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I Am Special Activities

I Am Special Activities

1. Common Calming or Regrouping Strategies:

  1. Deep Breathing
  2. Big pillow/stuffed animal hugs
  3. Quiet, calm, cozy place (like a homemade tent)
  4. Sensory fidgets
  5. Slowly counting to 10
  6. Get a drink of water

Click here for a set of free visual strategy cards with alternative actions for kids to make when they are angry or upset.

2. Milestones for Emotions

AgeEmotional Milestone
0-3 monthsBe calmed by sucking and being held. This assists the infant in developing self-regulation, and plays an important role in helping the infant get needs met, providing a foundation for healthy social-emotional growth
3-6 monthsExpresses emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, fear or distress through facial expressions, cries and body posture. Becomes calm when picked up and develops strategies to calm self
6-12 monthsDistressed when caregiver leaves (around 9-10 months). Displays likes and dislikes.
18 monthsNon-verbally demonstrate sympathy, empathy, and sharing.
1-2 yearsClingy behavior with parent present, distressed when parent leaves, yet moves freely away from them when parent is nearby. Expresses a variety of emotions  and affections . Shows anger and frustration with temper outbursts
2-3 yearsExpress emotion and interprets basic emotions (happy, sad, scared, mad) in others from facial expressions. Learns to cope with rules.
4-6 yearsShows empathy towards others. Has some self control over anger or disappointment. Basic Theory of Mind develops. Ability to effectively discuss emotions and feelings is double that of a 3 year old.
6-12 yearsDevelop self-discipline, self-control and respect for authority.

3. Social Emotional Support Strategies

This is a good resource to give clear simple language to talk about feelings and how they relate to our state of regulation. It can help children identify feelings by color if they aren’t able to state more complex emotions. Good overall information about perspective taking, thoughts and feelings and social skills. It is geared towards those with autism, but works with so many kiddos!

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Author Info

Lauren Toolan