Monday, January 20, 2014

Personal Space: Teaching Boundaries & Free Diagram

Special needs children may struggle to maintain personal space when talking to others or when they are upset. The student may stand too close to another person or even grab at them when they are talking. The student may take things that they want without asking. Also, physical aggression may be shown when a child does not know how to communicate his/her frustration or anger. Fortunately, special needs children can learn about and maintain personal space through books/discussions, fun exercises, and hands-on activities. 

It is important to lead discussions about personal space. A teacher can do this by simply talking about different scenarios, by acting them out with assistants, or by reading a book. It's important to let students know that it can be scary when we invade each other's personal space. It can make it hard to make friends, and it can get them into trouble for breaking classroom rules. 

After talking about personal space, it is important to follow-up with an exercise or activity. Diagrams are a nice way to show which physical boundaries are appropriate. It gives the student a concrete image of what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. Another fun activity is to have the student stand in an open area. Have them put their arms straight out and spin around in a circle. It gives them a feel for their own personal space. 

I'd love to hear your ideas on this topic!!  

Click here for your diagram freebie! 


  1. Another activity I like to do with my littles is practice walking in the hallways while holding a hula hoop. We talk about being in our personal bubble and not "popping" anyone else's bubble. The kids really love it, and it gives us the language to use to remind them of this rule.

    Mindful Rambles

  2. I LOVE it!!! I will definitely try this. :-) Thanks for sharing!