Autistic meltdowns are great emotional and behavioral reactions by autistic individuals. Autism is also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects certain milestones such as communication, behavior, and social interaction. The disorder is a spectrum, which means that every individual is affected differently from others.
Signs and symptoms of autism
So, there are some common signs and symptoms of autism. These include;
- Difficulties in social interaction.
- A repetitive behavior.
- Having difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Being sensitive to sensory input for instance sounds or textures.
The symptoms are typically observed during the early years of development.
ASD is a complex neurological condition that may be caused by genetic and environmental factors. Although, the main cause of the disorder has not been known.
- Genetics– According to research, genetics play a big role in the development of ASD. This is through several genes that have been identified and therefore related to the disorder. However, there is no single gene being identified as a sole cause.
- Environmental factors– Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins, infections during pregnancy, and complications during pregnancy or birth are associated with ASD.
- Brain development– Research shows that the disorder may be related to differences in the development of brains such as abnormal connectivity and function in some parts of the brain.
- Immune system dysfunction
It is good to note that the above factors do not necessarily cause the disorder in all individuals. Therefore, the precise cause may vary from one individual to the other.
Treatment for autism
Unfortunately, autism has no cure. However, a caregiver should step in for early intervention with therapies. For instance, speech, behavioral, and occupational therapy offer help to autistic people. This helps to improve their communication skills, manage their behaviors, and also develop their social skills. Also, some medications are at times prescribed to help manage symptoms such as anxiety or depression.
Meltdowns are great emotional and behavioral reactions by an individual with autism that happens when they are overwhelmed or overstimulated. The reactions may be triggered by things such as changes in routine, social interactions, sensory overload, and other stressors. However, they may also experience meltdowns as a result of difficulties in communication or emotional regulation.
Signs and symptoms
- Show self-injurious behaviors.
However, it is good to note that the behaviors are not intentional and do not reflect their character or personality. They are just natural responses to overwhelming stimuli.
Ways to handle autistic meltdowns
Meltdowns should be handled with patience, understanding, and empathy. As a caregiver, you should create a calm and safe environment for an individual with autism, offer sensory support, and help them in regulating their emotions.