Easy-to-Use Calming Strategies for Autism

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Easy-to-Use Calming Strategies for Autism

As a board certified music therapist, I use calming music and effective strategies to help anxious children with autism regulate their sensory systems. This music therapy video teaches you easy-to-use calming strategies for children with autism. Please sign up for my newsletter full of great tips and special education resources at . To listen to calming music as featured in this video, take a listen to my Spotify playlist of music for sleep and relaxation.

Comments to the video: Easy-to-Use Calming Strategies for Autism

hetal chauhan 6 days ago
Hello. How to calm sensory issues ?
Ryan Judd 3 days ago
Here is an article to check out: autism-levels I hope that helps!
hetal chauhan 6 days ago
+Ryan Judd how to know child has high functional autism? My patient having mild autism , she loves music so much. So I want to know more about it
hetal chauhan 6 days ago
+Ryan Judd thank you so much for guidance. Wl go through the book
Ryan Judd 6 days ago
Hi Hetal, each child is so unique and although some calming techniques shown in this video can help, I really think it's best to consult with an occupational therapist to get a plan tailored to your child's specific sensory needs. I also recommend the book, The Out of Sync Child. I hope that helps!
Bella Rose 27 days ago
awwww.😌
Dianna Province 1 month ago
You are absolutely fantastic with her!
Ryan Judd 1 month ago
Thanks so much Dianna! I appreciate that!!!
Alexandra 1 month ago
My 3,5 years old son, without any diagnosis, found this video relaxing 👍👍👍❤
Ryan Judd 1 month ago
I love hearing that! Thanks so much for sharing!
Mevelyn 1 month ago
Learned alot in this video, so I'm going to subscribe. Thank you for sharing!!
Ryan Judd 6 days ago
You’re welcome! I'm so glad that you found this helpful.
Bobby Singer 1 month ago
thanks Ryan!
Ryan Judd 1 month ago
You're so very welcome!!!
Ann-Marie Löfberg 1 month ago
Interesting, how it works.
Ryan Judd 1 month ago
Yes! Music is a wonderful medium.
Tina Turner 1 month ago
Amazing
Ryan Judd 1 month ago
Thank you Tina!!!
Patrick Araujo 1 month ago
Excellent work
Ryan Judd 1 month ago
Thanks Patrick!
Vinit Rathore 1 month ago
too good man..superb
Ryan Judd 1 month ago
Thanks so much! I really appreciate that.
Gia Alvarado 1 month ago
Wow. I'm gonna have to try something like this with my daughter. She gets obsessed with one thing. Like now its bandaids. And then has a melt down when we are all out.
Ryan Judd 1 month ago
I hope it helps!!!
Camila Macêdo 2 months ago
I am just watching this now on 2019! What an angel your are! So calm and prepared!!!! You definitively have a gift! Thank you doing such a beautiful job!!!!!!!!
EMMA EDWARDS 2 months ago
Why was she so upset
LKH Promotions 2 months ago
A great video!! Very helpful!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Rx I 3 months ago
Aww, such a good girl. *smiles through tears*
Benjir Marry 3 months ago
Very helpful video. Thanks
patoka akotap 3 months ago
What a great video.I have a nephew whom I thought was autistic but his parents didn't want to know about.put all his outbursts and what they interpret as he is just a toddler.he still can't speak properly.won't interact with people.I am fine with him and when i see him.he gets excited.but I talk to him most in sign and have to make sure I keep my voice at an even level.I can do a lot with him.This video shows what I do with him is correct.thank you.
patoka akotap 2 months ago
+Ryan Judd.thank you.keep up the great work.so appreciated.
Noa Binnendijk 1 month ago
At the end of the video she's clearly uncomfortable with your attempts to make eye contact. I don't think she should be forced to make eye contact like that. Beside that and you trying to stop her stimming, it was a good video. The strategy of blowing bubbles to regulate breathing is very nice.
