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This Self-Reg tool designed to use for elementary students, provides questions that help you start a conversation to find a student’s stressors. When trying to understand troubling behaviour it’s always a good idea to start with the question WHY? Why is the student behaving like this? Why is it happening now, but not at other times? Sometimes we latch on to standard answers.

”It’s because they’re seeking attention.”

“They just want to get out of doing work.”

“This kid really has some attitude issues!”

But if we really want to understand behaviour  and respond to it in effective and supportive ways, we need to develop a good understanding of what’s going on with the whole child. The best way to do that is to do a sort of five domain assessment.

Looking at stress and dysregulation in all five domain is crucial, because people have a tendency to focus on the domain where the problem is most apparent. For example:

We may observe that a child often seems very irritable, and therefore look at the emotion domain.

But we also need to look at what’s going on in other domains: Is the child often tired or hungry? This would indicate stress in the biological domain.

Do they have difficulty seeing and understanding patterns. This would indicate stress in the cognitive domain.

Do they have trouble picking up on social cues? This would indicate social stress.

Are they hypersensitive to other peoples’ distress? This is prosocial stress.

This 7-page Self-Reg tool, designed for use with elementary students, provides a series of questions that help you start a conversation (with yourself, or colleagues, or parents) that will help you collect a more complete picture of what is going on with the child in all five domains of self-regulation.

Knowing a child’s strengths as well as weaknesses in all five domains will help you understand the whole child and help you see the unique and hidden stressors that may be affecting their behaviour, mood and learning.

Additional Learning:

The Five Domains of Self-Reg

The Self-Reg Framework

Examples of Stressors in the Five Domains

Self-Reg and Leadership in Schools