The happy-sad-o-meter is the next tool in my box to try to help my inflexible, tantrum-throwing six year-old. He is quite adept at crying and wailing about what appears to be the smallest thing.
To get him to stop and identify his state of feeling at any given time, and especially when he seems to be about to 'fall over the edge' and head into crazy-land, is going to help him decide whether he's just a 'little bit' upset about something, or if he's really, incredibly upset about it.
If he can identify his state of feeling accurately, he's one step closer to using appropriate emotional responses. It will be easier to guide him and remind him that he doesnt have to scream if he's only on a 'number 1' level of sad.
So far, it's helped the eight year old with ASD to be able to identify his own feelings. It's helped me tell them that when they burp at the table, I move from a 1 to a 4 on the annoyed-o-meter, and it's helped us take notice of my big girl when she told us she was at a 1.5 on the sad scale.
"I've got a stomach ache," she said. We didn't know because she looked okay!
I really should start to use computer graphics. Obviously my free hand drawing leaves a little bit to be desired in the straight line department...