Are you aware of your state of regulation? Are you aware this helps you attend to and interact with the world around you?
- Self-regulation is key to our wellbeing, our ability to participate in daily life and learn in the world around us. It’s the thing that gives us the ability to manage our emotions, behaviours, actions and level of energy in response to environments, society and other people. We use this skill to process the information we receive through our senses into our nervous system to maintain an ideal level of arousal. If we can’t do this properly, we don’t respond as is expected to what is happening around us.
- For people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), understanding and identifying their own emotions is a challenge. As stress develops, internal changes within the body often goes unnoticed causing emotions and behaviours to escalate. At Evolving Potential we can help build the skills of self-regulation through teaching understanding and providing tools that break this tricky concept down.
- The 5 Point Scale is used by the individual and others who interact with them, to ‘check in’ and identify how they are feeling at that point in time. EVERYONE is therefore using the SAME language, the messages and information are consistent across people and environments reducing confusion and further frustration.
- It is known that people living with ASD (and many others) learn better with a visual system (The National Autistic Society 2003). Visual learning breaks down and simplifies information for easier information processing and outlines expectations of what is required or going to happen. The 5 Point Scale is a visual tool that has been developed to support learning of concepts such as self-regulation (Dunn Buron, K, n.d.) but it can be generalised to other skills such as volume control or personal space. This visual system is structured and predictable which is a preferred way of learning for individuals with ASD (Dunn Buron, K, n.d.)
- It takes a cognitive behavioural approach as it focuses on identifying what each emotional level feels like, sounds like and looks like and then works with individuals to identify ‘what you can try’ at each of these levels to return or remain at a level 1 or 2. This retrains their self-regulation skills and applies a positive spin that expresses understanding and no judgement on the individual. The change in behaviour that is strongly encouraged is to take a break when level 3 feelings and behaviours are being experienced to reduce the possibility that this will intensify to meltdowns. It intervenes with different strategies to respond to frustration.