Need tips on dealing with specific child

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by massteacher, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. massteacher

    massteacher Companion

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    Nov 6, 2010

    Hi All,
    I have a child who is very impulsive, has a very hard time during whole group instruction. Besides the impulsivity, he is constantly trying to attract the attention of others, which often works. When he is put in a break to quiet his body, he ends up sitting upside down in the chair or being silly saying LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME! He uses inappropriate language (talking about body parts, bodily functions), which his peers thinks is hilarious. We've had many talks about it, and he can always say what is the right/wrong thing to do. We are in a co-teaching situation so whoever is not teaching is sitting right next to him trying to keep him regulated the whole time. He is a sweet kid, but he is really taking away from the learning from his peers, and himself because of how disruptive he is. I have documentation of when these behaviors occur. I feel like I'm spending more time redirecting because he riles the whole class up, and we have another child who is very disruptive too, but not quite to the extent he is. Often times he says things that are mean to peers too.

    We've been talking to mom about our concerns, because he can't focus one bit and we're worried he's going to start falling behind. Apparently he was on medication at the end of last year for these same issues, but then mom took him off of them throughout the summer, said she would make an appt with the psychologist again to see what he recommends, but hasn't yet. (this was at the end of September). It seems to be getting worse and worse.

    Any recommendations? I'm getting him a manipulative to hold in his hand this weekend, but anything else?? Please offer any ideas you can...I feel like the time that we have whole group instruction is not great right now and I want to reign this class in!! If I can get this little one to stop being so distracting, things would go so much smoother. Even the kids were asking him to stop because they can't hear/learn/are frustrated.
     
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  3. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2010

    I teach high school, so the situation is a little different. When I get kids who are disruptive for the sake of attention, I make them go outside until they can behave properly. This gets them AWAY from their friends, which they don't want, and there's no one to look at them outside, which they hate.

    Is there any way to modify this idea for a little guy?
     
  4. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2010

    Look into the Bullseye Game, a free download from Whole Brain Teaching. It is designed for this sort of situation. PM me if you need help with it.
     
  5. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Nov 18, 2010

    ....I'd keep pressing for those meds. I personally need glasses to see. Just a fact, no embarrassment, no stigma. This kid needs meds to focus. Chemical imbalance in the brain. No embarrassment, no stigma.

    Document, and be constant in your communication with mom.

    Breathe deep! Good luck.
     
  6. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Nov 18, 2010

    Until you can get him proper help, I have an idea that has been working with one of my students (a six year old who was held back because she was VERY behind due to attention issues, and her mom felt it would be better to keep her back and work on the issues slowly than push her ahead.).

    We made a chart for her with each part of the day listed and a little icon for different activities. Then, we discussed choices with her-avoiding the words good and bad, but using appropriate and inappropriate instead. After each part of the day, either I or my assistant will sit down with her, and discuss her choices. She'll tell us if her choices were appropriate ("I sat in my seat and listened quietly, only spoke when I was called on"), inappropriate ("I jumped out of my seat and made silly faces to distract my friends") or some of each. ("I started off sitting nicely and listening, but then at the end I jumped up and made silly faces at my friends.") Then, she will color a box next to the icon Green for only appropriate choices, red for only inappropriate choices, and yellow for some and some.

    Whenever she starts acting up, we'll quietly say "R, are you making an appropriate choice right now? Stop and think about what you're doing." which usually gets her back on track. Her mother reported after the first week that she was saying that to herself at home! The first few days were REALLY difficult, and she had mostly red boxes. By the time a week went by, she was mostly getting yellows and greens, and now after only around three weeks, she only gets one or two reds a day.

    Obviously, this won't solve your problems if the kid really needs meds, but it may help some of the time...

    Good luck!
     
  7. The Substitute

    The Substitute Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2010

    Hi Mass,

    This can be a frustrating situation, but given that it’s not that uncommon I guess we all have to figure out how to deal with it. One of my first questions would be, “Why is the behaviour occurring?” If last year’s meds were to treat ADD then that would go a long way to answering this question. I would also want to know what had changed so that mom and dad felt that medication was no longer required. I’d also be looking carefully at whether or not the child is able to do the work. If the difficulty of the work is positioned above the child then the behaviour issues will be exacerbated. If this is not the first year that the child has been in the school I’d also speak with the teacher that had them the previous year.

    Assuming for the moment that we are dealing with an attention deficit type of issue (aknowledged assumption on my part) and that general classroom practices are not sufficient for the child to participate successfully in the class, then I’d be looking to do 2 things:

    My first step would be to draw up a behaviour modification plan. I’d clearly identify the exact problematic behaviours that I wanted to address, try to identify where they are occurring and also if there is a particular trigger or payoff for each (like attention from peers). Once I had this I’d try to figure out what motivates this child in general so that I could come up with some suitable positive and negative motivators (carrots and sticks) to be used in extinguishing unwanted behaviours and replacing them with acceptable ones. Consistently reward the good behaviours, remove positive stimuli for performing negative ones, and have a negative consequence for the negative behaviour. Then be prepared to apply them with utter consistency. I recognize that this is common sense for the most part but most teachers I know (myself included) often have a hard time pulling the plan together given that we are already run off our feet as it is. But it’s really worth taking the time to do it – it will help immensely

    The second thing I would do would be to start documenting everything. Use a list of behaviours with check boxes or tallies beside them and track the behaviours relentlessly. For example, every time the child is out of their seat when they should be sitting, add a check for that behaviour. Every time they call out inappropriate remarks, add a check for that behaviour.

    I know that this is an extra level of management added to your day but it is utterly invaluable when you need to make your case to mom and dad. Being able to say “Did you know Billy calls out inappropriate comments 17 times a day on average?” is far more powerful than simply telling them that Billy calls out too much.

    Quantified behaviour has much more persuasive power. This is especially true when dealing with your administration. It is entirely possible given this child’s medication issues that this is not going to be something that can be entirely solved in a satisfactory manner purely by your own efforts. This child may very well need extra support, but the longer you take to document the behaviours and their frequency, the harder it will be and the longer it will take to get the extra support that this child may very well need.

    I’d try to fix it right now with a behaviour mod approach, but I’d also start my documentation now so that if I was unable to get the child’s behaviour under control to a level that is suitable for independent classroom participation, I would have established a clear history of the problematic behaviours and their frequency. Teachers often make the mistake of going to their administrators and saying that they need help because this kid is driving me crazy and making it next to impossible to teach. The administrator, while sympathetic, has 100 (or 1000) other problems being heaped on her plate and each problem is competing for the limited funds at their disposal. Because of this the administrator is likely to ask you to start tracking it so that they can identify the frequency and severity and use that info to make a decision.

    If you haven’t started tracking when you have this conversation it means that you’ll have to endure even more of this behaviour while you begin to assemble your case. But, if you can show your results to your administrator and your behaviour modification plan, you’re more likely to get help and to get that help more quickly. When you can show that student X has had 87 recorded instances of inappropriate physical contact with other students over the last 6 weeks, it is so much more compelling than saying that student X is always pushing other students.
     

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