Episode #19: Regulation is Required for Curiosity to Thrive
curiosity and learning to thrive.
the world and trying to figure out how things and people around them work. They imitate.
They follow. They experiment. They fail and recover. They take risks and experience accidents.
They gaze to their caregivers to determine safety or confirm their curiosity. They engage with
the world. They are intrigued by the unexpected and the unpredictable within their developmental
A newborn is not ready for a whole lot of stimulation without getting overwhelmed and
dysregulated, for example. However, as a child gets older, their system learns to be
slightly stressed and to re-regulate to accommodate the new information and learning.
This development happens first by borrowing the parent or caregivers’ regulation.
This is why we sing, rock, and coo with babies. We are helping them learn to regulate
their own systems by co-regulating. Something has stressed their little systems and we are
there to share our regulation and bring them back to homeostasis.
in a unique manner that challenges their regulation later in development past the typical
rocking and singing together phase? That child may seek out patterns that are soothing
or objects that are within his/her control to gain that regulation. They may not seek out
their caregivers due to their social engagement being too overwhelming. They may retreat
to inanimate objects and patterns of sameness for safety, security, and soothing.
shares common interests and when you find synchrony between you without much effort.
This feeling energizes us and deepens our understanding of ourselves as well as the other
person. Many of us engage in activities that recreate this feeling (e.g., tennis, golf, board
games, dancing). These are very dynamic in nature while they are still, at the root,
co-regulating shared experiences.
First and foremost, for a child or person on the autism spectrum to regulate and be at
deliberate, and confident. They need you to help keep life manageable so natural learning
and growing can occur. This happens by ensuring a routine schedule for daily life,
especially bedtime routines and morning routines. It happens by reducing your clutter
both visually and the words you use (streamline to only the essential words). It means
allowing processing time for a person with autism to shift their attention from one thing
to another (or you).
Ten Ways to Reduce Stressors so that Curiosity Can Thrive
Regulate yourself first. Take deep breaths, count to 10, assess your own stress level.
to approach someone in a stressed or anxious state.
from opening a door together to opening a bag of food together. We feel more
successful when we can be helpful and involved with clear expectations. This also
provides opportunities for co-regulation.
Make it visual. Bring something from being all auditory into being also visual (