How autism affects control and regulation

Children and young people with autism can experience challenges with

  • focusing,
  • paying attention,
  • transitioning,
  • organisation and
  • planning,
  • working memory,
  • time management,
  • emotional regulation, and
  • control

Using these higher-level skills is required when undertaking everyday daily tasks, for example, when working with others, planning daily routines and in moving from one place or activity to another.

Difficulties with these abilities can impact upon learning. For example, in trying to solve a Maths problem, the child or young person may know his or her facts, but may be unable to manipulate the information in the question and successfully provide a solution. This is because he or she may not have the ability to organise his or her ideas or be able to collate the information together to solve the problem.   The child or young person may also not have the capacity, due to communication and social interaction difficulties, to seek help or support.  This may cause the child or young person frustration which may lead to disengagement from learning and may also present as challenging behaviour.