Gym and Music

Misbehaviors occur in gym and Music

What may be behind what youíre observing:

  • Kids with sensory sensitivities often have difficulty during such times
  • Both subjects can be less structured and noisier than a regular classroom environment
  • If youíre extra sensitive to sounds, music can be unnerving
  • Gymnasiums are loud, echoey places
  • If you have visual sensitivities, gyms are large where the ceiling can seem to stretch forever
  • If youíre unsure of your balance or where your body is in space, gyms are treacherous
  • If youíre tactile sensitive, you never know when you might be touched or bumped in gym
  • If you canít process well what you hear, gyms are loud places with a multitude of squeals, squeaks, shrieks and piercing whistles
  • Some people can understand what they hear under quiet conditions but not when there is background noise


 Some things to try:

  • use a visual schedule to help him know what is coming next
  • the schedule can help him see that gym will not last forever
  • try to place subjects he enjoys after and before gym
  • if running laps around the gym starts his period off badly, let him sit out that part
  • he could count the laps the other students run or time them
  • let him walk, rather than run
  • allow him to circle the gym, touching the walls with his hands - this may help him feel more grounded
  • try a weighted vest, a bear hug vest or light ankle weights
  • have him remain at the edge of the group so he does not feel hemmed in
  • it often helps if the student feels he has some control over the situation, rather than fearing that things will be done to him
  • try letting him blow the whistle (on your cue, of course)
  • use social stories to describe what will happen in gym
  • let him practice the game with an adult or a couple students before being asked to participate with the entire class in the gym
  • show him what is expected, rather than telling him
  • use visuals whenever possible


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