How to reduce meltdowns by keeping a good journal

Writing down when meltdowns happen, and some details about them, is a surprisingly simple and powerful step you can take toward reducing their frequency.
Therapists, and doctors, and article after article will all give you that same advice, and that's because it really can help. Check out this nice WikiHow article for an example of that, where keeping a good log is part of each of their different pieces of advice.

We at Birdhouse work every day to make the best, most powerful (and fun) way to keep that log.

Not only can you write down your notes (which pen and paper are also quite adequate for), but you can;
  • See the details of your notes right at a glance (when did severe meltdowns happen vs mild ones, how long did it last, etc)
  • Search to find details of a specific occurrence
  • Always have your notebook on hand to write it down quickly, or retrieve your notes, and without risk of it getting lost or damaged
  • And lot's more
Here's how to use Birdhouse to keep a great record and start reducing meltdowns:
  1. Add a new Activity to your Birdhouse timeline
  2. Select Meltdown as your type
  3. Enter the details of the most recent Meltdown your remember (date/time, severity, duration, and any notes)
  4. Post Activity to save
  5. During, after, or at the end of each day (whichever feels best) - try to write down any meltdowns that happened
  6. Consider adding other types of notes from things that happened that day - Did they poop? What time did they go to bed and/or wake up? Did they have Therapy? What medications or supplements did they get (or skip)?
  7. At the end of each week, we'll email you a summary of your notes from the week, so you can quickly review and remember what happened. It will even tell you if this week was better than average or worse. You might notice some interesting connections, or ways to make your notes better next week. This reminder can help you reflect and decide how to improve next time when you aren't right in the middle of everything all at once.
  8. You can review your notes anytime, show/hide different details to look at just the days and times when Meltdowns happen, look for patterns or connections with something else that only happens on days when there are Meltdowns (or always the day before), graph them to see all of these details at once, and more.
If you need any help getting this going, or making it work better for you, just shoot us a message

Here is a story about someone using Birdhouse to reduce Meltdowns in their family

Some fun things about recording your Meltdowns in Birdhouse 
  • Icons show the Severity with different colors; yellow for Low, orange for Medium, and red for High. 
  • If you use the Reports on the web, you can see a bar chart of how many happened during a given week or month, at which severity or duration; how many were 5 minutes and how many were 15? Then just change the dates and compare to last week. It'll even show you the times of day at quick glance, along with any of your other notes you want to compare them against.
  • Next time you go to the doctor or therapist, you won't have to bring that giant binder with you!

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