Self-Regulating Emotions in the Classroom: The Chill Pass

In a previous blog, we discussed the benefit of a “Chill Zone” for students that experience anxiety or frustration in school and/or home settings, and how to set that area up for success. Some students might benefit from a companion strategy called a Chill Pass.

Chill Pass

The Chill Pass can help the student to have a visual reminder that it is O.K. to go to the chill zone when they are escalating in their anxiety or frustration.

By giving a certain amount of “Chill Passes” for the day, teachers and parents can also limit the number of times that a “Chill Pass” is used each day.

In school settings, the teacher is probably collecting data that will indicate how often the individual with Asperger’s is struggling with stress and/or anxiety. This data, formal or informal, will help to make decisions about how many chill passes are provided for each day or portion of the day.

For instance, if an individual is having difficult moments 5 times a day, then the teacher might provide 6 or 7 chill passes to the student to ensure success.

Over time, the data should help make ongoing determination about how many chill passes are necessary for success. Teachers should also include the student in making these decisions as much as possible.

Another feature that you may add to the chill pass is that of different time lengths. Some chill passes might indicate that the time in the chill zone is limited to 3 minutes, while others might indicate longer times of 5, 10 or even 15 minutes. By providing different amounts of time on the chill pass, the student can make choices about how to best self-regulate their emotions and the coping strategy itself.

by Lisa Rogers

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The Education (K-12) Blogs and Special Ed Q & A are written and maintained weekly by Lisa Rogers with Educating Diverse Learners. Lisa received her M.A. in Special Education with an endorsement in the area of individuals with severe disabilities. Mrs. Rogers has also created products that have been used throughout the state of Texas for training purposes. Through the Association for Texas Professional Educators [ATPE], Ms. Rogers has produced an online course that targets the importance of visual strategies for student with autism spectrum disorders and just released her highly anticipated book titled: Visual Supports for Visual Thinkers.

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