Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fire Drill Visual

One of my students has a lot of anxiety regarding fire alarms.  After we had our first fire drill of the year, she came back to school more anxious than ever.  She had a hard time even coming into the classroom.  She held her ears and repeated, "No loud noise. No loud noise".  She was unable to participate in the classroom without significant support, a staff person continually reassured her that there would be no fire drills today.  But the reassurance just wasn't enough.

The following day, I posted a sign that had a picture of a fire alarm with the universal sign for "no" above it.  It reads "No Fire Drill Today".  (see picture)  It worked like a charm just by seeing the visual the student instantly calmed and was able to do her work.  

Teacher's Tip:  Notice I used a magnetic clip to hang this sign on our magnetic white board making it easier to change.  On the back side, there is a picture of a fire alarm and the words "Fire Drill Today".  

Now I know the next time we have a fire drill might be a tough day but at least we are able to get rid of the anxiety for now.  I plan to create a social story about what we do if there is a fire drill and why we have them prior to the next one to support her even more.   

Instructor's Insight: As silly as some kid’s fears may seem to adults, I always remind myself and my staff that every child's concern is a legitimate one.  If a student feels scared or anxious, he/she is unable to learn and focus at his/her best ability. 


1 comment:

  1. sometimes when children in our rooms have difficulty with noise we offer a pair of those large headphones to them to cancel some of the sound. i wonder if having those available for the student on a "fire drill" day would be helpful. thanks for the idea. i love this!