Managing Energy Levels
- It can be helpful to think of young people with ASD as having a ‘social battery’ – this is the amount of energy they have to cope with different social situations.
- Different levels of social interaction will drain their battery different amounts (for example, one young person may be able to cope with a party for 30 minutes, whereas another might become completely drained and overwhelmed after 5 minutes).
- It is also important to consider not only the social situation itself, but the steps leading up to it (such as having a shower, having to choose an outfit, travelling etc.) as these will also drain their battery and impact on their ability to cope.
- The lower their battery is, the more likely they are to become overwhelmed.
- With your young person, sit and write down all the things that can ‘drain their battery’ but also the things that can help to ‘boost their battery.’
- Plan in ‘downtime’ and things that will boost their battery levels before and after situations which will you know or suspect will be draining for them.