Learning new skills is so important for my students! Requesting “Help” “Break” “stop” or “wait” are huge skills to learn.
This week I want to share a couple of quick tips on how I teach these skills and how we made it a little easier and more fun to teach by adding a couple of visual supports.
How I Teach my students to use these Functional Communication Strategies to Regulate their behavior
#1. First I help my student to realise when they need to use the “break” or “help” card, which is usually just before they get frustrated or loose concentration. At the start of any activity, I will show them the break or help card, which ever one I’m working on, and place it where my student can easily reach it.
#2. I Point to the break/help card and tell them, “This is your break/help card. You can use it to ask for a break.” When my student starts to get frustrated or loose interest, I will say “If you are getting upset, use your break card to tell me you need a break/help.”
#3. I use physical and gestural Prompts for some of my students to take the break/help card and allow them to move away to the “break area.” or Help them. I found that self regulating visuals on the bottom of the card is a fantastic way of calming and redirecting my student while on a break.
#4. Being able to use functional communication is an important part of behavior management and teaching the student to trust and use the visual supports will help them self regulate.
#5. I will begin to withdraw prompts once students are consistently asking for breaks or help, its important that being able to initiating these requests independently to become an consistent communicator. Then you can begin to regulate the time between the request and the actual break.
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Visual Supports for Critical Communication
Classroom Management Cards – Functional Communication