17 Ways to Support Students Whose Behavior Is Unpredictable

Are you looking for ways to support students whose behavior is unpredictable? If so, keep reading.

1. Give praise and recognition of appropriate behavior as often as possible.

2. Teach the learner to think before acting (e.g., they should ask themselves, “What is happening?” “What am I doing?” “What should I do?” “What will be best for me?”).

3. Do not provide too much free time for the learner.

4. Organize their surroundings so the learner does not have time to demonstrate unacceptable behavior.

5. Give the learner alternative approaches to testing (e.g., test the learner orally, make tests shorter, let the learner take the test in the resource room, etc.).

6. Refrain from a discussion of topics sensitive to the learner (e.g., divorce, death, unemployment, alcoholism, etc.).

7. Give as many enjoyable and exciting learning activities as possible.

8. Give a consistent routine (schedule) for the learner to enable stability.

9. Allow flexibility in meeting academic requirements when the learner shows sudden or dramatic mood changes (e.g., allow more time, modify tasks, give help with tasks).

10. Teach the learner to recognize sudden or dramatic changes in behavior so they may deal with it appropriately.

11. Notify the learner in advance when a change at school is going to happen (e.g., change in routine (schedule), special activities, end of one learning experience and beginning of another, etc.).

12. Provide the learner with sufficient time to make adjustments to learning experience changes, new situations, etc., (e.g., give the learner several minutes to move from one learning experience to another).

13. Stop the occurrence of specific stimuli that cause the learner to demonstrate sudden or dramatic changes in behavior (e.g., demanding situations, interruptions, competition, abrupt changes, etc.).

14. Give the learner a selection of tasks and require the learner to select a minimum number from the total amount (e.g., present the learner with 10 academic tasks from which 6 must be finished that day).

15. Give the learner a schedule of daily activities so the learner will know what is required of him/her.

16. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

17. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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