OPENING SCHOOLS WITH SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING IN MIND

Our students more than ever need us to recognize that they need their SEL needs met differently in this time of the pandemic. I ran across a beautifully thoughtful re-entry plan written by CHAI Lifeline. I hope you can put it to positive use in your school. Link

Here are the topics it covers:

Link: SEL checklist for returning to school by CHAI Lifeline

Mind Yeti- Videos to Support Social-Emotional Learning

mindyetiElementary School Counseling - Marissa's Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mind Yeti is a research-based digital library designed to help kids and their adults calm their minds, focus their attention, and connect better to the world around them.

Created by the nonprofit Committee for Children, the world leader in social-emotional education, Mind Yeti offers a growing library of short, guided audio sessions featuring diverse voices and immersive soundscapes that invite kids and their adults to practice mindfulness techniques like deep breathing, stretching, and emotional self-regulation.

Below is the introductory video. Please click the SOURCE link below for 40 free videos in both Spanish and English.

Source for more videos.

​Other Platforms to access Mind Yeti Video and Audio files.

 

A Kid’s Guide to Coronavirus via American Psychological Association (APA)

https://www.apa.org/pubs/magination/kids-guide-coronavirus-ebook.pdf

The APA posted this children’s book about COVID 19.

A Kid’s Guide to Coronavirus (PDF)

By

Rebecca Growe, MSW, LCSW and Julia Martin Burch, PhD illustrated by Viviana Garofoli

Magination Press • Washington, DC American Psychological Association

You probably already know a lot about different ways to be sick. You may know about colds, when you cough and sneeze a lot. You may know about strep throat, when it hurts to swallow, or ear infections, when your ear hurts inside.

What other ways to be sick do you know about?

Most sicknesses have been around for a long time. Scientists and doctors and all the grown-up helpers know just what to do to make people get better.

Can you think of some things that help people when they are sick?

This book is about a certain sickness. It’s called COVID-19, or coronavirus.

Have you heard of it?

Grown-ups have been talking about it a lot. You may have heard about it on TV or online.

What do you know about it already?

A lot of kids have questions about coronavirus. And without getting good answers, they might feel confused or even scared.

This book will help answer those questions!

This coronavirus is a new sickness. Grown-ups don’t know as much about it as they’d like. But here is what they do know:

Coronavirus is contagious. That means it can get people sick by moving from one person’s body to another person’s body when they touch or spend time close together. Coronavirus can move from you to someone else before you even start to feel sick.

Many people who get sick with coronavirus have a fever, a dry cough, and a little trouble breathing.

Anyone can get sick from coronavirus. It can cause big problems for older people or people who have other health issues.

Because coronavirus is such a new sickness, doctors and scientists are working really hard to learn how to help people get better and make coronavirus go away.

In fact, everyone can help out! You can do a lot to stop coronavirus from making people sick.

Can you think of any things you already do to make a difference?

You can wash your hands often with soap and water. Some people sing the ABCs while they do it—what about you?

You can also cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue and try not to touch your face a lot.

You can find fun ways to help, too.

Maybe you could paint a picture for your friend, or make a movie of your new dance moves to give Grandma a giggle.

You could write funny jokes on the sidewalk for your neighbors to see, or hang a sign in your window to brighten someone’s day.

Until scientists have found out how to make coronavirus go away for good, you and your family might have to make some other, bigger changes.

You might need to stay away from crowded places. This is because crowds make it easy for coronavirus to spread to more people and make them sick.

For the same reason, your parents might not work as much, or they might try to work from home. You might not be able to go to school or play with friends.

You might see people wear masks when they go outside. You might even get one of your own.

Super-heroes wear masks to protect their secret identities, right?

Now super-people everywhere are wearing masks to protect each other from coronavirus. Feel free to wear a cape, too!

These bigger changes can be hard.

What do you think some hard parts might be?

These bigger changes can be kind of nice.

What do you think some nice parts might be?

You should know that these bigger changes are temporary. That means they will not last forever.

Other things are staying exactly the same! Your grown-ups are still in charge of taking care of you. And it is still your job to be a kid, which means you still need to learn, play, and spend time with family.

What else is staying the same?

And if you ever have questions, or want to talk, your grown-ups are here to help you and to listen.

No sickness can ever change that!

The coronavirus pandemic can be frightening and confusing for children and adults alike. As a parent or caregiver, you have the challenging task of navigating and managing your own emotions and needs during the crisis while also supporting your child. The following tips offer information and concrete strategies that you can start using right away with your child and on your own.

Provide Just Enough Information

It is natural for children to be curious about

the new kind of illness they keep hearing adults discuss. Provide your young child with limited, age-appropriate facts about the virus. Focus on what they can do to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe.

The information covered in this book is an appropriate example of how to talk with young children about the virus. Listen respectfully to their concerns and reassure them without being dismissive. Help them focus on what is in their control, such as social distancing and hand hygiene. Emphasize that it’s important they still do their “jobs” as a kid, including learning, playing, and spending time with family.

It is important to try to strike a balance between oversharing information, which may lead kids to worry about facets of the crisis they do not need to be concerned about, such as the economy, and under-sharing. Though parents sometimes withhold information from kids with the noble intention of wanting to spare them distress, too little information can send active

imaginations into overdrive, leading kids to concoct far scarier outcomes than what’s realistic.

Validate and Name Emotions

It is normal for children to have a range of emotions in response to the pandemic. Some children might feel anxious about the unknown and fearful about their safety. Others will feel sad or angry about canceled events like a vacation, or about losing their normal routine and time with teachers and friends. No matter the emotion, it is important to validate it, or in other words, to communicate to your child that their emotion makes sense and is okay for them to feel. For example, you might say, “It makes sense that you are feeling disappointed about missing your class field trip. You were really looking forward to it.” Or, “I can understand why you’re feeling worried. There are a lot of changes happening right now.” It is also helpful to specifically label the emotion your child is feeling; research demonstrates that naming an emotion decreases its intensity. In a difficult moment, taking the time to say, “I see that you are really sad” can be incredibly soothing to your child.