Elson Marc 1 month ago
Exactly! Some good ideas here but forcing eye and physical contact is stressful. Besides, the therapist is too close. Being autistic myself, I would have felt overwhelmed and invaded in my personal space. That is probably why she is stimming and stressed out. And it's probably why she was anxious at the beginning of this session because she knew what was coming.
Catherine Louise 3 months ago
She is so utterly gorgeous <3
skar516 3 months ago
I try to hold it together when my kid throws tantrums. For the most part I can calm and soothe her. It’s just tough sometimes and she’s high functioning. I’m going to try this. I guess my question is how do you as a parent calm yourself down?
Franchesca Bulduan 3 months ago
Wow, he’s amazing!!! I learned a lot. Thank you for posting.
steven kreger 3 months ago
Thank you Ryan. Our 1st of many of your vids
taniac01 3 months ago
This is so beautiful!
Margaret Molyneaux 4 months ago
Love. A. B. A. Thank. God. For. it. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍
ayesha iqbal 4 months ago
Ive recently started working with autistic children. This helps ALOT. Thank you :) Also.any pointers are more than welcome.i'm the metaphorical empty cup.
Eli Conroy 4 months ago
Thank you! I worked with students who were high needs. And I used the calm approach to engage them. I used hands on things to make them aware of things. When they had a meltdown, I let them scream and rant. I believe you can't force them to calm down. Give them their space and time.
BagelBagel Bagel 4 months ago
hey I am of the camp that believes that eye contact is an area in which many ABA therapists meddle in unnecessarily. I am more comfortable and can focus better on what somebody is saying when I avert their gaze. I am very visually inclined in terms of my hypo- and hyper-sesnitovitiea and the volume of information that is manifested by eye contact can often overpower sensory processing in mostly my hearing. I am wondering if you work with young verbal clients and if so do you notice a distinction in how they communicate when reciprocating gaze vs. evading? thank you for all you do
Paul Roland 4 months ago
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UMER AMEER UDDIN 4 months ago
My daughter is 21 years old. When she's upset she is never willing to do calming exercises. She doesn't want to break her thread of thoughts.
Akalai Morad 4 months ago
..He has a very correct way.Because they do not like the pressure.. 2025.
Kayzel San Felipe 4 months ago
My son was diagnosed ASD
bri 4 months ago
She's adorable.
John Boats 5 months ago
I love you all
Bliss in Riots 5 months ago
i wanna have someone who looks at me like he did to her
Nicolae Marius Lucian 5 months ago
This looks so sad to me. I can't handle watching children with disabilities so I respect their healers and their parents so much for being so brave
[GG] Gaming 5 months ago
at the start about the mouth stuff well im autistic and i cant stop biting my toung tong whatever it is and moving around..
Boney Dixon 5 months ago
Thank you kindly for sharing.This technique has triggered some other tools I may use to help my grandson. God Bless!!!
Nefelibata 5 months ago
Let her stimm, not everyone is the same.
rozpearson 5 months ago
I'll give it a try. Thanks.
dAnne Corrigan 6 months ago
I have pdd nos
MGZ 6 months ago
Speechless.how good of a person are you!great
Jennifer McKelvey 6 months ago
You have an amazing gift. <3
Leonardo Adolpho 6 months ago
Thank you and congratulations for your nice and relevant contribution !
Angie gliter 7 months ago
Awwwwwww☺💓💓💖❤❤
vegeta son 7 months ago
i think i will ask my wife to help me this
vegeta son 7 months ago
maybe i should try the things in this video
agerven 7 months ago
I have never yet seen a sensory targeted approach like this before. Very good! What appears to me, but probably not getting the video's timeline right, that it still is a lot of activity and stimulation in a short amount of time. Also I notice that there is very little physical space between the girl and the therapist, which would have completely freaked me out as a child and maybe still would. So yes, an amazing and direct approach, but some of the things in the video not very understandable for me ('high' functioning ASD). Thanks for posting this video.
Jon Hopkins 7 months ago
She is already pretty calm. This is bullshit.
