Sunday, July 19, 2015

Triggers for Autism

Autism is complicated.  Every child is different.  Every situation for every child is different.  It is unpredictable.  There are definite triggers that can be seen and hopefully be used to prevent major meltdowns. 

The following chart is the best I have seen to visually illustrate the triggers that can set off a child with Autism and SPD (Sensory Process Disorder):

Some triggers for Max are unfamiliar places with people he doesn't know.  Max has high social anxiety, and hates walking into a new room of people.  Max doesn't like clothes at all.  He would rather be naked with a diaper all day.  He likes soft cotton only.  He doesn't like anything tight on his body, or anything with tags.  Max doesn't like loud noises that come from random places.  He can hear better than anyone I know, so when there are a lot of noises coming from multiple venues he gets very agitated.  This is why a bowling alley, fireworks, large parties, etc. are so overstimulating and hard for Max.

We try our hardest to anticipate meltdowns and what environments will be overstimulating.  But we also want Max to experience the world.  We want him to try new things even if it does cause a meltdown.  We also want to make sure he learns how to manage meltdowns.  So if we are out somewhere are you hear a screaming child, just remember they could be in the middle of a major Autism meltdown and be kind to the parent and child.  In general, be kind to one another.  

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