Parents sometimes try to make their children feel better by pointing out that the child has many privileges, and that other people are suffering more. For example, a parent might say, “Don’t feel sad about missing vacation! We’re lucky to have somewhere to live. Other kids aren’t that lucky.” Despite the good intentions, this is not a helpful approach, as it confuses children about why they are feeling what they are feeling. It can also lead them to feel ashamed for feeling sad about missing vacation. If you would like to teach your child to reflect on what they have to be grateful for, make a family practice of writing down “gratitudes” or discussing what you are each thankful for over dinner. By doing this when your child is calm rather than feeling sad or fearful, you teach them that their “gratitudes” are things to feel uncomplicated joy about, rather than guilt or confusion.

Focus on the Present Moment

Worried brains tend to focus on the future, predicting all of the scary things that might happen. Teach your child how to gently bring their mind back to the present moment by practicing mindfulness. Being mindful simply means that you are purposefully paying attention to the present moment without judging it as good or bad. Mindfulness can be practiced in countless kid-friendly ways. For example, you can play a mindful “I spy” in which you count all of the objects of a certain color in the space around you. You can mindfully eat, dance, walk, listen to music – the sky is the limit! Build times into the day to practice, such as in transition periods or at meals.

Create a New Routine

It can feel next to impossible to maintain a routine during the quarantine. Yet, flexibly following a consistent plan day-to-day provides much-needed stability for your young child. This is particularly important given that their world has changed dramatically in a short time. Routines do not have to be complicated. For example, it can be helpful to just structure the day around basic needs such as wake-up times and bedtimes, meals, and periods in which you get active. Constructing a routine around these building blocks of physical and mental health makes it more likely that they will occur consistently.

Consider giving your child age-appropriate tasks to help the family, such as setting the table, helping to prepare food, or cleaning up after a meal. Though teaching your child a new skill takes more effort and attention in the short term, it will make your life easier (and increase your child’s level of independence and sense of competence) in the long term.

Create Memories

Look for opportunities to create new, special family rituals. These do not have to be time consuming or involve preparation. For example, you can jump-start your days with a family dance party in which a different family member chooses a song each day and everyone dances around the breakfast table. You might also help your children brainstorm ways that they can give back to their community, such as writing cards for the elderly or creating supportive signs for health-care workers. When your children look back on this time, they will remember that, despite the many challenges, the time at home also allowed your family to create memories together.

Put the Oxygen Mask on Yourself First

Whenever you can, pause and take a moment or two to check in on yourself and your emotions.

Just like your child, you will reduce your own emotional intensity by noticing and labeling your feelings. During a crisis, this kind of self-attention can feel like the last thing a busy parent or caregiver has time for. However, by ensuring that you are attuned to and taking care of your own needs, you will have reserves available to help support your children during difficult moments. You will be grateful that you preemptively invested the time in yourself when you must draw on these reserves to help a struggling child.

Make a point to practice what you preach with your children. Focus on what is in your control, such as practicing and modeling coping skills, limiting news consumption, and creating your own new routines around sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Most important–validate and be gentle with yourself. It is impossible to perfectly fulfill all of the roles you are being asked to play in this moment in time. Get comfortable with being good enough. This may look like allowing your children more time on screens than you would normally, cooking (or just heating up!) very basic meals, or practicing a coping strategy for two minutes while hiding in the bathroom.

When to Seek Help

If your child is experiencing so much anxiety or sadness about COVID-19 that it causes significant distress or begins to impact their functioning (e.g., consistent trouble sleeping, eating, or engaging in typical life activities), you should consult with a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional. There is no need to wait until social distancing restrictions are lifted. During the current crisis, many mental health providers are offering therapy over virtual meeting platforms. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for children and adults alike. Yet within great challenges lie opportunities for growth, bravery, and resilience. You are taking a concrete, effective step forward simply by taking the time to read this book and reflect on how to help your child. Remind yourself of this whenever the “not good enough” monster strikes. You are doing the best you can, and that is enough.

Rebecca Growe, MSW, LCSW, is a clinical social worker with a private practice. She specializes in treating child and adolescent anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior, and traumatic stress. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Visit http://www.growecounseling.com

Viviana Garofoli earned her degree in fine arts in 1995, and since then has dedicated her time to illustrating children’s books. She has illustrated over 20 children’s books and contributed to many editorial and textbook illustrations around the world. She lives in Buenos Aires.

@vivi_garofoli

Julia Martin Burch, PhD, is a staff psychologist at the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program at McLean Hospital in Boston. Dr. Martin Burch completed her training at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She works with children, teens, and parents and specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy

for anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and related disorders. Outside of her work at McLean, Dr. Martin Burch gives talks to clinicians, parent groups, and schools on working with anxious youth.

Magination Press is the children’s book imprint of the American Psychological Association. APA works to advance psychology as a science and profession and as a means of promoting health and human welfare. Magination Press books reach young readers and their parents and caregivers to make navigating life’s challenges a little easier. It’s the combined power of psychology and literature that makes a Magination Press book special.

Visit maginationpress.org @MaginationPress

Copyright © 2020 by Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association. Illustrations © 2020 by Viviana Garofoli. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system,

without the prior written permission of the publisher. Permission is granted to download and print or reproduce for personal, educational, and non-commercial use only.

Magination Press is a registered trademark of the American Psychological Association. Order books at maginationpress.org or call 1-800-374-2721.

Book design by Rachel Ross

eISBN: 978-1-4338-3415-8

NASP Article on Suicide Prevention During the Pandemic

Suicide Prevention within COVID 19 Pandemic

Over the past several years in working with students at the secondary level, I have found myself approaching school breaks with trepidation for their wellness, mental health, and safety. Unfortunately, when students are out of school, our community has been impacted by student deaths resulting from suicide. Now, impact of the global pandemic has intensified the concern for students given the closures of school buildings with the reopening unknown. The mandates of “stay in place”, social distancing, and face coverings over the past few months, have resulted in drastic change in routines, increase in uncertainty, the loss of employment, and the lives of over 100,000 U.S. citizens.  Educators responded by transforming the face of schools virtually overnight from brick and mortar to computer screens within a distance learning platform.  The pandemic has intensified the concern for the safety, wellness, and mental health of our students with implications for policy and the practice of school psychologists.  

