An unusual child

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Grammy Teacher, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 9, 2011

    Hi, I need some ideas about a 4 year old boy in my class. He caused lots of problems for his previous teacher and I was hoping that he was acting this way just to aggravate her, perhaps just not liking her. Now I have him and he's acting just as strange. His mother is a doctor and father is professional something, I had his sister last year and she was quite a pleasure. Here are some of the things he does. He plays well alone, but not with others. He will start to play with someone (such as building blocks, etc,) and all of a sudden he'll throw one of the toys at a child, hurting them. He will watch the adult in the room (in an almost creepy way,) as if sizing you up, he just stares. If you ask him what he is doing, he just turns away and sits there. The other day, he climbed up and got hold of the blind cord, pulled it down and it crashed to the ground. Later in the day, he said to me, "When are you leaving?" I figured he wanted to know so that he could begin to "act out" for the afternoon teacher. Sure enough, she left me a note about all the things he did that afternoon, one thing was trying to poke his fingers into a fan.
    He constantly does these weird kind of things. Today I told him he had to stay in one area, alone all day and play alone. We did the same thing on the playground. What to do??? Ideas? He is mad about the isolation.
     
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  3. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Jun 9, 2011

    I would try rewarding him (stickers, candy) for any good behavior he displays. He may not understand what he is doing is wrong, but it might "click" when he sees himself getting rewarded for good things and reprimanded for bad actions.

    Is there another student in the class that he seems to like/admire? Maybe pair him with that person (go to each center together, sit next to each other at circle time, etc.) and see if a good influence rubs off on him.

    Just ideas...but you've probably already tried them! :p
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 9, 2011

    He seems to be going for negative attention. He needs a very strict behavior system that doesn't allow for any grey areas and has immediate responses. If you and the other teachers can carry them out with as little reaction or overattention as possible, that will help. Restrict your attention to him to when he is behaving appropriately. Don't lavish praise, just acknowledge him and what he's doing when he is appropriate.

    Rather than isolation, maybe you could 'isolate' the plaything if he throws it another student. Make it off-limits to the child who threw it. Have him earn privileges to do the extra things he likes to do.

    If you can put together some picture cards for behaviors, then maybe you could have him show when he recognizes his poor behavior. Make a chart or something where there is a sad face and a happy face and have him pick from pictures illustrating behavior and place one depicting his behavior that morning (or hour, or activity) it in the appropriate place.

    I don't think talking or explaining things will get through to him.
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jun 9, 2011

    It sounds like the only way he is used to getting attention is by being negative. So, the suggestion to praise him for good is great. If you can ignore most of the negative behavior at the same time, it might help.
     
  6. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 10, 2011

    Great ideas so far, thanks! Yes, he does go for the negative attention. His former teacher said that (for example,) if the kids were banging their spoons on the table and she told them to "stop," they would all stop, except for him. He would make a point of doing it one more time and then stare at her.
    I'll let you know how it goes today. Nothing like a good challenge! I'll have him for an entire year so something better work!
     
  7. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Jun 10, 2011

    Did the previous teacher talk to the parents to see if he behaved this way at home? Perhaps a medical reason should be ruled out. Good luck w.ith him
     
  8. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jun 10, 2011

    I might consider other reasons that negative attention - he seems to be engaged in the behaviors primarily in the context of social situations with other kids. You mentioned he plays well alone - many kids I know that seek negative attention from adults or peers don't necessarily play well alone - they still often try to seek negative attention from adults during independent activities, and would likely seek out social situations (rather than being content playing independently) in order to seek negative attention from peers.

    To me, it sounds a bit more involved than just a simple set of behaviors aimed at a simple goal (e.g., negative attention from adults).

    My first recommendation would be more assessment - whether by someone else (e.g., counselor) or you - learning more about when the behaviors occur, what the typical peer and adult responses are to the behaviors, etc. Is there someone in your school that might be able to help with that? Also, is school almost over, or is there summer school? Just wondering if you are looking to build some strategies for the moderate-term, or just for a few days until summer break :).
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 10, 2011

    The family doesn't care for his former teacher. She sent too many "naughty" notes home! They told her (the teacher) that he doesn't act that way at home. The thing is, he doesn't have the competition at home.
     
  10. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I will have him in my class until next June, so I am tackling the problem now. I am documenting behavior and the afternoon teacher is 100% helpful. Not too sure about the parents. They are not good with communicating and didn't come to conferences when he was in the other room (they don't like his former teacher because she was too negative about him.)
    He does these odd things throughout the day, alone and with others. When I talk to him about it, he seems to totally understand and says, "o.k." This week I was right on him the second he did anything out of the ordinary and it resulted in me telling him he had to stay with me and away from others at all times. The afternoon teacher followed through beautifully. I typed a letter to the parents explaining what was going on and that I was working on helping him so he could have enjoyable days. They did not respond to me, but today he had a good day! He came up to us just before I left for the day and he said, "I had a good day today!" We expressed our happiness in him and he smiled. So, we will see. I'm not sure at this point, but I think isolating him from his friends and be consistent might be the answer.
     
  11. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jun 10, 2011

    Good to hear there was some improvement! Hopefully you're heading in the right direction!
     
  12. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2011

    What does he like to do in class?
    What are his acitvity choices?
    Is there one specific person that he likes to play with?
    Have you completed a time sampling of his activity choices?
    Have someone come in and observe the interaction in the room.

    School and home are two very different places!
     
  13. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    EdEd, This comment from you is what I think, too. I think there is more to it than looking for negative attention, too.

    "To me, it sounds a bit more involved than just a simple set of behaviors aimed at a simple goal (e.g., negative attention from adults)."
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 11, 2011

    This is a work in progress. :)
     

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