How schools can help children with emotional turmoil during lockdown

14 Apr 2020

One of the common issues that I face when visiting students both in primary and secondary schools is the fact that many of them feel they are burdened with an anger or depression problem. For some children, this often follows being told about their autism diagnosis. They associate a ‘diagnosis’ with something negative and do not understand the positive aspects or strengths it can bring. As a result of this loss, they feel stuck on their depression stepping stone and are unable to move on. 

When talking with schools about Emotional Logic, I always encourage teachers and parents to not only help students understand the useful purpose of the stepping stones, but also to model how they themselves might move back to a place where life is OK again. There is probably no more of an important time for us to do this than during the exceptional circumstances we currently find ourselves in during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

As schools try to adapt to a new way of communicating with their students, I watched a perfect example of a teacher sharing this process. In a video message he posted to his students, he told them that on the previous day he had felt quite negative, feeling overwhelmed with all the bad news and all the things he had lost. Recognising these feelings, he identified a simple step he could do and that was to go for a run. He reported that this had definitely helped his head but not his legs which were now aching! 

Watching his video showed how important it was for the students to see how everyone moves through the Life Cycle, regardless of any diagnosis we may have. Although sometimes it is impossible to get back everything we have lost, we can always find a small step that will make us feel a little bit better. These small steps will also give us a feeling that we can control some things, even at a time when everything around us seems to be changing and out of our control.