Nationally, suicide is the leading cause of death among youth. Advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national level on behalf of students has resulted in new suicide prevention policy and practice. Over the past few years, there have been several new federal and state laws that have advanced suicide prevention efforts in schools.  The recent legislation has demonstrated the commitment and recognition of policymakers around the importance of school-based prevention efforts; the approval for a 3-digit national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system and mandated suicide prevention education for students, staff, and parents.  NASP has continued to provide leadership and advocacy efforts with suicide prevention.  NASP, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, and the Trevor Project authored a comprehensive guidebook [Model School District Suicide Prevention Policy] for school administrators and policymakers. This guidebook provides a framework for best practices for the continuum of K-12 suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies. 

At the district level, we have responded as school psychologists to address the student needs by engaging in grassroots advocacy and leadership roles to expand efforts beyond district crisis response (i.e. suicide intervention, postvention) to ensure a comprehensive suicide prevention framework. Suicide is a 24/7 issue. Thus, we partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, law enforcement, community mental health agencies, and with local hospital emergency screening unit teams.  As a result, our team developed a district protocol to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to suicide.  Several integral components of a multi-tiered system of suicide prevention has emerged within the district; board approved suicide prevention policy, a district NASP PREPaRE trained crisis team, a district suicide prevention coordinator, a district suicide prevention council, district-wide coordinated implementation of Signs of Suicide (SOS) prevention education for students, staff, and parents, a community suicide prevention forum, suicide prevention training of trainers (TOT) of school site coordinators, suicide risk assessment protocol and training, educating the community regarding firearm safety, and postvention support in collaboration with community partners.

In March 2020, the global pandemic of COVID-19 drastically changed the landscape of education and our practice as school psychologists, especially with suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.  Within the first week of school closure, our community was impacted by the death of a student by suicide.   To be honest, there was uncertainty in the “if” or “how” to best provide crisis response and postvention supports.  In collaboration with a few of our NASP PREPaRE community leaders -thank you Dr. Melissa Reeves and Dr. Ben Fernandez – we navigated the discussion with the site crisis leadership team, guided the response efforts, and initiated revision of our suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention protocol to address the needs within a distance learning educational milieu. As a result, our district has provided a comprehensive on-line suicide prevention protocol with embedded forms and resources.

As we continue to face social distancing and school closures in response to the global pandemic, the need for school psychologists to advocate and provide guidance and leadership in suicide prevention efforts is paramount.   Suicide prevention programs and policies expand our roles as crisis responders to include preventive supports for student wellness, mental health, and safety. The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic may generate for students intensified sense of fear, worry, isolation and suicide risk factors; simultaneously impacting youth protective factors such as hope, access to trusted adults, peer connection, and social activities. It is critical to begin or further our efforts to support our students by engaging in advocacy and providing leadership within our district, state, and at the national level with suicide prevention.

I encourage you to review the resources developed by NASP and your state professional organization.  Ask yourself what can I do, especially during this time of the global pandemic, to address student mental health needs and ensure comprehensive suicide prevention policies and practices that encompass prevention, intervention, and postvention? Each of us are “ADVOCACY”, let’s find our voice!  

NASP Comprehensive School Suicide Prevention in a Time of Distance Learning  

Preparing for Virtual School Suicide Risk Assessment Checklist  

COVID-19: Crisis & Mental Health Resources

Source

Social Emotional skills taught by Mr. Parker

Mr. Parker's Lessons

Mr. Parker is a School Psychologist who has creatively published a series of Social-Emotional videos on YouTube. He uses music and songs to help teach vital social-emotional skills. Here is a link to his website: HERE

Mr. Parker’s Videos

Empathy: An important tool, now more than ever

Paying Attention: Help children be fully alert and present in the moment

I Messages: Help children effectively communicate their feelings

Feelings: Emotions are a natural part of the human experience

Perspectives: The world may look much different when we put ourselves in another’s shoes

Worries: Help children understand a feeling that is likely to be common during the pandemic

Paraphrasing: Help children listen to understand rather than listen to respond

Happiness: What brings us you?

HEARS Method: Help children show empathy and active listening skills

Getting Started: Help children understand the importance of taking initiative

Anger: The human emotion that we must all learn to manage

Triggers: Help children understand the factors that contribute to their emotions

Expressing Your Feelings: Help children make positive choices when they experience various emotions

Consequences: Help children engage in thoughtful behaviors

Deep Breathing: A healthy coping tool for children in times of stress

Calming Down: Help children learn emotional regulation strategies

 

 

Teen Wellness Workbooks via Misty Bonita School Psychologist

hope-quotes-long-2

In this time of overall melee in the United States, we need Mental Health supports to help cope with all that we are experiencing. These teen resources gathered by School Psychologist Misty Bonita a Licensed Educational Psychologist, NCSP Ed.S are a wealth of strategies for coping and growing in a variety of social-emotional and life issues.

Source

Wellness Workbooks

The Anger Workbook

The Anger Workbook for Teens.pdfThe Anger Workbook for Teens.pdf

From Anger to Action

From Anger To Action Workbook.pdfFrom Anger To Action Workbook.pdf

Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens

The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens.pdfThe Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens.pdf

Beyond the Blues–Workbook for Teens on Depression

Beyond The Blues-Workbook to Help Teens Overcome Depression.pdfBeyond The Blues-Workbook to Help Teens Overcome Depression.pdf

Think Confident, Be Confident (Self-Esteem Workbook)

Think Confident, Be Confident (Workbook for Self-Esteem).pdfThink Confident, Be Confident (Workbook for Self-Esteem).pdf

Executive Functioning Workbook for Teens

The Executive Functioning Workbook for Teens.pdfThe Executive Functioning Workbook for Teens.pdf

Relationship Skills 101 for Teens

Relationship Skills 101 for Teens.pdfRelationship Skills 101 for Teens.pdf

Grief Recovery for Teens

dochub.com/mistybonta/2bZJ8My/grief-recovery-for-teens-pdf?dt=AH7__jNpCJkdYhyEqfUC

PTSD Survival Guide for Teens

dochub.com/mistybonta/pk9pWQQ/ptsd-survival-guide-for-teens-pdf?dt=348LNvUUo9Dg__xx8CdR

Rewire Your Anxious Brain for Teens

dochub.com/mistybonta/wolk4V1/rewire-your-anxious-brains-for-teens-pdf?dt=o4GmNJYJzoqnjzap4CsN

