Behavior Solutions for Students Who Won’t Keep Seated

Posted by Beth Aune, OTR/L, Beth Burt & Peter Gennaro on Oct 6th 2020

Today, more than ever, educators are faced with teaching core subjects for longer periods to prepare the class to master state standards. This requires the students to sit at their desks for long periods, and they may lose focus. Many students may have challenges with sustained sitting and have a sensory need for movement to help them maintain an alert state. The student may leave his seat to pace, invent reasons to get up (sharpen pencils, get a drink of water, get some tissue), or stand up at his desk.

Here are a few behavior solutions:

  • Schedule movement breaks for the entire class inside the classroom, such as standing to “stretch and wiggle.”
  • Provide hand fidget tools, such as squeeze balls, tangles, rubber bands, and paper clips.
  • Allow the student to help pass out papers, clean the board, or assist the teacher with technical media.
  • Let the student stand at the back or perimeter of the classroom or at his desk.
  • Allow a very motor-restless student to have a movement break outside the classroom.
  • Use oral strategies. When the mouth is kept busy, often the body will feel calmer and the student can sit still.

Was this behavior solution helpful for you? If so check out Behavior Solutions in the Inclusive Classroom.

Excerpt from More Behavior Solutions In and Beyond the Inclusive Classroom, copyright 2011 Beth Aune, OTR/L, Beth Burt & Peter Gennaro. Used with permission. All rights reserved.