What it is
An area of student need based on his/her demonstrated verbal, non-verbal or physical actions.
• Use direct instruction/social skills lessons to teach appropriate ways to express anger.
• Establish baseline of current frequency of aggression and develop alternative programming goal on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
• Collaborate with the in-school support team.
• Deliver a balanced program, reflecting preferred and non-preferred activities for the student, to decrease likelihood of aggression.
• Establish a written outline of what is and isn’t acceptable for the student, parents/guardians, teachers and administrators (specific rules with predetermined consequences).
• Involve the student as part of the problem-solving team.
• Implement a home-school communication book for tracking, focusing on instances that the student demonstrated positive anger management skills.
• Attempt to help the student determine the cause of the aggression.
• Provide a “time out” or "cool down" after aggression. Consider an in and out of classroom location for the student to use that is predetermined and supervised – Use could be student- or teacher-initiated.
• Allow student access to time out space, if requested, prior to aggressive outbursts.
• Use visuals to direct behaviour when escalating (cards with “stop” or pictures of pro-social behaviour).
• If the student refuses to leave the situation, consider removing others involved.
• Redirect the precursors to aggressive behaviour.
• Consider the use of careful humour (not sarcasm) to redirect/defuse.
• Frequently reward positive anger management, even small advances, by the student.
• Converse with the student privately (not in front of peers).
• Offer choices to avoid aggression and give the student some control.
• Use clear and concise language.
• Use repetition/rewording of instructions.
• Break down instructions to ensure comprehension and that the task is manageable for the student.
• Teach social skills lessons directly to the whole class.
• Develop and post social skills steps for positively handling aggression.
• Use social stories to teach appropriate responses.
• Use modeling and vocalize steps and choices.
• Use role playing to provide practice of pro-social behaviour.
• Use instructions with “first ____, then _____”.
• Modify tasks, if related to aggression.
• Teach peer relation skills, if related to aggression.
• For physical aggression, develop a predetermined “Safety Plan” for staff response to de-escalate the situation.
• Consider referral to school board social work and/or psychology staff.Less... More...
• Establish a “time-out”/”cool-down” area(s) and protocol for use.
• Keep scissors or other potentially dangerous items in a teacher-controlled area.
• Post classroom rules, routines and schedules.
• Teach the entire class emergency exit procedures and have a predetermined location evacuation.
• Provide calming tools (stress balls, "fidget" toys, drawing, music/iPod).
• Post and refer to social skills charts outlining pro-social responses.
• Use preferential seating and close proximity to the teacher.
• Give advance notice of tests and assignments (e.g. one-week/month notice on a written calendar).
• Give a choice of assessment options.
• Provide an option for open book tests.
• Minimize distractions; consider an alternative testing location.
• Chunk tests and assignments into small tasks and provide feedback as each component is completed.
• Reduce quantity of test/assignment items.
• Provide additional time (ensure space is available, should it extend into recess/next class).
• Provide periodic supervised breaks.