Creating a Calming Environment for Your Autistic Child 2

Creating a Calming Environment for Your Autistic Child

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One of the things I’ve often wondered about in this journey of parenting an autistic child, was how to best set up our home. How could we best set up the environment to support the autism calming techniques that we’ve utilized over the years? Sure, we had to think about a few things when it came to using visual supports but what else could we do? It wasn’t just about the visual senses, but extended to all of the senses. I also had to be mindful about the fact that both my autistic daughter and I have a slew of seasonal allergies to deal with. My daughter, for example, is allergic to sunflowers and the scent of cloves. So how could we use essential oils for meltdowns without creating a potentially hostile environment for us allergy sufferers? The search was on.

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Essential Oils to Help Relax and Calm

We’re just starting on our journey of using essential oils and specifically using essential oils to support Sweet B’s needs. While we have discussed calming strategies for meltdowns in the past, today I wanted to talk about how we’re using essentials oils for anxiety and meltdowns. These are the oils that are good with invoking feelings of calm and restoring inner peace.

When people think about essential oils for stress relief or relaxation, they usually turn to lavender first. That is because this oil is really great at releasing stress and tension,
relieving anxiety, and making you feel more relaxed and peaceful.

It is frequently used in aromatherapy baths because you can soak in the warm water and get the lavender scent at the same time. You can also use lavender oil in a diffuser placed in your
bedroom for evenings when you are trying to relax and unwind after a stressful day.

For Sweet B, in particular, regaining this balance is important because she will often get to the point where she can’t regulate internally. So having something, anything that helps in creating a calming environment is always nice to have on hand.

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Is your autistic child particularly overwhelmed? Here are some tips and advice for creating a calming environment. We'll focus on using essentials oils for anxiety and meltdowns.

Best Essential Oils for Nervous Feelings

  • Lavender
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Roman chamomile
  • Valerian
  • Melissa
  • Copaiba
  • Ylang ylang


How to use: apply topically or infuse through a diffuser.


For Sweet B, sometimes rubbing a bit of Lavender oil (diluted with a carrier oil) helps. Other times, it’s better to use through a diffuser. It really depends on her mood and what she’s going to tolerate. The stage of her meltdown will also determine what we use for her.

Try using lavender in your diffuser or diluting it and rubbing it on pressure points like behind your ears or on your wrists, and you should start experiencing far less stress. We’ve also looked into essential oil bracelets.

Best Essential Oils for Calming

  • Peace & Calming
  • Lavender
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Stress Away (blend specific from YoungLiving)
  • Rose
  • Citrus Fresh

How to use: Diffuse through an infuser, inhale directly. Or apply topically (diluted with a carrier oil)

Lavender, for our family, has been one of the best essential oils for nervous feelings, anxiety, and meltdowns. For Sweet B it has made a world of difference and is really helping with her mood at home. Incorporating a bracelet or necklace, allows her to continue the calming sensations and input when she’s at school or on the go.

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How to Use Essential Oils in the Home for Autism Meltdowns

To start with, there are certain essential oil scents considered safe for kids, while others should not be used. Here is a list of the oils you can use with your kids safely without
worrying. Others can be used occasionally in a diffuser, but it is best to stick to these safe ones.

Lavender
Valerian
Ylang Ylang
Clary Sage
Frankincense
Sweet Orange
Vetiver
Roman Chamomile

One of the best ways to use essential oils with your kids is by putting them in their room. There are actually a few different ways to do this. The reason this is recommended is because you avoid potentially negative reactions when applying them topically – even if they are diluted properly.

For example, you can use drawer sachets or lavender scented gnomes.

As we continue to try essential oils with her and with our family, I will continue to bring you our findings. 

Remember that you need to have extra safety measures in place when using essential oils in your kids’ rooms or with their health. Always keep the oils on a high shelf where they can’t reach them or knock them down, as ingesting straight oils can be damaging to their health.

When introducing oils to your kids, try with just one oil at a time, especially if it is something being diluted for their skin. With diffusers in their rooms, don’t get too complex with the scents.

Do you use essential oils?

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.

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Additional Ways to Create a Calming Environment for Meltdowns:

Have a controlled lighting situation. Instead of overhead lighting, you could use indoor light strings to control things like the amount of light, and the color.

And speaking of color, you might want to consider the wall colors and accent colors in the room. For example, did you know that blue is one of the better colors for calming and destressing?

You could also consider adding in special pieces of furniture, like an indoor swing or exercise ball.

If your child is old enough and/or able to comprehend, try a book like Calm Down Time or print out a set of My Calming Strategies cards.

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Kori

Content Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is an autistic mom who also happens to have ADHD and Anxiety. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodivergent family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. As an empath, HSP, and highly intuitive individual, Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori provides life coaching services for neurodivergent women (and those who identify as women) as well as Oracle card reading, Tarot card readings, and energy healing.

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