An autistic individual can get overwhelmed and engulfed due to strong emotions and sensory input. And, when this happens, they’ll need someone to escort them to somewhere quiet to let them calm down a little. Here’s how you can work in this aspect.

Calming Down An Autistic Person – A Guide 

When it comes to taking care of an autistic person, you should be the one to stay calm first. If you can maintain the demeanor properly, the individual autism will follow suit as well. Keep reading to learn what you should do next.

Step – 1: Talk To Them Gently 

Once you’ve calmed down a little, ask them what’s wrong gently. In some cases, they might end up losing their ability to talk due to getting overwhelmed by emotions. So, you should try to pat their back or head to make them feel a little more comfortable. You may also ask them a yes/no question so that they can reply to you by showing thumbs up/down.

Step – 2: Offer Your Support

As mentioned before, you should always be supportive to an autistic person, especially if they feel too overwhelmed by emotions. Take them to a quiet place if you can and ask if they want you to stay with them or not. If they want to be left (if it’s a child), get away from them and sit in a corner of the room. Keep them within your eyesight, if you can.

Step – 3: Keep Them Safe

Sometimes, when they’re feeling too deranged, your child might start throwing everything here and there. So, try to keep them safe by replacing anything sharp available within their throwing range. Besides, put a pillow near them so that you can protect their head from doing something self-harming, like banging their heads.

Step – 4: Reduce Sensory Input

An individual with autism will have an issue or two with sensory inputs – they feel, see, and hear things more than we do. Hence, it’s better to reduce their exposure to such things while they’re feeling too overwhelmed. For example –

  • Dim the lights a little.
  • Put off distracting devices, such as radios or TVs.
  • If they want to hide in a small place, let them do it.

Step – 5: Try Massaging 

If the person wants you to touch them, you can try massaging their head a little which studies have shown can be an efficient treatment for decreasing symptoms. Get them into a seemingly-comfortable position and give their temples a little squeeze. You may also try to rub their backs or massage their shoulders to make them feel better. If the person feels better, they’ll also direct you to the places where they want you to massage.

Step – 6: Let Them Do The Stimming 

When an autistic individual feels too emotionally overwhelmed, they’ll start stimming a little, including hand-flapping, rocking, or finger-flicking. It’s a type of self-calming mechanism, so let them do it as much as they want to. However, If they’re hurting themselves, you can try to redirect them to do something else. Like, tell them to hit the cushions instead of their head.

Step – 7: Apply Gentle Pressure

If they’re accommodating enough, you can also stand or sit behind them and apply reposeful pressure from behind. You may also face your head sideways and put your cheek against their face. This is known as deep pressure and can help the stressed out person feel relaxed. In any case, if they don’t want to get touched, you may also offer them a weighted blanket.

Step – 8: Listen To Them

If you’re thinking about talking to them, just say, “I’m here to listen if you want to talk about it.” Yes, that’s the magic sentence. If they feel like opening up, they’ll tell you about what’s bugging them. And, if you’re efficient enough, you should also try to solve their problem or encourage them by using proper words. But, don’t do it by stopping them suddenly.

Be Their Medicine, Not The Trigger!

Calming down someone having trouble with their sensory inputs can be difficult. However, if you follow these tips, we feel like you’ll do much better in this accord. Just make sure that you’re calm yourself, and everything will be fine. 

For a more overarching treatment of autism be sure to explore long term autism focused therapists,doctor subscribed medication, and even over the counter nutritional support supplements which may  help in reducing anxiety and improve calmness in autistic children.

Good luck!

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