Good teachers use trial and error to find better ways to teach their students. Here are some special education techniques for children that you can use.
Experts claim these classroom practices can substantially impact your child’s behavior whether they have tantrums, difficulty concentrating, or fidgets excessively during class time.
The term “special education” encompasses a wide range of services for children who have been diagnosed with a disability. For children of all abilities, there are other alternatives to CPS. Using a few simple principles of learning can improve the quality of life for everyone in the family.
Related article: Think Your Child Has a Mental Disorder? Here’s What to Do.
If you’re constantly frustrated by your child’s everyday misbehavior, such as tantrums, impatience, or kicking the back of your chair, here are nine life skills you can teach him.
1. Is there anything else you should know?
So that their children aren’t surprised and act out, special-education teachers use routines and visual signals. You can use this strategy outside of the classroom. Even if you’re only going across town and your kid keeps asking, “Are we there yet?” break up the trip in the same way teachers do.
It’s possible to remark, “We’ll first pass the used-car lot with the balloons,” and your kid will look out the window. Tell them where you’re going after you’ve passed the dealership, and so on, until you get there. This mundane task has been transformed into an exhilarating treasure hunt because of your ingenuity. By dividing up a day, a timetable, or even a car ride into manageable chunks, you’re helping kids focus their attention on specific goals.
2. DIY tricks.
Research reveals that educational aids, such as fidget spinners, can help certain kids focus better and improve their memory. Nevertheless, the only things that act as a support aren’t impulse-buy electronics.
You can go through your closet or even your kitchen utensil drawer to find what you’re looking for. Anything that helps keep your child’s attention or burns off energy is a good choice. Your youngster may be holding in excess energy if they’re continuously rising from their chair during meals. It’s possible to use a bungee cord or a physical-therapy band to keep them from kicking out of their chair.
Related article: Brands of Multicultural Toys That Children Will Enjoy
3. Don’t Make Use of the Word “But.”
They raise their voices in protest. But it’s time for bed, so you’ll have to let it go. Saying but actually undermines the common ground you’re trying to develop by echoing what they’ve said and reiterating their reservations.
By using the word “but,” you’re sending a message to your youngster that their voice doesn’t matter nearly as much as yours. A CPS method dubbed the ‘Plan B Conversation’ can help you avoid this situation. Your child’s issue should be paraphrased if you and your child are on different pages. What’s most important to you can then be stated clearly. As a Plan B, you can ask them to finish one tower today and the remainder tomorrow morning.
4. Listen to your feelings.
Some special-education programs focus on teaching children with disabilities basic life skills, such as listening instead of interrupting and tying their shoes or washing their hands after using the bathroom—so they may succeed in the outside world.
These lessons focus heavily on emotional intelligence. Giving children the tools to become self-aware gives them a sense of control over what’s happening in their bodies. A simple practice recommended can help you put abstract emotions like shame, fear, or excitement into perspective.
Place your child’s palm over their heart and have them feel their pulse. Is it a rapid or a slow heartbeat? How do they inhale and exhale? What about the shoulders and the midsection feeling tense? You can then assist them in identifying a feeling’s name and how their body responds to it. Learning to control their emotions begins with this.
Related article: Helping Children Develop Emotional Intelligence in Small Steps
5. Find a Safe Place to Express Your Largest Emotions.
Your child may have a tantrum despite your best attempts. It’s up to you how to teach your children how to de-escalate when they experience these out-of-control sentiments. When this happens, the push/pull technique is one of her go-to methods.
You should face your child, grab both of their hands in yours, and allow them to push into your palms as they exhale. Then, while they inhale, have them pull on your hands while you lean back. When they’re alone, they can also do this: Then, with the door closed, have them push as hard as possible while holding on to the doorknob. They can do this anyplace, and it’s a safe way to get their rage out.
Related article: Toddler Tantrums and How to Handle Them
6. Praise Those Who Deserve It
Everyone has heard about the “Good job” moratorium: The anti-praise camp claims that too much positive feedback might make children less independent and even turn them into “praise junkies.”
It’s a good idea to recognize the behavior you want your children to repeat, such as sharing with their siblings or putting their toys away, because it encourages them to keep doing it over and over again.
In the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) approach to special education, five compliments to one criticism (or an impatient yell of “For the last time, stop mocking the dog!”) is recommended. In a parking lot, this ratio can be used to encourage good habits like taking turns, walking properly, and setting the table on your own without prompting. Teachers and parents who lavish praise on their students’ accomplishments find that they perform better in class, behave better, and even make faster progress in reading. As long as you don’t overdo it, you don’t have to worry about overdoing it with the praise.
7. Write a Cooperation Agreement That’s Right for Both Parties
Is there a method you’ve tried, like a reward system for your child to clean their room, that hasn’t worked? You and your child’s definition of completing a chore (making the bed, putting away the toys) may not be on the same page.
The answer is a behavioral agreement between you and your child. The most effective educational programs for children with autism and other challenges are based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), or “the science of behavior change.” Step-by-step instructions on how to do a desired task or activity are included in behavioral contracts. Both of you must sign the contract for it to be valid, which means the reward can’t be either too much or too tiny.
Related article: Setting Up a Rewards Program for Children the Right Way
8. Set Up a Code of Your Own
When they become “emotionally dysregulated,” children of all abilities sometimes lack the words to seek help. Rub their hands together to indicate that they’re getting pumped up.
When your child’s behavior gets out of hand, you know it’s time to get help from an adult. Try various approaches (such as snuggling, going for a walk, or deep breathing) until you discover one that works for you. My friend, a social worker, performs the alphabet song to her 6-year-old daughter. That well-known music always manages to calm her first-grader down and keep her from having major meltdowns. Your child may eventually learn to self-soothe in the same way that you did.
Related article: Help Your Child Develop Self-Regulation of Their Physical Moods
9. Prepare for Emergencies
In his classroom, my husband was able to predict with incredible accuracy what would set off each of the students, and chances are you know what sets off your own child.
For this reason, it is vital to recognize and then plan for conditions that may cause a flare-up. Empower your youngster to take responsibility for their own actions.
As a result, individuals feel less anxious about entering a scenario that they know can be emotionally distressing. A peaceful nook of your home is a good place to retreat to when you’ve had enough of the lockdown.
Related article: Helping Children Develop Emotional Intelligence in Small Steps