The Body Image Workbook for Teens

dochub.com/mistybonta/ba1YX8a/the-body-image-workbook-for-teens-pdf?dt=QozH-VWQLYssLqZkCbVv

The Gender Quest Workbook for Teens

The Gender Quest Workbook.pdfThe Gender Quest Workbook.pdf

Self -Esteem Workbook for Teens

dochub.com/mistybonta/3jJwYgP/self-esteem-for-teens-pdf?dt=q_cynEA4bdCrX4e-2EzR

Relaxation and Stress Reduction for Teens

dochub.com/mistybonta/NVrW99V/relaxation-and-stress-reduction-workbook-for-teens-pdf?dt=gsNunRTCu7HSxxqfsQ_o

Insomnia Workbook for Teens

Lumin PDF – Beautiful PDF EditorView, edit and annotate pdf documents with Lumin PDF

Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Teen Anxiety

dochub.com/mistybonta/Q257xgk/mindfulness-and-acceptance-workbook-for-teen-anxiety-pdf?dt=EazcotU6yb9qSYgFbBQ2

Panic Workbook for Teens

dochub.com/mistybonta/RWNrgMr/panic-workbook-for-teens-pdf?dt=exvAtxAik6UtzQtyRk1v

Growth Mindset Lessons

FINAL+Growth+Mindset+Lesson+Plan.pdfFINAL+Growth+Mindset+Lesson+Plan.pdf

Trauma Focused CBT Workbook

Dealing-with-Trauma-TF-CBTWorkbook-for-Teens-.pdfDealing-with-Trauma-TF-CBTWorkbook-for-Teens-.pdf

Strengthening Positive Parenting Practices During a Public Health Crisis (NASP Article)

Latino Dads Improve Parenting Skills By Reading To Their Kids : Shots - Health News : NPR

Strengthening Positive Parenting Practices During a Public Health Crisis
— Read on https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/covid-19-resource-center/special-education-resources/strengthening-positive-parenting-practices-during-a-public-health-crisis

Link to PDF: Here

Strengthening Positive Parenting Practices During a Public Health Crisis

PART 1: INTRODUCTION

During these times of stress and uncertainty, it can feel like our worlds have been turned upside down. This is not only true of service providers, students, and teachers, but also the families we serve. We know that increased stressors including job insecurity, housing insecurity, and generalized anxiety regarding health can impact the wellness of all members of the family system. Similarly, when one member of a family group is experiencing distress, this can cause shifts in the behavior, thinking, and relatedness of other members of the system (Bowen, 1966; Boyd-Franklin & Bry, 2012). With great levels of stress, risky parenting behaviors may come to the fore. Cumulatively, these risky parenting behaviors—even when they do not rise to the level of reportable abuse or neglect—remain a significant societal problem, and the likelihood for it to increase may be exacerbated by global crises and stressors.

In most cases, parents are able to maintain safe parenting practices, even during difficult times. A lot of parents are feeling overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted. In fact, many feel like they are not being the kind of parents they want to be or typically are. One of the first steps we can take in building partnerships is to validate and normalize parents’ reactions and experiences. Reminding parents that their feelings are normal reactions to a very abnormal situation can be invaluable. Alternatively, some parents are experiencing extraordinary distress, and they may make parenting choices that are less than optimal. In these situations, there may be a need to recognize and respond to suspicions of child maltreatment. The first step in responding to risky parenting practices is to work to enhance parenting capacity, to help families succeed and thrive. Understanding that parents and caregivers desire and want to be better parents is instrumental in helping them succeed (Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, 2018). One of the most important roles of the school psychologist in supporting families is to mitigate risk factors and enhance protective factors. Such a framework can decrease the likelihood of abuse, maltreatment, and neglect and help families thrive.

Increasing Protective Factors

  1. Parental Resilience: Parenting is hard and all parents will encounter crises at some point, but parents who can weather the challenges and bounce back have safer, healthier children. School psychologists can promote parental resilience through promoting basic problem-solving skills, providing crisis support as needed, and helping parents access needed resources and community supports.
  2. Social Connections: Parenting is much easier if parents don’t do it all alone. Having a support network is important for a person’s social and emotional needs. Parents connected to community and friends are better able to meet children’s needs. Promoting virtual or phone contact between parents and support networks can ease parental distress, and can support and strengthen healthy parenting practices.
  3. Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development: Knowing what milestones are coming and how to effectively deal with them help prepare parents to care for their children. Knowledge of parenting and child development is like having directions to find your destination rather than hoping the signs you need will be clear and visible.
  4. Concrete Support in Times of Need: We all need a hand now and then. Parents who have dependable support and are not afraid to turn to others for help are less likely to be involved in abuse and neglect. Thus, supporting parents in reaching out to community supports can strengthen parental well-being and improve child-rearing practices.
  5. Social and Emotional Competence of Children: Many of the activities professionals do with children promote a child’s ability to interact positively with others and parents’ ability to nurture that development. Giving a child language to express his or her emotions, role modeling how to respond sensitively to a child, and promoting attachment and bonding between parents and children are all ways to help prevent child maltreatment (Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, 2018).

PART 2: THE ROLE OF THE SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST

Begin with asking, “What can I do?” Many of us are feeling equally overwhelmed by the unexpected stressors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflect on how you have functioned in your role and consider how your skills can be best utilized given the limitations of remote learning. Developing your own professional action plan will help you address the mountain of need one pebble at a time, thus helping you be more effective in your work and at the same time reducing unnecessary stress and anxiety that can arise out of uncertainty.

Action Plan

  1. Reflect on the needs of your individual school and the children/families you serve.
  2. Consider your role and function as a school psychologist within the present societal context.
  3. Identify ways in which you can support families and children proactively.
  4. Identify ways in which you can support teachers or other school officials as they engage with their students.
  5. Create weekly benchmarks and regularly review whether you are making progress toward goals.

As schools operate through a remote learning format, school psychologists can support families in managing stressors through both prevention and intervention frameworks. Our unique skill set equips us to examine our schools from the perspective of individuals and communities and help identify and connect those in need with the support necessary to help families maintain their emotional health. Be a STAR during this challenging time, and use this parent training practice to support the families you are working with.

