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De-escalation techniques

Phase 1 'Calm'

Student behaviour: Co-operative, follows directions, able to receive corrections.

Prevention strategies: High rates of engagement, high rates of academic and social success, teach and practice social skills.

Phase 2 ‘Triggers’

Student behaviour: Students experience a series of unresolved conflicts, pressures from deadlines and other task demands, face many consequences for problem behaviour.

Intervention strategies: Problem solving, on-the-spot social skill instruction, pull out and debrief student.

Phase 3 ‘Agitation’

Student behaviour: Student exhibits an increase in behaviour that is non-focused, student attempts to terminate conversations, off task, easily distracted.

Intervention strategies: Structural modifications, provide quiet time, break down work or give easier alternative, alter student’s schedule, provide options and choice, debrief.

Phase 4 ‘Acceleration’

Student behaviour: Provocative engagement behaviours, verbal abuse and intimidation, defiance, escape.

Intervention strategies: Give choice and disengage, crisis prevention, give student time to respond, withdraw from student, debrief if they make appropriate choice.

Phase 5 ‘Peak’

Student behaviour: Student is ‘out of control’ and exhibits severe behaviour such as physical or verbal abuse towards others or objects.

Intervention strategies: PRIMARY ISSUE IS SAFETY, establish policy and routines for all students prior to the school year starting,

Phase 6 ‘De‐escalation’

Student behaviour: Confusion, attempts to reconcile, withdrawal, denial of serious behaviours, blames others, attempts to justify behaviour.

Intervention strategies: Do not give excess attention, establish ownership of the problem: What did I do? Why did I do it? What else could I have done? etc.

Phase 7 ‘Recovery’

Student behaviour: Student displays an eagerness to become engaged in non‐interactive activities and reluctance to address the ‘peak’ behaviours.

Intervention strategies: Provide a stronger focus on the typical routines and activities, implement the consequences for the problem behaviour, high rates of reinforcement for appropriate behaviour, re‐review expectations, teach and practise.