Are timeouts effective for children

Prevention to prevent exclusion in the course of the inclusion regulation
(June 2015) of the Saarland

"The health and well-being of adolescents are to a large extent related to their social opportunities. Unequal living conditions influence the physical, psychological and social development of children and adolescents." (13th Children and Youth Report 2009: 33)


1. School situation

The current school situation is described in the school profile.

2. Measures

The foundations for a healthy and symptom-free life are laid in early childhood. Mental health problems, obesity and abuse are some of the central challenges that we as a school have to face every day in addition to our pedagogical and educational work. In addition to addressing parents, early help also requires the cooperation and networking of many different actors. These range from the youth welfare office to daycare centers and doctors' surgeries to us as a school and child and youth welfare services.
Poverty, migration as well as a low level of education and long periods of unemployment of parents are central risk factors for the healthy mental, social and physical development of children.

3a. Effects: Health of socially disadvantaged children and adolescents Status: September 2013

Social disadvantage and poor health opportunities for children and adolescents mean:

  • Health problems as well as psychological and social abnormalities occur in early childhood (RKI, 2008).
  • Limited optionsto develop personal resources (such as a high expectation of self-efficacy or health literacy) and to make use of social and family resources (RKI, 2010).
  • Restrictions on social participation (Bertelsmann Foundation, 2010)
  • Higher risk, mental and behavioral problems To develop: For example, ADHD (attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder) is diagnosed much more often in children with low social status than in children with high social status (2.8 to 0.9%). This is even clearer with suspected ADHD (10.4% versus 2.9%) (RKI, 2008) and with suspected eating disorders (boys: 19.9% ​​versus 9.0; girls: 35.7% versus 22 , 6%) (RKI, 2010).
  • Less frequent use of medical services (Kurth, 2008)
  • Higher risk of being overweight and obese (severe overweight): For the age group of 14 to 17 year olds, the proportion of adolescents from socially disadvantaged families with obesity is 14% and is therefore almost three times as high as among adolescents with a high social status (RKI, 2008; Kurth, 2008).
  • Greater likelihood of growing up under environmental stresses: For example, children and adolescents with a low socio-economic status are four times as likely to be exposed to domestic smoke exposure through passive smoking as children and adolescents with a high socio-economic status (25.4% to 6.2%). In addition, families with a low social status (27.8%) live on busy main roads and thoroughfares and are therefore exposed to considerable noise pollution. This only applies to 12.8% of families with medium or high social status. (RKI & BZgA, 2008)
  • Higher risk of having an accident in traffic: The proportion of children and adolescents who have had road accidents is 11% among adolescents with low social status and 5% among adolescents with high status (RKI, 2010).
  • Lower chances of getting a good education (Bertelsmann Foundation, 2012)
  • Leisure behavior of children before starting school: Participation in activities outside the home less often (BMAS, 2013).

We want to counteract what has already been proven by numerous studies (e.g. kiggs study) and research (cooperation network for equal health opportunities) as quickly as possible. Since the school management, but also some of the teachers at the GS Rastpfuhl, have found each other for the 2015/2016 school year, we would like to take action to counteract the new inclusion ordinance as soon as possible. In some cases, we achieve this through a high level of commitment.
For the coming years we want to develop a concept that is specifically based on the "Recommendations for action by the cooperation network to strengthen children in stressful situations"(1) based. In addition, we would like to contribute our own experience and knowledge, as well as develop a support concept that is always individually tailored to the child.
In the recommendations for action, the cooperation association has gathered knowledge and experience over the past seven years on how children and young people in difficult social situations can grow up healthier. This has evaluated practical knowledge and supported the implementation, as well as bundled this experience.
The experience of the cooperation network shows how boys and girls can successfully get suggestions and opportunities for the development of their potential in their living environment - whether in the family, in the social environment, in the daycare center or at our school. The cooperation network has identified good practice offers based on twelve quality criteria, which have succeeded in strengthening particularly stressed children and families in their resources. This enables boys and girls to develop a healthy lifestyle. They open up better future opportunities. We now want to reformulate these quality criteria specifically to meet the needs of our children, so here too "Good Practice Offers" identify out. The aim should be: better and more effective prevention and support for primary school children, who because of their social situation are most dependent on health promotion. Another goal should be to make our concept so transparent that it can be transferred to other institutions that deal with children, such as day care centers, children's homes and secondary schools.

The quality criteria (2):

