Everyone agrees that visuals are NECESSARY and POWERFUL
for working with students with ASD and Social Communication difficulties. The purpose of these resources are to provide you with a functional set of images covering a wide range of feelings and emotions to expand vocabulary, identify different feelings and emotions and support self regulation. They can be used for all age ranges so they are truly functional.
These are DAILY visual supports that you will use ALL THE TIME,
not a one-off worksheet on emotions. Many times, students can go from happy/calm, to annoyed and then full-blown anger meltdown. The escalations can be fast. Students can also be upset/disappointed about something and then have anxious or real emotional outbursts. Or they might get over-excited and just ‘silly’ from too much stimulation. These visuals and accompanying resources help to understand the flow of emotions and aim to cover and support these behaviors.
• Emotion Odometers:
Support behaviors and emotions with three different Emotion Odometers (6 in total as there are male/female versions) that show students going from happy to ‘meltdown’ level where they cannot self regulate. The main three emotions that I have targeted are anger, anxiety and over-excitement. I have included smaller sets for a desk and larger sets for a wall.
• Emotion Charts:
A numbered visual incorporating the same images in the Emotion Odometers. This gives you the flexibility to reference colors/emotions/numbers with students (‘you’re looking frustrated/orange/number 4. Let’s stop and breathe so that we can get back down to feeling calm/green/number 1’).
• Emotion Word Banks:
In essence these are like ‘feeling synonyms’ to help understand and expand vocabulary and identify emotions. There is a big difference between ‘bothered-frustrated-angry-furious’ for example, so by grouping similar emotions you can start to teach and recognize the nuances of emotions. Great for perspective taking and theory of mind in self and others.
• Emotion Strategy Cards:
Provide individual strategies for students when they are at different emotional levels. There are 24 cards (12 male+12 female) targeting emotions such as frustrated, anxious, angry, confused, disappointed etc.
• Scaffolded teaching ideas showing how to start with simple concepts and expand to incorporate using them throughout your teaching.
• Blank versions of the Emotion Odometers, Charts and Strategies are included for total individualization for your student’s needs and as extra teaching materials.
On a final note, my ‘style’ of resources are aimed at increasing flexibility and adaptability in your teaching. I don’t provide scripts and exact step-by-step teaching, I provide basic tools to help you think more creatively and functionally. To this end, you can really expand these visual supports as you see fit. I really love hearing your feedback
so let me know how you’re integrating these into therapy and any new applications that you might have :)
Thought & Feeling Cards
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