emotions around it, both the good and the bad ones. If you feel grief or frustration over having a different child, you must know, that your child is so gifted, so they know. They sense you; they feel you and some of them read your thoughts without telling you about it. They will never stop loving you. They want to adapt, and they will try to cooperate with you if they can, as long as their nervous system can take it. These children will just be loved as they are.

What triggers autism meltdowns

One of the main reasons for an autistic child to have a meltdown is if you didn’t mentally prepare your child well enough. You can mentally prepare your child with board maker cards or make a weekly schedule for your child to see and hang up on a wall or the fridge.

The more consistency and continuity your autistic child has, the better.

That could be eating dinner at the same time every night, doing the dishes in the same way, putting your child to sleep in the same way every night, and turning down the lights at the same time each evening. Most autistic children are downloading information and stimuli so fast, that they do not have the energy to focus on the structure of their everyday life too.

You can compare this reaction with imagining that you had to start a new job every day. And you were never told what you had to do during the day or what your assignments were. That would frustrate you over time and in the end, you would come down sick or even quit your job. But your autistic child cannot quit life. Remember that if your child is fighting you, at least she or he didn’t give up on life.

What does an autistic meltdown look like

I help children that can explode into the outer world and children that implode into their inner world. The children who explode in the outer world have gathered energy and frustrations long before it is triggered, and a meltdown occurs.

A meltdown could look like they are throwing themselves on the floor and starting to cry or scream, they will find objects and throw them at you or something else in desperation for letting go of energy. Or in some cases, the children get so frustrated, that they need to take their energy out on another human being and become violent.

The children who implode, often get self-destructive and start to hurt themselves by banging their heads into the wall, beating themselves with a fist in the head, or biting themselves in the arm or other parts of the body, to let go of the steam.

Both temper tantrums and meltdowns are hard to watch for the parents and their surroundings because it seems as if you cannot reach the child when they get into that stage.

Many of these children cannot postpone their needs and one of the reasons for them to have a meltdown is waiting and not knowing how long they must wait. Many parents tend to say: “Yes I will be there in a while”.
But what is “a while”? That is not structured or something that can be put into a time frame.

Therefore, to avoid temper tantrums and meltdowns, I highly recommend you be very concrete when it comes to the time setting.

If your child must wait, then please tell your child for how many minutes.

The same thing goes for disturbing your child or you need to change the scene for your child. That could be if you were visiting other people and you had to go home.

It is relevant to tell your child WHEN you are going home. You can tell them: “In thirty minutes we are going home” and again “in ten minutes we are going home” and then “time’s up and we have to go home”. Many of these children don’t tolerate a surprise that they are not prepared for, and this also goes for changing the scenario. From one house to another. From home to school. From school to the soccer field etc.

What happens during a meltdown

If you imagine your autistic child as a can of soda. Then imagine that every stimulus around your child is like shaking the can. Each vibration of the wind blows, a noise in the background, a different smell in the air, someone touching you, someone asking you a question. Your child’s soda can is being shaken many times during the day. Your child finds the balance and can calm down the inner pressure, if they get time, peace, and rest to themselves. But if you don’t give your autistic child that possibility then the can will have an overload of energy. You and I can take away that pressure naturally. Your child cannot. Imagine the meltdown that happens when your children can explode because the pressure is too big. After the built-up energy has been released, then your child is calm in the nervous system again. You, as a parent might be overwhelmed and shocked to see your child react in a meltdown, and the very minute after it is over, your child is calm again. Then, you are overloaded with anger, built-up energy, and grief over what you just witnessed.

How long does an autistic meltdown last

I see many parents or grown-ups working professionally with autistic children who simply just don’t get it. If the child resists doing what the adult wants them to do, many people start to tell the child: “that he or she is misbehaving, is not a good child, they do not want to be around the child, the child is not charming now”, etc.

The child has locked his or her idea on something. It could be I don’t want to get into that car because I don’t know where we are going or how long the drive is.

The child often refuses to make the change from one place to another. It could be going from school to the house, from the room to the living room, from having clothes on to taking them off. All these examples are huge differences in the child’s life when we investigate it from a sensory perspective

The duration of a meltdown is often depending on how quickly the adult knows what the child needs of information before any change AND quickly takes the child out of the energy and makes a scene change. A meltdown typically lasts from 10 minutes to 1 hour until the child is exhausted and gives up fighting. Then some children are calm for 15 minutes and then it starts all over again because the nervous system cannot find the rest of the explanation.

To avoid meltdowns, I highly recommend you be aware of any changes is something an autistic child needs to be aware of it will cost them a lot of energy. It will be very helpful to tell the child what the plan is. No autistic children like surprises and no children do. The more predictable you are, the easier it is to build new experiences into your child’s life. Being predictable could mean that you tell your child every morning what the plan is for the rest of the day.

If you are going out of the house to visit a grandparent you tell your child when you are going out in the car, how long the drive is and how long you are staying at the grandparents before you will drive back home again. 15 minutes before you need to go out the door and sit in the car, you start to prepare your child that 15 minutes from now, you must get dressed and go out in the car.

10 minutes before you do it again. 5 minutes before you do it again. And then you can ask your child to come with you. In that way, your child has had the time to adapt to the change and mentally prepare himself to go out the door and into the car.

You can repeat this preparational exercise with every change you and your child have during the day.

Do autism meltdowns improve with age

Yes, autism meltdowns improve with age because the child will learn to be more spacious over the years and deal with finding a way on her or his own to balance and calm down the nervous system. It is important that the adults around the autistic child learn that you cannot change the child. It is the adult or the society that needs to change around the child for the meltdowns to stop. You can say that these autistic children force us to change because they will never give in. With age, the parents and the adults helping the child have learned what works too.

If you want my professional help and get more tools in your everyday life, you are welcome to join me in my Masterclass for parents.

Ditte Young | Author | Therapist | Clairvoyant

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