Behaviour Exceptionalities

Behavioural exceptionalities are defined by the Ministry of Education as follows:

Behaviour: A learning disorder characterized by specific behaviour problems over such a period of time, and to such a marked degree, and of such a nature, as to adversely affect educational performance, and that may be accompanied by one or more of the following:

a) an inability to build or to maintain interpersonal relationships;

b) excessive fears or anxieties;

c) a tendency to compulsive reaction;

d) an inability to learn that cannot be traced

(In short, it depends, but you’ll know it when you see it ūüėČ

Websites and Organizations for Behaviour Exceptionalities:

Centre for ADHD Awareness

Sick Kids ADHD Clinic

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder

Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada

Shaping a Culture of Respect in Our Schools: Promoting Safe and Healthy Relationships (2008)

Information about the Ministry’s Safe Schools strategy and related resources

 Positive Behaviour Support Programs:

Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education. Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports

Bucket Fillers (School Wide Positive Behaviour Support)

Books on Behaviour Exceptionalities & how to deal with them

Brewer, R. & Mueller, T (2010)  Strategies at Hand: quick and handy positive behaviour support strategies, Autism Asperger Publishing Company, Council for Exceptional Children, USA

Buron, K.D. (2006) When My Worries Get Too Big: a relaxation book for children who live with Anxiety, Autism Asperger Publishing Company, Council for Exceptional Children, USA

Dornbush, M. & Pruitt, S. (1995) Teaching the Tiger: a handbook for individuals involved in the education of students with Attention Deficit Disorders, Tourette Syndrome or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Hope Press, CA USA This is an oldie but a CLASSIC for understanding ADHD

Kearney, K. (2007)  Understanding Applied Behaviour Analysis: an Introduction to ABA for Parents, Teachers, and other Professionals, Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd, London

Alberta Education – Government of Alberta (2006) Focusing on Success: Teaching Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Jones, F. (2000)  Tools for Teaching: discipline, instruction and motivation, Fredric Jones and Associates Publishing, USA

Lavoie, R. (2008) The Motivation Breakthrough: secrets to turning on the tuned-out child, DVD PBS Video

Packer, L. & Pruitt, S. (2010)  Challenging Kids, Challenged Teachers: Teaching students with Tourette’s, Bipolar Disorder, Executive Dysfunction, OCD, ADHD and more, Woodbine House Publishing, USA

Wong, H.K. (2004) The First Days of School: how to be an effective teacher. Ingram Book Company, USA


The Special Education Companion, 2002 (do you sense a theme here?)

Possibly the BEST and most under-used document in Special Education!¬† This document lists countless ways to help students under each Exceptionality Category.¬† If you look at ‚ÄėBehaviour Exceptionality’ you have 10 pages of characterisitics of these¬† students, issues, general teaching and learning strategies, program ideas, subject-specific strategies (reading, spelling, mathematics) and assessment strategies!

Do NOT write an IEP without reading this document! Parents and Teachers should use this resource to determine appropriate accommodations, modifications, and strategies for the classroom.  Parents, please bring this to your teacher meetings to advocate for your child!

Please give comments with your favourite websites for people with¬† Behaviour Exceptionalities ‚Äď share the wealth!

Remember: This is a PERSONAL blog, not an official Ministry of Education website. This is a forum for sharing.

Please add comments and your favourite resources (and let me know if there are any dead links!) Thank you!


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Filed under Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD and ADD, Behaviour Exceptionality, How to Teach Students with Special Needs

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