1) Establishment of a Snoezel room

The Snoezel room (3) : For holistic support as well as physical and mental relaxation for people of all ages
For some time now, Snoezelen has been an integral part of holistic support and therapy concepts for people at all levels of development from toddlers to very old seniors in a wide variety of social or medical institutions.
The Dutch words "snuffelen", which means something like sniffing, and "doezelen", which means doze, slumber, became "Snoezeln". Snoezeln (spoken snuzelen or snuseln) was developed in the 1970s for people with multiple disabilities in the Netherlands. The idea of ​​a special funding offer for people with very different individual needs has turned into a multifunctional concept: the Snoezeln room.
Sensory sensations are specifically triggered in a pleasantly designed room atmosphere that prevents overstimulation. Specially selected colored light, images, pleasant smells, sounds and music enable experiences of the different areas of perception. In individually tailored, adjustable doses, light, sounds and aromas have a relaxing, but also activating effect. This calm atmosphere creates both physical and mental relaxation, which creates well-being, takes away fears, enables activity without distraction and stimulates learning skills in a special way.
Snoezeln is a method of rest and relaxation and is becoming more and more important and accepted. It is generally known that children are exposed to many stimuli in everyday life. In the course of their development, the little boys and girls learn to deal with all these environmental influences. A Snoezelen room with selected furnishing elements can create new opportunities for strategy development for children, educators and parents.
The social environment has a significant influence on healthy development. It should be varied and offer every opportunity for individual development. Because children experience new things every day and use all their senses to explore their surroundings. You hear, taste, see, smell and feel. A variety of experiences are made in this way.
For this reason, situations should also be created in which one can take a "break". A Snoezel room is a safe room. Here the many external stimuli are filtered in order to be able to process the impressions of life in peace in a relaxed atmosphere. This offers a place of retreat for children, but also their educators and parents. So z. B. Addressing and discussing problems, fears, or joys better in a well-designed environment.
A Snoezel room does not only offer peace and relaxation. It is a multifunctional room and also offers the opportunity to experience new impressions. The prerequisite is that the devices located there are well selected and are based on the needs of the children. The use of elements such as B. light, water, furnishings, wall design, and much more can specifically create a desired mood. The "Snoezeln" is ideal for children whose development should be encouraged - in the Snoezel room you will find the time to turn to the child, listen to him and give him confidence. It is to be hoped that many children can have these experiences through a Snoezel room in their kindergarten and school.

Snoezeln in school

Abnormal behaviors in children and adolescents such as nervousness, aggression and sleep disorders are often rated as symptoms of stress. Difficulty concentrating and fear are the most common causes of failure and school refusal. Schedules determine the daily routine, so that the many different requirements can quickly become overwhelmed and unbalanced. For this reason, children and young people should have the opportunity to satisfy their natural urge to move, but on the other hand also to experience calm and conscious relaxation in order to find inner balance.

A Snoezel room creates an environment that is used for relaxation, enables self-awareness and has a behavioral regulating effect.

In the school sector, Snoezeln rooms are used for targeted relaxation, stimulation of perception and focused learning. The colored sensory room and the white room are specially designed rooms for snoezing. Daily events, bright lights, unpleasant smells and noise stay outside. Soft cushions and loungers invite you to relax and offer opportunities to retreat. The senses are specifically stimulated.

For this purpose, we would like to adopt the concept, which not only describes the spatial equipment, but also the meaning and use of the space from Wehrfritz or Sport Thiemen. However, in order to adequately equip and design such a room, precise planning with the support of experts is required.

2) Setting up a time-out room

The time-out room: calms and protects in uncontrollable phases of aggression

This special protective space offers mentally or emotionally impaired people the opportunity to protect themselves or others from harming themselves or others during uncontrollable phases of aggression. To do this, the people concerned go to the time-out room for a few minutes. This action should in no way count as imprisonment or deprivation of liberty. Rather, it is about taking the suspicious people out of the respective overstimulated environment. This is the only way they can find themselves again and analyze their behavior.
The time-out technique is mainly used for disruptions of social behavior, oppositional defiant behavior and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorders.

Concept of the time out room (TOR room)

In everyday school life, pupils with emotional and social impairments often feel the need for physical distance from the content of the lesson, from their classmates and from the staff at this school.
The students do not necessarily enter the school building with anticipation of the lessons and the school day, but often come to school with unreflected experiences from their family and social environment. From the perspective of the students, the content of the lessons can become secondary and the urge to communicate and the uncertainty about these unreflected experiences increase in the course of the morning. In addition, in our school they usually meet classmates who are emotionally similar. This has the effect of potentiating the atmosphere. In order to enable the student to have a school morning in which he is open to the content of the lesson and he finds a space in which he can share his diffuse uncertainties professional support can thematize. The result is a pleasant space with its own atmosphere and a new pedagogical approach for our school is developing.

Goals of the TOR room

  • Need orientation and reassurance instead of deficit orientation The social - emotional needs of the students have priority. The aim is that the pupils receive needs-oriented special educational support and come to rest enough that they can participate in lessons and school life again.
  • Defusing the class and group situation The "conflict-prone" class and group situation has a de-escalating effect for everyone involved due to the temporary and spatial distance of the needy pupil and an atmosphere that encourages learning is restored.
  • Cooperation between all employees A constant cooperation between the TOR employees and the teachers must be sought so that the TOR room does not become a drop-off point for uncomfortable students. Only through cooperation can the range of activities of the teachers in emotional-social development be expanded.

3) Training of teachers and school staff in the work in the Snoezel room and time out room

4) Acquisition of materials and literature on the health promotion of socially disadvantaged children

As soon as the premises are equipped for the school year 17/18 and the school staff have had their first training, we will create a detailed concept for promoting the children in the rooms.

Regular planning talks / meetings are currently taking place to train staff. With anti-aggression trainers, occupational therapists, In Balance trainers, contacts to the German Snoezel Association, we would like to develop a concept for the support and challenge of the children in these rooms in the course of the next school year 17/18. Details on the implementation will follow.