Towel Trick for Tantrums aka T.T.T.
It scares me to
think that a child with ASD could have a tantrum on my watch. My knees -- they are a-shakin' at the
thought. It will happen, and when it does, what will I do?
Children with ASD have
tantrums. They hit and pound. They flail. They scream. They may bang their
heads against a wall or throw items. They may spit or bite themselves. These
tantrums may take place because of obvious reasons, but also they just appear
out of nowhere. They can happen at school, home, or in the community.
What happened in the
story above is that Zach was over stimulated. Once that stimulation was
removed, he was able to calm himself down. The lights, the noise, the people,
the expectation, the unpredictability of the event of being in the store were
just too much for Zach. By throwing the towel over him, he could pull it around
himself and "smother" out the elements that were overloading his sensory
system. Once Zach was calm, he got up, and could continue in a relatively mild
manner. I advised the mother to head to the register and call it a day. I took
command of the towel.
is a picture of four children with towels or blankets over their heads. The
little boy at the bottom looks calm as he is emerging from beneath the cover.
The weight of the cover also assists with calming.
leave a child beneath a cover for an extended length of time
you feel the child has been there long enough and they are calming, lift
the corner and say, "Peek-a-boo," or slide their favorite toy to them
a small hand or kitchen towel will work
- If you see that a child is
getting upset and can predict a tantrum behavior, try to comfort him/her
by giving them a small towel or wash cloth -- they will know what to do
is important to remember that children with ASD are not the only ones who throw
"Speech pathologists make good things