View this email in your browser

Welcome to Monday Email #13

The number thirteen usually can involve some level of bad luck. If anything bad happens today, blame this e-mail as opposed to the implications of a worldwide pandemic.

One Strategy for Behaviour

I think that there is potential for anxious and fear-based behaviours to be a prevalent issue when we return to school. These could be small issues like initial separation anxiety after a prolonged period at home or larger issues like phobias of germs. Having a bank of strategies to combat these will help us to intervene and prevent molehills from becoming mountains.

A nice strategy that could be used for children who may be anxious about falling behind with schoolwork when they come back could be as simple as using three pens. 

A subtle strategy for anxious children: provide them with three pens, one green, one orange and one red. I'm talking about physical colour - not ink.

If they are using the green pen, they are indicating to you they are comfortable and able to proceed. If they are using the orange pen, they are indicating that they want you to keep an eye on them but are willing to have a go at the task and if they are using the red pen, they are indicating that they are lost and requesting help.

Nobody else needs to know this strategy is in a place other than the child and teacher and it communicates the message that you are there to support them if needed without assuming they need constant surveillance. 

Note: My latest article on the difference between constructive and destructive anxiety management strategies is available here.

One Strategy for Inclusion

Children with autism need to be explicitly taught social cues, rules and routines that neurotypical children may pick up naturally. Of course, there are hundreds of millions of these little rules and routines and it is impossible to equip them to deal with every single eventuality.

The app Magnus Cards, however, provides a wide range of "decks" which take children through how to behave and what to do in different social situations. 

The decks are as simple as 7-10 simple pictures with a sentence underneath to explain a step-by-step process to complete a task. They are essentially a wealth of social stories in the form of a quick-and-easy (and free!) app.

Topics range from going to the shops, making your bed, how to converse with classmates and how to behave at assembly. 

It can be used when we return to school or recommended to parents to support their children with routines at home.

Android version here.

Apple version here.

One Thought

"Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. 
After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."

This Buddhist quote is a personal favourite as it highlights the need for doing what is necessary and being in the moment. Whether enlightened or unenlightened, wood need to be chopped and water carried.

There is a growing media swell of debate and narrative about whether schools should, could or would go back and a rift is appearing between parents and teachers online. 

Teachers claiming they're undervalued. Parents claiming teachers are doing nothing. Teachers claiming parents just want childcare. Parents claiming teachers just want time-off. Everyone talking in absolute statements as if one brush can be used to paint each side. 

In the midst of all this, what is at risk of being lost is the right decision.

The right decision is whatever is right for the students and what best serves their needs in the safest possible way.

The right decision is for parents and teachers to ignore the media-fuelled divisive debate and focus on what is necessary and being in the moment. Focus on supporting the children within the given ruleset we have today. Focus on implementing strategies that support our children's mental health and well-being today. Focus on checking-in with our children and being there for them today.

Leave the media, politicians and keyboard warriors to thrash out the national decisions.

For us, chop wood and carry water.

If you have read to this point, you must have found something of note here. I'd appreciate you sharing this email or the contents of it by screenshots, forwarding, social media or any means necessary and send people to to get their own. Thanks for the support.

Behave yourself,


Copyright © 2020 Behaviour101, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Behaviour101 · Yellow Meadows Avenue · Clondalkin · Dublin 22, Dublin D22 · Ireland

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp