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M ODULE 4: E NHANCING S OCIAL D EVELOPING FOR S TUDENTS WITH ASD IN G ENERAL E DUCATION C LASSROOMS Lesson 3: Regulating Emotions.

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Presentation on theme: "M ODULE 4: E NHANCING S OCIAL D EVELOPING FOR S TUDENTS WITH ASD IN G ENERAL E DUCATION C LASSROOMS Lesson 3: Regulating Emotions."— Presentation transcript:

1 M ODULE 4: E NHANCING S OCIAL D EVELOPING FOR S TUDENTS WITH ASD IN G ENERAL E DUCATION C LASSROOMS Lesson 3: Regulating Emotions

2 O UTLINE Defining Emotional Regulation Students with ASD and Emotional Regulation Strategies for Enhancing the Emotional Regulation of Students with ASD

3 D EFINING E MOTIONAL R EGULATION Emotional Regulation is: A process in which emotional arousal (positive or negative) is redirected, controlled, modulated, and modified to enable a person to function adaptively (Cicchetti, Ganiban, & Barnett, 1991) Essential for optimal social and communication development (Prizant & Meyer, 1993)

4 S TUDENTS WITH ASD AND E MOTIONAL R EGULATION Students with ASD often have difficulties regulating their emotions This can be due to a variety of factors including: Difficulty with language and communication Difficulty with social interaction Difficulties in emotional expression Motor difficulties Challenges in the development of cognitive and metacognitive skills Neurophysiological factors that result in hyper-reactivity (over-arousal) or hypo- reactivity (under-arousal) (Prizant, Wetherby, Rubin, Laurent, & Rydell, 2006)

5 W HY IS IT I MPORTANT TO R EGULATE E MOTIONS ? Extreme negative emotions or positive emotions can detrimentally affect attention, communication skills, and problem solving (Prizant et al., 2006) Students with ASD may display Behaviors such as stereotypic body movements and/or verbalizations get over- excited when something makes them happy and Tantrums or other negative behaviors if they get over anxious, upset, scared, or angry

6 S TRATEGIES FOR E NHANCING THE E MOTIONAL R EGULATION OF S TUDENTS WITH ASD

7 G ENERAL S TRATEGIES Provide a predictable, structured routine Provide visual supports Offer choices (verbally and nonverbally) Respond appropriately to the students attempts at regulation Recognize signs of dysregulation and offer support by providing information (ex. You only have two more problems.) or assistance (ex. offer help with an academic task)

8 G ENERAL S TRATEGIES Follow the childs lead Use time-delay to encourage initiations Allow the student to work at own pace Ensure expectations are developmentally appropriate Model appropriate nonverbal and verbal communication and request imitation Define clear beginning, middle, and end to activities Provide repeated learning opportunities throughout the day for targeted skills Use augmentative communication supports

9 T HE I NCREDIBLE 5-P OINT S CALE (B URON & C URTIS, 2003) One strategy that may help students with ASD to regulate their emotions is to provide them with a visual scale so they can rate how they are feeling at any given time. For example, a student may use the following rating to describe his emotional state: 1. I am happy and calm 2. I am a little upset 3. I am definitely upset 4. I am feeling like I am getting to the point when I cannot control my behavior 5. I am unable to control my behavior

10 A CTING L ESSONS (M YLES & S OUTHWICK, 2005) Acting lessons my help students with ASD develop self-awareness, self-calming, and self- management Students learn to express their emotions in specific situations both verbally and nonverbally Students learn to interpret others emotions, feelings, and voices Students receive direct and immediate feedback from an instructor and peers regarding their performance

11 T HE E MOTIONAL T OOLBOX (A TTWOOD, 2004) In the book entitled, Exploring Feelings: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to Manage ANXIETY, Tony Attwood discusses the emotional toolbox program to help students identify tools that can help fix certain feelings. These tools include: Physical tools Relaxation tools Social tools Thinking tools Special interest tools

12 P HYSICAL T OOLS (A TTWOOD, 2004) The student selects physical activities that can help release emotional energy These activities may include: Going for a walk/run Bouncing on a trampoline/balance ball Going on a swing Playing a sport Dancing Riding a bike Swimming Playing an instrument

13 R ELAXATION T OOLS (A TTWOOD, 2004) Relaxation tools help to calm the student down and lower the heart rate. This may include: Drawing Reading Listening to music Retreating to a quiet place Rocking/engaging in repetitive behavior Massage Playing with a stress ball Leaving the class to deliver a message Doing a chore in the classroom (ex. Cleaning up the book shelf)

14 S OCIAL T OOLS (A TTWOOD, 2004) Social tools entail finding a person to be with who can help change the mood of the student. This may entail: Visiting with the school counselor or other staff member outside of the classroom Helping a classmate who has difficulties in an area of the students interests or expertise Working alongside a favorite peer

15 T HINKING T OOLS (A TTWOOD, 2004) Using thinking tools means students use their intellectual strengths to control feelings. This can be done by: Using self-talk (ex. I can stay calm even though I am frustrated) Create a personal antidote that can encourage positive thoughts (ex. I can ask for help to fix a problem.) The antidote can be written on a card to be used as a cue or reminder. Help put the event in perspective for the student by doing a reality check. You can ask questions that require the use of logic and facts to help calm the student (ex. Is there another time in the day that you can finish your drawing? Have the student engage in an academic task in which he/she excels to help calm down Have the student keep an object in their pocket or desk that symbolizes relaxation for that student. The student can touch or look at that item for a few minutes to assist in calming down

16 T ENSION R ELEASE AND B REATHING (B ELLINI, 2008) Students can be taught how to use tension release and breathing strategies when they encounter stressful situations Tension release: Make a tight fist for 5 seconds. Release. Do this five times. Breathing exercises: Take slow, deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth Bellini recommends introducing these techniques using a Social Story so the child can learn when, where, and how to use the relaxation techniques

17 M ODULE 4 L ESSON 3 A CTIVITY Select a student who has difficulties regulation emotions (best if it is a student with ASD) Choose strategies from this presentation to develop an intervention plan to enhance the emotional regulation of the student Submit an overview of the students difficulties with emotional regulation and a description of your intervention plan

18 R EFERENCES Attwood, T. (2004). Exploring feelings: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to Manage Anxiety. Bellini, S. (2008). Building social relationships: A systematic approach to teaching social interaction skills to children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and other social difficulties. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing. Buron, K. D., & Curtis, M. (2003). The incredible 5-point scale: Assisting students with autism spectrum disorders in understanding social interactions and controlling their emotional responses. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing. Cicchetti, D., Ganiban, J., & Barnett, D. (1991). Contributions from the study of high-risk populations to understanding the development of emotion regulation. In J. Garber & K. Dodge (Eds.), The development of emotion regulation and dysregulation (pp ). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Prizant, B.M., & Meyer, E. C. (1993). Socioemotional aspects of communication disorders in young children and their families. American Journal of Speech- Language Pathology, 2, Prizant, B. M., Wetherby, A. M., Rubin, E., Laurent, A. C., & Rydell, P. J. (2006). The SCERTS model: A comprehensive educational approach for children with autism spectrum disorders. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.


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