Support to schools

For teachers

At Tot Terapia we understand that for a child to develop to their full potential, we need to work with the school and that is why we want to help you!

Thanks to our experience in identifying and treating behavioural problems and developmental disorders, we can now offer you very useful tools to detect these problems in the classroom, as well as specific techniques to deal with them. This will not only accelerate the improvement of the student, but also the learning environment in the classroom.

Warning signs: the Autistic Spectrum

Difficulties in generalising

In the educational environment, every class, every pupil, every teacher and every classroom are different universes for a child with ASD. The student may be lost, confused and need more time to process and adapt to situations. What he/she will learn in one context will sometimes be difficult to apply in another, no matter how similar the circumstances may seem to us.

Social difficulties

Difficulties in their social behaviour are most often due to their misunderstanding of the expectations they have of both the context and the behaviour of other people. 

They will need, for example, to learn to maintain interpersonal distance appropriate to the context and intimacy with the person. Peers may complain that they feel persecuted, or that they are being "hit on". 

For this reason group work, e.g. often presents an added challenge due to their difficulties in understanding and sharing social relationships, communicating their interests and their inflexibility in planning tasks.


When they learn a rule they are overly strict in their compliance with it, which in real life can lead to many complications, although at a formal level it would be a competence to be valued in many contexts.

They follow their own interests and when they play with others they tend to want to impose their games and ideas.

Behavioural problems

Difficulties in abstract reasoning or creativity are especially present in their problems in planning, anticipating or programming their own behaviour. It also limits their ability to solve problems or cope with unexpected events.

On the other hand, the difficulty in filtering or selectively attending to stimuli causes them to be perceived simultaneously, producing sensory oversaturation, tension, anxiety and difficulties in maintaining adequate attention and understanding of the situation.

This same lack of sensory regulation affects emotional regulation and makes them feel overwhelmed very quickly, presenting emotionally unregulated and even aggressive behaviour, although it is usually self-aggressive and not so much directed towards others.

Warning signs: ADHD


Inhibition difficulties

They find it difficult to wait, even if they know that delay means gratification. They tend to be children who interrupt others, find it difficult to take turns and are very impatient. They tend not to think about the consequences.

They tend to act without thinking, or answer without having listened to the question to the end. 

They find it difficult to follow instructions.

Difficulties in emotional regulation

They find it difficult to control the expression of their feelings. They are easily overwhelmed and can easily explode by displaying aggressive behaviour: shouting, swearing, throwing objects, hitting, pushing, etc. When they calm down after these episodes, they tend to be very remorseful children and are able to compromise and improve when they understand what is "expected of them".

Excessive motor or verbal activity (noises) stamping stomping rocking


Difficulty in attending to details

They do not pay attention to details, and sometimes overlook important information, leading them to make mistakes in tasks.

Difficulties in connecting to what is going on around them

Sometimes they appear to be deep in thought, but at other times they appear to be attentive or listening, when in fact they are not. Difficulties in focusing and finishing tasks.

Information processing difficulties

They need more time to encode or decode and process information. Therefore, they take longer to complete a task, and their reaction time is also slower.

Difficulty in focusing on a task

They often start several things at once, but sometimes don't finish any of them. They are easily distracted and lose things.

Warning Signs: Language Disorders

  • They have difficulties in organising their thoughts when they are talking (planning).
  • They find it difficult to find the words they want to express in conversation (precision).
  • On reading:
    • They don't like reading, they get bored.
    • They need to read aloud.
    • When reading, they skip lines or some words or repeat them.
    • Sometimes they do not understand the meaning of some words they have just read in a text.
    • When they finish reading a paragraph or a page, they do not remember what they have read.
  • On writing:
    • Their hands get tired when they write. 
    • They are unable to write as fast as they think and sometimes skip writing a word because they are thinking of the next word to write. 
    • They are unable to take notes in class at the right pace. 
    • They have difficulties in grammar, punctuation, accentuation, capitalisation.
    • They have difficulties in writing down their thoughts in an orderly manner. 


In the face of inattention:

  • Maintain good eye contact, at the child's height (crouch down if possible).
  • Give simple, short, clear and specific orders. Do not give complex or lengthy orders.
  • Sequencing tasks in small steps, if they are long, will allow you to better understand and integrate the order.
  • Describe the steps very clearly.
  • Encouraging work through motivation: praising a job well done, putting a lot of attentional emphasis when doing something positive, encouraging positive reinforcement rather than punishment, making activities attractive, etc.

In the face of difficulties in inhibitory control:

  • Always anticipate what we are going to do, in a structured way. If you are used to doing it verbally, do it visually as well. Step by step.
  • Structure activities by time and allow the use of clocks or stopwatches, for better regulation of time estimation and greater awareness. If time is running out, anticipate with a margin.

