Autism Toilet Paper

Here to Help with the Messes

Asperger's is Autism

Asperger's is a term used to describe individuals who have average to above average ability but poor social skills, limited flexibility and restricted interests. Educationally, we use the term Autism.

Here Comes the MELTDOWN

The meltdown usually isn't one event. It's a series of events that students go through when social/emotional situations become too much. Here are the basics, for more information follow the links.


You may see small indicators in your students like throat clearing, muscle tensing, mumbling, tapping, or grimacing. They may be more overt like engaging with other students verbally or physically. Strategies to try at this level: Remove the student (non punitively) to help them calm and regulate the social/emotional tension; Proximate Rule, move close to help the student see they are rumbling; Signal Interference is a technique where the teacher makes eye contact or uses a "signal" show the teacher sees the rumble then introduce a fidget; Just Walk Don't Talk is having the student walk it out, but don't talk about it; Home Base is a predetermined place where the student can go to regroup to escape stress for a designated time. It's important to know the student because some of these techniques can escalate the behavior based on the student.


The student is disinhibited and acts emotionally, impulsively and sometimes explosively. These may be externalized (acted out by screaming, biting, hitting, kicking, etc) or internalized (internalized and look like withdraw or shut down). The focus in this phase is the student's safety and dignity and keeping others safe.


The student feels bad about their behavior and are worried about people's perception of them. They may withdraw, be sullen or deny the behavior, or sleep. It is important to try an intervention when the student is receptive otherwise it may re-enter the rage phase.

Information from: The Cycle of Tantrums, Rage, and Meltdowns in Children and Youth with Asperger Syndrome, High-Functioning Autism, and Related Disabilities, Myles, Brenda Smith, Anastasia Hubbard

Columbus Public Schools Autism Spectrum Disorders Team

Supporting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) , the Teachers Who Educate Them and Their Families

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