Need help! School is not safe for my child

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by mrsrevjohnson, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. mrsrevjohnson

    mrsrevjohnson New Member

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Hello Everyone,
    I'm brand new but I am trying to find some answers. My son is in a kindergarten, ED class. His teacher and I are desperate to finding some help and I hope you all can. I have several questions:
    1. What kind of design do your ED classes have.
    2. What do you do to stop your children from running out of the room?
    3. We are working with the Marcus Institute with Behavior management but we still have children having melt downs daily and we have no time-out room. If your school has one how did they get it? Our school has no place for it.
    4. Any other suggestions regarding the classrooms and your classroom design would be so welcome. Alot of our kids are ADHD, ODD, OCD, SID, CD, Bi-polar, FAS however we do not have any with Autism at this time. We have very violent behavior problems. Its not just at school these kids are melting down at home as well.

    Thank you for your time.
    Kerry Johnson~adoptive mom to Joshua 12, Kaitlyn 9 and Andrew 6 who has every dx in the book
     
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  3. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Sep 12, 2006

    Suggest to the teacher to have a time out area where the kids can cool down. Forkids who run away can a para take them out for breaks? Have a sit-down activity then a physical activy for the kids.
    Is there a reward system in place? Hope these help. Terry G.
     
  4. TeachBD

    TeachBD Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2006

    1. What kind of design do your ED classes have.

    We are extremely structured with a rewards chart that allows students to earn for each hour of the day. More often if necessary.

    All staff are trained in non-violent crisis intervention restraint procedures--no one is ever left alone with a child until the child has de-escalated.

    2. What do you do to stop your children from running out of the room? All of our 'bolters' came to our program with an one-on-one aide already--I can't imagine what we would do without someone who is specifically looking after a student who 'wanders'.

    3. We are working with the Marcus Institute with Behavior management but we still have children having melt downs daily and we have no time-out room. If your school has one how did they get it? Our school has no place for it.

    Your school needs to FIND a place for it--and you should not have to transport a student down any steps and it should be nearby. AND don't call it a time out room--federal guidelines regulate 'time-out rooms'. Ours is called a reflection area. Start looking at other classrooms in the building--check out the rooms of teachers who are retiring soon--do they have a different set up from you that would better accommodate your class? Some rooms have storage closets that are bigger than some small classrooms--check around.

    The idea of some place in the room to 'cool down' is a great one. And this may be your only alternative for the time being. Sometimes, though, the student needs to be removed -- or at least the rest of your class needs to be removed so there is not such a 'show'.

    I have a brown upholstered rocking chair in my room, and it is used daily by at least one of my students.

    I have bean bags in another corner for them to go 'de-stress' on. I ordered a BIG box of 'stress-balls' from Oriental Trading Company and passed them out the first day of school for students to keep at their seats.

    I have a 'massage-chair' like you use in a car that can attach to just about any chair.

    I've never used it-- and you could not REQUIRE a student to use it, but if they voluntarily used a large washing machine box or something similar to remove themselves from the external stimulation-- put a bean bag chair inside it, or some big pillows--Plus this could fold up flat and out of the way if necessary. In regular rooms, they build things like this all the time for special places to read--I've seen 'bear dens' small tents, tee-pees, and claw-foot bathtubs full of pillows and bean bags designed for a reward for people reading in the room--you could use them to help manage behaviors....

    Individual study carrels -- I called them "Your own personal office space" and even put tape on the floor to distinguish where it was OK to be -- even if you were not sitting in your chair--you had to stand within your Office Space. If you choose not to do your work with the group--you have to be in your space. You have to have permission to leave your space.

    In your situation, the "personal office spaces' may be your best bet. Other students have to have permission to enter another student's space. Students know that if someone has a behavioral outburst their 'safe space' is their 'office space' and that is where they need to be until the room is 'safe' again.

    You may not have actual study carrels--and you will find there are lots of 'room dividers' built into your room that are heavy enough to not tip over when someone is having an 'anger outburst'. A 4 drawer file cabinet can be a divider between 2 students--a low bookshelf full of encyclopedias and reference books, lockers, etc.--look around your building--there are tons of things that could be anchored to the floor or weighted down with enough stuff so that they are not a tip hazard.

    Think 'shower stalls' for individual office spaces---maybe even the type of walls used to divide a restroom--they are solid and relatively inexpensive when you think of completely remodeling a room. Plus, if your building is anything like some I have been in, there might actually be a couple of these floating around somewhere from when they remodeled a bathroom to turn it into a small classroom or storage area.

    I had a friend whose husband built 4 foot high x 6 ft long walls on wheels with white board on one side and bulletin board on the other side and storage drawers in the bottoms so they could not tip over. You can see the students from a central point, but they cannot see everyone else and cannot 'feed' off of each others behaviors....

    Also think about your lighting. I just heard about a program that had individual study carrels for students and each student had a clip on light at their 'office space'. If the student wanted to be left alone, they just turned out their light and others knew to respect that. No overhead lights were used in this room at all. All individual lamps and floor lamps. It is the 4th week of school and I have just started turning on all of our classroom lights for a short time each day.

    I have used waterfall fountains to help cover background noises. Play music that does not have words--stringed instruments have a very calming effect and the students like most of them better than you think.

    Another thing I do--which may or may not work for Kind.- is to let my students chew gum--it works as an outlet for extra energy. I let them know that as soon as I find any gum anywhere except the trash can or in their mouth this will not be allowed anymore and it has worked for 4 years now....

    The toughest thing to swallow as a teacher of students who are severe ED/BD is that often times, the most important thing is to be teaching appropriate behaviors and that unfortunately the academics take a back seat to that many times! It is a hard thing to swallow after years of being told to build content rich lessons. You have to realize your content IS APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR.

    When my classroom was housed in a separate building from the ED Program that we are part of now, I was in the same boat--2 aides, 7 students, no reflection area, little administrative support. -- we did restraints in the classroom until the child calmed down -- the rest of the group had 'packets' and worked away like everything was 'normal'.

    We were spit on, kicked, bit, scratched and no police report was ever filed because the principal didn't want the bad press.....we are now housed with the rest of the ED program -- all in the same building. Everyone is on the same page, everyone understands what we deal with each day......such a world of difference. We even have a liaison officer in our building every day--and yes, our program serves students as young as 2nd grade--so this is not just for 'big kids'.

    4. Any other suggestions regarding the classrooms and your classroom design would be so welcome. Alot of our kids are ADHD, ODD, OCD, SID, CD, Bi-polar, FAS however we do not have any with Autism at this time. We have very violent behavior problems. Its not just at school these kids are melting down at home as well.

    Most of my students are ADHD With Bi-polar and or ODD. My ODD student is my 'rocker' and has rocked in my upholstered rocker so hard he broke the screw heads off of the rocking mechanism on the chair. It is his way of coping. Parental support varies from good to really not good.

    Also get some large motor activities intergraded into your program--wall push ups, chair push ups, wiping down the boards, carrying heavy things from point a to point b, pushing a big floor mop, etc. All of these things help to use up those extra 'fidgets' and allow students to focus on tasks.

    And I am sure you know, but document, document, document your tail off so you have the necessary documentation when people ask WHY you need x,y, or z!

    WOW, I think I have said enough for now--I just wish I had known about this site 3 years ago when I was not in such a supportive program!
     
  5. mrsrevjohnson

    mrsrevjohnson New Member

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    Sep 12, 2006

    Thank you

    Great idea's thank you! Please everyone keep the idea's coming!
     

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