Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support
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After School Restraint Collapse & Sensory Meltdowns

Children with sensory difference ... painting the world beautiful.

After School Restraint Collapse & Sensory Meltdowns

Jeanette Loftus 

child with sensory processing disorder hyper and having a meltdown after school After School Restraint Collapse & Sensory Meltdowns
It is common for parents who have children with sensory differences to often notice a change in their child's behavior when they come home from school. The happy child that they seen leave their house in the morning to go to school, transforms into a child having meltdowns and other disruptive behaviors when they come home from school. This is the after-school meltdown.


Throughout the day at school a child uses a lot of energy to suppress their impulses and mask everything that they are feeling and experiencing. They are expected to sit still, focus on their school work, interact appropriately with their peers and often with no sensory movement breaks. This constant self-regulation requires an unimageable amount of mental and emotional effort through a child's day at school. 

When a child arrives at home from school and they no longer feel the stress and overwhelm from being in their classroom all day, they are free to express themselves in a secure and familiar setting. This sudden release of pent up energy can result in meltdowns in children who are sensitive to sensory input.

Sensory meltdowns can be triggered by different types of sensory input such as loud noises, bright lights, different textures or strong smells. These can overwhelm children who have sensory differences and cause them to have emotional outbursts and sensory meltdowns. 

Common signs and symptoms of an after-school meltdown include:
- Irritability and moodiness
- Meltdowns and screaming
- Crying and emotional outbursts
- Difficulty transitioning from school mode to home mode
- Physical symptoms headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue
 
After school sensory meltdowns can be challenging for children and their parents. There are many sensory strategies that can help manage these behaviors:
 
Create a calm and comfortable space for your child that is quiet where they can transition from school to home. Minimize noise and distractions and establish a predictable routine for your child with after school sensory activities.
 
Create an area in your home where your child can engage in calming sensory activities such as listening to soothing music, sensory fidgets, using a sensory bottle or playing in a sensory bin. 
 
Understand that after school meltdowns are because your child needs to release pent up energy and process sensory input. Listen to them, validate their feelings, avoid punishment and be supportive without judgement. 
 
If after school meltdowns are persistent or severe please speak to an occupational therapist who specializes in sensory processing disorder. They can provide you with some helpful sensory strategies to improve your child's self-regulation skills. 
 
After school meltdowns are a common challenge for many families who have children with sensory processing disorder. When you understand the causes of after school meltdowns, create a supportive home environment and provide interventions, you can help your children learn new ways to cope and manage their after school behaviors effectively. 

Please know that this is not because of your parenting. This is not your fault or something that you are doing wrong. Your child is able to be themselves around you. That is love. 
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DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links on my website.  Each of your purchases through links on my website for Amazon affiliation links or sponsored links support me but no additional cost to you so thank you. I appreciate it so much!