Temper Tantrums


My almost 2 year old grandson seems to have these meltdowns when he is introduced to new things. Example…something with an odd texture, or a toy that makes noise. If he is slowly introduced to it sometimes he is ok…if not then he shakes his head and cries. He also has SOD and is vision impaired.
How should we handle this?



My son did this too. Occassions where we open many presents can be very stressful. My son has complete acc and this has cause his to not process new things very easily. He has been diagnosed with sensory integratin disorder because of it. What this means is that his brain is not able to process new noises, vibrations, movement or feelings until he has been exposed to them many times. For instance, he went a whole summer fearing the lawn. I couldn’t even carry him accross the back yard. We just kept trying and soothing him until he became more comfortable. The next summer he was much better and could run accross the back yard with shoes on.
Toys are hard because there are old favorites that act and sound exactly like he is used to, but many of them are baby toys. Big kid toys often sit on his self for months before he is okay to pick them up and play with them.
Think of it this way - how would you react if a bee were about to land on you - you would panic a little. Rationally, you know that the bee is not going to sting you unless you swat at it, but there is irrational fear and you shoo the bee away anyway. Our kids panic with irrational fear when they don’t understand something new. Once they learn the new sensation, new toy or new noise is not going to hurt them, they can accept the new experience.
I hope I explained this okay. If not, your doctor may want to evaluate for sensory issues and therapy can be really helpfull. Also, often when children get older, senory issues can surface in ADHD type of symptoms or autistic type symptoms. There are some good books on sensory disorder that you could look up on amazon.


Many almost 2 yr olds have tantrums…so it would be hard to separate out causes for these. It is a normal stage that kids often go through before they have good communication skills.

That said, in our kids they may continue and many will later be diagnosed as on the Sutism spectrum and/or with sensory integration issues. I have found a combination of things to work, first, avoiding thing I know will provoke that response, second, increasing sensory diet (playdough, brushing, etc) as such an event like a birthday or large group gathering where new stuff can’t be avoided approaches, and third, setting expectations for more appropriate behavior (for kids much older than 2) as they get older .

By the way, I have 4 older kids than Rafi all of whom have some autistic like characteristics with good intellect and all of whom are not young adults, doing fine, thank G-d.

Jane in MN


My son, Jesse, would have fits at times dealing with new toys. There could be a variety of reasons. If there was a certain tone to a toy that bothered him he would complain loudly. Our kids are very sensory and extra sensory. Jesse will hear a whisper…from a distance. I try to keep this in mind. Different textures, sounds, smells, etc. could set him off. As he is growing up, he seems to be coping with things better. I am thankful for that. I think that temper tantrums sometimes are because they do not have the words at age 2 so that is the expression used. I would try to help Jesse find words as I calm him down when he was younger. My guess is that since the two hemispheres in the brain don’t connect…the “stop” side does not speak to the “go” side also if you run into any other type of behaviors. Our kids need our patience in teaching them RIGHT and WRONG behaviors. This will take time, love, and patience.