Meltdowns. For many high functioning autistic adults, they are their worst enemy. Many autistic adults can “pass” as neurotypical when making friends, having a job, and being in a relationship. However, many adults still don’t know how to handle meltdowns.
Meltdowns are an autistic person’s way of treating over-stimulation. When you feel over stimulated, you may explode to let all the emotions out. This can usually entail screaming, hitting something, or hurting yourself to get the frustrations out.
For those who don’t know about autism, or even for those who are familiar with it, this can be shocking. Adults aren’t supposed to show intense emotion, and an autistic adult may be in trouble if not just but embarrassed over the situation.
For many autistic adults, there is no buildup, either. It can happen suddenly, making it tougher to handle. Here are some ways we can help.
Speak to a Counselor
If your meltdowns are intense, you may want to seek help. Even if they aren’t, every autistic adult is different, and thus every one has a different way of handling their meltdowns. A therapist or counselor may be able to help. Sites such as Regain can help you. Online counseling is great for adults who are socially awkward and can’t travel.
A therapist won’t be able to cure you, but you can learn coping mechanisms and learning how you can explain your autism to people who are unaware of what it entails.
Look for the Triggers
Autistic meltdowns are quite sudden, but many people have triggers. Of course, not everyone has the same triggers. Every autistic person’s brain is wired in a different way. Some people are triggered by loud noises, others by stress, others by something odd like a certain smell. Finding the triggers can help you minimize the chances of a meltdown. This is another reason why you should speak to a professional. They can help you find the triggers and allow you to prevent a meltdown whenever possible.
Feel the Rumble
A rumble is a part of the meltdown where someone is showing signs. It is different for every person, but signs of a rumble include:
- talking faster
- any other odd behavior
Some people have longer or shorter rumbles. If you find yourself rumbling before the meltdown, try going to a calming place. Take a few breaths or calm yourself down. People should realize your social difficulties and make sure they cater to them within reason.
Let Them Out
Sometimes, there is no way for you to stop it. It’s okay. It’s how autistic people release pressure, and you’re not a bad person for wanting to reboot. Some people think meltdowns are tantrums, but they aren’t. Family needs to be made aware and know about how to handle them. You should click here for more family tips.
Don’t Let Anyone Intervene
Some autistic people may want a hug or reassurance, but if you aren’t one of those people, let people give you space. After you’ve refreshed, you can come back better than ever.
Of course, it’s hard for people to realize that autistic meltdowns are something that’s beyond the control of many autistic people. Autistic people may lose jobs, relationships, and have other troubles if they have a meltdown. While autism awareness has given progress, there is still a lot of work to be done. Perhaps one day, there will be ways for an autistic person to melt down safely and not worry about ruining their reputation or being seen as an adult baby.