The Incredible 5 Point Scale The Incredible 5 Point Scale Kari Dunn Buron - A pretty good teacher from Minnesota

Stuff About Kari
Reviews and Links
More Sweet Scale Ideas
Smart Ideas
Other Projects and Articles

Home

When My Worries Get Too Big!
When My Worries Get Too Big
Ordering Information

A 5 Is Against The Law!
A 5 is Against the Law!
Ordering Information

A "5" Could Make Me Lose Control!
A "5" Could Make Me Lose Control!
Ordering Information


Smart Ideas

Anxiety Curve
The Anxiety Curve
Buron and Curtis

The anxiety curve model has been used by Kari and Mitzi for almost a decade to visually illustrate the power of anxiety and its influence on student behavior. Below is an example of how Mitzi uses this model to teach educators and parents to process explosive incidents:

Practical Use of the Anxiety Curve
One of my favorite, and a very practical use of the anxiety curve, is in a worksheet format. I sometimes call it the behavior plan 'cheat sheet' or cliff notes. Simply, empty text boxes are placed beside each number (5 point scale of course) on the curve for the author to describe the most important details of each 'level' of anxiety. This worksheet then can be easily shared not only with teachers, but parents, babysitters, paraprofessionals, substitutes and anyone else who is significant to the individual with autism. There is a similar but slightly different worksheet for school (teacher/student) and home (parent/child). There is an accompanying instruction sheet that goes along with the worksheet. Box '1' is meant to identify typical anxiety producing triggers such as loud noises, illness, late bus, etc. Box '2' holds basic information about how the person looks, what they might say/do when their anxiety is starting to increase. It is also a place to direct the person to the individual's calming sequence and or other relaxation strategies that are known to be (at least somewhat) effective. Boxes '3' and '4' are primarily for the caregiver to assist with the calming process in a very quiet and calm manner. The individual with autism at a '4' is not able to manage many choices or decision-making. Box '5' represents the crisis or most heightened stage of the individual's anxiety. It is important for people to know what this might entail, so they can respond in a positive and effective manner. Such as, does the person run away; pull the fire alarm; hurt themselves; etc. It is also a place to identify how the person with autism feels the most protected and safe. The 'other side' of the crisis on the curve gives room for describing what the calming individual may feel or need, eventually returning to the 'typical' daily routine.

I often use this worksheet at meetings when learning about a new student, or when consulting with parents or teachers about a student having difficulty. It is also a tool I have used with the individual with autism when helping them understand their own behavior, or having them help me understand them.

This use of the anxiety curve reinforces the belief that the individual's 'tough' behavior is a manifestation of their anxiety and that a person with autism is often in a heightened state of anxiety when compared to people without autism even during less stressful times.

Finally, the worksheet has an anxiety curve drawn for the caregiver. This is a visual reminder that we too go through increased stress when people we care about are highly anxious. It is meant to prompt us to take care of our own needs so that when it is imperative that the individual with autism has assistance from someone they can trust, that we can indeed provide it.

Click for a larger view of this image.
Anxiety Curve



Stress Free Kids

When Mitzi Curtis and I first started using relaxation in our social skills groups, we started with a wonderful children's relaxation book called A Boy and a Bear by Lori Lite. Lori has written other great resources that can be found at Stress Free Kids or by clicking this link.

Stress Free Kids


Back to the Top



Stuff About Kari | Book Reviews & Links | More Sweet Scale Ideas
Smart Ideas | Other Projects | Calendar | Home
 
Copyright © 2014 The Incredible 5-Point Scale, Kari Dunn Buron