A young girl leaning on a swing

Children with autism may require additional support to help them understand what is going on around them and what is expected of them, especially when routines change or activities cease for a period of time.

 

 

Many people are becoming more aware of how they’re feeling, and how their children and other family members are feeling. In times of uncertainty and doubt, it is good to seek out and use a variety of resources to monitor a range of emotions, and manage their effects in positive and meaningful ways.

Autistic children thrive on routines and strongly dislike uncertainty and restrictions.

Activity Sheets

  • These activity sheets are for children who may be feeling anxious, worried or stressed and are having a hard time expressing themselves.
  • The activities are also suitable for children who may be handling the changes okay but would like to explore their emotions more fully.
  • For the chilled-out and carefree cohort, their creative interest may be piqued.
  • Each one is a printable activity sheet suitable for children to work with. Some are one page with others being two or three pages. 

 

Arts and Crafts

 

Speech therapist with a young boy 750

For the artistic and crafty folk, the following activities could be adapted and used in craft sessions.

  • Family Coat of Arms A blank template ready to fill with images special to your family. Perhaps frame and give to a relative?
  • Mandalas A set of three decorative mandalas waiting to be coloured in. Happy bright colours or soft soothing tones.
  • Mask Project for Art Therapy A set of three blank masks to decorate and wear.
  • Postcard Art Activity A blank postcard template to decorate on the front and write a message on the back. Send a message to someone special to brighten their day.
  • Picture Frame Art Project A decorative frame ready for some special artwork or a favourite photo.
  • Printable Emotion Faces 40 colourful faces showing a range of emotions. The possibilities for their use are endless!

 

Budding Writers!

Little girl writing 750 

Budding writers may find the following activities helpful in their development of writing activities and as a way to express their feelings.

  • Emotion Wheel A colourful wheel with the words Happy, Disgust, Angry, Sad, Scared and Excited. Ideal for identifying an emotion.
  • Gratitude Jar A fun, artistic and hands-on way for children to practice gratitude with a wide range of sentence starters.
  • Gratitude Journal Journalling tips and prompts to help children write out their emotions and feelings.
  • Gratitude Journal: Three Things A series of blank templates each one offering three ways to say what you're grateful for. 
  • List of Emotions Words, words and more words! Almost 60 words listing lots of different emotions. They can be circled, highlighted or coloured to show how someone is feeling.
  • Self Esteem Journal Similar to the Gratitude Journal with three prompts per day.
  • Small Talk Discussion Cards These are arranged in Family, Feelings and My World categories.
  • Sentence Completion for Children A page of sentence prompts focusing on a child's feelings, wants, fears and fun times.

 

Overwhelming Emotions

 Little girl being comforted by her Mum 750

For times when emotions are overwhelming, the following activities may provide some avenues for expression:

  • Anger Activity for Children: What is anger? Includes templates to draw a picture of when a child is angry and what they say, a space to list some things that cause angry feelings and a list of healthy things to do when feeling angry.
  • Anger iceberg An image useful for identifying the underlying feelings of anger eg, sadness, anxiety, tiredness.
  • Anger Management Skill Cards A set of 12 colourful cards to help identify and manage angry feelings.
  • Anger Stop Signs A page with templates to draw both small and big feelings of anger. The second page offers Common Anger Stop Signs.
  • Anger Thermometer A template of a 10-point scale thermometer to record anger symptoms. 10 being at maximum anger level and 1 feeling no anger at all.
  • Anger Warning Signs A grid of 21 Anger Warning Signs to help recognise your angry feelings. There is the prompt to circle the warning signs that apply.

  

Solace and Solitude

Little girl reading a book  

For those seeking some solace and quiet to help them manage big feelings and concerns the selection following may help:

  • Emotion Thermometers A set of six thermometers showing happy, sad, angry, worried, worn-out and annoyed. Each going from extremes, for example very happy to not happy.
  • Family Mindful Schedule A set of mindfulness techniques to practice during a busy daily routine. It focuses on Waking Up, Meals, Travel, School, Free Time and Bedtime.
  • Mindfulness Activities for Children Seven additional techniques aimed at children to help them be mindful and relaxed. 
  • Mindfulness Exercises Four activities to try when things become overwhelming.
  • Relaxation Techniques Deep Breathing, Imagery and Progressive Muscle Relaxation techniques to help in situations of high anxiety.

 

Worry, Stress and Anxiety

Anxious little boy wearing a mask

To help combat the feelings of worry, stress and anxiety there may be an activity in the list following that can assuage these feelings and bring some relief:

  • Coping Skills – Anxiety Deep Breathing, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Challenging Irrational Thoughts and Imagery techniques are all offered here.
  • My Fears A blank template with three questions to answer regarding what makes you fearful or scared.
  • Social Anxiety Safety Behaviours A grid of 19 safety behaviours to help identify how a person avoids social anxiety. 
  • Symptoms of Stress The response to day-to-day demands of life, a little bit of stress is healthy, keeping us alert and productive. Too much however can cause a range of acute and chronic symptoms. This list shows the physical, emotional/cognitive and behavioural symptoms associated with stress.
  • Worry Exploration A template titled 'What Could Happen vs. What Will Happen' to identify worries that may or may not be valid.

Information sourced from The Therapist Aid 

Access kidshelpline to source more ways to help kids identify and express feelings.


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