A to Z Teacher Stuff ~ Teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, Themes, Tips, Printables, and more
advertise
Go Back   A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums > TeacherChat Forums > Special Interests > Special Education



Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-29-2012, 02:39 PM
teacher girl teacher girl is offline
Comrade
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 257
Virginia
Special Education Teacher
Violent child?

I am a student teacher in special education and my biggest fear about the profession is working with a child that is violent. I can handle paperwork, or even a child that has ADHD that is constantly out of their seat or playing, but I am deathly afraid to work with children that are violent. How do you work with a child that is violent towards teachers and other students?

I know you aren't allowed to hit them back, but are you allowed to restrain them?

Also, are violent children ( in special education) usually found in ED (emotional disorder) or ASD ( autism) classes ?
Which areas of special education should I avoid, if I don't want to work with violent children? ( I'll work with any other disability) Any suggestions?
Reply With Quote

 
  #2  
Old 11-29-2012, 02:56 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
Aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,312
USA
So, definitely a lot of questions! First, there's a difference between "violent" and "aggressive," with "violent" usually referring to extreme actions like school shootings. I'm thinking you're mostly referring to aggression, as violence tends to be rare and hard to avoid/predict when it does occur, at least from a classroom teach perspective.

A few thoughts on your other questions:

1) Certainly you'll more likely have higher rates of aggression in ED/ASD classes, with lower incidence (though not necessarily no incidents) in LD classes. There are also different types of aggression. In classes with kids who are extremely low functioning, you might have a significant amount of aggression, but that's likely to be different from other types of aggression. I guess the question is, are you uncomfortable with the sheer physicality of the situation, or the emotional intensity of the situation?

2) Even in general education, depending on your grade level and school, you might be dealing with a decent amount of aggression, though probably not at the rate of a SPED classroom (again, on average).

3) Restraint depends on your school and district. Most teachers in most schools are not trained on restraint, but I'm not sure about the percentage of SPED teachers trained. Even most administrators tend to not be trained in restraint.

4) In terms of how to work with those kids, there is a lot of preparation in terms of learning how to do FBAs, various types of intervention strategies, etc. There is no "cookbook" method of working with aggression, as each situation is usually different in some way. The best way is to be as prepared as you can.

5) Typically, people feel more comfortable dealing with aggressive behavior when they have more training with it. It can seem intimidating thinking about having to deal with that kind of behavior, but typically that fear comes from fearing not knowing what to do. Once you have a better idea of what to do, it becomes easier.

6) Still, good for you for considering the area of schooling you like to work in. Some folks really love behavioral challenges - some folks love the challenge of teaching, but not behavior. It's important to be honest about what you want to do, which leads me to my main point:

Rather than thinking about what you want to avoid, think about what you are most passionate about. What group of students do you most want to work with, and why? You'll probably find that you'd be able to conquer many challenges associated with that population if you have a true passion for it. However, if you don't, you'll like not have the motivation to persist.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-29-2012, 04:55 PM
BumbleB's Avatar
BumbleB BumbleB is offline
Habitué
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdEd View Post
Rather than thinking about what you want to avoid, think about what you are most passionate about. What group of students do you most want to work with, and why? You'll probably find that you'd be able to conquer many challenges associated with that population if you have a true passion for it. However, if you don't, you'll like not have the motivation to persist.


teacher girl, I know that you want the "ideal" job and you want it soon, but you REALLY need to believe us when we say that you should choose the path that makes you the happiest and most excited to pursue. That's what is best for both your future students and yourself!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-29-2012, 05:01 PM
ciounoi's Avatar
ciounoi ciounoi is offline
Cohort
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 593
Pennsylvania
EdEd has a lot of great information!

I've always found it very helpful when dealing with aggressive students to stay very calm (easier said than done, but it does come with practice!). I try not to make any demands on the student at that moment. If I have to address the behavior itself, I don't make a demand out of it, I basically comment on the behavior. For example, I was working with an elementary student who was becoming more and more agitated. I was sitting on a chair and the student basically tried to sit next to me and shove me off the chair. In the most calm tone I could gather, I told the student that he was heavy and it was hurting me that he was trying to share my chair, and then I asked if it would be possible for him to find a chair for himself. He responded to that and thankfully gave me some room to breathe. 8-) I've found that stuff like this, basically anything you could think of to respond to the student in a neutral, unexpected way, can help.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-29-2012, 06:16 PM
GemStone GemStone is offline
Cohort
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 541
Quote:
Originally Posted by teacher girl View Post
Also, are violent children ( in special education) usually found in ED (emotional disorder) or ASD ( autism) classes ?
Which areas of special education should I avoid, if I don't want to work with violent children? ( I'll work with any other disability) Any suggestions?
Special ed is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're going to get.