Teach Your Parents to Stop, Think, Act, and Reflect Parent Response/Feedback to the Activity
S Stop: (A) Have the parent identify when they are about to lose their temper with their kids. Coach the parent to take a brief break before responding to their children. (B) Ask the parent: What has been causing you to “lose your cool” recently in your interactions with your kid(s)? (A)

 

 

(B)

T Think: (A) Have the parent identify alternative manners to respond to challenging child behaviors. (B) Ask the parent: How can you respond differently to your child(ren) when they behave in ways you believe are inappropriate? (A)

 

(B)

A Act: Have the parent try out their new strategy. (A) How did things go when you tried your new strategy? (A)
R Reflect: Have the parent reflect on what went right and what can be improved when they tried out their new response to their children’s challenging behavior(s).(A) What can you do differently next time to more effectively parent your child(ren) when they are engaging in this challenging behavior(s)? (A)

PART 3: PRACTICAL ACTION STEPS

Parents want what is best for their children. Unfortunately, stress and stressors can get in the way and impede healthy parenting. The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in huge stress for families. Direct and indirect fallout from the pandemic can sometimes result in parents interacting with their children in ways they may later regret. Here are some tips school psychologists can share with stressed out parents during these difficult times.

Assessing Parenting Stress Levels

How parents handle stress, including the fallout from COVID-19, can contribute to risky parenting behaviors. One way to help parents is to teach them self-monitoring of their distress. Parents can rate their stress level, through a simple thermometer metaphor. Teach parents to ask themselves: “On a scale of 1–10, how stressed out am I feeling at the moment?” Have the parent identify two or three simple coping skills they regularly use, which they could use quickly and easily to destress. This includes brief activities such as listening to music, playing a video game, or taking a walk in the backyard. Set up a system where parents complete this self-assessment a few times throughout the day. When stress levels are high, have parents use one of their identified coping skills. You can find a feelings thermometer and many useful cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) worksheets online here. Also, reputable CBT and psychoeducation worksheets that can be helpful when working with parents and families can be found here.

In addition to assessing current stress levels, there are other steps we can take to better understand and address the needs of the families school psychologists support. As we seek to support all families, it may become apparent that specific families need more direct care. Your parents may find websites on how to start an individual mindfulness practice or on parental mindfulness helpful. To better understand these specific contextual needs of our families, consider the following.

  1. Assess parent/family stress and resources: Conduct a brief needs assessment to identify primary areas of concern (food insecurity, housing insecurity, stress management, managing remote learning, family dynamics). A needs assessment is a systematic process to identify or determine family needs, and to identify barriers impeding access to needed resources. Identifying the discrepancy between the current condition and the desired one should be prioritized by you as the school psychologist, so that you can provide the tools and resources that can best mitigate the discrepancies between current and desired conditions.
  2. Safety Plan: Support the family in developing a safety plan. This plan should clearly describe challenges to safety of family members and steps that can be taken to manage threats to a parent or child’s safety. A safety plan is designed to mitigate threats to a family member’s safety using the least intrusive means possible. Here is an example of a safety plan.
  3. Check in: Identify school personnel or other individuals who can conduct regular meetings with the family to assess family temperature and continue to clarify strengths and needs. This could be school or community social workers, case workers, or a trusted professional or community member with the training and expertise to help strengthen families.

Promote Positive Communication

Good communication between parents and children is critical for developing a positive parent–child relationship and for subsequent development. If you notice coercive, concerning, or poor quality communication or parenting behaviors occurring in the family home, work with the parent(s) to emphasize basic parent training strategies. Basic parent training strategies you can share with parents you are working with include:

  1. Praise: Teach parents to praise their kids regularly for demonstrating a strong effort or doing something right. Remind the parents you are supporting that the more frequently they praise a behavior, the more likely it is their child will behave the same way again.
  2. Mindful Parenting: Promote the value of present moment engagement as it pertains to parent–child interactions. Emphasize to parents that providing their full attention to their children, to what is happening in the here-and-now, will help them better understand what their children are thinking and feeling, lessen disagreement, and strengthen the parent–child bond.
  3. Active Listening: Active listening is a useful tool to promote positive parenting practices. When school psychologists provide psychoeducation on active listening, parents learn how to listen, both verbally and nonverbally, to strengthen their relationships with their children and others. Providing psychoeducation to parents regarding how to reflect back the words, sentiments, or emotions expressed by the child can make active listening particularly effective in promoting communication.
  4. Child-Led Play or Special Time Together: Reinforce to parents the power of time spent together with their children. Regular (even short) periods of play with younger children or parent–child activities with older children and adolescents can strengthen communication and the overall parent–child relationship.
  5. Ignoring: Ignoring can help quickly end attention-seeking behaviors such as whining or tantrums. Ignoring is an active practice. This will require ongoing work and support with parents. However, teaching parents to ignore attention seeking behaviors can help end challenging behaviors by the child early, before they escalate and cause upheaval within the household. You as the school psychologist should work with the parent to teach them how to remove attention from the child and the negative behavior(s) they are exhibiting, to promote stress and relaxation within the household.

PART 4: INTENSIVE AND INDIVIDUALIZED INTERVENTION

Even with robust support and interventions in place, there is a possibility that a small portion of the populations we serve may need more intensive interventions. The number of families who are engaging in risky parenting behaviors and who are at risk for engaging in child maltreatment or abuse may increase during times of global crisis. Intensive, individualized interventions—either immediately or at a later date—may be necessary for some families. When appropriate, the school psychologist may be able to provide these services directly. Your role also may include consultation and referral of the family to more focused and specialized clinical and community-based supports. While there are a wide range of choices to consider in intensive interventions, a sample of evidence-based interventions that may have utility in supporting families in distress who may be engaging in risky parenting behaviors include the following.

Interventions Focused on Young Children Birth to Age 5

  1. Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC)
  2. Child–Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
  3. Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
  4. Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care for Preschoolers (MTFC)
  5. The Incredible Years* (IY)
  6. Triple-P* (PPP)

*Modules and research also support these programs with older children (i.e., middle childhood and adolescence).

