My ex wife and I live 2000 miles away from each other. The children are with her. We have been separated for over seven years, divorce will be finalized in the upcoming months.

My eldest has Asperger's syndrome, as do I. Up until this point, I have always been able to talk her down. Since we think very much alike, this has been easy for me to do... until now.

She is now 10, and soon to be 11 and the meltdowns have gotten worse and the fact that she has started puberty early is likely contributing.

They are starting to get severe enough to start to cause medical concerns.

  • She is eating less than she should, leaving her severely underweight
  • She is hyperventilating
  • she will stay in this state, and being unconsolable for hours at times.

So, my question is twofold.

  1. Are there any relaxation techniques or other ways to break her out of the obsessive cycle she gets in when having a meltdown.
  2. Are there any relaxation, centering, coping techniques that I can teach her so she can prevent, or at least limit the onset of the attacks.

NOTE: She cannot take pills due to a physiological problem that affects her swallowing.

To further clarify, my ex wife lives in a very remote area, so support groups aren't really an option.

  • Hi, welcome to Parenting! Have you spoken to her doctor about it? Also, what techniques have you tried now (or have you tried any yet)? Are you the custodial parent, or are you generally trying to help from afar, or are you asking for help for your ex-wife?
    – Joe
    Aug 15, 2018 at 20:42
  • @Joe their mother has custody, our daughter's currently seeing a therapist, I am helping from afar, but am looking for techniques that either I or the ex-wife can teach her. My techniques are no longer working.
    – user32931
    Aug 15, 2018 at 20:47
  • 1
    Join a specialist support group for parents of autistic kids, it has helped my friend so much.
    – WendyG
    Aug 17, 2018 at 10:27
  • @WendyG that's not practical due to the remoteness of location of where my daughter and her mother are living. There simply aren't any groups because there aren't that many people.
    – user32931
    Aug 17, 2018 at 12:59
  • 1
    @WendyG I've got the savant skill of "pattern recognition". I can usually tell where someone is from in the world after only a few sentences, or at least figure out where they learned English. I
    – user32931
    Aug 17, 2018 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


Sounds like my son. Still can't swallow pills. Thankfully from my own breakdowns, I have experience with the right medication. Half a lorazepam tablet quickly disolves on the toungue. Within 30 minutes there is calm from the anxiety attack. If my son has a presentation that he is having anxiety about, he will take it before that class so his nerves are in check before presenting.

As for non medication help. The more situations that you can help her through, the more she will realize that the biggest hurdle she has is her fears and anxiety.

My sister-in-law's son is autistic, not Asperger's. Her approach is when she sees him starting to go towards a meltdown in his behaviours, she quickly gets his attention and addresses the situation.

My son is learning CBT with a therapist. The information is online as well. In my own reading, I bring to him DBT. The idea being that not everything that enters ones mind needs to be reacted to.

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