Anxiety is a part of everyone’s life. We fear
business deadlines, public speaking, social
situations…sometimes to the point where we meet
criteria for diagnosis with an Anxiety Disorder.
60-70% of people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum
Disorder are also diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder.
They may not fear deadlines, but may fear nail
clippers, haircuts, swimming pools, intersections,
ice machines, and more. Additionally, many of our
students develop rigid and intense dislikes of
things like throat-clearing, clapping, greetings,
But learners don’t simply become tense. Instead,
they may physically resist, cry, scream, throw
themselves on the floor, run away, and more. Left
untreated, inability to cope with these stressors
can become debilitating. Students are unable to go
to the mall without a ton of supports. Parents are
afraid to take their children to birthday parties.
Quality of life is significantly limited.
The vast majority of people respond to signs of
student stress by offering some sort of comfort.
Professionals may recommend having a student squeeze
a stress ball, count to 10, take some deep breaths,
take a sip of water, chew on a tube, swing, or
engage in some other activity intended to calm the
student. These procedures are largely ineffective.
In this workshop, I will explain why traditional
methods fail in teaching students to cope with
stressors and will teach you an alternative approach
that has produced dramatic improvements with dozens
CE’s are available for BCBA’s and BCABA’s.
By the end of this workshop, participants will be
Explain why traditional approaches to calming tend
to be ineffective
Identify potential target stressors for their
Arrange and conduct a “calm count”
Gather data on progress
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