Nasrin Miran 7 months ago
She likes Music
Daniel Rusin 7 months ago
Ryan, I am 36 years old and I have mild autism. I recieved music therapy services when I was in kindergarten and first grade through a music program called Music Settlement in Cleveland, oh.
evelyn hernandez 7 months ago
You are such an amazing and compassionate person I enjoyed watching this it’s amazing to see there are still good people in this cruel world ❤️
Angelica Taylor 7 months ago
Wow amazing.
Ana Logstic 7 months ago
I wish we had this video when my sister and I were little, our mom could never figure out how to calm my sister down when she had a meltdown and her attempts would often result in a screaming match between them. Now I'm experiencing what's likely PTSD symptoms or something similar as a result (I'm gonna get a proper screening in the near future, fingers crossed we figure out exactly what's going on with me) and I honestly think the experience of growing up with an autistic family member with the neuro-typical members not knowing what to do negatively affected all our emotional and mental well beings.
Tina Marie J. 7 months ago
This was beautiful and calming!
Anna Gavenčiaková 7 months ago
Dear Ryan, it seems a bit odd forcing the child to sit between your legs and gradually more and more invading their 'bubble' you teach to them about not invading with others in your other video. To me or anyone for that matter this sort of 'closeness' would be very intrusive in a music session, especially if they were previously abused, which would trigger them badly.
Camilo Delgado 8 months ago
I'm about to start working as a Behavioral Interventionist and I'm scared to death, any advice??
Kathryn MacDonald 8 months ago
you are absolutely amazing with her! I am going to practice your techniques! :)
Honeybunches1913 8 months ago
I love this!
Caroline 8 months ago
I’m glad the world has come so far. I was so sensitive as a child. I cried a lot. I hid a lot. I couldn’t make eye contact. It hurt. Still does. I’m a great actor in social situations. It’s amazing how we learn to cope. I was born in ‘1969. They really knew nothing back then. I was just the weird loner outcast kid until I learned how to conform. You are so wonderful and inspiring to watch. God bless you!!!
Ehab Abolmagd 8 months ago
Hi Ryan.My daughter has the same symptoms. I sent her to a treatment center but I want to train at home too could you send any source to help me learn like learning videos for the same girl?, thanks so much
Kyle Rhodes 8 months ago
Can someone tell me what app was used for the girl to say yes or no? I am a student worker in a preschool and we have a few children with autism. I feel that app would help us.
sham bob 8 months ago
this is very useful video for me to teach the kids with autism
Neko Draw’s 8 months ago
I needed this for my sister
Boney Kross 8 months ago
Hey Ryan,how did you get certified as a music therapist?
Mariana Claire 9 months ago
This is awesome, thank you :)
베르나리 9 months ago
When my autistic baby cry. we go to outside and buy some toys or drinks. then i hug him then he hug me so tight even if we fight sometimes. but sadly. i need to go to another country to support his future coz he's father run away. so i need to keep my responsibility for him.
Nidia Pearson 9 months ago
My autistic daughter is 36 years old now. I wished I would have had someone like you to help me then!!! Watching the video brought back too many memories. Your are doing a great job!
Aunalicia Gorman 9 months ago
I’m diagnosed with autism and surprisingly no one can tell I’m autistic but for me it’s obvious. I have trouble speaking and act strange to other kids
Bomb Gaming 9 months ago
School had to make changes to the curriculum to enable me to do my school work they had to throw in my interests in because if they didn't i wouldn't do my work and divert off into my imagination or do the topic/topics i was interested in but Asbergers aint that bad to be honest
Emppos 9 months ago
I find this really cute.
lucia 28 9 months ago
Wow amazing video! Really enjoyed watching someone so patient and calm
R. Wright 9 months ago
I just happened onto this video. Patiences takes lots of practice and boy your patience is beautiful! The little lady is so comfortable with you.
