Every child is different. For Neurodiverse children (like those with ADHD, High Functioning Autism or other developmental differences), managing their emotions – especially their reactions – can seem like an insurmountable challenge. They often react strongly and quickly to a change in routine, new sensation or experience. While it is both important and helpful to provide them routines and cues, life can’t always go to plan.


When the situation calls for them to be adaptable, it’s important to have developed skills and tools they can draw on. When parents, teachers and children come together to make this possible, these challenges become a lot less intimidating. In the Secret Agent Society (SAS) Program, one of the “Gadgets” our Secret Agents receive is an O2 Regulator. This is an essential skill for the Cadets of our Secret Agent Program and one we learn together in the very first week.

Our O2 Regulator gadget is all about controlling our breath. It’s a brilliant skill to have to tackle anxiety, stress, anger, and for sensory overwhelm. While it’s a great skill to have, it’s not always an easy one to learn. Stopping to pay attention to the way we breathe is difficult to remember to do. In our SAS sessions, we practice with straws and bubbles of water, and we find cues to help us recognise what it feels like when we’re doing those big deep breaths. Most importantly, we learn to recognise when is the right time to use the O2 Regulator in day-to-day life.

Learning the right time to stop and focus on 5 big deep breaths before we tackle our next big challenge is tricky, but essential. Our Cadets work towards becoming skilled Secret Agents, with opportunities to practice it during our SAS group therapy sessions, at home, and at school.