My Autistic Meltdowns Are Not 'Tantrums'


Sometimes I have meltdowns. A meltdown is when an Autistic individual has intense emotions and can have a hard time controlling them. An Autistic meltdown can be triggered by different things. My triggers for Autistic meltdowns are anxiety, sensory overload and frustration. I am learning to read the signs of a meltdown coming on. This is what a meltdown can feel like for me.

My chest is tight, I’m crying and tears are dripping down my face. I feel like I can’t breathe very easily. I keep crying for a while. Slowly, the meltdown subsides and I start to feel better.

My meltdowns are not tantrums. Sometimes tantrums might be used to get attention, but my meltdowns come on without me thinking about it. I’m not planning out meltdowns in my head.

There may be days that I am more at risk for a meltdown. If I am having a bad day, my risk for a meltdown goes up. I find that if I feel a meltdown coming on, it is best to go to my bedroom. I haven’t had a meltdown out in public, but I know I would need a safe and quiet place to go to recover from the meltdown. This is why my Autistic meltdowns are not “tantrums.”

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