Substitutions for Sensory Seeking Screams

Does your child with special needs scream or make loud noises sometimes?

In today’s Teacher Tips newsletter, Watson experts share special education strategies to help identify the purpose behind your child’s screams and then substitutions for these loud noises.

  1. Figure out why your child is screaming by using an ABC chart. Over the course of a few days, record what happened before the screaming started, the screams themselves (how did your child look/behave while screaming) and then what happened after your child finished screaming.
  2. Screams may provide sensory input for your child, they may be attention seeking, or they might be your child’s way of trying to communicate a need.
  3. If the screams are sensory seeking, begin to identify substitutions that provide that sensory feedback for your child such as V-tech toys, sound-activated response toys, apps on your tablet, or even noise makers.
  4. Demonstrate to your child how to use the toys or apps and only provide your child with these items or toys when he/she is NOT screaming. Do not give these items to your child immediately after a scream – that could reinforce the screaming behavior instead of teaching how to use the toys for sensory input.

Learn more about substitutions for sensory seeking screams in the YouTube video below or by visiting the corresponding special education resource page. For more special education resources, visit Watson Life Resources.