Interventions Focused on Middle Childhood and Adolescence

  1. Trauma-Focused Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy
  2. Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy
  3. Multisystemic Therapy – for Child Abuse and Neglect
  4. DBT Skills

PART 5: ENSURING CHILD AND FAMILY SAFETY

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting families in unalterable ways. For many families, loss of employment, social isolation, and myriad other challenges brought forward through the pandemic are increasing family distress. These challenges will likely continue and possibly even worsen in the coming months. School psychologists will encounter family dynamics in new and profound manners through teletherapy. While most encounters will be adaptive, healthy, or even humorous, others may expose the school psychologist to the escalating stress and challenges experienced by many families. At times such unwitting encounters may even result in school psychologists who witness events, interactions, or behaviors that rise to the level of a reportable offense. Remember, as school psychologists we are all mandated reporters. Thus, we must be prepared to contact our statewide child protective services office should we observe anything in the home through teletherapy services that raises a reasonable suspicion of child maltreatment.

Parents and families generally want what is best for their children. When parents and caregivers are under duress, their ability to engage in healthy parenting practices may decline. It is important that we consider the robust and broad risk and protective factors that may impact child rearing and caregiving capabilities. During times of global health or related crises, such as COVID-19, school psychologists play a key role in strengthening families. With their breadth and depth of knowledge, school psychologists must strive to use their skills to promote healthy parenting behaviors.

RESOURCES: Help and Safety Contacts/Hotlines

References

Boyd-Franklin, N., & Bry, B. H. (2012). Reaching out in family therapy: Home-based, school, and community interventions. Guilford Press.

Bowen, M. (1966). The use of family theory in clinical practice. Comprehensive psychiatry, 7(5), 345–374.

Prevent Child Abuse, North Carolina. (2018). Recognizing and Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment: A Training for Adults Working with Children and Families. (Retrieved from https://preventchildabusenc-lms.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/RR-full_2018.pdf)

Contributors: Kirby Wycoff, Michele Messer, and Aaron Gubi

Please cite as: National Association of School Psychologists. (2020). Strengthening positive parenting practices during a public health crisis [handout]. Author.

© 2020, National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-657-0270, http://www.nasponline.org

COVID-19 Resources for Parents of Children with Intellectual or Other Developmental Disabilities – From The STRYDD Center

Overview PDF

A Guide For Families with A Child with An Intellectual and/orDevelopmental Disability During the Covid-19 Pandemic
From The STRYDD Center–Supporting Trauma Recovery for Youth with Developmental Disabilities
Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Northwell Health System
April, 2020
To support your child who has special needs during this time:
1. Help your child understand the changes that are happening. Give your child opportunities to express concerns. Children’s understanding of the challenges we are all experiencing and the changes to their routine will vary depending on their age, developmental status, and special needs issues. Younger children may have worries based on concrete reasoning and beliefs. Young children have a tendency to be “egocentric” in the sense of overestimating the child’s own role in “causing” events. For example, a 6-year-old wondered whether her having had a non-coronavirus illness was why no one could go to her school. An older child may develop misunderstandings based on “all-or-nothing” thinking, such a boy’s belief that because of his (mild) asthma if infected with COVID-19 he would certainly die. Sometimes teens with cognitive delays pass misunderstandings back and forth within their peer group (even if they are only communicating remotely). At all ages, children may have some misunderstandings that need clarifying. We will provide resources available at various developmental levels to explain and reinforce understanding of current changes.
Some general principles:
 Give your child an opportunity to express feelings, ask questions, and voice concerns.
 Some children may not use words to express concerns, but their play or drawings may provide strong clues, such as when a child starts acting out stories about people being sick when the child had not been doing this previously. For some children, expression of concerns is less direct but will be shown in behavior changes (as discussed further below).
 In addressing concerns, choose a time and place that works for you and your child. If you can, address simple questions when your child brings them up, but it is ok to let the child know you will talk further later. For some children, having a regular time and place will help them develop awareness of thoughts and feelings that they may not think of otherwise. For these children, a visual calendar may help keep this routine as well as reduce anxieties about what comes next in the day or week. (See below re: routines.)
 Give accurate information, but at your child’s level of understanding. Use concrete language for young children, those with cognitive delays, and those with difficulty with abstract language. When possible, do this in a conversation that allows you to check what your child has understood and follow up over time.
 Be honest. It is ok to let your child know when you do not have answers (such as, when school will open). Share that you will let your child know when you find out.
 For some children, visual support such as a simple social story can be helpful. Also, consider using resources developed in a variety of mediums such as children’s books, simple videos developed to address specific issues and children’s toys to illustrate and to help your child understand. (We provide COVID-19 related stories in our resource materials.) For a child who demonstrates concerns in play, you may also be able to respond, at least initially, in that medium. For example, for the child who is acting out themes about people getting sick, depending on the situations to which the child was exposed, you might role play actions a family member or a doctor takes to help people who are sick get better. You could also read a book or share through words the actions people take. Use materials at your child’s level of understanding that also fit your child’s preferred communication style. For example, a young teen with significant cognitive delay was very proud of his reading skills. He loved reading books designed for much younger children that used pictures and words to address concerns. In contrast, a boy with a significant reading disability and language processing issues was not interested in looking at most of those books, declaring them to be “for babies,” but would talk about issues when they could be related to sports—an area in which he excelled.
 Limit your child’s exposure to media discussions and adult conversations about COVID-19. The information may be confusing to young children and those with cognitive delays—and too much exposure is likely to heighten anxiety. Try to check what your child heard and what the child understood. Clarify misperceptions and address concerns. Remember that “out of sight is not necessarily “out of earshot.” For example, a parent who was talking on the phone about the illness of a family friend thought she was having an “adult only” conversation since her
children were in a different room; she was startled when her daughter asked a little later how the friend was doing. There is more opportunity for this to happen during periods of COVID-19 “sheltering in place” with many parents and children at home when they would have been at work or school.
2. Consider the changes your child is experiencing. Changes may include losses such as limited contact with important people (for example, grandparents or significant providers), or lost opportunities for activities to which your child was looking forward. Try to help your child with strategies for compensating when this is possible—and remind your child that many of the changes are time-limited.
3. Maintain structure and routines.
 Try to maintain routines for your child. Build on old ones when practical, establish new ones when necessary. This helps establish some predictability in a changing world. For example, a mother reported that her family’s days were working better when she restructured “shelter in place” weekdays to follow the family’s school day morning routines about getting dressed, eating, and then going to a specific place set up for learning (but in her house rather than the school building). You know your own child and your child’s best balance between structure and flexibility. To the extent possible, try to honor this.
 In planning your family schedule, do take into account needs of all family members—including your own!
4. Support emotional expression and emotional coping skills. Acknowledge and accept your child’s feelings—for example, saying that you can understand that your child might be sad (about missing someone the child cannot see or something the child cannot do) or might be frightened by some part of the situation. The resource materials provide many suggestions for aiding emotional expression and coping. Tailor them to your child’s skills and preferences. For example, the mother
of a ten-year-old boy who has autism noticed that her son—although very verbal–could express feelings and talk about them more readily when he could draw simple illustrations (often with simple cartoon-like stick figures). He made a poster of strategies he knew, including ones developed with his school counselor, to help him calm down and then was able to discuss which ones would work best at home.
5. Remember that all behavior is communication. If you are seeing an increase in behavioral problems such as irritability, a return to less mature behaviors, disruption in sleep or eating patterns, or physical complaints that on checking do not seem to have a physical basis, consider the following:
 Is there something in the current situation that is confusing or frightening to your child? (Please see first section on talking with your child).
 Is the behavior, although seeming like a step backwards, actually a request for reassurance that can be ok (on a temporary basis) for this situation—such as a child who had been sleeping on her own seeking the reassurance of coming into her parents’ bed?
 How are you doing with providing some structure and routines for your child?
 How are you doing with self-care? Your needs are very important and should be balanced with those of your child. Most children will pick up on and react to a parent’s level of stress.
Manage your own anxiety – breathe, take a break, talk to someone, don’t expect too much of yourself or your child at this time.
6. Cope with the move—at least temporarily—to a virtual world for education and many resources.
 On-line access: We provide information about a resource for families with limited on-line access.
 Education: With many school systems moving at least temporarily to virtual learning, parents are reporting a range of experiences for their children who are supposed to receive educational accommodations or related services such as speech therapy or occupational therapy.
 If you have access to your providers, please work with them on expectations and guidance for services for your child. Discuss any special issues you may be having, such as dealing with your child’s understanding of or compliance with on-line learning.
 If you do not have access to your providers, we list and briefly describe some of the many sites that provide support for structured learning activities.
 Educational entitlement: As of April 2020, schools that are providing instruction are still required to provide accommodations for your child’s special needs, as specified on IEPs and 504 plans—although there is discussion of possible future “waivers” (at least temporary changes in some of the rules). We provide links regarding educational rights and issues.
 Other services you may be receiving: Your child may have been receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services, or your family may be entitled to other in-home services. Check with  your service providers about what they are able to offer, which can depend on a range of factors. Some in-home services are considered “essential services” that may be provided during social distancing, when providers are available. Some providers may be able to provide “virtual” (on-line) consultation during social distancing. Know your rights. (See information under educational access in the accompanying resource list).
7. Reinforce your child’s skill development—by everyday activities as well as formal learning.
8. Maintain socialization and social skills
 Encourage “play dates” or check-ins via video meeting software or other means, where possible.
 Use appropriate cautions concerning supervision of children’s interactions online including online gaming – there is a great deal of socializing going on right now. Children with disabilities can be teased, bullied, or manipulated – they may also obtain much needed social
support on such platforms. This might mean supervising or considering parental controls to monitor/control access to sites. See Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls.
9. When needed, get information about how to deal with children’s health issues, including special health care needs in the current context: Many children with disabilities have special health care needs. Dealing with these needs can be challenging and may be more stressful during the pandemic. We provide resources to help address this issue.
10. Support your child with serious illness or death of a loved one: Your family may be experiencing the loss of people who have played an important role in your child’s life—such as a parent, grandparent, or extended family member, or teachers and other significant individuals. This can have a strong effect on children—including very young children and those with significant delays. We provide material on addressing your child’s response to separation, illness and loss.
11.Parent self-care: You are responding to your child with special needs in the context of your family’s other challenges. In addition to ongoing individual and family needs, many parents are coping with new work challenges (such as working at home, risks as an “essential worker,” or loss of work), financial uncertainties and hardships, and/or illness and loss of loved ones. Remember that taking care of yourself is critical for being able to also respond to your child’s needs. We provide
resources that address issues of self-care and balancing needs.

