Pot of Water Behavior Visual
This free autism resource addresses a common challenge among many individuals with autism: coping strategies. I have seen so many times that once students with autism get a little upset, it is inevitable they get very upset. This becomes even more problematic as this escalation develops into a routine which can be difficult to break.

Using this Behavior Visual to Help Students Think of Abstract Concepts:

Use this visual to help your students think more concretely about the abstract concept of escalation and deescalation. A pot of water is a great analogy because it can change state (cool, hot, boiling) depending on the inputs (temperature of the stove). On the strategies page, write in things that can help the student at each level.

Be sure to review and practice while your student is calm - it is going to be nearly impossible for someone to think about these strategies and visuals while upset. And focus on the “Heating Up” stage - if you can identify when your student is a little upset that is your biggest opportunity to help them get calm. When they are “boiling” it not a teachable moment anymore, it is a safety issue.

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Behavior Supports