Calming Corner for Autism How To Manage Meltdowns and Tantrums

Calming Corner for Autism - How To Manage Meltdowns and Tantrums

A calm corner can be set up for kids with autism to calm down when they feel overwhelmed with emotions. It is a corner with tools, sensory items, visual aids to help children to calm down. 


The calm corner empowers children to take responsibility for self-regulation. You can add a simple visual guide to your calm corner showing the sequence to calm down which is great for kids who need more structure when making decisions.

#1 Calming Corner for Autism: Visual Tools to Identify and Communicate Emotions

Calming Corner for Autism Manage Meltdowns and Tantrums

Some kids with autism may find difficulty in identifying emotions and expressions. This might be especially hard during a meltdown or tantrum. You can also help your child to develop emotion recognition skills by identifying their emotions.


If your child starts to throw a tantrum, you can talk about the emotions to help your child to regulate these emotions. For example, 'I can see you feel angry because you wanted to eat ice cream and we have run out of them.'


Using a visual aid can help children identify their emotions. Feelings charts are visual tools that help children with autism to verbalize their emotions. For example, the chart displays the following feelings: happy, sad, angry, and scared which can help children identify their emotions and emotions of those they are interacting with.

#2 Calming Corner for Autism: Calming Strategies Visual Guide

When your child is overwhelmed with big emotions, you could distract or occupy your child with another activity. Children with autism may struggle with learning self-regulation skills. Following a structured approach to calming down can help them to understand how to be more independent. 


Here's a calming strategies chart and board that children can use to choose a calming strategy to calm themselves.


autism calm down kit

It is important for children with autism to learn to calm down on their own. You could also guide your child through the process or sequence when they feel overwhelmed. You could teach your child different techniques to calm down.

autism calm down corner

Some of these techniques are deep breathing, grounding techniques, drinking water, counting down, yoga stretches, playing with a fidget toy or sensory tool.

You can use these visual Calm Down Corner Printable Tools to teach your child how to use these self-regulation techniques.

#3 Calming Corner for Autism: Mindful Breathing Exercises to Calm The Mind

autism calm down visuals

Deep Breathing Exercises

You can teach your child deep breathing skills by using various visual aids. For example, the shape breathing posters and cards can be used for younger kids - they can trace these shapes as they focus on their breath. This can make deep breathing more engaging and fun.


These are a variety of deep breathing strategies. Animal breaths are a great way to make deep breathing more interesting. As you go through the different breathing techniques, you may observe that your child prefers some techniques over others. 


For example, some children may prefer candle breathing over rocket breathing. You can get your child to practice breathing techniques of their choice.


Note that all these techniques should be practiced before tantrums and meltdowns. Teach your child to master 1 to 2 techniques and practice them every day if possible. When your child is experiencing a meltdown or you see the signs of a potential meltdown, remind your child to try the breathing technique.


Counting Down from 20

Teach your child to calm down and take deep breathes as they count from 20 to 0. Whenever you notice your child starting to get overstimulated or stressed, remind your child to take deep belly breaths. Deep breathing could also be added into your daily routine - for example, in the morning right before breakfast.

#4 Calming Corner for Autism: Sensory Tools

autism calm down strategies

You can include sensory tools in your calm corner or in your bag when you are out of your home. Commonly used sensory tools are fidget toys, squeeze balls, and slime. You do not have to push your child to use these tools during a tantrum. Instead, provide multiple options at the calm corner and give them a choice.

#5 Calming Corner for Autism: Create a Quiet and Cozy Space

quiet corner for autism

Kids with ASD can become overstimulated by their environment. Having a safe space to calm down can help kids to calm their minds. Every child is unique so you need to understand your child's preferences to adapt the space to suit your child's needs.


For example, some children are more sensitive to sounds. In this case, you can add noise-canceling headphones so that your child gets a mental break from the environment. Additionally, you could dim the lights by using fairy lights. To make the space cozier, you could also add a tent and translucent curtain as a divider.


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