Resources

COVID-19 Resources for Parents of Children with Intellectual or Other Developmental Disabilities PDF

SEL THROUGH DISTANCE LEARNING FROM IFSEL

IFSEL’s RESOURCE LIST TO SUPPORT

SEL THROUGH DISTANCE LEARNING

We hope the following curated list of curriculum materials, articles, blogs, poetry and other resources will give you practical tools, inspiration, ideas, research, and more to empower you to support the emotional health and wellbeing of your community while keeping alive the SEL in virtual classrooms. We’ve done our best to divide the resources into categories. Most of what you will find here is relevant for K-12  and also for the adults and families in your communities. 

RESOURCES FOR SCHOOLS 

A New REALM – IFSEL’s Tips for Distance Learning Blog (IFSEL)

Weekly “Teach Meets” hosted by IFSEL

Don’t Worry about Academic Learning Lost from Covid (American Institute of Learning and Human Development

A Trauma Informed Approach to Teaching Through Coronavirus (Teaching Tolerance)

Online Team-Building Games Guide (Michelle Cummings)

Laughter, Learning, and Why Teens are such a Tough Crowd (Edutopia)

Wide Open School (Curated Resources from Common Sense Media)

The Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief   (Harvard Business Review)

Mindfulness for Zoom Exhaustion  (Mindful)

Why Learning at Home should be more Self Directed and Less Structured (Edutopia)

Living History Journal  (Cathryn Stout)

4 Tips for Teachers Switching to Online Learning (Edutopia)

NAIS: Tips for setting up Temporary Distance Learning at Your School (National Association of Independent Schools)

Resource Hub for Remote Learning for Special Education Students (Education Weekly)

Elementary Ideas for Students at Home (We are Teachers)

What Teachers in China Have Learned in the Past Month (Edutopia)

Supporting Gender Expansive Kids in Times of Covid-19 (Gender Spectrum has multiple resources for youth, parents and educators. Please share with all students because you may not know who is transgender or non-binary.)

