Calming Strategies for Neurodivergent Children

As a parent or caregiver of a neurodivergent child, it can be challenging to find effective ways to help them calm down during times of distress. Whether your child has autism, ADHD, anxiety, or any other neurodivergent condition, here are some calming strategies that you can try to help them regulate their emotions and stay centered.

1. Deep breathing: Teach your child to take deep breaths by inhaling for a count of four, holding for four, and exhaling for four. This technique can help slow down racing thoughts and lower heart rate.

2. Sensory input: Many neurodivergent children find sensory input calming. This can include activities such as squeezing a stress ball, using a weighted blanket, or listening to calming music.

3. Exercise: Physical activity is a great way to release pent-up energy and help your child regulate their emotions. Encourage them to engage in activities they enjoy, such as biking, swimming, or playing outside.

4. Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness can help your child stay present in the moment and reduce anxiety. This can include activities such as guided meditation, body scans, or focusing on the senses.

5. Visual aids: Visual aids can help your child feel more grounded and focused. This can include using a calming jar, creating a visual schedule, or using picture cards to communicate emotions.

6. Positive affirmations: Encourage your child to repeat positive affirmations to themselves, such as “I am calm” or “I am in control.” This can help them feel more empowered and in control of their emotions.

Remember, what works for one child may not work for another. It’s important to experiment and find the strategies that work best for your child’s unique needs. If you’re struggling to find effective calming strategies, don’t hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional for additional support and guidance.