For children with autism spectrum disorder, emotional regulation skills can be difficult to acquire. Emotional regulation involves the ability to recognize and manage emotions, which can be especially challenging for those who are on the spectrum. Having strong emotional regulation skills is important for children’s overall emotional, social and academic success.
When a child experiences emotional dysregulation, they may become overwhelmed by their emotions, resulting in outbursts, tantrums, and aggressive behaviors that may affect their learning. Through proper guidance and instruction, emotional regulation skills can be taught to help children manage their emotions and behavior in healthy ways.
At Rising Above ABA, we understand the importance of emotional regulation skills for your child’s overall well-being. As part of our behavioral management program, we’re able to provide strategies that can help your child develop and strengthen the skills they need.
What Is Emotional Regulation?
Emotional regulation is the ability to recognize and respond to your own emotions in an appropriate way. It involves understanding how to express emotions in a healthy way and helps children better control their behavior. With emotional regulation skills, individuals can also develop self-awareness and empathy for others.
However, emotional regulation can be difficult for those on the autism spectrum, who often have difficulty managing their emotions and understanding social situations. As a result, children with autism can experience emotional dysregulation, which includes difficulty controlling their emotions and behavior.
Benefits of Emotional Regulation Skills
Developing emotional regulation skills can have many advantages for children on the autism spectrum. It can help them:
- Manage their emotions in an appropriate way
- Understand and interpret social situations
- Develop self-awareness and empathy towards others
- Improve communication and problem-solving skills
- Reduce feelings of stress, frustration, or anger
As your child learns emotional regulation skills, they can become better equipped to handle difficult situations and develop meaningful relationships with others.
Four Strategies to Help Children Develop Emotional Regulation Skills
1. Identify Feelings
Help your child name their feelings and recognize how their body is responding. This can help them become more aware of what they are feeling and give them a better understanding of their emotions.
For example, if your child is feeling angry, ask them to describe how their body feels. You can also suggest ways to calm down and express themselves in a productive way, like taking deep breaths or using positive self-talk.
2. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Encourage your child to practice relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and guided imagery, when they are feeling overwhelmed. This will help them stay mindful and better control their emotions.
For example, you can have your child visualize a peaceful scene as they take deep breaths in and out. Having them focus on the imagery and their breathing can help them relax and reduce stress.
3. Model Appropriate Emotional Regulation
It’s important to model appropriate emotional regulation for your child. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few moments to talk about how your body is responding and the steps you’re taking to cope with your emotions.
By leading by example, you can show your child how to express and manage their emotions in a healthy way.
4. Problem-Solve Together
Help your child develop problem-solving skills by having them identify the problem and come up with solutions. This can help them become more independent in managing their emotions and make better decisions.
Reach Out to Rising Above ABA for Help
At Rising Above ABA, we can provide strategies and instruction to help your child develop emotional regulation skills. Our team of experienced therapists is here to help and provide support to you and your family. Contact us today at 888.572.7473 or reach out to our team online for more information on our services.