To perseverate means to repeat something, such as words, gestures or actions, over and over again. Although this can be attributed to a child who has a diagnosed condition, we are using the term in this case to describe child-like, overt behaviour that is socially less acceptable or it is an obstacle to normal learning and function. Children who perseverate are not being defiant or stubborn. They might be having social difficulties, managing stress. They might have challenges processing information, shifting attention, or being able to control and modify certain behaviours or thoughts. Children sometimes have trouble switching from one task to another and get fixated on an action or behaviour. They may be so used to applying one set of conventions to a situation that changing is quite difficult. There are some ways we can help children who perseverate.

Here are 8 ways to help a child who perseverates:

  1. Ensure the child understands that work not completed within an initial time period can be completed at a later time. Help the child achieve closure by ensuring adequate time is provided.
  2. Provide adequate time for a child to complete activities then as success is achiebed, gradually decrease the amount of time allocated.
  3. Create time limits at key junctures of assignments so that the child knows how long they have to complete the task and the pace they need to progress at.
  4. Provide opportunities for transition between activities so that behaviour adjustments can be made. 
  5. Have the child use a timer so they can self-monitor both their progress and behaviours throughout the assignment progression.
  6. Monitor the child’s behaviours to ensure the child does not get stimulated by activities to the extent that they lose control over their behaviours.
  7. Design relaxation activities during periods of transition to reduce the effects of stimulating activities.. For example, relaxing music and reading.
  8. Plan and communicate the daily schedule at the beginning of each day so that all children know what to expect and can plan for it.
Ways to Help Children Who Perseverate
Ways to Help Children Who Perseverate

Senior Managing Partner and Education Expert Shanna Parry

Shanna Parry
Shanna Parry – Senior Managing Partner

Combining her passions for teaching, training and travel, Shanna Parry has since worked throughout the USA, Middle East, India and China serving as a director (Higher Education), headmaster (Secondary School) and consultant (K-12). Shanna brings a wealth of experience in a variety of critical areas.

In 2018 and 2019 Shanna was identified as top 30 in the Education category for Global Gurus among some of the worlds leading Education experts. Shanna continues to travel extensively to meet the demands for her consulting expertise in administrative and teacher development.

In her role as Senior Managing Partner of GSE she plays a key role in the day-to-day operations as well as pioneering creative models for international schools and providing groundbreaking training methods for directors, administrators, teachers, and students.

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Global Services in Education set up and operate schools in all parts of the world. Governed by a philosophy of global citizenship, every member of the GSE team shares a passion to help shape international education and student achievement through inspiration and collaboration.
Our goal is to meet the highest objectives of every school, teacher, student and parent, with an unwavering dedication to quality education, shared ideals and intercultural perspectives.

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Ways to Help Children Who Perseverate
Ways to Help Children Who Perseverate