Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Hi Helen,

thanks for your reply.

When Jordan's in meltdown I would say the main strategies I use with him are:

1. KEEP ABSOLUTELY CALM! This is vital. Do not shout or lose your temper. I know it's difficult!
2. Maintain eye contact.
3. Lower and modulate your voice. It makes Jordan listen to what I'm saying.
4. Keep your tone and body language neutral, it defuses the situation.
5. Say something like 'we'll talk when you feel better/have calmed down'
6. Walk away (out of range!)
7. If he keeps hitting/yelling/kicking/destroying the good furniture keep saying number 5.
8. When he has calmed down, I always shake his hand and commend him on his self-control.
9. Let it go and move on immediately. Life's too short to hold a grudge or anticipate the next time a meltdown occurs.

This is my current approach. Some of which I learnt by trial and error. Other things I picked up from other parents (always a useful resource which is why your handbook is such a great idea!) I change my approach to fit the situation and always err upon the side of motivation for good behaviour rather than punishment for the bad which can be too negative. And it works! Jordan is calm and collected most of the time. It wasn't always so. When he was 14 and already taller than me he could be very violent. He once had me up against the wall with his large hand gripping my throat. I maintained eye contact, lowered my voice and informed him in calm modulated tones that he could strangle me if he wanted but did he know he didn't have any trousers on? He looked down, laughed and let go!

10. Oh yes, a sense of humour.

Hope this is of use.

With very best wishes,


If you would like to contribute to this excellent initiative then please contact helen@specialneedshandbook.com

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