Book Club

KIAT Book Club: Neurodiversity in the Classroom Ch. 6

Hello, friends! We’ve gotten to chapter six in Thomas Armstrong’s Neurodiversity in the Classroom. This one is about students with emotional and behavioural disorders.

This chapter was a challenge for me because there are just so many various emotional and behavioural disorders that to lump them all together in one small chapter is no small feat.


Indeed, Armstrong gives us as much information as he can in such a restrictive setting, but there’s still so much to read about and explore.

Mental illness is still a disability that is rarely talked about, despite having a huge amount of people (young and old) who suffer from various mental illnesses. That needs to stop. We need to talk more and we need to talk more openly about mental illnesses in and out of the classroom in order to shine a light on them and help those suffering in silence.


Because emotional and behavioural disorders are so difficult to identify, discuss, and (often) to treat, a staggering number of students drop out and those who do find employment find it difficult to hold onto a job.

I have worked with several students with behavioural disorders and I can say that one major thing I notice that helps above all others is positive human interaction, wether it’s with a teacher, administrator, aid, etc. Unfortunately, due to the vast amounts of emotional disorders and their various components, I don’t feel knowledgeable enough to speak to them, though my gut tells me that positive human interaction is probably just as helpful for those individuals.


As I mentioned previously, I felt that Armstrong did what he could in this chapter, but still only touched vey lightly on the vast world of emotional and behavioural disorders. Still, it was informative and helpful in a broad and general sense and I will definitely be able to pull out advice for my own use in the classroom.

If you’re interested in the book, here is a link to it on Amazon. We’re almost at the end, folks! Chapter seven is coming up, happy reading!

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Classroom, Elementary

PAX Good Behaviour Game

Does anyone else use the PAX Good Behaviour Game in their classrooms? It comes from the PAXIS Institute and our school is one in our district which have begun using it on a trial basis.

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I will admit that I was skeptical at first as to how well it would work; but I’ve found it working very well. For me, in a year-round classroom, school begins again in a couple of weeks and my goal for this year is to implement PAX more often in the classroom. It recommends playing three times a day, but last year I only played about three or four times a week. So one of my goals for the upcoming year is to begin playing twice a day and hopefully three times a day by the time the end of year rolls around.

I began last year, even before playing games in my classroom, by using the harmonica that comes with the kit. Even using just that, I noticed a difference in my students’ attention. The harmonica is much less aggressive than a bell or whistle (and obviously less aggressive than yelling), and they all hear and respond very well to it.

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One of the concerns I had before beginning, was that I feared the game and prizes were geared toward very young students. I teach grade 4, and the kids are still young, but I worried they might be too mature to enjoy some of the PAX lingo and the silly prizes. To my surprise, not only was a wrong, even the sixth graders in our school and junior high students in other schools enjoy the terms and prizes (this genuinely shocked me).

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I’m still planning out if I should use other behaviour tools this year. I always use a sticker chart, but that’s it. I’m not a big fan of behaviour charts because I find that something that public can hurt kids’ self esteem, especially those with ADHD (which our school population has a lot of).

I guess the new year will see what else I implement! Yay for trial and error!