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Autism and strategies to cope with emotions

In a previous post we have talked about the difficulty Flora is having in identifying her emotions and identifying strategies to manage them appropriately.

In order to teach Flora to identify emotions, we need to demonstrate the emotions we are teaching her on a daily basis (stage 1) and label them whenever Flora or her peers express one of the targeted emotions (stage 2) . More information about stage 1 and stage 2 can be found here.

As well as learning to identify her emotions, it is important that Flora learns strategies to manage them appropriately. In this way, we can avoid the feeling of discomfort that can lead to behaviour that challenges.

For more information on behaviour that challenges, you can be found here.

1. Identifying appropriate strategies

First, it is important to identify the strategies that Flora can use to manage the different emotions she is experiencing.

During this time Flora learns about feeling happy, sad, angry and tired.

The strategies we identified for Flora are the following:

  • When Flora is feeling tired, she can drink a glass of water or lie down for a few minutes.

  • When Flora is feeling happy, she can clap her hands or jump in the air or on the trampoline.

  • When she is feeling angry, Flora can blow a balloon or count backwards to ten.

  • When she is feeling sad, she can eat a snack or hug/ squeeze a pillow.

2. Turning the strategies into visual aids (making videos and taking pictures)

In order for learning strategies to be effective, it is important to turn them into visual aids. We made a short video of us applying the strategies, but we also took a picture of them. You can find more information here.

3. Demonstration of the strategies

We use the videos to demonstrate the correct application of the strategies. We can incorporate them into the Morning Circle by planning a section that focuses on the different emotions. More information about the Morning Circle can be found here.

4. Application of strategies

In order for Flora to learn to identify and use the different strategies, it is important to plan an activity where Flora learns to match the strategy with the relevant emotion. Gradually, Flora can create her own portrait of emotions with the strategies that help her.

To consolidate the strategies, it is important to create a key ring with the different strategies and emotions so that every time Flora expresses an emotion, we label the emotion and show the key ring with the strategies. This will help her identify what she can do.

Here we must emphasize that each child has different needs and it is important to take them into consideration when we are planning our activities.


We will share more tips and activities in the future, so keep visiting us.

We are looking forward to hearing your views and experiences.

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