R.E.C.A.S.T. Relationships, Emotion, Culture, Attention, Sensation, Tasks




This tool is designed for all students who may be struggling with regulatory and nervous system sensitivity that can create
behavioral challenges that are due to an over responsive or under responsive sensory system, possibly compromised by acute, chronic, or developmental adversities and trauma. Although I have adapted this tool for students who are struggling emotionally and socially in our classrooms and schools, this tool can be integrated into any organization or home where caregivers, parents, and adults collaborate to discover the sensory needs beneath behaviors.

R.E.C.A.S.T is a template that provides an opportunity for staff and eventually students to come together exploring a multitude of options and experiences that support the
emotional, social, and cognitive needs of the student. This template allows us to adjust, modify, and accommodate each student’s needs to ensure feelings of safety and connection. As you begin to use this tool, it is important to keep a small notebook of experiences, environments, persons, and times throughout the day that can activate and unintentionally dysregulate a behavior.

This template with the collaboration from the adults who serve students help us to deeply understand how trauma and adversities are held in our bodies, not just in our thoughts and feelings. Adverse experiences affect our physiological and unconscious need for felt safety which can manifest with increased sensitivity to everyday experiences, reprogramming our stress response systems so that a student’s reactions may look explosive, aggressive, fearful, defiant, anxious, irritated, or shut down. This can affect our relationships, tasks, attention, emotional temperature, feelings, and thoughts. All behavior can be seen as communication, while signaling what may be occurring in the student’s nervous system

R.E.C.A.S.T. Relationships, Emotion, Culture, Attention, Sensation, Tasks

Looking beneath the behaviors and acknowledging the nervous system is critical in this time for both students and educators! This work can be explored by groups of educators and staff who sit beside our students! 

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