I work in a school with full inclusion and have two students with aggressive, defiant behaviors. One has been identified as emotionally disturbed but is still in the general education setting. The other is in the process of being identified.

Every year, we have students like this. Some are moved to other placements (which can take a LONG time to happen - often a year or more) and some will NOT be placed elsewhere, but will be in your inclusion classrooms every single day, year after year.

When you go into special ed, you WILL work with all kinds of students, from the ones labelled Intellectually Disabled (Mentally Retarded) to the ones who are diagnosed psycopaths. The behaviors will be on a continuum. I can almost guarantee it.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-29-2012, 09:55 PM
bethechange bethechange is offline
Comrade
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 299
Minnesota
Elementary SPED - Autism
It is good that you are addressing this fear now, as the liklihood you will encounter an aggressive student at some point in your teaching career, no matter what you teach is pretty high.

First, remember that behavior is communication. I know it can be scary the first time you encounter something unexpected, but first and foremost, kids that are aggressive are communicating something to you. It could be that they do not know a better way, cannot tell you what they are upset about, or may know better, but cannot access a better way to handle the situation in the heat of the moment. Even with populations prone to aggressive behaviors, a lot can be avoided by being proactive, calm, and consistent. Don't take these behaviors personally.

I would say that while aggressive behaviors are probably more common in the ASD/EBD populations, you will not avoid them altogether by choosing something else. Also, when you get a teaching job, you can't just say you refuse to work with kids with certain disabilties. You may be the only special ed teacher at your school and start the year with the perfect caseload of easy to manage children and when a challenging student moves in after Christmas, guess what? You are their case manager and you've got to figure them out, aggressive behavior or not.

Maybe while you are student teaching you could visit some other areas of special education (ASD, EBD) and observe or talk with teachers about how they handle aggressive behavior? Also would not hurt to read up on (and try out!) positive behavior supports and strategies, which are good for ALL children. Dr. Ross Greene has a ton of great stuff! The Explosive Child and Lost at School are two of his books that are easy to read and give a ton of practical ideas, not to mention the perspective of how a child with challenging behavior might be thinking and feeling.

Finally, remember that there are a ton of resources and supports for handling challenging behavior. Lots of great resources here: http://www.challengingbehavior.org/ Your school psychologist or school social worker is another good resource!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-30-2012, 01:07 AM
bros bros is offline
Aficionado
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,628
New Jersey, US
Looking for a job
I have been told in my courses that you are not legally allowed to restrain a student unless you are trained unless it is an emergency (i.e. they are about to cause harm to another student) and even when you do restrain them, following the training methods to the T, the district must inform CPS about it, as a formality.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-30-2012, 02:10 AM
EdEd EdEd is offline
Aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,312
USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by bros View Post
I have been told in my courses that you are not legally allowed to restrain a student unless you are trained unless it is an emergency (i.e. they are about to cause harm to another student) and even when you do restrain them, following the training methods to the T, the district must inform CPS about it, as a formality.
These may be local policies/practices, but aren't standard. A few thoughts:

1) Even if it's an emergency, if you aren't trained in restraint, it's generally a bad idea as you could do more harm than good. That's not to say it's always a bad idea in every single situation, but anytime you attempt to restrain when you aren't trained, even if it's an emergency, your risk/liability goes up substantially, as well as the danger to the child.

2) I've never heard of calling CPS about a restraint as a matter of formality. This sounds like a particular district protocol.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-30-2012, 06:16 AM
GemStone GemStone is offline
Cohort
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 541
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdEd View Post
These may be local policies/practices, but aren't standard. A few thoughts:

1) Even if it's an emergency, if you aren't trained in restraint, it's generally a bad idea as you could do more harm than good. That's not to say it's always a bad idea in every single situation, but anytime you attempt to restrain when you aren't trained, even if it's an emergency, your risk/liability goes up substantially, as well as the danger to the child.

2) I've never heard of calling CPS about a restraint as a matter of formality. This sounds like a particular district protocol.
It's the parents who must be informed when a child is restrained. All good points.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-30-2012, 01:13 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
Aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,312
USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by GemStone View Post
It's the parents who must be informed when a child is restrained. All good points.
It certainly would be best practice at least
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
child, violent

Thread Tools

Forum Jump

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:16 AM.


Copyright © 1997-2010 A to Z Teacher Stuff, L.L.C.  All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.
Questions, comments, and suggestions: Contact Us
Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.