FAB Energy Modulation Wheel

The FAB Energy Modulation Wheel strategy helps teach clients to manage their arousal level for appropriate behavior and learning.  It can be used in groups or individual therapy sessions.  The FAB Energy Modulation Wheel is provided here for personal use by parents, teachers, and therapists guiding clients in developing energy modulation strategies.  FAB Energy ModWheel

The FAB Energy Modulation Wheel is useful for helping children, adolescents, young adults and their parents develop sensory activities they can embed in their daily routines.  It has been successfully used with clients who have sensory modulation, Autism Spectrum, mental health, and learning disorders.  The FAB Energy Modulation Wheel integrates the ARC “Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency” trauma intervention <www.traumacenter.org>, Sensory Integration, and Life Wheel self-regulation models.

The FAB Energy Wheel strategy emphasizes that therapists can guide the client and family in developing sensory modulation strategies, but it is the client’s responsibility to implement them.  Following individual and/or group therapy sessions using sensory modulation strategies the client and parents choose 8 activities to do daily, labeling and drawing them in varied colors on the FAB Energy Modulation Wheel.  An adolescent with a sensory modulation and Autism Spectrum disorder whose goal is “managing my energy level to keep safe hands” developed the FAB Energy Modulation Wheel below.


The teachers and therapists reinforce this adolescent and his parents for completing the FAB Energy Modulation Wheel activities daily and progressing toward his goal.

Clients with behavioral and sensory modulation challenges need sensory activities to replace their current dysfunctional “coping” strategies for managing uncomfortable energy levels (e.g., cutting themselves, head banging).  Motor learning research suggests it is easiest to stop dysfunctional behaviors by repeatedly replacing them with new activities embedded in daily routines.  These new strategies help clients manage their sensory modulation and behavioral challenges.  Sensory diets effectively manage client’s sensory modulation needs but often fail because they are not implemented regularly.  Involving clients and their parents in developing their sensory modulation strategies makes it more likely they’ll do the activities daily. My next blog post “Clients can develop their sensory diets” will further discuss ways of helping clients develop FAB Energy Modulation Strategies that improve their sensory modulation skills.


Dunn, W., Cox, J., Foster, L., Mische-Lawson, L. & Tanquary, J. (2012).  Impact of a contextual intervention on child participation and parent competence among children with autism spectrum disorders: A pretest-posttest repeated-measure design.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(5), 520-528.

Rodger, S. & Brandenburg, J. (2009).  Cognitive orientation to (daily) occupational performance (CO-OP) with children with Asperger’s syndrome who have motor-based occupational performance goals.  Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 56(1), 41-50.


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