When I started working with Buddha he had these moments that we would call “episodes”. Basically, they were flashes of uncontrollable anger and/or sadness. Buddha decided to name the episodes the “wonky place”.

A lot of my students, most of whom had emotional disorder or autism, portrayed the same rollercoaster of emotions. However, in school, we would call these moments a crisis.

Unfortunately, once an episode starts, you usually have to wait until the child rides out the emotion, which can be REALLY challenging. Especially since the child can become verbally and physically abusive.

What they look like:

It is important to know that all episodes/crisis look different depending on the child. However, bellow is a list of things that I have seen both my students and Buddha do during an episode.

  • Biting
  • Spitting
  • Kicking
  • Hitting
  • Scratching
  • Throwing objects at both you and the wall
  • Cursing
  • Threatening
  • Crying

I have seen students do all of those things to themselves and to others. While the behavior is not ok, you have to realize that it sometimes cannot be controlled. I hope that by reading this list you can both relate and understand that you are NOT ALONE. That it is NOT your fault when your child portrays those actions and that 99% of the time it is NOT personal, no matter how specific they are.

How they start:

Something simple could set any child off. Below is simply a list of examples that I have personally seen set a child off.

  • Asking them to do a task they don’t feel like doing
  • Asking them to do a task they don’t know how to do
  • Transitioning from one thing to another (usually something fun to work)
  • A change in the schedule
  • Something changes about their routine (i.e. asked to eat breakfast before getting dressed)
  • Not giving them attention/ ignoring them
  • Raising your voice at them
  • Asking them to stop something they do not want to stop
  • It could also be medical:
    • Medicine could be too strong or wearing off
    • They could be overly tired
    • They might be experiencing something in their body that they can not explain
    • Their heart rate might be going up
    • They are in pain


Again, an episode is simply a moment of uncontrollable emotions that some children experience. Remember the word uncontrollable, because even though it seems like they are in control, they usually are not. It is important to know that it will pass. And the most important take away is that it is NOT YOUR FAULT. Never blame yourself or your child. They are on a roller coaster so you can ride with them or watch from the side. Either way, you must let them ride it out.


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