Ways to Calm a Child with Autism: Calming techniques that can be used to support children on the autism spectrum

Ways to Calm a Child with Autism: Calming techniques that can be used to support children on the autism spectrum

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often struggle to calm themselves. They may be anxious and over-stimulated or they may be hyperactive and unable to focus on various things. Luckily, there are many ways you can help a child on the ASD spectrum feel calm and in better control of his emotions. In this article, we'll cover some of these techniques—including deep pressure therapy, body awareness exercises and sensory dieting. Hopefully the information will be use useful with your child.

Sensory Tools

There are a number of sensory tools that can be used to calm a child with autism. These include weighted blankets, fidget toys and noise-canceling headphones.

Weighted blankets provide deep pressure input which can help calm the nervous system. They can be used during the day or at night.

Fidget toys are small objects that can be played with by hand. They provide tactile input and can help to redirect restless energy.

Noise-canceling headphones can help to reduce overstimulation from sound. They can be worn during activities or periods of downtime.

Deep pressure therapy

Deep pressure therapy is a type of sensory integration therapy that is used to calm and soothe children on the autism spectrum. It can be used for children who have sensory processing issues, anxiety or any other condition that makes it difficult for them to process their surroundings.

Deep pressure therapy involves using a hand-held massage tool (such as a vibrating ball) on certain parts of your child’s body to stimulate different senses such as sight, sound and touch while they lie down in bed at night; this helps reduce stress levels within their bodies which leads to better sleep patterns!

Creating a calm space

To create a calm space, you can use calming colors, textures and scents. If your child’s room is too bright or noisy it will be hard for them to relax. You should try using dimmer switches on lamps so that the lights are not so intense when they are trying to sleep.

You can also try adding candles or incense into the room to help create an atmosphere that feels more soothing for your child. Aromatherapy oils such as lavender oil have been shown to help children with autism become calmer by reducing stress hormones like cortisol. 

Exercise and Movement

There are a number of activities and exercises that can be used to calm a child with autism. Here are some examples:

• Deep breathing exercises – This can help regulate the breathing and heart rate, which can in turn help to calm the body and mind.

• Exercise – Generally speaking, exercise can help to release endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. This can be particularly beneficial for children who tend to get overwhelmed or anxious easily.

• Sensory activities – Engaging the senses can be calming for many children with autism. This could include things like listening to relaxing music, using aromatherapy or playing with sensory toys.

• Visual supports – For some children, visual aids such as picture schedules or social stories can be helpful in managing anxiety and providing a sense of structure and predictability.

It’s important to find what works best for your child, as each individual on the autism spectrum is unique and will respond differently to different techniques. Talk to your child’s therapist or doctor if you’re unsure where to start, and remember that it may take some trial and error to find what works best for your little one.

Visual Tools

There are a number of visual tools that can be used to support children on the autism spectrum. One tool that can be particularly helpful is a visual schedule. This can help your child understand what is happening throughout the day and can help reduce anxiety by providing a sense of predictability.

Another useful visual tool is a social story. Social stories are short, simple narratives that describe social situations and expectations. They can be used to teach your child about a wide range of topics, such as how to cope with anxiety-provoking situations, how to make friends or how to deal with changes in routine.

Finally, picture exchange communication systems (PECS) can be extremely helpful for children with autism who have difficulty communicating verbally. PECS involves using pictures to represent desired items or actions which are then exchanged with another person in order to communicate.

Music and Sounds

Music and sounds can help children with autism focus and calm them down.

  • Music helps the brain process information faster, which is great if you're trying to get a child to sit still while he waits for dinner or reads a book. In addition, music has been shown to increase dopamine levels in the brain which promotes relaxation and happiness (and more importantly: reduces stress).
  • When used correctly, music can also help children with autism sleep better at night by helping them relax enough so they drift off into dreamland feeling more relaxed – even if they are still awake!

Calm down and figure out what works best for your child

You may be surprised to learn that using some of these calming techniques can help your child calm down. However, it's important to remember that each child is different and will respond differently. Some children may only need a few minutes of quiet time before they feel calm again; others may need ten or more minutes or even an entire hour for the same effect.

It's also worth noting that some children with autism struggle with sensory overload—the feeling of being overwhelmed by too much stimuli at once—so try to avoid placing too much emphasis on sensory activities during play sessions (for example: playing music loudly). If you're concerned about how loud music might impact your child's ability to stay focused and then become distracted on what you're doing together as a family unit, consider practicing things like mindfulness meditation or yoga instead!

Remember: everyone responds differently when faced with certain situations and challenges; there isn't one right way for everyone when dealing with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). 


We hope you’ve learned a lot from this post. We know that autism can be challenging, and we want to help! You might find that one (or more) of these techniques is the perfect fit for your child. If so, we encourage you to try it out; and if not, keep looking until something works. It’s important to remember that there are many ways to calm down children on the autism spectrum—and no single technique is going to be right for everyone.

When it comes to supporting people on the spectrum, we know it's hard to know what to do sometimes. We get it. We've been there. And we're trying to make things better for people with developmental disabilities, too.

That's why we created 1CFS T-shirts, and we encourage you to buy one or more and support the cause: 1CFS will donate a portion of every purchase to help people living with autism and  encourage more of their supporters (DSPs) to enter the field too.

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