Case study on Emotional Regulation

E. is a ten year old boy who attends a social communication class within a mainstream school.

Background

E. is a ten year old boy who attends a social communication class within a mainstream school.  He has difficulties with emotional regulation resulting in extreme stress responses. He also required support with developing his self-awareness and control. He is an engaging young man who has a vivid imagination and a talent for drawing. He enjoys playing Minecraft on his computer and displays skill with this and enjoys reading and has a particular interest in water mills and pumps and displays depth of knowledge in these topics. He has recently begun swimming lessons and appears to enjoy this.

E. has had difficulty regulating emotions when faced with certain situations in school e.g. losing at games, making a mistake, engaging in paired work, waiting for other students to give responses. These situations typically lead to a build-up of anxiety which result in an extreme stress response.

Stress Responses

  • Being unable to label his emotions
  • Being unable to cope with losing at games, particularly games based on luck due to a lack of control
  • Being unaware of strategies to use when feeling anxious
  • Receiving a build-up of sensory overload throughout the school day

Supports

 

  • Social Stories ™ to guide to the social context of certain situations, e.g. when playing a game based on luck
  • Exploration of famous people who have made mistakes e.g. Thomas Edison and Einstein. This gave a motto to remind E. that it is normal to make mistakes
  • Use of strategies to support E. with labelling his emotions e.g. The 5 Point Scale, Emotional Toolbox, Cue cards, using special interests to calm down, deep breathing exercises
  • E. also uses his calm plan to identify which strategy he would like to use in certain situations to regulate himself