I got bit today!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Master Pre-K, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 21, 2007

    Hello All,

    Guess I am officially initiated to the sp. ed. pre=k class.

    I got bit today! Didn't break skin, but left a bruise.

    I used antibacterial wipe, and it left a little whelp. Talked to the kid, but you know how that went. I did make out behavior report. Guess we know what will happen with that too.

    He is 4.

    any suggestions?
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 21, 2007

    No suggestions but I got bit and she held on when I was doing my student observation. The teacher was impressed that I already knew what to do (calmly bring head in close and that causes them to release insteade of jerking away). Then they freaked because I was a student and not staff. They wanted me to leave immediately and go to the doctor. I didn't have insurance and it didn't break skin anyways. I don't have any advice. This girl did it all the time so they had a hands mat where she was taught to put her hands on this mat where a set of hands cut out was so that she could calm herself down. That wouldn't be the right approach for most.
     
  4. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2007

    Depends a lot on the kid, the cause, etc. Does the student habitually bite himself, others, clothing, toys? If he seems to fixate orally and stim off biting, you might want to talk to your OT about chewing toys that can be used to give the biting an appropriate outlet--there are "necklaces" and "bracelets" that are safe for chewing that a biter can be redirected to bite instead of people--if that is the kind of issue he's having.
     
  5. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Nov 21, 2007

    I would also be sure you have NO open wounds (small cuts, ANTHING) anywhere near where the child's mouth was. If you do, you do need to go to the doctor.

    Kids mouths are so dirty. There are so many germs inside of a mouth. Not to scare you, but a teacher in our district got a staph infection from a kid biting her. She thought it was fine and didn't need to do anything, but then found out that was not the case.

    I was bit by the same child who caused that infection (this summer). He's severely autistic and unfortunately the bus driver was 45 minutes late, and then had the wrong car seat harness to put him in. So after waiting 45 minutes, he was SO frustrated and mad. You'd think these bus drivers would figure out that the kids are on a routine.... and showing up 45 minutes late is crazy.

    Anyways, my district sent me straight to the emergency room to have it cleaned by the doctors and checked out. He did not break the skin either, but there was a cut on my arm close to where he bit me. He left quite a little bite mark bruise on my arm (battle wound) and I got a shot at the doctor. It was sort of for peace of mind, but the district also paid for it and required it.

    In my experience, most children's bites are either out of frustration or anger. It is a common thing in kids with communication challenges because they are so frustrated with not being able to get their feelings across -- they just give up. I have seen other reasons as well-- attention seeking, sensory issues, etc.

    I would do your own little "FBA" of the situation - what was the child doing before he bit? Why did he bite? What was going on leading up to whatever caused the bite? What did he do afterwards? Is he capable of knowing right from wrong, cognitively? What were the consequences? These types of things would help you analyze the reasoning behind his chomp. (And prevent yourself and others from ever being chomped again).
     
  6. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 22, 2007

    fba...Would that be follow up behind action??

    well, I never saw him bite before...but I have only been there two weeks. I think I was more annoyed that the other "problem" kid kept telling everyone, and it shows me they are sooo much smarter than we give them credit. I am seriously more concerned as to why that one felt it was so important to announce to the entire school that the other one bit me.

    I wanted to leave the bikes, and he didn't want to go. so I told him to go, and he refused. and then I knew we would be late so I just picked him up, and he bit me. I put him right down and showed him the mark and said "that is not okay". then when we got back in the room, I wrote it up, and talked to him. I think I made a mistake when I said, "Wouldn't you be sad and upset if I bit you?" because then he started telling everyone I bit him. I think he has a little echolalia going on. All the other kids kept coming over to see, but only one other screamer decides to broadcast it to the world. (both children scream at the top of their lungs whenever they refuse to do something)

    before...my aide was absent, I did not bring them to class because I was in a meeting. His 'girlfriend' didn't come today. He and other screamer get lots of attention from this girl who was absent. Lots of changes for that day. During..just doesn't like transitions. refuses to leave any room, coming or going. After, yes, he is 4 and I don't think my talking to him and telling him no playtime in the loft was sufficient for that severe action.

    today, the welt has gone down..

    but thanks again everyone...CNG tell me more about that "bringing the head closer" technique...sounds too much like going further into the fire. :0

    Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving holiday!
     
  7. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Nov 22, 2007

    I didn't read the responses, but fill out an incident report so it's on file.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 22, 2007

    I was in a special needs class. There was a lack of communication abilities among other things going on which aided to this child's frustration. How you approach children who bite depends a lot on why they are biting. I agree with that statement from another poster.

    Now on the bringing the head in technique, think of it this way...

    Our first initial reaction is to pull our arm away. This may be no big deal if the child bit and released immediately, but if a child lingers (such as my student did), this will pull your flesh and make it worse. So grab the child behind the head and pull their head toward firmly toward the biting area and the mouth has to release whether the child wants it to or not. This breaks the contact immediately and no further damage (other than what's already been done) is wrought on your skin and you don't have to stand there going "let go! let go now!". Just do not pull away!
     
  9. inhisgrip20

    inhisgrip20 Comrade

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    Nov 22, 2007


    This is exactly what we were taught in our county too. Never pull away from their mouth. If they are clinging to your arm (or whatever they are biting, push in towards the bite, not away. It automatically releases their bite, forces their jaw to open.

