Processing with Violent ASD Student

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by JTyke, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. JTyke

    JTyke Guest

    Jun 5, 2017

    Hello! I have a PreK student who has recently been diagnosed with ASD. She is very bossy and basically does whatever she wants during the day or she will throw huge tantrums where she screams at the top of her lungs and becomes violent. She doesn't seem to be motivated by anything and when I try to process with her through incidences she has no recollection of the event or she doesn't see how her actions were wrong at all. How do I teach her positive actions? How do I make her see that positive actions are what we should be trying to do? It just doesn't seem to get through to her!
  3. bros

    bros Phenom

    Aug 5, 2009
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    Jun 6, 2017

    We had a student like that when I student taught - a visual schedule helped her a lot, along with an aide trained in CPI who could take her out of the classroom if she started to hit
  4. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

    Sep 10, 2014
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    Jun 6, 2017

    Have you tried a forced choice reinforcement survey? It might help identify something that is motivating for her, which would obviously help create a scenario for positive reinforcement.

    While I don't have a student who is quite like that, I did have an AU student who was having daily meltdowns (screaming, crying, throwing pencils, books, etc.) over really minor things including not getting his way. Like your kiddo, he really didn't understand how his actions were wrong, which have seen in several AU students. Not that they don't know right from wrong, but it can be very hard to make the connection between their actions and the negative consequence or outcome, especially if their behavior got them what they wanted at first.

    We (his gen ed teachers and I) sat down with this student and very clearly and simply explained our expectations for behavior. We also gave him a visual checklist to keep on his desk. While he was calm, we also explained that there were potential consequences and rewards for not meeting expectations. If he met expectations 3/5 days of the week, he could earn computer/ipad time. Any time he had a meltdown he had to go to the office to calm down. It wasn't intended as punishment so much but he needed a place to recollect that wasn't disrupting multiple classrooms. I do think he kind of saw it as a punishment, though. But, to be fair, at his age (11) I think throwing school supplies at your classmates does warrant a consequence.

    We did this for a month straight before we saw significant improvement. He earned ipad time twice that month. We had to have our AP come remove him multiple times because he got so aggressive and upset. We stayed the course, though, along with providing him with as much in class support as possible. He also met with our guidance counselor multiple times to practice better ways to deal with stress and anger. We finally, finally (just as the year was ending) saw his behavior improve by a noticeable amount.

    I know this situation isn't quite the same, but I share it as a reminder that it can sometimes take a long time for an intervention to be effective. It doesn't mean it won't, and you have to be patient and really pay attention to figure out if you are heading in the right direction.
  5. renard

    renard Companion

    May 13, 2015
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    Jun 6, 2017

    First, let me say this unfortunate thing: at the pre-K level, a student with Autism may never do anything but throw tantrums and fight. End of. It's completely normal and something to get through (I have worked with ASD children and I also have one of my own, pre-K is an extremely difficult age for them). It's really not their fault, it's just the traits combined with pre-K development, and it's nobody's fault. So, don't let yourself get down if you don't see success (it will come in later years with consistency).

    Visual schedule is KEY here. It needs to be basic and simple (sit, stand, eat). Google "PECS communication binder" and have one made. Do not expect her to recollect events, ever. If it's not within the immediate, she won't understand. Hitting: I would take her hand quickly (the hitting hand) and say "No! (Name of kid who got hit) said no hit! Ouch!". Very, very simple language. Always take the hitting hand to try and connect the words to her body.

    If she tantrums and screams, let her. It's okay. She needs it. Just make sure the other children are out of hitting range and that there is an adult to make sure she doesn't injure her head. There is another adult, right? It's really not acceptable for you to have such a young pre-K autistic child with violent tendancies and no 1:1 or extra adult to assist with her. It's not fair to her, you, or the other children. She needs it. She needs someone versed in caring for autistic children, preferably in an educational setting. I could write a book on how to manage this child, it's really hard to convey in a post.

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