Learning calming strategies and techniques for autism meltdowns is necessary as a parent and caregiver. It helps us help our children in any given situation. Over time, you will learn and implement many calming strategies. Some may be beneficial for a shorter period of time and others will be used throughout the lifespan.
We certainly have our tried and true techniques that have served our family very well. Then there are others that we have tried that just didn’t work. It’s all about being willing to try and to see what will help. As my daughter grew older, we started to incorporate more self calming strategies for autism.
Why teach Self Calming Strategies and Self Calming Techniques for Autism?
In the past, I’ve shared calming strategies for autism meltdowns and a printable pack of calming strategies. While these calming strategies are meant to be used just about anywhere, I also wanted to share self calming strategies for autism. Of course, you can use these with any child, not just an autistic child.
Why include these strategies separately?
At times, we want to support our kids. And that includes teaching them how to self-regulate. When a child understands how to self-calm, they can equip themselves accordingly.
These self calming strategies can then be used at home, at school, or when you’re out and about. Of course, some may be easier to adapt than others. And it’s expected that not all strategies will work for all children.
Self Calming Strategies for Kids with Autism
Some of these strategies utilize sensory activities such as with a sensory bin or something that you can squeeze. My daughter, for example, absolutely loves bean based sensory bins.
Typically, when it comes to looking for an ideal self-calming strategy, you want to find something that helps your child focus.
Whether that’s through sensory input or breathing, or another method. We’ll explore quite a few things!
Do keep in mind that some of these may not be the best for kids who have issues with mouthing non-food items. Other activities are perfect for those kids!
And yes, I am including fidget spinners. While these may still cause some controversy in the classroom, there’s really no denying that they are useful.
- Sensory Bins
- Squishy Squashy Sensory Balloons
- DIY Fidget Spinner Hack
- Developing Emotional Self Regulation (excellent ideas for older children!)
- Zen Gardens for Kids
- How to use Essential Oils with Fidget Spinners
- How to incorporate Yoga into Your Calming Strategies
- How to calm angry feelings with Yoga
- Easy DIY Fidget Spinner Templates
- Calming Homemade Playdough
- Calming Weighted Lap Pad
- DIY Calm Down Sensory Bottles (perfect for road trips!)
- Calming Superhero Coloring Book
- Activities to Help Kids Keep Calm and Stay Calm
- Calming Busy Bags for Busy Fingers
- How to Make Your Own Squishy Toys
- LEGO Calm Down Fidget Spinners
- Paper Fidget Spinner (no template needed!)
- Even more totally rad fidget spinners for your little makers
- LEGO Fidget Spinners and Fidget Cubes
- Pocket Sized Marble Maze
- How to use a Glitter Jar to Control Feelings
- Calming Glitter Slime
- Calming Strategies to Help Kids Decompress After School
- LEGO Calming Stress Balls
- Calming Robot Activity Kit
Calming strategies do not have to be limited to the indoors.
Implement calming strategies with ease when you use the Calming Strategies cards in the Autism Family Guide.
Outdoor Self Calming Strategies
For example, you can make a backyard weaving frame. Or you can try forest bathing to connect to nature. Some kids may just benefit from the healing power of nature.
On the go? Try making a calm down kit for kids that you can take with you or take a look at these DIY sensory travel toys. Another option? Look into how to create a calming environment for your autistic child so that they have a safe space. You could make this awesome cardboard rocket ship for a calmdown retreat in your living room.
Have a child that absolutely loves the water or bathtime? Here’s how you can create a calming bath for your kids.
One of the calming strategies in my calming strategies printable includes focused breathing. Try one of these simple breathing exercises to start. Or, take it a step further with guided meditation to help reduce stress and anxiety. You can also try one of these mindfulness exercises to calm your child.
Equally important, is how parents approach the situation. Sometimes, without realizing it, our own stress, anxiety, or anger about the situation will only escalate the tension.
- 13 Powerful Phrases Proven to Help an Anxious Child Calm Down
- 13 Powerful Phrases Proven to Calm an Angry Child
- Anger Management Skills for Kids
Still need more resources? Here are 100 Calm Down Tools and Strategies.
Whether you try one, or try them all, I hope that these self calming strategies for kids can be of use to you and your family.
From an autistic autism mom to you
The Autism Family Guide is your shortcut to autism parenting.
How do I know?
Because friend, the resources in this guide are lifechanging.
Create routines with ease, calming strategies at your fingertips, and more.
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Kori, thanks for all of these fantastic ideas! It is so helpful to have such an extensive resource because when one thing doesn’t work there is always another idea to try.
Thank you for contributing an idea, Tamara! As the old saying goes, it takes a village. Sometimes a virtual one.