Environmental Context

Understanding the complexities of unstructured time and the child’s personal history.

Environmental Context Behaviour

Transitions and Triggers are two things to consider when behaviour peaks!

Transitions require cognitive flexibility, future thinking skills, and inhibitory control. Students must be able to shift flexibly what they are doing, project forward to imagine what comes next, and inhibit the urge to engage in off-task behaviours.

Triggers can occur when a student is exposed to sensory information or content to which they are sensitive because of their prior history and experiences. This could include content that is upsetting, negative social interactions, or even loud noises, facial expressions and tones. Although the classroom is a safe place, environmental triggers can occur when the student is reminded of a past or current traumatic experience where they felt threatened, or unable to overcome a challenge, and had not received the co-regulatory emotional support they needed to feel safe. This is a good time to ask yourself: has the student mentioned anything concerning, past or present, that might help to explain how the environment outside school might be causing off-task or disruptive behaviour in class?

  • Be mindful of student’s fluctuating ability to perform, as this may indicate a personal sensitivity or trigger
  • Note any pertinent context information: events, situation, details