10 Possible Scenarios in Ministry to Autistic Kids – and What to Do
4. Objects in Mouth
- If you offer snacks, this might be good time to pull them one out for student.
- Student may need a way to “fidget” even if with hands. Provide box of fidget toys.
- Clean your toys regularly!
- If continual problem, ask parents how they address it at home. Parents may have a preferred chew toy that can come to church.
- In ministry to autistic kids, if the child is in danger of hurting themselves or others, it needs to be addressed.
- Meltdowns can happen at any age.
- Create distance between individual having meltdown and everyone else.
- Take the classroom or small group out of the environment (suggest bathroom break). It is often easier to remove everyone else and not the person with the meltdown.
- Try to figure out the trigger or core problem that caused the meltdown. When possible, remove the problem. Recognize that you might be the trigger for the meltdown.
- Call for help as soon as serious meltdown starts. You don’t want to immediately call parents if you think this can be handled. (You will tell parents at pick-up.)
- If student is in danger of others, be mindful of your own safety.
- Talk softly and calmly.
- Find way to talk about something they can look forward to: snack, favorite activity, when parents will arrive.
- Look for obstacles to remove, ex. diminish the lighting in the room, lower noise, offer a weighted blanket. (Homemade weighted blankets are great.)
- When nothing else is working, do get the parents.