My putty is ruined!

A 10 year old child 'Max', with significant social and communication needs associated with his autism spectrum diagnosis, was pacing the school, furious and vengeful. Shouting and banging furniture loudly, Max wanted to know who had mixed his therapy putty with other putty.


Max's teaching assistant's attempts to co-regulate were unsuccessful and the schools' Emotion Coaching Lead 'Anna' offered to support. Anna invited Max to 'The Nest', a quiet area where children could spend time if needed. Sitting next to each other on beanbags, Anna told Max that she could see that he was so frustrated and furious that the putty could not be separated. She said knew that his firmer putty helped him feel good.


Anna said that she could help Max feel better but needed Max to talk to her. Max questioned how could Anna help him as the putty could not be separated. Anna suggested they go to the computer room to research where they could order more putty.


Max immediately starting to calm. He gave Anna his putty order. Max was then able to tolerate limit setting discussions about his belongings and being tidy so others couldn't access his things in the future. Max agreed to work with his teaching assistant to make a poster which said, 'please do not touch'.


Anna reflected that for Max, a solution was needed early on in the Emotion Coaching-coregulation process. This enabled Max to calm, be able to tolerate limit setting and engage in thinking about and enacting effective alternative ways to manage this situation in the future.


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