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What’s The Difference Between Meltdowns and Tantrums For A Child With ASD?

If a child with autism falls to the ground and begins screaming, are they having a meltdown or a tantrum? To a person on the outside looking in, it can be difficult to tell, as they appear to be very similar at first glance.

However, they are two completely different things, and it’s important for everyone to know that. So many autism parents get judged when their child has a meltdown in public, and that needs to stop.

So what is the difference between a meltdown and a tantrum for a child on the spectrum?

Deb Lipsky, a woman on the spectrum, explains. Meltdowns are involuntary reactions to stresses, either through cognitive overload or sensory overload. A tantrum, on the other hand, “is a willful manipulation of behavior to get an end desired result.”

Listen as Lipsky explains further and offers advice for parents. Knowledge is power!

How do you handle meltdowns and tantrums? Share your strategies in the comments!

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C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband and dog.