I was due to jump on a Zoom and record a podcast episode with a guest last night when 15 minutes before the call my son shouted to me and said my “ants are coming”.
It’s taken a lot of work and self awareness but my son now has some knowledge and can begin to recognise some of his bodily sensations and triggers when his sensory system becomes overloaded. Although many of his meltdowns are becoming more manageable and I can support him through the process, as he is now able to verbalise more what he is experiencing - it has in no way always been that way and has and still can be exceptionally extreme.
Sensory meltdown is a buzz word that is often extremely misunderstood in individuals with no knowledge of living in a neurodiverse household or environment.
In a nutshell a sensory meltdown is a fight, flight or freeze response to sensory overload that is often mistaken for naughty behaviour or a tantrum.
The main way to be able to tell the difference between a tantrum and a sensory meltdown is that tantrums have a purpose. They are designed to elicit a certain response or outcome.
Sensory meltdowns are a reaction to stimuli or something in the environment and are usually beyond the child’s control.
Common causes of sensory meltdowns include:
*sensory underload needing to seek out sensory stimuli
*being in a new or challenging situation
*change in routine
*difficulty with transitions
*inability to accurately communicate
*lack of sleep
*hunger or poor nutrition
I will be exploring sensory systems, sensory processing in neurodiversity over the coming weeks in my podcast both from a personal & professional perspective and have some great guests lined up! Any questions you would like me to explore and answer please drop in the comments and I would love to hear your experiences of sensory meltdowns from a parent/carer perspective.
A big thank you to last nights guest for your understanding & patience and looking forward to recording the episode later in the week!! (It’s gonna be 🔥)