On October 19, Dr. Gina Cosgrove presented “Executive Functioning: Strategies to Support Individuals with Autism and Related Challenges” at Transitions’ “Strategies to Build Independence for Students with Autism, ADHD and Other Learning Differences” conference. Her presentation covered the basics of how to evaluate a student’s executive functioning needs and reviewed research-based strategies to help with planning interventions and implementing them in different settings. We would like to share what we learned from Dr. Cosgrove in this series of posts.
Teaching the Skills: Self-Regulation Strategies
Self-regulation is vitally important for anyone who plans to function independently in public. This includes monitoring self-control as well as watching what you say to people. For example, certain “compliments” aren’t considered appropriate to say to women a man doesn’t know. A test for questionable behaviors is that if a person says or does something that might get them kicked out of a place or might result in someone calling the police on them, the person can’t be allowed to continue that behavior, even in safe places such as school or home.
- Self-control can be monitored using color-coded scales, with good behavior rated green and undesirable behavior labeled red, for example.
- Make sure your students know how to listen to what their brains and bodies are telling them. Make sure they know when they can take a break, when they need one, and what taking a break looks and feels like.
- Self-talk scripts are great for evaluating how an individual feels after doing certain tasks or engaging in certain behaviors. Make them visual if necessary. An example of a self-talk script for self-regulation would be, “When I do ___, I feel ___.”
- Self-evaluation skills are important for making sure the individual understands the results of certain behaviors and knows they can turn to them when needed. An example of this would be a student understanding that their body feels calm when they get a drink of water or their mind feels more energized when they take a stretch or “mind break.”
We hope these tips and strategies are helpful to you. Good luck and check this blog again next week for the next installment in this series.