When a child who has been diagnosed with autism has a temper tantrum or a meltdown, it is often very difficult to manage the situation. The best thing to do is to get your child out of the situation that is causing him some stress. Doing this is a lot easier when you are at home or in a private place. However, when you are out in a public place where there are lots of other people, calming your autistic child becomes a lot more trickier. Especially because majority of the people who witness your child’s temper tantrum do not understand the dynamics of your child’s condition. Not many people know what autism truly is and as such, will not understand your child’s meltdown.
When you are out in public and your child has a temper tantrum, do not be conscious about what the other people will say. Do not act according to what the norm is but rather, you should act according to how you usually manage your child’s meltdown. It does not matter if other people do not agree to how you manage the meltdown. It does not matter if other people do not approve of your methods. What matters is your child and how he feels.
Everyone else who are watching are nothing but strangers. They do not know your child nor do they understand autism. It does not matter what they think. What matters is that you are doing the right thing for your child. When people stare, the best thing to do is to smile and move on.
You may casually say that he has had a long day but always keep in mind that you are in no way obligated to explain to them. And if you must provide an explanation, you must do so with respect to your child’s feelings. While he may not be able to express what he wants to say, you need to remember that he can understand and hear the things that you say. He knows when you are talking about him and he will listen to what you say.
At the end of the day, what matters the most is that you have helped your child address his meltdown.