As someone who works with kids on the spectrum, I’ve witnessed my fair share of meltdowns. As I said in my sensory 101 post, a meltdown is not a tantrum. A tantrum happens when a child wants something (a toy, candy, attention) and is not getting it. In contrast, a meltdown occurs when a child is overstimulated and cannot handle all of the stimuli in their environment. A child throwing a tantrum is attempting to change your behaviour, a child in the midst of a meltdown cannot change his. It’s all well and good to have this distinction in mind when things are going (relatively) smoothly, but when your child is the one having a meltdown it can be hard to remember they’re not trying to manipulate you. Here are some tips to help you survive your kid having a meltdown.