The characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can manifest in challenging behaviour, such as verbal refusal and physical aggression. School personnel often feel ill-equipped to both prevent and de-escalate these behaviours. How should I handle students who 'act out'? What can I do to prevent, manage, and de-brief challenging behaviours? The Nonviolent Crisis Intervention course is based on a program developed by the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). The program's proven strategies give service providers and educators the skills to safely and effectively respond to anxious, hostile, or violent behaviour. Topics covered include: identifying behaviours that lead to a crisis, verbal and nonverbal techniques to diffuse hostile behaviour, coping with one’s own fear and anxiety, assessing risk levels, disengagement and holding skills, maintaining rapport with the acting-out individual, debriefing after a crisis, and much more! By the end of this course, participants will have an enhanced ability to confidently and competently apply training concepts and intervention strategies to your interactions with individuals in a crisis.

The course is offered in a "flex" model, which involves completion of an online module prior to 6 hours of in-class teaching and hands-on practice.


This course is open for first-time participation or re-certification to BC School District/Independent School personnel, and teachers or education assistants (EAs)-in-training.

Course Structure & Content

  • Units 1–6: Prevention and Deceleration Strategies
  • Units 7: Decision Making
  • Units 8–9: Managing Behavioural Risk Using Disengagement and/or Holding Skills
  • Units 10: Postvention Approaches

The participant will learn:

  • How to identify behaviours that could lead to a crisis.
  • How to most effectively respond to each behaviour to prevent the situation from escalating.
  • How to use verbal and nonverbal techniques to defuse hostile behaviour and resolve a crisis before it can become violent.
  • How to assess risk levels and consider the issues that impact decision making.
  • How to use CPI’s disengagement skills to avoid injury if behaviour becomes physical.
  • When it is appropriate to physically intervene.
  • How to use a progression of holding skills to manage aggressive behaviour in least restrictive, safest manner.
  • Key steps for debriefing after a crisis.

Paricipants will download a Learner’s guide (for on-line portion), and receive a Job Aid Booklet in class.

The participants will complete a post-test and receive a Blue Card that acknowledges certification in CPI Training for one year.