24 Muñeca 9 months ago
This gives me so much hope thank you so much
English Roberts 9 months ago
For some reason water sounds freak me out. I think it's the random nature
Roku jho 9 months ago
wow, I never thought these kind of ways are effective (I mean the room you've set just for the client, the music's beat, the lightning, etc). My little brother is an autistic child, I might try what you've told from the video. If you have more effective ways though it's a simple one, please, upload again. It'll be very helpful for someone like me
Stassi Taylor 9 months ago
What a gentle and caring man. I want peace and happiness for this child.
Gabriella Baglia 9 months ago
My son has severe autism diagnosed in the 80's these are all the things he loves, music, bubbles and water, at the time there was no one to connect to, this is such an amazing gift to the world to be in a loving connection in a beautiful healing environment with music therapy, I love this video! <333 Powerful!
hen mil 9 months ago
Bless the children and people who serve them.
Trisha C 9 months ago
You’re so kind and gentle with her!! Need more therapists like this!!
Maggie Mgee 9 months ago
Awwwww this is so sweet your a great councillor I wish their were more people that knew how help us like this. thank you so much for your work ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
Maggie Mgee 9 months ago
Ryan Judd ❤
D.R. Q. 9 months ago
Thank you for this! Could you share some strategies that would help with teenagers with Autism who have a meltdown and act like they are two years old (said compassionately). I think the calming music would help but is there anything else I could do in a high school setting? Thank you!
ahmad farhan 9 months ago
thanks for sharing,i have a 7 years old nonverbal asd boy,i can't wait to try your method at home.
Sandra Mestas 9 months ago
I love this so much. I have a friend who has an autistic son who is not vocal and the girl in the video reminds me of him. It is sweet and endearing and this makes me want to work with special needs kids even more. The thought of being able to get through to them and help them is what I want to do. Thank you for this video
Anel Sandoval 9 months ago
This school year I was asked to attend a Conscious Discipline training and strategies were great. This video gives me helpful ideas to try, especially when we don't know if a student in a regular classroom has not been diagnosed or even to help a child get a brain break. Thank you.
Kathy Bramley 9 months ago
Ah. I came to rhythm by myself as a parent who possibly has autism. And singing lots of nursery rhymes and making some up myself. And we learnt makaton. With my daughter whose sepsis related brain injury has always imitated autism. I'd use my hands to give choices, presenting each one with saying an option. When I thought more options were needed I'd use my fingers. One of my songs just went we go up, up, up, up, up in the air and down down down down there just spiraling my pointing finger to go up towards the ceiling and then turning towards the floor. I used to beatbox phonemes when she was very little and then later with whole words, like names of her clothes and body parts. Pink top, nose; pink top, nose: trousers: purple boots. Purple boots, nose; purple boots nose. Trousers. Pink top. When I had PND after the birth of my second child (and all the other stuff, like my dad's death from cancer and my daughter's neonatal illness and subsequent wait and see delays etc) I used to try and read three books. It was centring and helpful for all of us. She's 13, verbal in complex sentences mostly. She's liked cooking programmes and quiz shows as she's grown older for their structure and like a kind of remixable microreplayable social story, with a lot or repetition of greetings and banter. Not to say that we're totally calm. Or have ever been. My son (11 now) was developmentally forward but also has an ASC diagnosis he's very verbal with PDA and Asperger's type traits. Calming him down in the past has involved kind of humour filled very gentle Kung Fu/passive resistance/rope-a-dope/kettling him away from his sister because he could get explosively angry and especially at her (he made her breakfast this morning and they're playing a quiz game together on the Wii). Those defensive management strategies might evolve into a game of catch or light sabre fencing, tickle fencing, face pulling competition, no laugh race. Maybe moving on to maths or Lego challenges or talking about his special interests, eg Harry Potter and Greek mythology. (Similar strategies with my daughter involve playful mirroring/description, defensive handling, aiming to acknowledge her problem verbally, if I know it - it can be difficult when I need her to tell me what's wrong especially when I'm in a panic; familar roleplay eg Disney characters, pirates, for transmuting this can be be helpful, or just going quiet to try and encourage and centre myself and deep breaths and trying again; that's a skill that takes practice and it can be hard) Before my son's diagnosis when we were advised to do time outs he could always push my buttons in a positive and negative way, engaging me in some big philosophical or high education value question from quite young. I think they both have some degree of seperation anxiety that could stem from early time-out/self soothe training attempts. :( But now he's older if he's not being friendly I tend to back out. Partly because my self regulation goes through ups and downs as well, also it tends to be at bedtime when I am meant to be reading to him and he's now mature/secure enough to stay in his room. I save the direct engagement for when it's really a safety issue/to save his sister from abuse and unfairness. He just thanked his sister for playing with him though, made gracious exit noises. I gave him a hug as a reward, then asked if that worked as one or was horrible. He said somewhere in between. And asked for financial reward instead. I talked about bribing. He talked about making me a loan to be paid back with considerable interest. I gave him tuppence from our loose change bowl, which was as it happens from 1973 and thus still proper copper so that satisfied him.
