Behavior system for music class

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by musicbx, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. musicbx

    musicbx Rookie

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    Sep 22, 2009

    I have a middle school student with Autism that I see twice a week for music class. She comes in every time insisting that she doesn't want to be there. Once it is made clear that she must stay in the music room, she generally refuses to participate. Occasionally, she attempts to participate but makes minimal effort, saying she can’t do it - even though I have set up an activity where she is sure to be successful. Generally, her one-to-one paraprofessional will work with her, making sure that she stays on task during the period. Unfortunately, I am in a situation this year where the one-to-one is on her break during the time that I have this student. That is when things get out of hand, and she will escalate from complaining about having to come to music, to hitting other students. Last week, she made a show by climbing onto my desk, and hitting/kicking my computer. She saw that this upset me more than usual, so today she made a repeat performance.

    I have figured out that all of these behaviors serve to either get attention from others, or to avoid activities. I have spoken with her regular classroom teacher, but have not been given much in the way of advice or help. I have also spoken with the administration to try and get her one-to-one into the classroom with her. In the meantime, I would like to create a behavioral system that she could use just in the music classroom that would get her to participate in activities in a meaningful way.

    Any of your suggestions are appreciated!
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sep 22, 2009

    Ask her what she likes to do and then if it is something you can provide, tell her if she does some activity she'll get to do what she likes to do as long as she doesn't act up?
     
  4. musicbx

    musicbx Rookie

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    Sep 22, 2009

    I know that she LOVES to draw. Last year, I used to tell her "if you do A, B and C then you can draw for the rest of class." It worked in a sense because she did not act out, but she didn't really participate fully - just banging on the instruments aimlessly, when I know she is capable of playing what I am asking her to play. She just bangs the instruments and when you try to help her, she says "I can't do it, I'm a failure" But she still earned her drawing time, because I have a class full of other students all needing the same individual attention. I feel like I wasn't asking enough of her last year, I would really like to raise the expectations. I know she and I will be going head-to-head, so I am hoping for a system to use to make things very concrete.
     
  5. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Sep 22, 2009

    Oh wow. Specials can be hard enough---I can't imagine not having an aide with a kiddo for that time period!

    What grade is she in? "I'm a failure" is either a sign of very low self-esteem or an attempt to dig for attention. Have you asked her specifically what she can't do?

    Random ideas:

    Is there a "job" you can assign her? Set up chairs, pass out items, etc?

    Would an If/Then card work for her? (If I do music, then I get to draw?)

    Is it possible to have an alternative activity for her to do for part of the period? First part participate, second part listen to classical music and draw? (Trying to relate the reward to the class, hehe)

    A behavior chart to earn free time---perhaps an entire music period? (She gets so many "good" days and earns a day of drawing/listening to music/computer game/whatever?)


    Just some random ideas. Good luck! :)
     
  6. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Sep 22, 2009

    If you don't participate APPROPRIATELY, you don't get the reward. I know it's easier said than done... but it's the same thing I do with my little guys with Autism... jsut because you put the work in the "finished" basket, if you didn't actually DO the work (and just threw the pieces in), it comes out and yuo do it again... or what I do with my Kinders in the afternoon, who earn some free time in my room after they do the work... if you mess around and use up all your time now, you don't get free time.
     
  7. musicbx

    musicbx Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Excellent ideas, than you for your suggestions

    I will try to watch myself, working the word "appropriately" into my wording with her.

    I really like the idea of earning an entire free class, I think that's something she would really work for ;-) I'm thinking her own personal behavior chart, with stickers etc.

    Great ideas, thanks again!
     

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