20 Ways to Encourage Students Not to Touch People Without Permission

Are you looking for ways to encourage students not to touch people without their permission? If so, keep reading.

1. Give the learner oral recognition and reinforcement for social and academic success.

2. Minimize the chance for the learner to take part in unacceptable physical contact (e.g., stand an appropriate distance from the learner when interacting).

3. Attempt several groupings to find a situation in which the learner’s need for physical attention can be satisfied by socially acceptable interactions (e.g., holding hands while dancing in an extracurricular learning experience, a hug for an accomplishment, handshake or a high five in sports, etc.).

4. Teach the learner appropriate ways to interact with others (e.g., oral and physical introductions, interactions, etc.).

5. Utilize logical consequences when the learner touches others as they walk by (e.g., move the learner to another place in the room, have others walk away from the learner, etc.).

6. Ask the student why they make unwarranted contact with others.

7. Praise the learner for respecting the norms of physical proximity based on the duration of time they can be successful. As the learner shows success, slowly increase the duration of time required for reinforcement.

8. Praise those students in the classroom who interact properly with other students or teachers.

9. Draft an agreement with the learner stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., shaking hands rather than hugging) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

10. Take the learner away from the learning experience until the learner can demonstrate appropriate behavior and self-control.

11. Separate the learner from the person who is the primary focus of the learner’s attempts to gain frequent physical contact.

12. Stop annoying or anxiety-producing situations from happening (e.g., give the learner tasks only on their capacity and ability level, give the learner only the number of tasks that can be tolerated in one sitting, lessen social interactions that encourage the learner to become physically abusive, etc.).

13. Reveal to the learner that public displays of frequent physical contact are unacceptable. Give the learner high interest learning activities (e.g., academic learning activities that are inherently exciting, learning activities during free time, etc.).

14. Make sure that reinforcement is not provided for unacceptable behavior(e.g., paying attention to the learner only when they make unnecessary physical contact).

15. Urge faculty/staff members with whom the learner interacts to reinforce appropriate physical contact.

 16. Praise the learner for respecting norms of physical proximity: (a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

17. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

18. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

19. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

20. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.