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3-Step Routine to Avoid After-School Meltdowns


After-School Routine

Whether your child has a meltdown in the car on the way home, on your walk home from school, or the second you walk in the door, you know you’re in for a long afternoon when the after school meltdown hits.

Now, there are some calming strategies for meltdowns that you can try once it’s happening, but we’d much rather avoid the after-school meltdown altogether!

Why Do Kids Meltdown After School?

But first… Why does this happen?

Why do our kids fall apart immediately after school? Even when their teachers report they had a perfectly fine day?

Well, there are a few reasons.

Sometimes it’s actually because of that perfectly fine day… See, when our kids hold it together all day long at school for their teachers, they come home and they’ve lost every bit of control they had.  They’re finally in a space where they don’t have to keep it together, so they just lose it.

After-school meltdowns can also happen because there are a lot of transitions involved in coming home after school.  They have to

  • finish their school day,
  • pack their bag,
  • make sure they don’t forget anything,
  • get on the bus/in the car/find you to walk home,
  • they have the actual trip home,
  • then going in the house,
  • putting their bags and shoes away,
  • washing hands
  • homework, etc.

That's a lot of transitions to navigate in a very short span of time!


Steps to avoid after-school meltdowns:

1. A Preferred Calming Activity

This will vary from child to child but think about the things your children do when they want to relax and stay calm.

This might be listening to music, watching a quick video, using calming fidgets, playing puzzles or really anything that calms your child when they’re stressed.

2. Meet Basic Needs

Before you get started on your afternoon routine, everyone should go to the bathroom, gets a drink and gets a snack (including moms and dads!)

3. A Sensory Strategy

By this point your child has calmed down from the transition, met their basic needs, but you still have to get homework done and continue with the evening.

A sensory bin in a quiet corner would be great to help a child relax and calm their minds and bodies. You can find some great sensory toys here.   Weighted lap pads or any of our weighted products work great too.


Source: autisticmama.com

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  • Chenne Daig