Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Last week, the autism teachers in my school were approached by our Assistant Principal and told that our school would be participating in it's FIRST EVER (at least since I have been here) lockdown drill.  This is the kind of drill that you typically get no warning for since the police want to see how your school reacts in the moment.  Basically, the school announces a lockdown over the intercom, and everyone is supposed to act as though an intruder is in the building.  With all the current issues with school shootings, etc. I am surprised we have never done this type of drill before...but I am glad we are at least starting them now.   How do you prepare your students for a lockdown drill?  I really have no idea.  However, I figured I would make a brief social story explaining the drill as well as practice the drill a few times. 
And, can I just say...I was so grateful to my Assistant Principal for warning us.  My kids flip out during fire drills, so I could only imagine how they would react to this!  I was afraid they would run out of the building just like a fire drill!  The hardest part about knowing ahead of time about the drill was that we couldn't tell anyone about it....because this drill was supposed to be an assessment of how good my school would do in a real life intruder situation.  But luckily, because we knew, we were able to prepare our students a little by showing them the "lock down area" and assigning each kid a general spot to sit in.    Another way I prepared, was by making an emergency trip to the store to get some chewy snacks to help keep my kiddos quiet (since this is key to this type of drill).  During the actual drill,  my students were perfect!  I couldn't have asked for things to go better than they did.  The only noise I heard was them chewing on their candy!  Now, next year, when we don't have any warning...well, we'll see how that goes!  I'm thinking about storing some emergency candy (with "lock down" taped on it) to have on hand at all times for whenever the drill ends up happening!  


  1. We use snacks too, to minimize vocalizations, or we put a video on an iPad or phone with low to zero volume! I am always very impressed with how quiet our students can be. We have been having lockdown drills for a few years now. They can be scary!

  2. I'm frankly disgusted that NT control-freaks' desire for total control for a situation is prioritised over autistic children's NEED not to be "locked down". I have no doubt that many autistic people are traumatised for life by these kinds of police-state procedures.