Practicing Breaks

by Mark Adams

relaxOur ABA therapist has been teaching us one solution to curb the tantrums –which is to have Cici, our Asperger/HFA daughter take breaks before she gets worked up.  Both children, and even Genevieve and I struggle with actually implementing breaks when we’re angry.

Having someone else suggest a break to us when we’re getting angry can help, but it’s also important to take breaks when you’re calm, to practice.

We’ve implemented breaks at meal time. We aren’t allowed to leave the dinner table until after we’ve practiced a break. Both girls seem to alternate between the two staples, counting to 10 slowly, and taking five deep breaths. Genevieve and I usually do the deep breaths.

We’ve been doing this for a couple of months now, and it has improved Avery’s ability to take breaks significantly. Cici is still unable to take a break when she’s upset, but she is getting better if we catch her early enough.

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