It’s not just children with autism or other conditions who need help with self-regulation. Every child could use a little help but some need more. Most children will need help at different stages in life. Self-regulation doesn’t just happen for many children.
As we talked about in February 2018, learning self-regulation takes a long time. Developing and refining self-regulation takes at least the first two decades of life. And, each of the five key executive functions develops at different paces; some maturing earlier, some later.
So who needs help?
Do you find that you have to remind your child over and over and over to:
- Put his things away (like his jacket or toys)
- Calm down
- Slow down
- Use a quiet voice or speak a little louder
- Listen carefully
- Not hit or push other children
- Do something on his own from beginning to end (like homework or chores)
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, your child could benefit from working on self-regulation.
Often we get used to patterns of behavior and don’t really notice if a child is different from others his age.
The Executive Function Survey will help you summarize your day-to-day experience and let you look at some of these patterns. Go ahead and complete the survey. Once you’ve finished answering all the items, add up each column from pages one and two. There are a total of 25 items but, even if your child does three or more things ‘very frequently’ or ‘always’, you should start working on your child’s self-regulation.
I’ve had parents say, “Oh, he’s just a busy boy.” and pass off the behaviors as just being a kid. That’s not really helping him. We all know what can happen if we just wait and see.
Start now and don’t wait for failure or bad experiences.