Tips to manage Anxiety in the classroom Health Docs/Tips for Teachers-Anxious Students


Links specific for Anxiety and children with ASD




Behavioural Check purpose and pay
off for problematic
behavior e.g.,

  • Is it anxiety driven?
  • Is it enabling
    avoidance of aversive
  • Positively reinforce desired/appropriate
    behavior identify in and apply in positive
    reinforcers(activities objects privileges,
    rewards desired by student)
  • Punish by loss of reinforcers
  • Remove aversive stimuli in environment
    (see Environments section of table)
Check the environment

  • Unpredictability and
    lack of structure
  • Clutter and lack of
  • Sensory challenges
  • Appropriate arrangement of furniture
  • Provide structure and predictability
  • Ensure uncluttered and spacious environment
  • Ensure there is no extreme light, sounds or smells or overload of people
  • Place desk close to exit, near supportive peers
  • Provide space for breaks/ quiet times to regulate emotions and relax
Transitions Check

  • How does the student cope with changes in routines?
  • Anticipate any changes
  • Prepare and use visuals and schedules
Cognition &
Check Whether the student has difficulty

  • Processing social information
  • Reading situations
  • Understanding emotions in themselves and others
  • Teach emotion awareness and expression
  • Teach positive self-talk
  • Help them identify and be aware of anxiety triggers
  • Introduce them to tools for regulation and relaxation
  • Gradually expose them to situations of which they are fearful
Learning And Check

  • Has the curriculum been adapted to accommodate the needs of the student?
  • Are visual supports in place?
  • Reduce task demands in terms of length, time-frame and amount of writing
  • Consider computer based learning
  • Provide visuals for programme and task requirements
  • Reinforce completion of content and time demands of task and factor in breaks
SocialSkills Identify

  • Has the curriculum been adapted to accommodate the needs of the student?
  • Are visual supports in place?
  • Use social stories to teach cues and responses for specific social and emotional situations
  • Use comic-strip conversations and thought-bubble training to explain alternative perspectives or correct errors and assumptions