Sleeping in Class

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by I Am The Future, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. I Am The Future

    I Am The Future Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2009

    What is your view on sleeping in class? I'm only an apiring teacher, and haven't actually experianced it from the teacher's POV, so my opinion will be slightly skewed until I DO have that experiance. :) So, until then, I like to sift through everyone else's methods.

    So what is your policy? Do you allow it? Not allow it? Do you think it's disrespectful? Do you consider WHY they're sleeping? Do you think it's a reflection on your lesson?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 13, 2009

    Right now it's flu season. Lots of kids are fighting illness.

    When I wake kids up... I'll ask them if they need to go to the nurse. And in study hall, I tend to overlook it, unless it's a daily thing.

    But it's NOT OK to sleep in my class. If you can't keep your eyes open for 38 minutes, you should be home in bed.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    In general, I would call it rude and disrespectful, but as Alice said, there's a time to overlook it. I have allowed students to sleep in my class, but that was when I knew there was an underlying issue and going home was not an option. Unless there's something brought to my attention, and it's not study hall, then I'm going to wake the student up and ask if he or she needs to call home. If it becomes a persistent problem, then appropriate disiplinary measures will be put into place.
     
  5. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    A student chooses to fall asleep in class. If they chose NOT to, they would figure out how to stop it. Since this a choice, the student must deal with the consequences. Hopefully sleeping in class is worth failing to that student. If a student is sick, then that is one thing. But habitually falling asleep in class is unacceptable and deserves a failed grade. I don't ever "want" to fail a student, and will hold student's responsible for meeting my expectations. This is why if a student falls asleep in my class, I will wake them up.
     
  6. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Dec 21, 2009

    I had a 10th grade student who would fall asleep in class so soundly that he was really out of it upon waking (consistently, over a period of 8 weeks). I spoke to one of his permanent teachers who was also becoming concerned. We decided that he either had narcolepsy, a drug problem, or wasn't able to sleep at night at home. The school nurse and counselor got involved ... I don't know the outcome. But, this is an example of why it's important to interface with other teachers when dealing with a persistent behavior problem.
     
  7. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    If a student in 5th grade (or elementary) falls asleep, they've got a pretty good reason to do so. I've only had one in all these years that fell asleep due to not going to bed on time. But even that wasn't an issue. He'd get off the bus, sit in the hall with the other students waiting for the bell, and bam! Sound asleep, sitting upright. Noise all around him. But he'd wake up for class.
     
  8. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Dec 22, 2009

    Falling asleep in class seems to happen often today. I think it's reall sad. If students are going to bed on time it could be due to video games or just craziness & chaos at their house. Either way it's due to a lack of parenting at home (or mom/ dad is at work & the students has to fend for themselves). I teach music & usually it's too loud & busy for sleeping...but I've had a couple 4th graders sleeping (while sitting on the floor) during our listening acitivty. (I don't know how that's possible b-c the music was heavy metal & we were jammin'). :D I wake them up when we move to the next acitvity so at least they get a mini power nap in.
     
  9. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    Pleeeaassseee don't blame all students who have sleep issue's as a parenting thing...

    My son has Aspergers and sleep has been a major problem since he was a baby. I don't consider my son to of slept thru the night until he was 11 yrs old and that was only after I introduced Melatonin.

    Now at 13 it's much better but melatonin builds up in the system and our neurologist has tried several different sleep meds (anti-anxiety) and they still fail to knock my kid out.

    This kid (I am not kidding) can stay up for two days straight, even with meds. My younger guy can be the same way who has AS too.

    So if you have kids falling asleep, pls let the parents know and don't assume that it's bad parenting.... Sometimes it's really not.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Parents are an easy target.

    But I would estimate that bad parenting is actually "to blame" about as often as bad teaching.

