Autism Center Grab and Go Resource Gallery of Interventions

Breathing Cards


Explore how breathing exercises can help an individual stay calm and self-regulated during times of stress or anxiety. Breathing exercises send a message to the brain that sends a message to the individual’s body to calm down, relax, and get their body and mind under control. Breathing techniques can help a person learn how to focus and participate in controlled breathing. Controlled breathing helps to calm a person’s mind, re-center their body, and facilitate emotional regulation. Placing these breathing cards in calming or self-regulating areas of the classroom, on student desks, and in both home and work environments will remind the individual to use this technique.


Examples

Breathing Cards

Breathing Cards

4-7-8 Example
Download | Format: PDF | Size: 5 MB

Blank Template
Download | Format: PDF | Size: < 1 MB

Inhale 4 Seconds/Exhale 4 Seconds Example
Download | Format: PDF | Size: 6 MB

Inhale Through Nose/Exhale Through Mouth Example
Download | Format: PDF | Size: 6 MB

Smell the Flower/Blow out the Candle Example
Download | Format: PDF | Size: 6 MB

Two Circles Blank Template
Download | Format: PDF | Size: 5 MB

Download all these files as a ZIP file


Videos

An interactive video to teach children how to practice breathing exercises.


Book Suggestions

When My Autism Gets Too Big

When My Autism Gets Too Big

Buron, Kari Dunn

More than any other issue, "losing control" can cause major problems for children with ASD. Through the irresistible character of Nicholas, this book gives young children an opportunity to explore with parents or teachers their own feelings as they react to events in their daily lives while learning some useful relaxation techniques. Children who use the simple strategies presented in this charming book, illustrated by the author, will find themselves relaxed and ready to work or play. 


When My Worries Get Too Big

When My Worries Get Too Big

Buron, Kari Dunn

The thought of losing control can cause major problems for children who live with anxiety. Now, parents, teachers and children have a helpful tool that gives young children an opportunity to explore their own feelings with parents or teachers as they react to events in their daily lives. Engaging and easy to read, this illustrated children’s book is filled with opportunities for children to participate in developing their own self-calming strategies. Children who use the simple strategies in this charming book, illustrated by the author, will find themselves relaxed and ready to focus on work or play!


Helping Students Overcome Depression and Anxiety

Helping Students Overcome Depression and Anxiety

Merell, K.W.

Now in a revised and expanded second edition, this bestselling guide provides expert information and clear-cut strategies for assessing and treating internalizing problems in school settings. More than 40 specific psychoeducational and psychosocial intervention techniques are detailed, with a focus on approaches that are evidence based, broadly applicable, and easy to implement. Including 26 ready-to-use worksheets, in a large-size format with permission to photocopy, the second edition has been updated throughout to ensure its currency and clinical utility. Coverage of psychiatric medications has been extensively revised with the latest developments and findings. A new chapter addresses prevention-oriented social and emotional learning curricula for the classroom.


What to Do When You Worry Too Much

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

Huebner, D.

Did you know that worries are like tomatoes? No, you can't eat them, but you can make them grow, simply by paying attention to them. If your worries have grown so big that they bother you almost every day, this book is for you.

What to Do When You Worry Too Much guides children and parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of anxiety. Lively metaphors and humorous illustrations make the concepts and strategies easy to understand, while clear how-to steps and prompts to draw and write help children to master new skills related to reducing anxiety. This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering kids to overcoming their overgrown worries.

Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change. Includes a note to parents by psychologist and author Dawn Huebner, PhD.


Additional Resources

Using Shapes to Teach Breathing

Deep Breathing Exercises for Kids

Ten Breathing Exercises for Kids with Anxiety or Anger