This paper takes the perspective through the lens of Stephen Porges’s Polyvagal Theory in terms of three stages - social engagement, mobilization, and immobilization - to understand autistic meltdown. In 2004, Porges coined the term neuroception to denote an automatic neural process by evaluating safety and risk of the environment without conscious awareness. The behavioral response of the nervous system (either calm or rigid) of individuals with autism having meltdowns are also discussed based on the vagus nerve activity (involving ventral vagal and dorsal vagal systems). Previous studies linking autistic meltdowns to the Polyvagal Theory is also briefly discussed here. Finally, the theory has raised a better awareness among the educational therapists and other allied professionals managing autistic meltdown to understand that disassociation occurs due to disintegration of the neural connection between the brain and the nervous system, rendering behavioral challenges in both teaching and learning.


Autism, Meltdown, Neuroception, Polyvagal Theory,


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