Children with ASD often find it challenging to control their emotions and impulses, so supporting them with self-regulation is important early on.
The Five Point Incredible Scale & Zones of Regulation
The 5-point scale is a simple tool that can be used to teach self-regulation whilst also providing a visual representation of social behaviours, emotions and abstract ideas. It can be developed by the teacher or parent or as collaboration between the teacher/parent and the individual with autism.
The Zones is a systematic, cognitive behaviour approach used to teach self-regulation by categorising all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete zones. The Zones curriculum provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of, and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs, and improving their ability to problem solve conflicts.
By addressing underlying deficits in emotional and sensory regulation, executive functions, and social cognition, the curriculum is designed to help move students towards independent regulation.
The Zones of Regulation incorporates Social Thinking® concepts and numerous visuals to teach students to identify their feelings/level of alertness, understand how their behaviour impacts those around them, and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings and states.
Provide your child with visual supports to represent activities he/ she uses to regulate himself in school and at home (e.g. going to the playground, going to a quiet room, having a blanket etc.) You could use pictures of ‘feelings’ faces with regulating strategies for your child on the back. Support your child to communicate his/ her feeling and the activity he/she may need. At first, the adult will have to predict this and model it to him/ her (e.g. if it appears he/she is becoming cross, the adult could model “you look like you are getting cross, shall we go for a walk?” while showing him/her the picture of the ‘cross’ face with suggested strategies on the back)
If you feel your child needs more support with self-regulation, please speak to one of our team to find out how we can help.