Behavioral symptoms are potentially disruptive to gameplay due to a player’s actions that occur outside of the standard assumptions of behavioral norms. Disruptions may effect the player personally and additionally may impact the GM or other players. Several articles may be specific to younger players.

Quick Guidance

  • Primarily for children: For players that have problems with disruptive tendencies, potentially assign responsibilities that actively engage their efforts, such as monitoring or maintaining turn order, documenting role-play dialogue, taking notes, or other mild tasks that can occupy them in between turns.
  • It is ideal to ignore tics or repetitious habits displayed by a player and encouraging other players to do so as well.  Attempting to restrain themselves, would only potentially compound or exacerbate their tic. 
  • Create shorter sessions or increase break times between sessions. Reducing game sessions to smaller, manageable increments that can be stacked, rather than extended open-ended questions, will potentially resolve any feelings of being overwhelmed.
  • Primarily for children: Players with behavioral disorders are likely to already have individualized programs. These programs can be supported with proactive intervention. Describing expected behaviors at the gaming table and maintaining consistent responses to rule violations while promoting positive behavior is preferable. 
  • If a child expresses concern over, or preference toward, a physical placement at the table, accommodate them as availability allows and (if present) caregiver conditions dictate. If, for instance, a player has a preference to not be touched, their preference and the recommended guidelines may suggest the player be provided additional space in seating. 
  • Interaction with peers should not be forced. Players should be made to feel free to move at their own pace if at all. If necessary, provide a safe space, away from the table, that players can move to.  
  • Primarily for children: Pre-session communication is key to understanding the needs of the child. Knowing behavioral plans and triggers will allow you to avoid potential conflicts before they occur.

Possible Articles

  • Resistance to physical contact
  • Difficulty initiating or continuing conversation or dialogue
  • Simple Motor Tics – Blinking, Jerking, Twitching
  • Complex Motor Tics – Touching or smelling object, obscene gestures, patterned movement
  • Simple Vocal Tics – Coughing, Grunting, Throat Clearing
  • Complex Vocal Tics – Repetition, vulgarity, uncontrollably expressing thoughts
  • Avoids direction communication or interaction
  • Overly social or overly friendly, often times not respecting boundaries
  • Fascination or focus on a particular act or object often ignoring others
  • Repetitive or ritualistic actions or communication
  • Requires control of the environment (putting things in order, arranging things)
  • Talks excessively on a specific topic
  • Aversion to answering questions, especially of themselves
  • Repetitious checking of things, often to ensure safety
  • Unhealthy eating or overeating
  • Engaging in self harm
  • Difficulty empathizing or understanding others expressed emotions or intent
  • Difficulty recognizing humor, sarcasm, or figures of speech
  • Uses inappropriate comments, observations, or insults that may be harmful, upsetting, or offensive to other players
  • Inability to modulate emotional responses causing outbursts
  • Aggressive behavior ranging from words to physical contact and threats
  • Dismissiveness of or opposition to rules and order
  • Passing blame on others
  • Physically destructive of property
  • Prone to theft or compulsive theft
  • Prone to dishonesty or compulsive lying
  • Easy loss of focus, attention, or interest
  • Difficulty when transitioning from one activity or setting to another
  • Compulsive or habitual lewd or sexualized self touching
  • Display of hoarding tendencies
  • Continual unrest in motion or activity.
  • Squirming, fidgeting, hyperactivity
  • Abruptly leaving the seat, possibly even the facility
  • Lack of concern and exhibition of poor hygiene
  • Preference or ease in socialization with people outside of their age range
  • Inability to perceive the potential for danger or potentially engages in dangerous activities

Behavioral Needs Articles

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