5 Golden Rules for Student Success: #4 Be Flexible

High school students sitting in class completing schoolwork

When The Paragon School opened its doors 12 years ago, teachers and students came together and created the School Rules. The purpose of each rule is to guide Paragon students to success, both inside and outside of school.

  1. LISTEN – Focus on what is being communicated
  2. USE MANNERS – Always be polite and respectful
  3. BE SAFE – Practice safety at all times
  4. BE FLEXIBLE – Adjust favorably to change
  5. SELF-CHECK – Be accountable for your actions

In our last post, we covered Rule #3 – Use Manners. This week we cover Rule #4 – Be Flexible!


One important thing many of us have learned of the course of this year is to be flexible. Things may not go according to plan, but by staying flexible, obstacles can be overcome.

This rule addresses both the need to take part in a non-preferred activity, such as doing homework, or when something that is wanted is denied, like having to eat vegetables before eating dessert. Being flexible supports the development of coping skills for times when students do not get their way or when something doesn’t go as expected.

At times, individuals with autism can find being flexible difficult. It means that there is a change in routine, and that can be tough. However, Paragon students are taught that routine can change without notice, and it's imperative to respond appropriately to the situation.

Some of Ms. Tierney’s students shared examples of being flexible at school which include not getting upset if a class is cancelled or changed or not getting frustrated if a classmate plays the wrong note in music class.

“Rule #4 means to be adaptable to situations. You will make the same mistakes over and over again if you aren't flexible”, states high school student Banner. “When you are flexible it inspires others to be more flexible by your example.”

Ms. Tierney’s other students also shared what they thought of Rule #4.

“Flexibility means to have patience and not make a big deal over little things.” -Emily Black

“It’s important to be flexible when plans get changed, like whether you eat lunch inside or out.” -Edwin Vazquez

“Being flexible means to be open to changes or obstacles.” -Caleb Smith

“When you are flexible, you will be more relaxed.” -Miles Stewart


Watch out for our final post next week when we cover Rule #5 – SELF-CHECK!