‘Meltdown’ refers to episodes of extreme frustration causing a student’s inability to manage their environment. Triggers may or may not be evident immediately prior to an occurrence. Prevention is crucial as a meltdown in progress is difficult to address.
Allow for tasks to be completed individually if student is distressed.
Match cognitive demands to ability.
Small sections to increase accomplishment and reduce frustration.
Speak softly in a non-threatening manner.
Tolerate inconsistent performance.
Prepare student for transitions and changes of routine.
Teach replacement behaviours.
Teach de-escalation strategies to all students.
Have a contingency plan to divert from lesson plan if necessary.
Build in student-chosen motivators eg computer time.
Choose the ‘teachable moment’ – cognitive demands may be better early in the day.
Review effectiveness of plans.
Determine the cause of the outburst if possible.
Consult with Learning Support Team.
Recognise individual triggers eg. perceived injustice.
Remove students from the classroom.
Invite the student and parents to develop a preventative action plan.
Avoid power struggles, blame and put-downs.
Speak with a positive focus, avoid judgement.
Educate classmates – important that they do not block the student’s exit or attempt to address the situation by restoring overturned furniture etc.
Maintain strategic seating plan – peers as role models.
Encourage peers to ‘move on’ once an incident has subsided.
Matched cognitive demands to ability?
Displayed unit outlines, objectives and schedules in the classroom?
Established a peer mentoring program or provided SLSO assistance?
Discussed successful strategies with the Learning Support Team?
Developed a behaviour plan in consultation with the Learning Support Team?