A Behavior Intervention for Extreme Behavior Issues: Help for teachers, school counselors, and administrators who deal with behavior issues in the school setting.
The Boring Room: This behavior intervention works best for extreme behavior situations. It can be used on several different levels.
For instance, once I had a six year old student that was hitting and hurting other students. He had a behavior action plan and we were calling the parent to come in each time the student hit another student, or showed a violent act of aggression.
This child was placed on the Response to Intervention, but was showing Oppositional Defiant behaviors. In our state this is not a special educational referral unfortunately.
This student would act out several times a day and we would call the parent to request that they come in and speak to the child after an episode. After a few days the parent began to refuse to come in to talk to the student.
We started in the classroom. The teacher created a space with low bookshelves turned backwards for the student to work in. It was about the size of a play pen.
The child could see out of the space, but had an actual barrier between him and the other students. The student was getting the same education that the other students were getting, but with a more restrictive barrier.
Several times per day he would throw chairs, desks, scissors, and other items. When he threw an item out, it was not returned in order to protect the other students.
He would also yell, scream, make noises, etc. The restrictive barrier helped with the aggressive behavior, but it did not stop the yelling and screaming. This is when he was taken to the "Boring Room" for a time out.
In order to stop the yelling and screaming we created a time out space in another room. We ended up calling this the “Boring Room”, but you could also call it a “Cool Down Room”.
Basically, this was just a door and a corner of a room with a chair in it. I would call it a “makeshift” room. We took all the posters and distracters off the wall. The point is that this room has to be cleared of furniture, distractions, wall items, etc.
It has to be away from the other students. This room is called “The Boring Room” for a reason. You cannot have a “Boring Room” in your classroom because the other students are distracters that can entertain the student with behavior issues.
Try to think of the “Herd Mentality” in the animal kingdom. Animals need to be around other animals. With the “Boring Room” you are taking the child out of the herd (the classroom). The child must learn to respect the "herd" before being allowed back into the classroom.
So, here is what you do if you want to try the “Boring Room” on a student that is acting out to the extremes:
This technique should only take a week to see a difference in the child's behavior. After that, you may only have to visit the "Boring Room" every now and then as a reminder to the child to behave.
Boredom is the ultimate leverage here. You have to make the student want to go back to the classroom. You also have to make the student think it was their idea to go back to the classroom.
The hardest part of this is to make sure you have a second person to remove the child from the classroom who is trained on what to say and when to say it.
This intervention will not work if you are yelling at a child, or talking too much. You have to be quiet until the very end.
Also, this intervention will not work if you put a child in a room with things on the wall, etc. It has to be a very dull and boring room.
And remember; never ever leave a child alone in a room. We have glass windows in our doors at my school. But, if you do not have glass windows in your doors you can keep a door open.
Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.
*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed mental health professional immediately.
"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.
For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.
Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.
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