Sharing Space Strategy

  • Situation

    One of my students has great difficulty sharing playground equipment with his classmates. He tends to push them away when they try to climb up beside him or yell at them if they’re ahead of him in line for the slide. He’s not making any friends this way. How can I help him share his space?

  • Summary

    Try using a simple visual support to brainstorm options with the student. For example, draw a slide and help him mark several ‘x’s where he could stand while waiting for his turn.

  • Definition

    Some people feel very uncomfortable when in close proximity to others, possibly due to sensory issues. Talk with the student about different places he could stand in different settings where he might be more comfortable. This strategy can help him think about ways to handle his discomfort by giving him some control over the situation.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites


  • Process

    1. Draw a simple slide picture OR take a photo of the actual playground.
    2. Laminate the picture or photo for reuse.
    3. Talk with the student right before recess, pointing out different places he could stand that might be more comfortable for him while waiting for his turn.
    4. Let the student mark several ‘x’s with washable marker to indicate his choice for that day.
    5. Take the visual with you if possible to remind the student of his choices if necessary.
    6. Reinforce the student for standing in his chosen spot with sincere, specific praise. (“You stood by the fence today while waiting for you turn. Did that help you feel more comfortable outside?”)
    7. Talk to peers about making sure student has a turn.
  • Documents and Related Resources


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