Saturday 31 August 2019

PB4L Conference - Workshop - "Using PB4L SW to support students who are chronically anxious"

High levels of chronic anxiety among children and young people have been shown to have a detrimental effect on both learning and social behaviour. This workshop looks at the effects of anxiety on students’ neurophysiology, and the role anxiety plays in maintaining challenging behaviour. It will also examine the practical challenges of supporting anxious children in schools and suggest ways in which PB4L School-Wide systems and practices can be used to improve outcomes for these students; to facilitate learning, reduce challenging behaviour and build resilience. FACILITATORS: John Ford and Leah Vennell, PB4L School-Wide Practitioners

What does anxiety look like for students?
- crying
- anger
- sore tummy
- defiance/non-compliance
- work avoidance
- don't want to come to school
- isolating themselves
- self harm

What sets them off? (What are the triggers)
- public speaking
- change of routines
- family expectations and personal expectations
- own self-efficacy
- home life/trauma
These can be historically or contextually driven.

Kids have differing levels of resilience as well...

3 key contentions..
1. NZ has high levels of chronic anxiety
2. Anxiety have impacts on learning and behaviour-  Rewards can be punishments, and punishments can be rewards when you are anxious.
3. Good implementation of PB4L Tier 1 can help reduce anxiety as it is routine driven.

What must the world look like for this to be a rewarding option? (from the anxious child's point of view).

Make things predictable. 
- use visual timetable on whiteboard
- explain to kids if something might change and why
- restate PB4L expectations
- set and follow routines (PE on Monday, assembly every Friday, eat morning tea sitting here etc).

Give kids control (or at least a sense of it)
- give them the opportunity to take a break (hand up if you need a 1 minute break etc).

The dentist example

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