Over the past two decades, the number of global cases of adults and children with autism has grown steadily. There are 3.5 million Americans currently living with autism; today, one in 68 kids are autistic, and one in 42 autistic children are boys. All kids living with autism generally have one thing in common: they may be particularly anxious, prone to stress, and/or prone to over-stimulation by their environment. Thankfully, there are several ways parents and caregivers can help kids remain calm, especially when they need it most.
Put Together A Quiet Space
If you have the space for it, consider designing a calming room. A calming room should include a box of tactile items or sensory products, like chewy tubes, sensory balls, and soft, squishy toys. You may also want to include a comfy chair or even a bed with a weighted blanket at the ready. Top things off with a comforting cocoon swing. Cocoon swings are generally made from brightly colored, soft fabric; they wrap snugly around autistic children, applying pressure along with a gentle swinging motion.
Learn About Isometric Exercises
Isometric exercises for children with autism are generally just small movements kids can make that can help ease tension and calm the mind. Examples of isometric exercises include making a fist and squeezing, shrugging shoulders, or pulling on stretchy toys designed for this purpose.
Keep Things Predictable
Finally, one of the best ways to keep kids calm may very well be preventing flair ups, anxiety, and similar episodes in the first place. One of the best ways to do that is to stick to a routine. Stay in familiar surroundings whenever possible, keep routines more or less the same, and even consider visual exercises -- like large calendars with images of day-time activities (food for lunch, a ball for play, etc.) -- to reinforce schedules and routines.
Keeping autistic kids calm can be absolutely critical. Create a quiet, calming environment -- with tactile items and cocoon swings -- practice simple isometric exercises, and stick to a routine whenever possible.