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  • Writer's pictureJo

Avoid Meltdown with the Meltdown (emotions / mood) Thermometer

You may have seen posters which help kids identify emotions, which is great, but have you seen a Meltdown Thermometer?

We have a print out for you, so if you would like it please DM me & I will email it to you.

The Meltdown Thermometer has 10 zones, starting with Happy & moving up to Meltdown.

It will help you identify your child’s tells, a behavior which indicates your child’s increasing level of anxiety).

Why is this important? Great question, so glad you asked!

It will help you prevent a meltdown before it happens.

Creating it takes a little time but your investment will pay off substantially & make your days easier!


If your child is able to help with this, it will help further down the track.

When your child is in a calm, happy mood, this is the time to explore the thermometer, work out colors for each mood and talk about strategies.

  • Explain the thermometer & what each level means.

  • Help the child to identify their emotions & the corresponding level on the thermometer. They won’t get these at first, but you can help by associating memories with mood, eg remember when went to Disneyland, when dad comes home you feel, when you lost your …

  • Let your child pick the colors, it’s ok if they change it or they can’t decide, you can edit it down the track

  • Talk about coping strategies that use use to calm down.

  • Use stickers, photos and crayons to color & personalise their strategies.

Please remember that color is social condition for a lot of us so when we see red we identify it as angry but your child may not. Ask them what color is happy, what color is meltdown & then work on the ones in between. It’s ok if they change or they don’t know for the moment.

Each box level has space for you to add your child’s “tell” facial expressions or behavior on the left, coping strategies go on the right.

For example, when your child is feeling anxious they may take off their shoes, that would be your tell. If you’ve found a sip of cold water or reading a book helped in these situations before, add it on the right as a potential strategy.

Over a few days you’ll have captured an accurate observation & your thermometer will be ready to test drive & hand over to your child’s teacher, carer, grandparents etc to see if it’s accurate & helps. As strategies change or no longer work, change it on the thermometer.

Your child will begin to identif

y emotions & self-regulation strategies and you show them their thermometer and ask how the feel.

When your child is starting to feel, showing them their thermometer and ask “how do you feel?” this teaches self awareness and linking strategies which can help boost their mood again. Together you can walk through steps to calm down.

Have a question, leave a comment below or send me a message either from within the ASD TOOLS app, the contact me form here on the website or in my feel on Instagram @asdtools_app

Please follow me on: INSTAGRAM @asdtools_app


Don’t forget to reach out & ask for your Emotions Thermometer template and I will email it to you.

Have a great day ♾️

Cheerio Jo @asdtools_app

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