A book review by Nur Amalina Ohrallayali , Educator with a background in Psychology
No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for managing and preventing out-of-control behaviour
Meltdown. A word that often parents shudder upon hearing it. Meltdowns
stress them out and most of the time parents don’t know HOW to handle
them. Well, if you are in the same position, this book is highly
Jed Baker, a psychologist who specialises in autism, wrote this book to
provide parents a step-by-step reference guide to help them understand
and manage some of the challenging situations with their children. Based on
his research and various case studies, this book focuses on the four-step
model on how to tackle such situations. Each step is explained in ONE
chapter which is broken down into various sub topics.
Here is a sneak peek of each chapter: –
Step 1: Accept and Appreciate your child
Jed wants you as a parent to establish positive relationship with your child. His book teaches parents on how to separate the challenging behaviour and the child apart. Just like how we have our annual evaluations, we are taught to evaluate the work and not the individual. Most books do not emphasise the importance of managing the parents’ expectations before tackling the child’s challenging behaviour.
Step 2: De-escalating a Meltdown
Jed’s keyword in this step is DISTRACTION. He focuses on the necessary distractions that works, how much of a distraction is too much and the different types of distractions. I know for sure that the list would benefit exhausted parents with little creativity.
Step 3: Understanding why a meltdown keeps occurring
Surprise, surprise. Many parents don’t even know why a problem behaviour occurs in the first place. This book teaches you to be a detective and solve the ‘mystery’ behind your child’s meltdown. Therefore, in this chapter you’ll learn the ABCs of the behaviour: Antecedents, Behaviour and Consequences and how to identify the triggers of your child’s meltdowns.
Step 4: Creating Plans to Prevent Meltdowns
Lastly, in this chapter, you will learn to create your very own personalized prevention plan for your child. Jed provides various examples of difficult situations that he has worked on in the past and what is a good prevention plan.
- It has easy- to-follow format and various sample plans outlined by Jed, which lots of parentsappreciate. Meltdown plans for every child is different and these samples are indeed beneficial.
- Many parents have found this book a great help in eliminating meltdowns when they have no clue where to start.
Things to Consider:
- Although Jed provided various of cases and examples, parents need to consider for themselves which plans work for their child. Each child is different and their triggers for every meltdown varies in different situations.
- As a professional, there are steps that are easily labeled just for the sake of ease. For example, distractions in step no 3 are what we call redirecting. I prefer to use positive words and avoid using words that give negative connotations. Like what I mentioned earlier on. Overall, I would recommend this book to parents who might not know which self-help book to start with. Seeing a thick book can be a major turnoff, so reading this book can be a stepping stone to learn more about your child’s meltdown behaviours. Most importantly, Jed’s emphasis on giving parents the
encouragement to be accepting and flexible of your child’s behaviour is a plus point.