What Trans People Need to Know re: Coronavirus (Transgender Equality Project)

Flexibility in the Midst of Crisis (Psychology Today)

Overall Tips and LInks to Online Learning Resources (Hong Kong Academy)

Online Learning Resources for Teachers (Common Sense Media)

Learning from Home Resources (New Schools)

Insights for Online Learning (Teach for All)

What do we need to teach now? (Inside Higher Ed)

Coping with Disrupted Routines (Christine Carter)

Ok Go Videos and behind the scenes

Go Noodle!

RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS:

Letter from Teacher to High School Seniors

Covid 19 Toolkit – for Teenagers and Parents (Stressed Teens)

Regulating Emotions in a Covid-19 World (Tom Hollenstein)

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus  (NPR)

Free Mindfulness Classes for Elementary Students (Mindful Schools)

Kids Around the World are Reading NPRs Coronavirus Comic  NPR

When Xenophobia Spreads Like A Virus – Codeswitch by NPR

The Social Distancing Cardio Workout (No Equipment))

Coronavirus: Protect Yourself and Stand Against Racism  (Facing History)

Brainpop Video re: Coronavirus

RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES  

How to have Family Meetings to Solve Conflict during Lockdown  (NY Times)

5 Killers of Your Child’s Creativity geared towards life during SIP – Institute for Learning and Human Development

How to Help Teen Shelter in Place (Christine Carter)

How to Help Pre-Teens in the Coronavirus Lockdown (Quartz)

The National Association of School Psychologist (NASP)- Guidelines for talking with children about COVID-19. (NASP)

How to Talk to Kids About Corona Virus  (New York Times)

Coronavirus, Wildfires, Oh My: What to Say to a Child Who’s Scared By the News,  (Steve Calechman)

Stigma and Resilience (CDC)

Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 (CDC)

Keeping Learning in Challenging Times  (International School of Beijing)

Supporting kids academically during home learning  (Lisa Oefinger)

How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus – (Psychology Today)

Common Sense Media Resources for Parents re: Online Learning

Hand in Hand Parenting – Supporting Children during Sheltering In

Friendship Is Crucial to the Adolescent Brain (The Atlantic)

Using Social & Emotional Learning in Times of Stress (CDC)

Virus Anxiety (Take Care)

Stop Romanticizing Lockdown; it’s a Mental Health Crisis in the Making (Elephant Journal)

EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Speaking up against Racism during Coronavirus (Teaching Tolerance)

What about Children who are Disconnected? (Brookings)

When Xenophobia Spreads Like A Virus – Codeswitch by NPR

Coronavirus: Protect Yourself and Stand Against Racism  (Facing History)

What Trans People Need to Know re: Coronavirus (Transgender Equality Project)

A Trauma Informed Approach to Teaching Through Coronavirus (Teaching Tolerance Magazine)

Supporting Gender Expansive Kids in Times of Covid-19 (Gender Spectrum has multiple resources for youth, parents and educators. Please share with all students becuase you may not know who is transgender or non-binary.)

Social Distancing is a Privilege  (Optionon: Charles Bow)

GENERAL EDUCATION RESOURCES  

ReflEQ  – SEL and meta-skills for subject teaching 

Resources for Learning at Home (Captain Planet) – Nature and Science

Biomimicry Youth Challenge

PE with Coach Wood YouTube

Art at Home

Storycorps

Museum Virtual Tours

Wow in the World (NPR Podcast)

Podcasts 

Brains On: Forever Ago

Broadway Plays, etc. 

INSPIRATION

“Pandemic” (Poem by Lynn Unger)

Creating a Home Retreat: Finding Freedom Wherever you Are (Jack Kornfield)

Encouraging Songs of Comfort amid Global Crisis  (Yo Yo Ma)

A Steady Heart in the Time of Coronavirus (Video Tara Brach & J. Kornfield)

Compassion in the time of Coronavirus (Jack Kornfield)

Poems for Shelter in Place (Poets.org)

Emotional Disturbance a starting point for Teachers

ed2

Students with Emotional Disturbance in the regular education classroom can be a challenge to support. I have collected some good articles and tools in this post as a way to adopt the right mindset to prepare to differentiate to this special population. My best advice in finding the most success is to stay curious and build relationships with; the student, the parents, the special education team.

11_work_with_parents

Start here and read this article from National Dissemination for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) …print and revisit: Teaching Students with Emotional Disturbances: 8 Tips for Teachers 

Then if you like lists to remind and/ or inform your practice this is a helpful link from DoLearn: ED Strategies

Reasons why Emotional Disturbance occurs:

children-with-emotional-and-behavioral-disorders-5-638

ASCD has some good insights from this article and below is a good chart to consider for your students showing behaviors in your classroom.

What Emotional Disturbance looks like-

Some emotional problems you can see—others you cannot. If a student has internalized her emotional problems, for example, she may become withdrawn or depressed, and the teacher may not be aware of the student’s distress. If a student has externalized emotional problems, however, the teacher is likely to know. This student puts emotions on display and may become disruptive, even antagonistic, in class. It’s important, therefore, that teachers know the early warning signs for both kinds of emotional problems.

A student may have internalized emotional problems if he

  • Appears isolated from peers.
  • Seems overly dependent on others.
  • Is moody.
  • Exhibits feelings of helplessness.
  • Shows an interest in cults.
  • Has an inordinate attraction to fantasy.
  • Is apathetic.
  • Is a bully victim.
  • Is frequently absent because of illness.
  • Cries inappropriately and too often.
  • Abuses himself.
A student may have externalized emotional problems if she

  • Becomes a chronic discipline problem.
  • Exhibits a lack of empathy or compassion.
  • Has temper tantrums.
  • Is truant often.
  • Experiences poor academic performance.
  • Has conflicts with authority figures.
  • Bullies others.
  • Damages the property of others.
  • Becomes noncompliant.
  • Becomes impulsive.
  • Becomes aggressive.

Source: Compiled from Gresham, F. M., MacMillan, D. L., & Bocian, K. (1996). “Behavioral earthquakes”: Low-frequency salient behavioral events that differentiate students at risk of behavior disorders. Behavioral Disorders 21(4), 277–292.

Behavior Intervention Plans can help to proactively address the issues that are happening in your classroom. Engage with your School Psychologist in fully understanding the plan and don’t hesitate to ask for clarity and/ or strategies that may be challenging to implement in your particular classroom.