Meltdown Calming Card

It’s the time of year when our routines change. Even when those changes are good, joyful, and holy, they can make for major sensory overload or disintegration, leading to meltdowns. For Christmas this year, I’m giving you a little card printable set that fits in your pocket and can help you communicate with your overwhelmed child when they are beyond words. I call it the Meltdown Calming Card. To use it, you point at the images and say the words out loud, modeling them. For instance, if you’re in a very loud place, you might model, “I don’t like this. It’s too loud.” (flip the card) “I need headphones.” Or if you’ve been in a crowd for a while and everything is too much, you might model, “I don’t like this. It’s too much.” (flip) “I need a break.” Even if you use a PODD or core vocabulary board or a speech output device, having a handy card for emergencies will help with on the spot modeling without awkward pauses while you flip pages and find buttons. 

In addition to this card, at minimum you’ll need to have noise canceling headphones such as these (Amazon affiliate link), a pair of sunglasses, and the willingness to give your child a break if they need it. You might also find these sensory brushes or this chewy bead necklace useful (Amazon affiliate links).

Here’s the free printable for you to download and print. I cut out the group of four images and laminate them so that the fronts face outward on either side. (See the example in the image above.)

Come visit my table at the St. Emmelia’s South Homeschool Conference on January 18 to pick up a free laminated Meltdown Calming Card. I will be giving an interactive talk called, “The Whole Household of God”: Building Lifelong Memories by Teaching with Space. Read more about the talk below. To register for the conference, which runs from January 17-20, 2020, visit the St. Emmelia Ministries South Conference site. I’ll be signing copies of my book, Of Such is the Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability, as well.

 “The Whole Household of God”: Building Lifelong Memories by
Teaching with Space

Learn how our attention and memory is shaped by spaces and how to apply the ancient Christian wisdom for teaching through space and sensory spatial anchors. After an overview of patristic sources and modern neurological insights that confirm the lasting wisdom of our Tradition, participants will apply the patterns and insights to subject matter ranging from history to literature to the faith.

Sensory Meltdown Calming Cards (drawings reading I don't like this, It's too loud, It's too bright, It's too much, I need help, I need headphones, I need sunglasses, I need a break.) in decorated Christmas tree branches with text reading "Merry Christmas from Summer Kinard. Sensory Meltdown Calming Card."

For more help this holiday season, visit these past posts:

Faith Encouraged podcast with Fr. Barnabas Powell, “Making Room for Everyone This Christmas.”

And don’t forget to stop by my Special Needs Resources page.

Merry Christmas!

4 thoughts on “Meltdown Calming Card”

  1. Love it! “It’s too much”: “it” being life stressors, work etc. The solution: “I need a break!” oh, I wish, I wish, I wish! Thank you for the encouragement to this mostly neurotypical, we’re-all-on-the-spectrum person.

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