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  #1  
Old 11-13-2012, 05:12 PM
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BumbleB BumbleB is offline
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Explaining Consequences to ODD Student

I have a student who is diagnosed with a specific learning disability and bipolar disorder. I also strongly believe he has ODD. He has a very hard time dealing with authority, is very impulsive and says things that are just downright nasty and rude. He does not take responsibility for the negative behaviors he exhibits, and does not see how he is "in the wrong" when he does these things.

Today in math class, he refused to copy some problems from the overhead. Nothing in his evaluations or from my observations indicates that he is incapable of copying 3 problems (and their answers) from the overhead. So, after many prompts and different attempts to get him to do it (chatting one-on-one, offering to help him, setting him up with a peer mentor, etc)....I just counted it as insubordination. I told him that I would write him up, but that was at the end of the period and I didn't get a chance to get his signature on the detention slip. He freaked out on me for the detention, but the freak out was short lived because the bell rang.

Now, knowing everything in the first paragraph...how do I approach him and explain his consequence without a major meltdown? He should know it's coming because I left a message on the home phone, but he still handles consequences very irrationally even when he knows they're coming (for example, he called me a "bitch" to my face the last time I gave him a detention). Obviously, my previous attempts of getting him to understand and accept consequences have failed, so I need any advice I can get!
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2012, 05:28 PM
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kpa1b2 kpa1b2 is offline
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A couple of years ago I had a diagnosed ODD/ADHD child. Of course, this didn't happen until towards the end of the year. He switched to my school & Mom finally realized that the school wasn't picking on hime.

He would melt down, with signals before hand. When the signals would start I had a list of things to try to prevent the melt down. Sometimes trying to prevent the melt-down worked. Other times, it didn't. He needed consistency. Certain stimulus also upset him (i.e. I stopped wearing a particular outfit, he was for sure to have a melt-down if I was wearing it).

He already knows he's getting the consequence, why do you need to talk to him about it? Be consistent, my child hated change!
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:33 PM
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BumbleB BumbleB is offline
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Originally Posted by kpa1b2 View Post
He already knows he's getting the consequence, why do you need to talk to him about it? Be consistent, my child hated change!
I need him to sign the detention form. I know when I bring it to him tomorrow to sign, he's going to blow up and start arguing, getting defensive and becoming disrespectful. I'd just like to find a way for him to really GET why there are consequences in life instead of just shutting down and getting angry.

He seems to have a good rapport with our principal, maybe I'll ask her to help me get the signature.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:44 PM
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So, first thing to consider is that ODD isn't really a "disease" like ADHD is in that it doesn't necessarily involve different neurochemistry. A child is diagnosed with ODD simply if they meet behavioral criteria for it, but most kids with ODD develop that profile based on environmental variables as opposed to a different causal structure. This is important because the way you would address ODD would be the same as if you addressed the behaviors the child had even if s/he weren't diagnosed.

That being said, the best first step is probably to learn more about the behavior - background variables (e.g., anything that might cause emotional stress), triggers, peer/adult reactions to behavior, etc. The info might then you lead in different directions, so it might not have anything to do with how consequences are presented, but simply that they are presented at all. Or, it might have everything to do with presentation. For example, when you mentioned that the child is impulsive, it could be that the primary issue is impulse control, which might have a separate set of preventive (and other) strategies, with a primary intermediate goal of reducing number of consequences given by preventing misbehavior.

If you think you have a pretty good handle of the reasons behind the behavior, triggers, etc., maybe post some of that info and that might help us problem-solve more?
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:51 PM
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If you think you have a pretty good handle of the reasons behind the behavior, triggers, etc., maybe post some of that info and that might help us problem-solve more?
I think that the majority of his behavior stems from trying to avoid doing work and impressing peers. But I think that his impulsivity gets in the way of him forming positive relationships. A lot of students find him tiresome.

Having a learning disability, it's natural that he'd want to avoid work. He's had years of thinking that he's not intellectually up to par. I provide him with all of the accommodations/modifications that I think he needs based on his evaluations, but these behavior issues just come out of nowhere (there isn't even an escalation phase)...he'll just randomly blurt out something inappropriate. At least I think it's random, I certainly haven't found a trigger yet...
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:36 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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Originally Posted by BumbleB View Post
I think that the majority of his behavior stems from trying to avoid doing work and impressing peers. But I think that his impulsivity gets in the way of him forming positive relationships. A lot of students find him tiresome.

Having a learning disability, it's natural that he'd want to avoid work. He's had years of thinking that he's not intellectually up to par. I provide him with all of the accommodations/modifications that I think he needs based on his evaluations, but these behavior issues just come out of nowhere (there isn't even an escalation phase)...he'll just randomly blurt out something inappropriate. At least I think it's random, I certainly haven't found a trigger yet...
Cool. So, a few follow-up questions/suggestions:

1) What do you guess would happen if you gave him all extremely easy work that was well below his academic level?

2) What do you guess would happen if you gave him no work, and all pleasant activities instead of the work? Would the behavior continue?

3) How do you think he would respond if he were to not be "let off the hook" by having to complete work the next day (if he leaves class) or following any consequence? Do you think he would learn that his behavior would not result in avoiding work?

4) What would happen if he were to have to complete work in a different classroom if he engaged in the problem behaviors? Do you think if he were not visible to other kids in the room he would continue to engage in the behaviors?
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2012, 07:57 PM
2ndTimeAround 2ndTimeAround is offline
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It sounds like you are very accommodating. Could he be taking advantage of this?

Methinks you're going to have to treat this particular situation like a bandaid. Just rip it off quickly. And be ready with an additional consequence if he calls you a bitch again. There's no excuse for an 8th grader doing that.
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2012, 08:16 PM
GemStone GemStone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BumbleB View Post
I need him to sign the detention form. I know when I bring it to him tomorrow to sign, he's going to blow up and start arguing, getting defensive and becoming disrespectful. I'd just like to find a way for him to really GET why there are consequences in life instead of just shutting down and getting angry.

He seems to have a good rapport with our principal, maybe I'll ask her to help me get the signature.
I would just assume he has given up his right to sign the detention slip with his previous behavior. I wouldn't put myself into the situation where a student would blow up on me.
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2012, 08:17 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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Originally Posted by GemStone View Post
I would just assume he has given up his right to sign the detention slip with his previous behavior. I wouldn't put myself into the situation where a student would blow up on me.
This is my feeling as well. Exactly how important is it that he signs the detention slip? Can you write "refused" or something?
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2012, 09:15 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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Originally Posted by NCScienceTeach View Post
It sounds like you are very accommodating. Could he be taking advantage of this?

Methinks you're going to have to treat this particular situation like a bandaid. Just rip it off quickly. And be ready with an additional consequence if he calls you a bitch again. There's no excuse for an 8th grader doing that.
I think the "bandaid ripoff" approach might very well work if the behavior is a result of avoiding work solely, though there will be a lot of additional behavior that occurs in the process of extinction.
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