Self-regulation and Alertness

Self Regulation and Alertness Angry kid covering his ears during therapy with in room with toysSelf-regulation skills are critical for the child’s ability to manage their day-to-day tasks. If your child struggles with self-regulation or alertness, our Adelaide Night and Day Family paediatric occupational therapists can help them develop strategies to adjust energy levels, emotions and attention in a way that is socially acceptable and allows the child to lead a rewarding and fulfilling life.

Self-regulation skills can help your child navigate certain traumatic events, such as the loss of a pet, family separation or the death of a family member. Occupational therapy can use a child and family focus to support your child with integrating trauma in a healthy way as to decrease the impact of the stress that can contribute to mental health issues now and in the future.

Adelaide Night and Day Family Therapy’s specialists work with children with sensory and challenges who might be facing difficulties self-regulating their emotions. By analysing your child’s unique circumstances and needs, we develop individualised routines to help your child develop better coping skills for emotional regulation.

Some of the symptoms of a child with self-regulation difficulties:

  • Under-reactivity in certain situations (not noticing when they’re being touch or when their name is being called)
  • The child may appear disinterest, lethargic, as if they’re mostly in their own world
  • Cannot regulate behavioural or emotional responses – throwing tantrums, showing impulsive behaviours, easily frustrated or overly compliant attitude
  • Inability to remain focused for longer periods of time, poor memory and concentration
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • Hyperactivity: seeks out intense pressure by constant spinning, running around or jumping
  • Struggling to engage in two-way interactions and preferring to play on their own
  • Difficulties sustaining friendships and engaging with peers

A paediatric occupational therapist can help improve the child’s self-regulation skills and alertness through the following strategies:

  • Trialing Management: identifying management strategies that work for your child
  • Sensory processing: helping the child hone their appropriate response to sensory stimulation
  • Visual and social stories: increase the child’s understanding of social situations through visually depicted stories
  • Role-play: helping the child learn and practice the appropriate ways to act in different situations
  • Sensory diets to provide sensory feedback and promote better sensory regulation through animal walks, trampolining, cycling, swings, or the use of weighted items
  • Alertness-promoting activities such as sorting, organising and categorising, or playing with puzzles, mazes and dot to dots

Our professional occupational therapists can help your child master the self-regulation skills they need to remain alert, engage actively with their peers and environment, and lead a happy, independent and fulfilling life.

If you have questions about how Adelaide Night and Day Family Therapy can help you, get in touch with our professional occupational therapist today.