Saturday, April 4, 2015


Sometimes my students don't like to talk. I have one student that when he is upset, frustrated, anxious, or angry he completely shuts down. He doesn't say a word and just looks at me. I have tried asking him questions, but I think this makes him more anxious and he can't get his words out. I've had some success in asking him yes or no questions that he can nod or shake his head no, but this can be exhausting and frustrating for the both of us. When he is in a good mood, he is able to talk and let us know if he needs something, so it's not like he can't talk at all. I decided last weekend to make a communication type board/folder for him when he is in his shut down mode. We practiced using it while he was in a talking mood, just so like fire drills- it's important to practice what to do when in crisis while we are calm. I had to change a few things- some of the emotions/moods/feelings he didn't think were necessary, like happy or calm, and I had to add hungry and annoyed. He and I came up with the coping skills together also. I also explained that if he was unsafe, he may have to wait to use some of the coping strategies until he was safe. My goal is to use this folder before we get to that, though. I like to catch them before they start hurting themselves, others, or me- but sometimes it happens (more to me than anyone else).

I laminated the questions and answers and then hot glued them on the folder. I only have access to a personal laminator, but maybe I'll go to Office Max over the next week to laminate a full folder for added durability, especially since he ripped off the questions the other day.

In case you can't see, the questions are on a flap that open up to show the possible answers. All my student has to do is point at his answer. It has worked 5 out of 8 times, so I do think it's worth keeping with him. I just have to make it stronger!

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