De-escalation is an important subject when it comes to taking care of adults with special needs. Adults living with special needs have little control when it comes to their behavior. Learning how to de-escalate whatever situation that might occur when dealing with a special needs adult is an essential tool for caretakers.


Prevention is the best way to avoid escalation. Understanding the triggers that affect an adult living with special needs is the best de-escalation tactic one can use. Whether its social anxiety, boredom or any other trigger identifying these triggers before a situation escalates is the best way to prevent a crisis from escalating.


Communication is the key to de-escalating. When a crisis situation arises it’s important for caregivers to communicate effectively and take time to evaluate the responses. In a situation where the person is unable or unwilling to speak, it’s important to watch for their body language and tone of voice. It’s also of high importance for the caregiver to watch his/her tone of voice and body language. When dealing with adults with special needs its important to communicate effectively to show that as a caregiver, you’re willing to listen to them and help them in any approach.

Be on the Defensive

It’s important to stay defensive when dealing with an escalation crisis. Personal space should always be kept when dealing with a de-escalation situation. A caregiver should always be a little over a legs length away from the other person. This is both to make the special needs adult to feel comfortable and to protect yourself in case the situation escalates further. In any crisis situation, its important for the caregiver to call the appropriate authorities if they feel like the situation is getting out of their control or their life or some other person’s life is in danger.