Teacher Toolbox
Classroom Management - Arousal Regulation / Attention

upset studentOverview

Individuals with special needs have difficulties regulating their actions and responses to their surroundings. Their lack of self-regulation, or ability to control themselves in a variety of environmental conditions, can lead to behavior problems. Self-regulation skills include: calming, delaying gratification, inhibiting responses, and maintaining an awareness of goals and how to alter behavior to attain a goal. Children may need help with maintenance of focused attention and interpreting their own mental states as well as those of others.

In a classroom, the behavior of a child with special needs can be misinterpreted as being intentional. Behavior difficulties can be attributed to different factors and often are related to the inability to maintain self-control automatically and/or consciously.


How the behavior is linked to self-regulation difficulties

Aggressive Inability to control actions, inability to control emotions (Strategy)
Cannot sit still Over stimulated and cannot calm (Strategy)
Defiant Inefficient intake, processing, and sustaining attention causing poor understanding (Strategy)
Impulsive Inability to inhibit responses, poor planning, "in the moment" thinking (Strategy)
Inconsistent Difficulty modulating energy according to task requirements (Strategy)
Uncaring Unaware of effects of actions on others, lack of cause and effect reasoning (Strategy)
Unmotivated Weakness sustaining consistent energy output (Strategy)