09 Mar Create a quiet, cool-down space
Sometimes the environment outside of your home can be extremely overwhelming for your child, especially if handling sensory stimuli is a challenge for him. Wherever you go, be sure he has access to a quiet space. This area can be used as a safe outlet if your child becomes overwhelmed. Explain to him ahead of time that if he needs some quiet, this is where he can go. You may need to bring him to this area when you sense that he is overwhelmed.
Set your child up for success.If you are visiting someone’s house, make sure to let that person know before you arrive that your child has sensory sensitivities and may need a break in a calming area. You can also use a story with pictures and words explaining the quiet space to your child. Review this short story with him before you arrive at your destination, and also once you get to that place.
Here are some examples of makeshift quiet, cool-down spaces:
- A car (with the air-conditioning or heating on, depending on the outside temperature)
- If you are at someone else’s home, you can place a sheet over a table and let him hang out in this makeshift tent.
- An actual pop up tent
- A collapsible tunnel
- A quiet room
- Inside a sleeping bag
- Inside a structured area, blocked off by some furniture. Your child most likely feels calmer in a secluded area. He should be able to come out of this area when he is ready. Be sure to always monitor and supervise your child while in his quiet space, to ensure safety.
Please share with us below, what strategies do you use to prevent a meltdown in public?