    The rest of the time, the huge, vast majority of the time, it's something else. It can be anything from a growth spurt messing with a chld's sleep schedule, or new meds, or an oncoming cold/flu or personal issues keeping the child awake at night. And, no, it's not always parent-based issues-- very often it's school based. (Will I fail math? Does Joey really like me? Should I have said no to that cigarette? Do I tell my teacher about the bully? I saw Tommy cheat, should I say something? My friends are sexually active; should I tell? The bus driver gives me the creeps. )

    When adults have it, we call it insomnia.

    When kids have it, we call it "bad parenting." It's a far easier fix than trying to determine the root of the problem.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 28, 2009

    Well said, Alice.
     
  12. amochoa

    amochoa Rookie

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    Jan 8, 2010

    I don't really have a problem with this since I teach preschool and p.e.

    However, when I was a sophomore in high school, I hadn't missed any days of school yet and when I began to get sick, I still went. My last class of the day I had English and was feeling absolutely terrible. I figured that school was almost over, why not stay. I had my arm bent up so my head could rest on my hand while I was doing a worksheet at the beginning of class. At some point, I fell asleep. I didn't intentionally try and fall asleep but I sure did. My teacher, who I never really liked, came over and pulled my arm out from underneath my head. Of course, my head hit the desk so hard that I ended up with a big knot on my head.

    I was a little ticked off about this. Then I went to give her my homework that was due that day and she wouldn't accept it because it was late(she had already collected homework). Instead of waking me up for the lesson I had slept through, she woke me up to watch a movie on a book we read.

    My mom was furious when I got home from school that day after I told her why I had a giant knot on my head. I went to the principal and explained what had happened. I don't believe anything ever happened to her, but I switched teachers.

    My point is not all students purposely fall asleep. There are definitely some that do is purposely, however, it's not always the case. I just happened to catch the flu that week and ended up with a boink on the head.

    ---------------------------
    “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jan 8, 2010

    I think if one of my students fell asleep in class, I would probably leave them for a bit. They are so little... their bodies are probably very tired by the end of the day. I would contact parents, though, if a child fell asleep so they could be aware that their child required a nap that day! It wouldn't be a negative call, I would just want to hopefully figure out what happened.
     
  14. Camel

    Camel Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2010

    I honestly don't have a problem with kids falling asleep in my classes, because I used to do it all the time, both in high school AND college. Part of my problem was that I went to bed too late, but I also have this problem that when the lights get turned off, I almost always, within maybe 10-15 minutes, get sleepy. I try pinching myself and sometimes even slapping myself, but the only thing that usually snaps me out of it is if someone talks to me directly. I used to ask the people sitting around me to poke me if they saw me falling asleep, and that worked well too.

    I don't take it as a sign of disrespect or treat it as a problem unless the kid is doing it every single day. If that's the case, I make a point to talk to them about it after class and call home. If it's just a once in a while type of thing, I ask them questions as they are nodding off or poke them in the face with a pool noodle.
     
  15. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Jan 12, 2010

    As a student, I used to sleep in class all the time, both in HS and during my undergrad. Sometimes it was because I was tired, but most of the time, it was because I was bored out of my mind. In certain classes in HS, I would sleep nearly every day.

    As a grad student, I wouldn't think of sleeping in class, simply because our classes are too small (sometimes only 10 people) and I would surely be noticed. I get bored sometimes, and draw, read, daydream, etc, anything to try to keep my mind occupied.

    As a teacher, it depends on why the student is sleeping. Are they sick? Are they bored? Are they avoiding the work? Is the work too hard for them? Are they having some sort of crisis? Is something on their mind? Are they mad at me? Depending on WHY they are sleeping, and how often it happens, it may be the best thing for them to do at that particular moment in time.
     
