Does my student have an attachment disorder?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by shadowsinner, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. shadowsinner

    shadowsinner New Member

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    Oct 26, 2017

    Hi all,

    I’m at a loss and am turning to this forum for some advice. I’m a female junior high school teacher in Japan. I have a homeroom along with English subject responsibilities.

    One of my female students, also in my homeroom, has a tendency to just come up to me and throw her arms around me, when she thinks no other adults are present. I usually tell her no before she does, but sometimes she just doesn’t listen. At times, she’s impeded me from doing my job, and I’ve had to push her away. A couple of times, after pushing her away, she repeatedly kept coming back trying to hug me, to the point where she was chasing me. She’s slightly taller than me. Sometimes she thinks it’s funny and smiles throughout, but usually just tries to act cute.

    She also clings to her friends, but it’s Japan, and students of BOTH sexes have a tendency to touch classmates of their own gender more so than in western countries. Generally, girls in school can be seen holding hands when talking to each other. Though never with a teacher. My student is clingier than most, but her friends have accepted her clingy behavior. In class, she attempts to seek my attention or the attention of those around her by acting silly or by saying silly things. She can also be very immature.

    One teacher suggested that she may have some sort of attachment disorder. I’m not so sure. Her parents seem normal, though on the stricter side. The girl doesn’t seem to have any learning disabilities as such, and can write some very good essays.

    Why is she behaving this way? Has anyone ever experienced this? Is it a behavioral disorder?

    Thanks in advance,
    C
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 26, 2017

    It doesn't sound like attachment disorder to me, but you should be aware that members here are not qualified to diagnose this disorder. I think you need specific, stated rules about the behavior you want to decrease, as well as consequences to the rules. Write up the response from here and document it daily.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  4. shadowsinner

    shadowsinner New Member

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    Oct 26, 2017

    Thank you so much for your suggestion!

    I understand that the members here can’t diagnose a disorder, but I was wondering if anyone teaching might be coming across similar behaviors and might know from experience what might be happening.

    Thank you again.
     
  5. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Oct 26, 2017

    I think it's a power play for her. She's enjoying making you uncomfortable. What is the discipline procedure in your school? You need to follow it with this student like you would with other kids.
     
  6. shadowsinner

    shadowsinner New Member

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    Oct 26, 2017

    Thanks Gemstone. It’s possible that that’s all it is with her. And in Japan, my options are limited when it comes to discipline on what might be seen as a “small thing”. Schools don’t even have the power to kick students out of school for flashing knives (unless someone was harmed), much less disciplinary procedures for something seen as far less harmful.
     
  7. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Oct 26, 2017

    Do you have school psychologists on staff in Japan? I agree with Gemstone that it seems like a power-play, cultures are so different and play such a big part in this kind of diagnosis, it’s hard to give advice. Honestly as a special ed teacher, I would say a student that continues to do that kind of behavior may have an intellectual disability and she doesn’t realize that she’s crossing boundaries,or some kind of emotional disturbance and she is continuing to push boundaries on purpose. Either way, it would take an actual psychological evaluation to figure out exactly where this is coming from.
     
  8. shadowsinner

    shadowsinner New Member

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    Oct 26, 2017

    Thanks for your reply, Special-t. Typically in Japan, there are no school psychologists. Occasionally there might be visiting counselors but the students have to initiate a meeting, which no one seems to do. The teachers in Japan are expected to be counselors, guidance officers and psychologists for their students. And yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds and is.
     
  9. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Oct 30, 2017

    Hi Shadowsinner,

    I currently work in South Korea and before my stint here I worked in China for two years. You are right, it is really common for girls to be very clingy with their friends--my high school students here in Korea are SUPER clingy with each other. It's just the culture. Your student should know that it's not appropriate to hug you that way, though. Have you talked to her one-on-one about it? I'm not sure what her English ability is, but maybe you could have a Japanese teacher sit in when you talk to her? Or possibly have a Japanese teacher talk to her about it? She honestly might not understand that what she is doing is wrong (if there are any disabilities present). Perhaps if she was told that (not sure where you are from, but I'm assuming you are North American) Americans don't hug like (from a Japanese teacher) she might back off. Keep us updated and best of luck.
     

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