Meltdown or Tantrum? Its Important to Understand the Difference


Tantrum and meltdowns...what sets them apart and where they seem similar.
Tantrum and meltdowns…what sets them apart and where they seem similar.

Is it just a tantrum or is it a meltdown?  This is probably one of the most popular searches or hits for my blog. When it comes to Autism, self regulation and figuring out the triggers are major challenges for the whole family.  The OT that works with my son and consults with the teachers likes to use this analogy to explain what a child who is Autistic could be experiencing at school.

“Imagine you are at Walmart shopping on a Saturday afternoon around 2pm and the store is super busy. Announcement after announcement over the PA, people arguing, children arguing, babies crying, kids laughing, and all you want to do is leave but there is a super long lineup and you just want to buy the stuff you spent so much time looking for and you don’t want to leave without what you came for so you try to endure. But enduring is so very hard as your anxiety increases and no one understands how you feel.”

So next time you are out shopping and a child starts losing it in the check out line….think about this diagram and the questions in it and then come to an understanding conclusion.

credit for resource:


3 Comments Add yours

  1. NickyB. says:

    I don’t need to imagine the Walmart sceario…I have lived it several times! Thanks so much for this info. It IS very important for us to know the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cyn says:

      Your welcome:) I think my biggest stress is when I notice that my son is beginning to feel stressed and then trying to think quickly how to change things to avoid a meltdown. I forgot to add in my post that too much of a good thing can push a person to meltdown because empty is empty and too much of anything is just too much.

      Liked by 1 person

Love to hear what you think....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s