What are energy levels?
Energy levels are the degree of physical activity levels shown by children. Some children are more active than others; for example, some need to be moving around more than others whilst others can sit still for longer periods of time, and some are less active. It is common for children to be highly active, especially at younger ages. In most cases, this is normal behaviour, and they will gradually grow out of it. Other children may seem to be tired or lacking energy.
Why neurodivergence can reduce energy levels?
- sensory overload
- broken sleep
- limited diet
- social expectations and the pressures of communicating.
How to increase energy or stop feeling tired?
- Exercise more
- Eat snacks when feeling tired.
- Giving up caffeinated drinks
- Maximise sleep.
- Reduce sensory overload.
- Improve diet.
Use energy accounting
Energy accounting is a system used to set manageable limits on your energy levels, so you do not deplete yourself to the point of burnout.
Help your child or the person you care for to set a limit on how much energy they have in a day or week and estimate how much certain activities drain them. Also work out how much certain activities energise them.
You can then try to plan and balance their activities and energy over a day or week to try and manage stress limits. Make sure you build in time for relaxation and recovery.
Time off and rest/relaxation
Whether you use energy accounting or not, time off from work or school and other high-stress activities is key to managing stress levels. Ensuring time for activities/interests that re-energise and promote relaxation is key. This could be connecting with family and friends or enjoying hobbies or interests.
Time without having to mask
Autistic people often feel the need to hide or mask their autistic traits in public, for example by suppressing the urge to stim. It can be important to factor times into your child’s day for things like stimming, somewhere they feel comfortable and able to do so.
Why neurodivergence can increase energy levels
A high energy child can seem unstable, bouncing from activity to activity with seemingly limitless energy. He or she may appear to have difficulty listening or following directions. He may perform poorly in school, getting less than acceptable results and demonstrating behavioural problems. While there is no right answer to handling a high energy child, following a few tips can make coping with a hyperactive child a bit easier to bear.
- Establish Order
- Choose your battles
- Break Down Complex Instructions
- Minimize Distractions
- Utilize Positive Reinforcement
- Help the Child Create a To-Do List
- Provide Plenty of Unstructured Time