Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Human Development & Family Science


Human Development & Family Science


This capstone project focuses on the emotion regulation skills of school-age children (5 to 7 years) on the moderate to severe autism spectrum. Emotional regulation is the process by which a person engages in behaviors with the implicit or explicit goal of altering emotion frequency, intensity, duration, or type (Raugh & Strauss, 2023). Through emotional self-regulation, individuals can control their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions within everyday situations. This process involves the ability to identify one’s emotions and those of other people while developing strategies to constructively manage their reactions to emotional experiences and inhibitory control (Dumont et al., 2019). Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder, which impacts communication and social functioning. It is also associated by the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviors (Feather et al., 2023). Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) also have a difficult time expressing how they feel because of this communication barrier. A delay in emotional self-regulation in children with ASD may result in outbursts, aggression, self-injury, etc. It is important to teach children who have ASD how to self-regulate emotionally. For this project, I implemented a three-day lesson for ASD children on important emotional regulation skills. The first lesson focused on the recognition of three emotions (happiness, sadness, anger). The second lesson focused on the recognition of scenarios that cause these three emotions. Lastly, the third lesson focused on coping skills that help regulate emotional outbursts. This three-day lesson was presented at Ione Olson Elementary School in Marina with children, ages 5-7, in a moderate to severe special education classroom setting.