In the face of impulsivity / interactivity:

  • Define positive classroom rules. They should be few, clear and consistent. Each one has its consequences for non-compliance.
  • Tools to remember when it is difficult for them to respect their turn, teach them that they can write down on a sheet of paper what they want to say, so that when the time comes, they will not forget (we mitigate frustration).
  • Help to generate alternatives. After the action, make a reflection exercise that evaluates their behaviour in order to generate alternative solutions at the time, assessing which may be the most adaptive.
  • Use reinforcers. Reinforce to the group the appropriate behaviour that we have set out. If a pupil starts to perform an "expected" or "appropriate" behaviour, reinforce him/her right at the beginning so that he/she can serve as a model for the other children.
  • Talk about inappropriate behaviour but always in private. AVOID doing so when other pupils are present. Avoid irony or raising your voice. Never tell them that they are bad, but that they have done something wrong and can "fix it" if they insist on it. The child must know that his actions have consequences (even if we know that he has difficulties in controlling himself).
  • Remain calm and be forceful. It is important that when an episode of extreme impulsivity occurs, everyone - parents, teachers and educators - remain calm. At that moment it is not advisable to REASON with him/her. We have to remain calm and determined to contain them better.
  • Take care of your self-esteem by replacing the verb "ser" with the verb "estar'' to take care of your self-esteem. For example: instead of "I am dumb", "I am dumb". Or instead of "you are a fool", "you are a fool".

In the face of the autistic spectrum:

  • Use visual aids to compensate for comprehension difficulties (pictograms, colourful calendars, meaningful pictures, etc.).
  • Anticipate information in a simple and structured way, especially in activities that are out of their usual routine.
  • Adapt our language, using simple sentences, with intonation and prosody, avoiding long, interrupted or disordered enunciation.
  • Help them to make a closer analysis of the thoughts and feelings that others may be having.
  • When forming working groups, try to include peers with whom you feel comfortable or students with good social skills in the group, so that they can support the student and even serve as role models.
  • Use their interests as a reward. 

At recess:

  • To prevent bullying or exclusion, provide supervision and support for the student in unstructured free time. 
  • Encourage people to get closer to each other, with a little initial help.

In tutorials:

  • Use the circle of friends (method for integration and prevention of bullying).
  • Be accessible if you need help. 
  • Agree on hours of individual accompaniment. 
  • Analysing thoughts and feelings of others (mentalising).
  • Intensify tutorial action.

Techniques to enhance emotional regulation in the classroom

The traffic light technique

It is about explaining to the child or group of pupils that they can use a system of emotional communication by colours, when they are starting to become active. Green means that all is well, we are calm and collected and can communicate and explain how we feel. Caution yellow refers to a state of excitement, discomfort, or the beginning of a loss of control. Red is used to express that we feel overwhelmed, out of control. This is the moment when inappropriate behaviour occurs. The adult's response will change with each colour. In green, we will reinforce the behaviour, in yellow we will accompany the child to prevent him/her from going to red. In red, the child must be restrained, sometimes accompanying him/her to a safe, secluded space where he/she can stay for a while and calm down again. (You can draw and paint a traffic light together or take a model already illustrated on the Internet) .

I feel bad, angry, angry and very frustrated.
I need some time and a safe space to calm down.
(I need to go somewhere to calm down)
I'm a little nervous, excited, uneasy.
I'm not sure how I feel
(I need someone to help me)
I feel calm and in control
I can talk about how I feel
(I need positive reinforcement to help me improve emotional identification (vocabulary) and emotional regulation).

The tortoise technique

It is a technique that uses the analogy of the tortoise, which withdraws into its shell when it feels threatened. It is explained to the child that whenever he/she feels threatened or cannot control his/her impulses or emotions, he/she can shrink and close into his/her body and put his/her head in his/her arms. A story can be used first, to exemplify the story and then the relaxation technique to help the child come out of his/her shell.

The relaxation technique

Practice long, deep breathing using metaphors such as trying to blow out a candle that is further and further away. Or muscle relaxation by tensing and relaxing various muscle groups while helping them to focus on the different sensations they have if a muscle is tense and if it is relaxed. 

Free talks on Fridays

If you have doubts about whether any of your students have a difficulty, we invite you to our free talks, send us an email with your choice:
  • How does the mind of a child with Autism work? Tools to help them in class.
  • ADHD, behavioural problems and emotional regulation in the classroom.
  • Self-harm in adolescents, how to act?
  • Behavioural problems and secure and insecure attachment styles, how to distinguish them and tools for the classroom.
  • Functional neurology in the classroom: how children's brains work, how we can promote optimal development, what we can do when there are imbalances.
  • Language disorders, why they occur and how to help them in the classroom.

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Tot Terapia
Plaça D'Ausiàs March, 1
Centro Comercial Mira-sol Centre, Local L1-18
08195, Sant Cugat del Vallés, Spain
09:00 - 20:00, Monday to Friday
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