Sometimes, we just need a quick dose of physical activity to Power Up, Power Down to proactively maintain engagement. Power Plays (pt. 1) is a menu of options designed to do just that – to increase, decrease or help maintain energy to support active engagement. It can be used to guide the individual to get the input they need, quickly, and wherever they are. By design, the activities don’t require any equipment, nor does one need very much space. Power Plays can be done in an office, classroom, hallway, bedroom… pretty much anywhere that there is just a little floor space. Our goal is to make sure that individuals, regardless of age and physical fitness level, know they have options for regulatory strategies in almost every environment. As such, this is the first in a series of supports that will highlight regulation strategies to provide vestibular and proprioceptive inputs without equipment. These strategies can be easily incorporated into an individual’s Power Plan. You can use the rating systems from the Regulator 2.0 to determine the effectiveness of these Power Plays on increasing or decreasing energy and how much the person likes or dislikes the activity. Subsequently, any of the Power Play moves (alone or in combination with any or all others) can be used as maintenance before a mismatch occurs, and when there is a mismatch in energy level. When engaging in any physical exercise or activity it is important to modify for individual fitness level and comfort.
Just check the pictures – doses of physical activity (or PA Bursts as I have come to call them) have become a constant source of regulatory maintenance in my daily routine. Physical activity has always been an important part of my life, but it was structured into my day for me (thank you, competitive soccer). This structure happened to be a perfect fit for my profile and kept me extremely well regulated…but without explicit knowledge of such activities as supports or tools, I had no idea how frequently I needed these inputs. My functioning looks very different when I can access PA bursts (or Power Plays) and when I cannot. This support and the eventual series attempts to increase access, serve as a visual reminder that PA may help, and to ensure autistic people gain understanding about their sensorimotor needs.
Appropriate for supporting Social, Language, and Conversational Partners (objectives included for Language Partner Stage)
MR 2.2 Engages when alerted by partners
MR 2.6 Makes choices when offered by partners
SR 2 (all objectives) Uses behavioral strategies to regulate arousal level during familiar activities
SR 4.3 Uses behavioral strategies to regulate arousal level during new and changing situations
IS 1.5 Recognizes signs of dysregulation and offers support
IS 3.1 Allow child to take breaks and move around as needed.
LS 2.4 Uses augmentative communication support to enhance a child’s emotional regulation
LS 4.3 Modifies sensory properties of the learning environment
Free Visual Support: Power Plays (pt.1) (PDF)