SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL
When it comes to the well-being and development of children at school,
it is essential to take into account the interconnected domains of the emotional and social spheres.
Indeed, these spheres can pose problems for some children,
particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Understanding social codes
- Initiate conversations
- Understanding the emotions of others, which can lead to social isolation at school.
Recognize, express and manage emotions appropriately, which may manifest as intense emotional reactions or explosive behaviors.
Restricted behaviors and interests
Display restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, which can influence their engagement in a variety of school activities and their interaction with their peers.
Adapting to change
Adapt to changes in routine, uncertainty and unexpected transitions, requiring support and strategies to facilitate adjustment in a changing school environment.
1. Social interactions
Social skills programs
Structured programs to teach children social skills such as active listening, empathy, conflict resolution and conversation initiation.
Small-group activities supervised by a teacher or educational professional to encourage positive social interaction and reinforce social skills.
Children with good social skills are matched with those who have difficulties in order to promote positive interactions and model appropriate behaviors.
2. Emotional regulation
Activities such as deep breathing, guided meditation, yoga or the use of sensory regulation tools help children to calm down and manage their emotions.
Special areas in the classroom where children can retreat to regulate their emotions and regain their composure before returning to their activities.
Pictures, pictograms or mood boards help children identify and express their emotions. They can create their own emotion wheel, and are encouraged to refer to it when in crisis.
3. Restricted behaviors and interests
Interest-based activities: incorporate children’s specific interests into learning activities, to maintain their motivation and commitment.
4. Adapting to change
Advance planning and visual aids (calendars, timetables) help children prepare for changes in routine or transitions.
Advance notice and clear communication
Give children adequate notice and clear communication of upcoming changes, using simple words and concrete explanations.
Children can benefit from additional emotional support during periods of transition or change, through discussions, relaxation activities or coping strategies.
Structuring of the environment
In a structured, predictable school environment, with routines and visual cues, children feel more secure and adapt more easily to change.