  16. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I haven't had much of a problem with students sleeping in class. But I have, on occasion, just let a student sleep for the "greater good". By this I mean that little Billy is just counting down the days until his 16th birthday when he can drop out. The only reason he made it out of junior high was that a student cannot be in junior high the year of their 16th birthday. He is ranked last in his class in GPA and boasts a straight F report card. When Billy actually shows up and is awake, the class is a different atmosphere. He is loud, annoying, and just wants to cause problems. By the way, it is less than a month to Billy's birthday. If Billy happens to fall asleep in class this week, I will just think it is my lucky day and leave him alone. The others in the class learn better without his input. I know this sounds like the easy way out, but with 17 other kids in the class that are trying to learn, why should I let Billy ruin that for them? I document that Billy slept today in our discipline records and give him a zero for the day.
     
  17. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    And you know what midwestteacher....

    Your job is to teach ALL students. Not just the easy ones. Thats like asking all doctors to just treat the healthy patients.

    You should of asked for help with your admin, looked at his prior records and then thought what can I do for this kid? Maybe refer him to sped ed? Have you contacted his parents?

    The other students can learn, but this one will fall threw the cracks with no help.

    BTW most kids in juvenial hall are learning disabled.
     
  18. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Take a breather iCare before you get yourself into some trouble around here...
     
  19. magister

    magister Rookie

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    I notice a few of my fifth graders yawning, glazed eyes and putting their heads down. I think it's a combination of too much tv, not enough quality sleep and getting to bed late. I have another eighth grader ( I teach two grades - parochial school) who falls asleep when we watch videos. I don't insist on him waking up because he doesn't care about school, but for my fifth graders I keep them bright eyed and bushy tailed.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I couldn't get my son's K teacher last year to understand that my child has sleep issues since the day he was born. He was even evaluated independently and they said he needs extra sleep in the afternoon. The last few days of school, she finally allows it. Up to that point, he was being disruptive everyday and wouldn't allow him a rest break. As a teacher, I get it. As a mom, I knew how hard we worked to establish a stable bedtime routine for him and still struggle with night terrors and insommia issues. This year, they are finding out more and more about him. It is now built into his IEP to have rest breaks during the day. He's at a new school and the school actually suggested them. When he comes home, he is asleep before we leave that driveway from the school. We have since moved where he sleeps to the livingroom in our bedroom to reduce his anxiety at night. Even sleeping alone in the room with his brother caused greater anxiety. He is going to wake up frequently through the night. We can't stop that. We try to lessen the anxiety so he can fall back asleep easier. Recently he woke up at 2:30 am. I laid down with him and he stayed relatively still (except for tossing and turning) but it took him until 5am before he fell asleep and then I had to wake him up 1.5 hours later for school. I definitely warned the teacher ahead of time.

    My other child slept all the time as a baby and continues to sleep at the drop of the hat. In fact, he rarely is able to make it through the first 20 minutes of a movie for family nights. He is 10 years old. He makes it through class periods but he is a frequent napper and if you turn that light out....umm... it is harder for him to stay awake. It always has been. He can now make it through 20 minutes of a movie which is probably why he is able to survive school. It used to be 3-5 minutes. Seriously.

    My oldest didn't have any problems at all with any of this.

    All my children have regular bedtimes but they have very different body needs.

    For the record, my youngest is now in special ed (though he is highly intelligent, he has other issues we are now identifying). We are frustrated trying to figure out what is causing some things we are seeing but at the same time we are lucky that it is being caught and addressed at a young age. Some kids go through high school and still are falling through the cracks. We don't know what is going on with every kid. There could be so many different pieces of the puzzle.

    Having said all that, I wouldn't allow it habitually without checking into it.
     
  21. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2010

    I came back to say I'm sorry. Your right Sam, I needed to take a breather. The post that mwt posted set off a trigger.

    I just can't help reading about a child who is...

    The only reason he made it out of junior high was that a student cannot be in junior high the year of their 16th birthday

    Thats not right. IF he was failing before, then why isn't someone looking at him and wondering whats wrong? Sometimes schools just look at behavior and think it's the parents, it's the kid that has been over indulged and no one says no, it's the child that is defiant ect... These are opinions, and not data.

