By Jessica Minahan, M.Ed, BCBA
“You need to calm down.”
This is something I hear a lot in my work as a behavior specialist when a student starts to get agitated– answering rudely, refusing to work, making insulting comments or whining. A teacher might tell a child to “go sit in the beanbag chair and calm down” or simply “relax.”
The problem is, many students don’t know how to calm down. This is especially true for children who display chronic agitation or defiance.
When a child behaves inappropriately, I find that it’s almost always due to an underdeveloped skill. If we don’t explicitly teach the student this skill, their behavior is unlikely to change for the better.
All children will benefit from learning self-calming skills, but for some children, learning this skill is so essential to their success at school that it’s important that classroom teachers focus on it as well as specialists, such as counselors and special educators.
Read more. Special Education Advisor