Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taming Tantrums and Meltdowns

Is it possible to have no more meltdowns?  Well, in Jed Baker's book 'No More Meldowns' he is attempting to do just that.  Jed Baker is known for his work with those on the spectrum.  He has written books regarding socials skills and transitions into adulthood.  He has great knowledge in the field especially with those with high-functioning autism/Aspergers.  Although it is not specially marketed for those on the spectrum, many know Dr. Baker's work.  He describes the book as having the ability to teach coping skills to those on and off the spectrum. 

This book looks into underlying difficulties such as:
  • Sensory differences
  • Speech and communication difficulties
  • Concrete thinking
  • Taking on other's perspectives
Throughout the book, Dr. Baker uses real life examples/situations.  He shows how to think of the situation more from the side of triggers and how to avoid the meltdown in the future.  He describes how many of the children need more guidance especially with social skills. 
A few of the scenarios he discusses are:
  • morning routines
  • cleaning up
  • homework
  • eating
  • waiting
  • stopping enjoyable activities
  • and many more! 

There were a few things that concerned me approaching specifically children with autism:
  • The book seems geared more towards those with more verbal and reading abilities (which not all individuals with autism have).
  • A few of the distractions that are suggested are getting closer to a child and/or touching them along with 'bouncing on a parent's lap' which can be very overwhelming to many individuals.
  • Some of the behavior is described as 'Attention Seeking' which is infrequently the case for those on the spectrum.

Overall, there are many gems in this book in terms of strategies and finding the source of the problems.  Dr. Baker is amazing at looking past the behavior (tantrum/meltdown) and seeing what is really going on.  Many of the challenges we overlook because we are so focused on the meltdown itself.  This is a wonderful book for parents and professionals!


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