    I got bit my first year teaching on the arm. It didn't break the skin but left a nasty bruise. The student has severe intellectual disabilities so no 'lecture' or 'talking to' would have worked. I just told him 'no' forcefully, and said "no biting, that's bad!" He was removed from the activity (we were playing a game at the time and he was mad because I wouldn't let him suck his thumb). He tried to bite many times that year, but we caught on quickly and could tell when he was about to bite, so we would quickly redirect and tell him, "no, you do NOT bite." It finally sunk in! I've had him 3 years now and he doesn't bite. :)
     
  10. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 23, 2007

    ok, trying to visualize this...
    pulling head closer stops jaw action? I can see automatic response to pull away would make it worse. Kinda like a pit bull, they hang on! :(
    I was just going to drop him! I know that would be bad. But when I am holding a kid and they bit or kick, I tell them, I will drop them, and I don't think the want that either.

    Instead I held him laterally, like a loaf of bread, calmed him down, he realized he couldn't get away, or bite me anymore, and I was not holding him closely like a baby, I just carried him down the hall like a piece of furniture!

    but this is an issue I need to resolve, because this is exactly what the other teacher did with my afternoon kid. and I refuse to hurt my back carrying these stubborn kids! in fact, he stalled on the way out, and his old teacher grabbed him and took him to the bus. I really think they are starting to expect and enjoy this attention!

    I think next week, I need to make my transition times earlier, and get my class down to the bus line before everyone! that's the only way.

    I also think this kid needs his own one-on-one. hopefully, he will get pull out services soon!
     
  11. inhisgrip20

    inhisgrip20 Comrade

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    Nov 23, 2007

    Yes, try it on your own arm...no really...:) Pretend to bite a chunk of your hand and try to pull your hand away...you can feel your teeth catch and if you were actually biting, like a kid, it could rip the skin if you jerk it out of their mouth. Now, try pushing your hand further into your mouth. If you push hard enough it forces the jaw to open and releases the bite. So I guess a better way to put it is to stabalize their head and then push your arm, hand, whatever further into their mouth.

    It's definitely possible that he enjoys the attention as you said. Unless the child is endangering himself or others I would never pick him up and carry him. He has two legs, he needs to use them! Even if that means waiting an extra 5, 10, 15 minutes for him to decide he's going to walk. Send your other kids on ahead with your parapro and wait him out. He may put up a fight at first but he'll eventually realize that you're not going to carry him.

    PS. FBA stands for 'Functional Behavior Analysis' to see what function the behavior serves (attention seeking, avoidance, etc.)
     
  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 23, 2007

    thanks a million!!!

    I have been searching for local sp ed workshops, and found a sp. ed association- Ntl Assn of Sp Ed teachers. Any of you guys belong to this group?? Does anyone know of any other sp. ed associations or agencies that have national affiliate groups/offices? You know, like NAEYC for early childhood??
     
  13. inhisgrip20

    inhisgrip20 Comrade

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    Nov 23, 2007

  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Funny inhisgrip....I only know that group recently through my research on teacher and para training/relationships/roles.
     
  15. slickchik

    slickchik Rookie

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    Nov 24, 2007

    How about ignoring the behavior?

    Most of the time when I get bit the child is trying to avoid doing something they need to do, or they are angry.

    We are trained not to respond at all to a bite. It works marvelously.

    We used to have a child that would slap you just to get a reaction. If you ignored the behavior he would just leave you alone....if you acted scared or flinched he would keep hitting you. Good times.
     
  16. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 24, 2007

    Master Pre-K, sorry this happened to you! Although I don't necessarily work w/ the types of students who would usually do this kind of thing, it's something I think about in the back of my mind occasionally.
     
  17. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Nov 24, 2007

    I tell children who bite, "We bite apples, not people", similar for kicking, "we kick soccer balls, not people".
     
  18. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 24, 2007

    I can ignore yelling, but I am not a punching bag or a piece of meat. I have a right to be safe and not be attacked. Regardless of the state of mind a child is in.

    I would find it very difficult to ignore a bite. Not sure I agree with that philosphy. In this day an and age...there are too many diseases going around that can be passed thru a bite. That is a serious offense, and I would not take it lightly. Ignoring behavior is something you want to stop on its on.

    Biting should not be one of those behaviors, IMO.
     
  19. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 24, 2007

    yes, this is something they have simply learned that works for them. Toddlers and 2s bite, but that is developmental. Once they get past 2 yrs, that is a behavior they have seen in action. You bite somebody, they stop bothering you, and if you kick them they back off. Temporary fix. That is learned behavior. It gets an immediate response...

    now, I have some defense tactics.
     
  20. slickchik

    slickchik Rookie

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    Nov 24, 2007

    If you want the child to stop biting stop giving them the reaction they are looking for. That's all there is to it.

    If you keep reacting to it, the child will keep trying to bite you.

    If you don't react to it the child will know that biting will not work with you and will eventually stop. Its basic behavioral theory.
     
  21. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Nov 24, 2007

    I am with MPK on the issue of not ignoring biting. The behavioral theory is correct but, once teeth are involved there are too many diseases involved to worry about and ignoring a child biting you is not an option. Best bet is to start writing up some FBAs and try to figure out the students triggers.

    I have worked with special needs students from the ages of 2.5 to 12 years old for about 15 years now and have been to many workshops and conferences and I have never heard anyone suggest ignoring a child who is actually biting you to hurt you. I have had students bite me but not "clamp" down and this behavior was ignored but if a students' bite could break skin then action needs to be taken. You may want to also look into taking a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention workshop.
     
  22. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 24, 2007

    Thanks Proud2B....

    Unless you are wearing some protective gear, it's pretty hard to ignore somebody tearing into your flesh. (I tried wearing bubble wrap around my arm when I had a child with autism). They are not babies, they are 3 and up. THAT hurts. And ignoring the behavior will probably make them dig deeper, or do something worse, since that is not working!
     

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