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Escalation Continuum

Anxiety
Student
o A change in the students usual behavior with overt manifestations such as drumming fingers, pencil,
extreme leg motion, darting eyes, extreme absentmindedness, etc. Student is usually still rational at this
point.
Teacher
o Supportive behavior that is friendly with empathetic listening, supportive, counselor position. Be
particularly alert to nonverbal and para-verbal behavior.
Defensive
Student
o Becomes verbally less rational and disrespectful. Challenges teacher authority and takes his/her cues
from what he sees more than what he hears.
Teacher
o Directive language appropriate to the level of Verbal Escalation which follows. Use supportive,
counselor stance throughout the verbal escalation.

Verbal Escalation
Questioning
o Information seeking - Answer the question
o Challenging - Redirect/refocus on what you want done

Refusal -Youre right I cant make you do it. Start Limit Set.
o Verbal
o Non-verbal

Verbal Release -Allow venting but maintain control of your emotions,


o Yelling, Swearing, etc. continue Limit Set emphasizing choices.

Intimidation Take seriously, Step back get help remove audience if


o Verbal possible, may turn physical
o Non-Verbal

Tension Reduction Be Supportive and let natural consequences take their


o Student calms down course, Skill-stream appropriate behavior.

Acting Out
Student
o Loses control: verbal aggression may turn to physically acting out: hitting, kicking, throwing objects, etc.
Teacher
o Use Non-violent physical intervention (NVPI). This is usually CPI training within your district.
Tension Reduction
Student
o Characterized by a regaining of rationality after a strong expenditure of energy. The student has calmed
down.
Teacher
o Establish Communication with student and skill-stream appropriate behavior while naturally enforcing
consequences.