Self-Calming Strategies: 'Easier Seen'

July 28, 2012 by - 3 Comments

Self Calming Strategies "Easier Seen"
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Relaxing Rainbow & Clouds

Throughout this month we focused on visual supports & strategies for positive behavior.  We have discussed transition supports, environmental arrangements, and consequence mapping.  As we wrap up, we don’t want to forget PrAACtical AAC strategies for self-calming.

We like to think about self-calming like this- some weeks we need it more than others, some days we need it more than others. We all need self- calming strategies. Whether we vent to a friend, go for  a run, knit, take deep breaths, or get a glass of wine (although we are not advocating this), we all use self-calming strategies.

It makes a huge difference.

Sometimes though helping our students self-calm at times may seem “easier said than done”, but we know it truly is ‘easier when SEEN.  Self-calming strategies can help before, during,  and after behavior challenges .  We will often teach and use self calming strategies if we know a potentially stressful situation will be occurring soon.  We also teach students (and parents, teachers, therapists..) to use self calming strategies during a stressful situation (as we see agitation building).  We try to visually remind students to use self calming strategies before a full-blown behavior challenge occurs.   And last, we can also use self calming strategies to help a student smooth things out after a challenging behavior situation because these strategies can help a student regain calmness so the rest of the day can be restarted at a calm level.  We have noticed that If we do not use self calming strategies after the challenging behavior situation,  the agitation can snowball (pardon the winter pun- it is very very hot in Florida this time of year).
There are many strategies that help with self calming. Check out the following visual supports that represent a variety of self-calming strategies
(A huge THANK YOU goes out to Special Education British Columbia-Picture Set BC and the Geneva Center:E-Learning Autism.
Breaks
Break Cards
Break Pass
Calm Down Resources
Calm Down Simple Support
Calm Down- Schedule
Calm Down Strips
Calm Down Vocabulary
Calming Boards
Relaxation of Body
Square Breathing
Relax
Relaxation Routine
Venting

Venting + Communication 

STOP & Relax In Action- Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout 2012 In addition to specific visual supports for self-calming,  we love total body self calming strategies.  We love so much about the S.T.O.P. and Relax© Program.  We love the underlying philosophies behind it because there is an emphasis on visual cues.   S.T.O.P. and Relax©  incorporates elements of yoga, cognitive-behavioral psychology, and special education using visual cues to teach.  We are most familiar with  S.T.O.P. and Relax© , but please let us know if you have used other total body self-calming programs.

More Information  & Resources About Self Calming:

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This post was written by Robin Parker

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