Power Packs for Navigating Energy Meter Levels
Power Packs are a “go-to” tool for supporting energy regulation in the moment. The cards in these Power Packs are designed to be used as a reference to an individual’s Autism Level UP! Power Plan that can be accessed quickly. There are cards for Powering UP and Powering Down. They are designed to support different regulation needs. You will see that each card has the “degree” of regulation, i.e., the number of levels one needs to shift for active engagement in the ongoing activity or environment. On the other side of each of the cards are generic energy regulation strategies corresponding to the magnitude of the shift needed (i.e., the activities are specific to the direction and number of arrows on the front of the card). Each card has several strategies to provide a range of sensory motor and language-based strategies. The cards also offer both self-regulation strategies (i.e, things that the individual can do on their own) and mutual regulation strategies (i.e., assistance they can access from others). Of note, the cards utilize a wide range of sensory motor strategies that are often highlighted by the autistic community as natural, effective, and efficient. We have also included a set of cards with blank space for individuals or teams to paste their own known most effective strategies into the cards.
Further, we have included two additional cards. These are to help a person communicate with others when they are “not sure” what they need, but know that they need something. The first, the “I don’t know” card maintains the energy focus and includes the strategy for taking a break / getting away from it all to regulate. The second, the “Something’s Different” card can be used by an individual to communicate that something “feels” different in their body and initiate asking for help or taking some time on their own.
First, I want to point out that “deep breaths,” “meditation,” and “counting to 10” did not make the cut for these cards….and I could not be more amped up to make that statement! I cannot understate the importance of the fact that these cards attempt to use our natural responses like flapping, rocking and echolalia as preferred strategies for regulation. When you teach autistic people that their natural responses are, in fact, very effective, encouraged and valid, you teach them about themselves – and this is not just in terms of understanding their needs and what strategies and tools are effective for them. You are teaching them that they are not broken or deficient. You are sending a message that you want to honor who they are, and you are further teaching their peers and co-workers and roommates and family members that these responses are expected because they support the autistic person! These are the kinds of subtle shifts in education and practice that are needed to spread real awareness and understanding.
Appropriate for supporting 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 Packs (PDF)