Kathy Bramley 9 months ago
Ryan Judd hopefully, that was the plan! I thought you were great. Watching and managing the mood is so important. And being least invasive and best interests of the child or vulnerable adult as much as possible: which is somewhat easier in a therapy setting or with a group of good staff. And that slightly different edge of being away from home. I just wanted to constructively add in a few from parent perspective dealing with range of functioning; and complexity of family and sibling interaction. I just used special interests of pirates roleplay and Disney's Frozen helped keep the mood good to help my unwilling daughter move and change over end of day main tv screen turn. But not before there was a bit of Argy bargy when I left the room briefly, to try and move small screen motivators to where she knew she should be. Struggling to calmly get son to acknowledge calmly that jumping in her space is not ideal and asking him to do that is not victim blaming, which frustrating as it is is not within the scope of the kind of autism or therapeutic intervention here. But interesting I think in terms of thinking about how broad are the spectrum, and needs of calming, and specific interactions. I don't want anyone to feel like they've got or are dealing with the wrong kind of autism or the wrong kind of family, or that they should have all the tools already or find it easy to apply everything that happens in settings at home. Or to have those advocating or caring for those with less barriers to self advocating at that end of the spectrum at war with the other end. You win some, you lose some. We'll all feel like we're lost in a battle. But that's partly just life. And it's possible, often with a combination of wisdoms both outside and within our homes, to find enough calm to live by. Whatever the circumstances.
jayanthi jaiaraman 9 months ago
Thank you
Nathan Johnston 10 months ago
I love it Ryan. The way you approach the child is very sensitive and calm. My experience with ASD kids is they are very emotional and need to feel support through calm and caring interaction. Well done :)
Skylar Leigh 10 months ago
Hi Ryan. My name is skylar. I'm 17 and I have autism. But I am lucky enough to be very high functioning. Watching you help this girl, dispite her disability made me cry. It made me so happy. Now only becuase there are people like you who help people like us, but because you were able to, I guess, get to her level , and made her have such positive feedback towards you.
