This free autism resource will help your students stay “cool” and not escalate to an “inferno!” The behavior of individuals with autism can often require a lot of intensive strategies and time to figure out. One thing that can make challenging behaviors so difficult to stop is that the escalation of behavior is part of a routine, and routines can be very difficult to break. Once a child develops a routine of escalation, it is almost inevitable they will go from being a little upset to a full blown tantrum.
How This Behavior Visual Breaks the Routine:
This behavior visual is designed to help break that routine, and show students that they can get a little upset and not have to follow the routine to the end and have a full tantrum. To use it, simply write in the behaviors associated with the four levels of behavior” “cool”, “flame”, “fire”, “inferno”. These will be different for every student, so really think about what they look like for your student. Then, write in the strategies you have seen to be effective on the water drop, bucket, and fire extinguisher. Put these together using a binder ring and always have them available.
How to Put Together The Visual:
Make sure you review the visuals when your student is calm. The last thing you want to do is try to introduce something new when they are upset! Read over the visuals, even get their input. Make sure there is meaning associated with system. Then, keep watch for a moment when the student begins to get a little upset, “flame” level. Point to the behavior under “flame” and immediately present the “water drop” visual and help them pick a strategy. They may need a lot of assistance at the beginning since you are building a new routine. Once they have executed the strategy, show them they have made it back to “cool”.
Catching and modifying behavior at the “flame” stage is ideal, so try and do this as much as possible. But, if the student continues to escalate then use the strategies under “bucket” and “fire extinguisher” the same way. Over time, this will become the new routine for de-escalating behavior!