As adults, we typically identify and process our emotions and those of others automatically. It can feel effortless to us, but this is an important skill that autistic people can have difficulty with. There is hope. As a parent guide, you can help your child gain awareness of emotions, which will help them successfully navigate many aspects of their life.
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When the world around us pushes us to stress overload, as it often does, we turn to our long-learned coping mechanisms to navigate the challenges. But what if we are autistic, and have crossed the threshold of overwhelm? When our emotional resources are tapped out, in exhaustion our brain may react by going into a protective mode called shutdown.
As adults, most of us self-regulate habitually – we barely think about it. But can you guide your autistic child to self-regulate as you do? Self-regulation is the process that we go through that gives us the ability to control our behaviors and emotions – which is crucial to independence in life.