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Managing a Behavioral Crisis


  • Introduce yourself
  • Use plain, clear, concise words
  • Explain your intentions
  • Avoid sudden touch or grab
  • Formally end your contact, e.g “I am going to leave now.”
  • Wait it out (Don’t just do something, stand there)


  • Control your affect and behavior
  • Redirect attention to something concrete, factual, and non‐emotional
  • Stand back to avoid getting injured
  • Be aware of your position in relation to person (flight is better than fight)
  • Remove objects that can be weaponized and extra people


  • Set clear limits
  • Minimize distractions
  • Use kind, encouraging words
  • Repeat a positive mantra
  • Allow breaks


  • Redirect to task at hand
  • Cue person
  • Provide visual support
  • Be consistent


  • Ask what happened to you; not what is wrong with you
  • Offer another way to get need met
  • Avoid repeatedly disagreeing

Develop intervention plan

Lipsky, D, Richards, W. Managing Meltdowns Using the S.C.A.R.E.D. Calming Technique with Children and Adults with Autism. 2009. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. London.



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