Traffic light system / meltdowns



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Wandering_Stranger
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Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:40 pm

I will start by explaining what I mean by the traffic light system:
Green - I'm ok
Orange - warning that I'm struggling
Red - Help!

It has been recommended by a friend on the spectrum that I use this due to my issues with meltdowns. I've not had a full on meltdown for ages now. Almost had one last week; (orange turning to red) but was given help with that.

Does anyone else or their children use a similar system? Unfortunately, mine are mostly light and noise related. :( I am due to be out with friends from a local support group in two weeks time, and have warned them that I may need to go outside if it gets too much. Not being able to make myself understood all the time, means I would need a system similar to the one I mentioned.



redrobin62
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Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:37 pm

My meltdowns have all been job related. If you had my job, you'd be having frequent meltdowns, too.



Comp_Geek_573
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Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:00 pm

I prefer a continuous scale: 0 is completely calm, 100 is meltdown, and 50 is what you would call a "yellow" on the stoplight.


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InThisTogether
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Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:08 pm

I think a 3-point system like you suggest is a good one, particularly because the colors pretty much need no explanation. Most people are familiar with what they mean. I think the trick is whether or not you can reliably identify when you have hit "yellow." Some people miss the warning signs until it is too late to do too much to help.


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Scaurie
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Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:57 pm

I envy you all being able to tell when you are "yellow". I tend to go straight to "red", not realizing that I myself am struggling until it's too late to do anything about it except minimize the damage done via solitude/isolation from others.

How exactly are you implementing this method. Do you just yell out "yellow" or "red" when you feel it and they move you away from what is causing the issue?


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Comp_Geek_573
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Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:30 pm

Interesting question. HOW do I identify when I hit "yellow", or 30, 40, 50, wherever on my scale would map to the beginning of yellow?

I think a tendency a lot of us have is to be able to function perfectly well whether we're 0% of the way to meltdown or 90%. But if something tips us over the edge, BOOM. Down we go.

It's like a video game where you have a life meter. Your character can function 100% whether your life is at 100% or 1%. But if you lose that last 1%, BOOM. Game over. Or you lose a life, or some progress, at least.

I guess you'd have to take a step back and think about how stressed you really are from confusion, sensory overload, etc. Also, I guess, I can't identify perfectly where I am! I might be at 20 or I might be at 50 at the moment!


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littlelily613
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Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:11 pm

When you are just about to get a full-on meltdown, what helps you to stop it before it's too late?


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Si_82
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Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:43 pm

Even before I discovered I had AS my wife took to using this exact green/amber/red system to identify and help deal with my getting overwhelmed and having meltdowns. I am 30 years old so it feels a little childish sometimes but I admit I am hard to deal with at times so it sort of works.

Green: Everything fine
Amber: She is on alert and, even if i dont recognise it myself, she will start tying to help manage things so i dont get worse.
Red: If it gets to this point it's too late and she will often just make herself scarce and busy herself in another room while I try to calm down.

...yeah, i'm kind of a bit of a nut now that I read it back to myself but at least I have someone who can try and keep me from meltdowns.


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Wandering_Stranger
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Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:25 am

Scaurie wrote:
How exactly are you implementing this method. Do you just yell out "yellow" or "red" when you feel it and they move you away from what is causing the issue?


It would be using coloured card.

Thanks guys :)



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