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Posts Tagged ‘self regulation’

The Importance of the “Mommy Meltdown” Basket to Self Regulation

Posted on: June 22nd, 2015

When you start at a 9 it doesn’t take much to get to a 10. — Rose Montie, special education teacher

We defined self regulation and dysregulation in my last post.  I want to talk about coregulation today.  Psychologist Alan Fogel describes coregulation as the “continuous unfolding of individual action that is susceptible to being continuously modified by the continuously changing actions of the partner.”  “Don’t rile up your brothers and sister!” was heard more than a few times in my childhood home.  Teachers observe this dynamic in their classrooms every day and develop management strategies to minimize its distraction from learning.

However, can we take a moment now to consider that in our hurried, pressured lives perhaps we don’t always recognize that our adult behavior has an equal or maybe greater effect on our children’s behavior than either that of their siblings or peers?  If so, shouldn’t we spend some time becoming aware of our own dysregulation triggers; developing coping strategies; and, thus improving our ability to self regulate?  I think so!

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Self Regulation Defined

Posted on: June 19th, 2015 No Comments

Recently, a local Director of Special Education asked me to speak to his Friends of Different Learners group about self regulation.  “Sure,” I responded while quietly feeling a little intimidated.  What new and effective strategies could I possibly  share with parents and teachers who were already experts about the differently-abled children in their lives?

My initial approach to any challenge is to learn the lingo. So, off to the internet I went.  My findings boiled down to the following:

  • Self regulation is the neurological ability to evaluate sensory input; identify your emotional feelings about it; and, choose an appropriate behavioral response within the context of your current environment.

It’s All In Your Head!

Most of us do this instantaneously without consciously thinking about the process.  However, if I am someone on the autism spectrum, for example, my brain’s physical structure may not allow me to successfully receive sensory data nor to properly process it.  My limbic system, the brain’s emotion processing pathway, may cause me to respond to my feelings with atypical behaviors.  I stress this because it is important to separate the person from the behavior.  Not everyone can do back bends!

  • Dysregulation refers to an emotional response that is deemed out of proportion to the sensory stimuli.  You may also know it as a “meltdown”.  The affected person’s brain is so overwhelmed by incoming sensory information that their observable reaction may include an angry verbal outburst or a physical reactions such as destroying or throwing objects or aggression toward themselves or others.

That’s enough for this post.  Tomorrow?  The Mommy Meltdown Basket!

Warner