    My own dh was considered a class clown (like the student was described up above) and he quit. He couldn't handle how he was treated and to this day he is over 4o, hates to read and still writes his d's and b's backwards.

    He is absolutely the smartest man I know and is now very successful. But school was not a good experience for him.

    Sometimes people look and think bad behavior versus behavior as communication.

    I just wish more people would open their eyes.
     
  22. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jan 17, 2010

    It depends on the child. I have some who choose to stay up late and then want to sleep in class. I keep them awake, and even have them stand and walk around to wake up. I don't have a lot of sympathy for these kids. If I choose to stay up late, I am tired the next day, but have to do my job. That's what I tell them, they have to do their job no matter how tierd they are.
    If I get a note from home about one being sick or having to stay up for some reason, I will usually just ignore it (the sleeping). If it happens more than once, I usually call the parents, for some kids I call on the first time. Sometimes I get the response of "So what??" and other times, the parents are really concerned and had no idea that there was a problem. Some kids are dealing with so much at home, that sleep is the last thing on their mind. One of my kids who slept often lived in a 2 bedroom house with his parents, his 2 brothers, and mom's "friend" his girlfriend, and their 3 kids moved in. Another had to get up and take care of his baby sister during the night because Mom never woke up. He walked to school most days because he missed the bus (just over a mile) and often showed up with spit up on his shirt from the baby. He spent all day worrying about who was taking care of her. So sometimes there are very valid reasons for their sleeping. With those two I would let them stay in from specials sometimes to catch a nap.
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Okay, that story breaks my heart. Poor guy. So responsible though for a kid. Quite the opposite of what we might assume if we only looked at the behavior itself.
     
  24. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    I know this thread was started a few months ago - I found it in a search. I currently have four middle school students, ages 11-13, and they're pretty high-functioning for a life skills class. One of them is an under-achiever with a lot of behaviors. He's been falling asleep more and more in my class and it's really bringing me down. I've tried E V E R Y T H I N G to get this kid to wake up: Incentives, rewards, threats, consequences, water poured on his head, kicking the leg of his desk, tipping his desk over, replacing his desk with a chair, giving him zeros, offers to let him sleep in a comfy chair for 10 mins, begging him to take a walk and get a drink, taking him outside to get fresh air, leaving messages for his mom, engaging him in active lessons - NOTHING is working.

    Today he fell asleep after art at about 10AM and I was so proud of him when I woke him up after 10 mins, he actually got up and started working. Then when he came back from lunch and we did reader's workshop and I read a story - BAM, back to sleep he went. Now it's starting to affect the rest of my students. I had another student - typically an honor-roll student - sleep with him during the rest of reader's workshop, although it's rare for this student and he did wake up for the following lesson.

    I just don't know what to do with this kid. He's got a lot of behaviors and I actually almost like it when he's asleep because if he's not asleep, he's making noises, making rude comments, complaining about hating school, not coming to school anymore, wanting to go back to his old school, etc. - it's just never-ending. He doesn't care about rewards, incentives, grades, etc. His mother won't return my calls or come to parent-teacher conferences.

    Administration doesn't want to mess with him - especially during ISAT week.

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH THIS KID AND IT'S DRIVING ME BANANAS!!!!!
     
  25. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    In high school, I used to buy a bottle of pop just so the caffeine could keep me awake for the bus ride home. The teachers didn't know my exhaustion was related to my medication, and I was so out of it, I didn't know it until I stopped that medicine. I was always told by teachers that I wouldn't be tired if I cut back on what I did at home - what did I do at home. Watch 30 minutes of tv, and then sleep until it was time to take my nighttime medicine, at which point I went back to sleep until it was time for school.
     
  26. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I don't have a single "sleep solution".

    Several of my students take medication, and depending on what time of the day I have them, they can be "droopy". Some of them can be perked up with a peppermint. Some need a snack. Some need to get up and walk a minute. Last year I had one who would start drifting off during reading time, so when I noticed him dozing, I'd have him get up and walk down the hall and back.

