Emotionally disabled and behaviorally challenged students obviously have problems relating to themselves and others. These kids usually have a tendency to be extremely creative. Fostering the creativity can be key to managing the behavior. Drawing seems to be a favored creative outlet. Not only does the drawing show glimpses of the inner self of the child, it is a very calming activity. It allows a quiet reflective time when the engine can slow down. This can be especially important for the kid who has a racing engine most of the time.
I would highly recommend setting aside time for drawing in an EBD classroom. The kids come to understand that drawing will not be their whole day curriculum, but it will be allowed at a designated time. If the child is willing to display the drawing, put it up on the “Wall of Fame”. This is esteem building for the child. It also begins to foster social interaction. Model the correct way to respond to the drawing. It is amazing how the rest of the “team” will support the creative endeavors.
It works wonders. It is an amazing thing when you hear an EBD kid say, “I’m pretty good.” God, they have to find something at which to be good. When this type of kid finds something positive, other things start to take shape too. They will begin amazing themselves. It opens the door to learning not to be behaviorally challenged and to start healing the emotional rifts.