Five-point scale

The 5 point scale was developed as a system to teach social and emotional concepts to individuals on the autism spectrum. Created by Kari Dunn Burton, it aims to help children become aware of their emotions. However, this is also a useful tool to help children understand and identify their emotions whilst playing online. If your child displays negative emotions or needs the tools to help identify their emotions and understand how to counteract these, this activity is very useful.

An example of a completed scale.

Scale 5

I am going to explode I need an adult to help me
Feels like
  • I feel bad and I’m not sure how
  • to stop this.
  • I want to Scream
  • Hit someone
  • Break things
  • Punch someone
I can
  • I need a safe place to calm down
  • Take a break
  • Take deep breaths
  • Go for a run
  • Do a calming activity

Scale 4

Rumbling, I need some support
Feels like
  • I feel I’m starting to lose control
  • I might say or do something I could regret later
  • I’m yelling at the game
  • I’m arguing with people
I can
  • Take a break
  • Take a brain break
  • Drink some water
  • Choose another activity

Scale 3

Feeling I might need to take a break

Feels like
  • I’m starting to feel frustrated
  • I’m getting frustrated with the game
  • My voice is getting louder
  • I feel worried
I can
  • Let someone know how I am feeling.
  • Take a break
  • Take some deep breaths
  • Focus on my senses
  • Do something else that makes me happy

Scale 2

I’m ok I know something doesn’t feel right but I know what to do

Feels like
  • I’m listening to my body and
  • I’m doing my best
  • My eyes are tired
  • My body feels tired
I can
  • I’m ok to keep playing but I know I need to listen to my body
  • Take deep breaths
  • Have a drink
  • Do some quick stretches

Scale 1

I’m happy

Feels like
  • Feel good about myself
  • I’m enjoy playing
  • I can recognise if I feel tired/ angry/stressed
I can
  • I know to take regular breaks
  • – have a drink and get some fresh air
  • I can carry on having fun

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