Skylar Leigh 9 months ago
WARNING SUPER LONG IM SORRY!!! well, i have to thank you more. You are an amazing human being. by what i see in your videos, you show so much respect, love, and care for all. no matter what someones obsticles, such as autism in this case, you are able to see them as another beautiful person. i think that you realize that some people have challenges, possibly even different than youve personally experenced, and youre able to push that to the side to reveal the true person underneath. i did not rewatch this video as i am responding, but i remember very clearly how calm, understanding, gentile, and how amazing you are. and its giving me that urge to cry again lol. i wish i could be like you. at least accepting of others when i was a child, and even now i still find it hard. when i was in elementary school i was put in special ed because i had adhd and oppasitional defiance disorder, and i was really mean, loud, i swore a lot and threw tantrums a lot. (i was only JUST recentally diagnosed to be on the spectrum). but as i was saying, there was this boy, Clion, who had, i guess moderate autism. he wasnt throwing fits but he was always talking to himself and his action figures. he would also stare at me and follow me around. i was so mean to him, and other kids (even this one boy who had such difficulty walking, and was always really nice to me, but i was always mean to him). but Clion drove me bonkers. i wanted to hurt him because he drove me crazy so much. and i guess i didnt really understand the whole 'autism' thing. and looking back, 1, it couldve been foreshadowing (lol) because maybe he knew i was autistic too, while no one else did. and 2, i realize how hard it is just for ME to connect with people and make friends, and he was less functioning than i was/am, so i cant even imagine how he felt or feels now. and ive always had so much trouble at school, where the teachers refused to help me in any way because i was too smart and can figure it out herself. and thats the struggle im still to this day dealing with. i was going to try to get my HSED (like a GED) at a local collage and my school REFUSED to sign off on it because i am fully capible of doing it. and i have better grades than 70 % of the school. i had C's and D's. i feel like i need to be rocking back and forth in a corner drooling for someone to help me. but they wont. they only see how smart i am. just because im smart doesnt mean i wont ever need help! but, i started getting depression in 7th grade, when i was 14. ive been institutionalised for depression and suicide attempts in the past. ive self harmed, and ive never really been in a good place, emotionally and mentally. and maybe now. now that ive been diagnosed, something will change. i want to embrase it. ive started a blog on tumblr and im trying to start a channel on youtube about autism and stuff. its called THEAUSSIEINMYSKY . and really, i have only three reasons i am not dead yet. 1, my dog. 2, books. ive always loved to read. i taught myself to do it actually. and 3, JACKSEPTICEYE. i look forward to seeing his videos. he always puts a smile on my face when nothing and noone else can. hes my inspiration. my hero. my everything. i would love to talk to him. let him know how thankfull i am for him. i want to be friends with him. he would be the biggest supporter in my life. but i dont really think he would want to talk to someone like me. im sorry to tell you all of this, but the point i want to make is, is that you can change the lives of so many people if you keep doing what youre doing. you can make such a huge difference. and i support you. and I hope you continue to be this wonderful and selfless being until the day you die.
allymayful 10 months ago
Superb! Thank you for your generosity in sharing your wonderful gift in working with these children. Calming for my soul, to observe such wonderful empathy.
Rosie Eggleston 10 months ago
To calm myself, I fold strips of paper into triangles.
Glynna Schmehl 10 months ago
I think she's extremely intelligent to be apprehensive of this whole deal at such a young age.
Payam Hashemi 10 months ago
What you do, dear Ryan Judd, is invaluable and pure humane! I wish there were more people like you with this keen observation, knowledge, determination, patience and above all, a good heart!
Paula Jones - Bowen 10 months ago
As a parent of a son who has Autism I thank you for your commitment and dedication. Last year I returned to school to finish my degree in Music Education. This semester I enrolled in an education class on diversity and inclusion and came across your video. It is so touching to see how engaged you are with your students.I applaud you!! ❤️❤️👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Sophia Doré 10 months ago
lovely video, you are great at what you do!
Charles Smith 10 months ago
If I were in your shoes - I was going to realize that in some autistic people, they have a large personal space bubble - intrude into that bubble at the wrong times, and that person could flip out, explode, scream, or commit self-destructive behavior like hitting one's head (yep, a meltdown). So if I must intrude into the client's personal space bubble using any sort of applied behavior methods, I would use very slow approachable movements, and avoid things like strobes, very loud colors, and sudden noises upon any such approach.
Inda Secl 10 months ago
I have autism and this calmed me down
Fatima Waheed 10 months ago
Thats awesome, and this was so helpful, thank you!!
Ruby Marsden 10 months ago
This is really inspiring, and it really works. Wonderful.
Lillian Trosclair 10 months ago
Wow. That’s amazing. You’re techniques and her responses. A lot of effort on your part trying to establish a connection but be able to gauge when to pull back before she gets too overwhelmed or you lose her.
Levie Pine 10 months ago
Watching this makes me so happy that there are people like you in the world but also makes me a little upset and angry that no one tried to treat my brother like this when he was upset. They just got into a shouting competition that ended in violence usually. You genuinely are an amazing human being!