    I've had two children diagnosed with diabetes. They were falling asleep after lunch every day, and it was not a behavior seen any other time during their day. I contacted the parents with my concerns, and they were taken to the doctor. Some of my autistic kids don't sleep well. One likes to yawn LOUDLY during class, and he'll be asleep as soon as the room is quiet. He says he can't sleep at night.

    Some of mine doze off during reading time because they read before bed each night, and reading makes them sleepy.

    I have several who set their own hours. Quite a few are out at all hours of the night. Two of mine are only in school because their parents are going to jail if they don't. They are basically taking up good air. I can't keep them awake.

    And sometimes they are sick. This year I have two with migraines. They feel sick anyway, and then their medication makes them sleepy. Today one was running a fever. He was sleeping in class today while waiting for his mom to come get him.
     
  27. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Zoom, if a kid is sleeping through all of that, I would start to suspect a medical issue. The child may not be able to help it.

    My youngest child has ED issues. On the weekend, even at 6 years old, he still needs naps to function properly (though he doesn't do it on his own). At school, where the symptoms are more prevalent and he is more anxious, among other things, he gets even more tired. If he has an episode it is typically always followed by a deep sleep. Staff have had to carry him and put him in a place he can rest because they can't rouse him. He is not on medications so it is not from that. The special needs class in my building also have rest periods for students.
     
  28. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Naw C&G, it's not consistant enough. Plus he's got a lot of behaviors and has no problem telling me that he's bored, he hates school, etc. I don't know how many times he's told me, "I ain't doin' that. It's stupid," and then puts his head down and goes to sleep. That to me isn't medical, that's just being a jerk. (We've got to do... SCHOOL WORK at school!??? What...??? :eek::rolleyes:)

    I did go speak to my VP about his sleeping to ask for adivce. She suggested I keep track of how long he sleeps. If he sleeps in the morning, he makes up that time serving a lunch detention. If he sleeps in the afternoon, he makes up that time in an after-school detention that same day. So I told the whole class that this was my new policy. That 1) you get a zero for the work you missed, and 2) you'll make up the time at lunch or after school.

    I also just bought a spray bottle... :D (Hey, it's a lot more humane than shooting him with a super soaker.)
     
  29. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    Mar 27, 2010

    no one - and i mean no one sleeps in my class - no no no!!! if you're up and around the classroom and kids are engaged in lesson you shouldn't have kids wanting or having oppty to sleep - if you notice alot of kids are sleeping you should look at the activities going on? are u giving too much seatwork? is the lesson boring?
     
  30. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Mar 28, 2010

    Yeah, I used to think that too. Enter "Big D."


    I have five kids in my class. When they come back from gym, it's bell work time. They take out their journals and correct a sentence written on the board. Then the classroom manager comes up and makes the corrections. Then we have calendar, put up the schedule, etc. From there we do our language arts and math centers. Unless this guy is classroom manager, he puts his head down and eventually falls asleep. Our bell work and daily planning usually takes 30 minutes.

    I'd love to get the kids more engaged but I'm not sure how... I really need them to practice the writing and independent work during this time... But if you guys have any ideas, I'd seriously consider them!
     
  31. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Mar 28, 2010

    I agree with Alice, there are many issues that contribute to a student falling asleep.

    I fell asleep twice in high school social studies. (In the same class, on the same day) We were watching a really old movie on a very small screen, the audio played with LOTS of static. The sound of static makes me feel instantly sleepy. If my car radio does this I'll change the station right away.

    The first time the teacher woke me up and told me there was a quiz at the end I needed to take notes. Then a few other kids were woken up. The second time the kid behind me flipped my desk to prevent me from getting in trouble. (my high school classes were 90 minutes long) I still don't remember what the point of the movie was...all I know it it had OJ Simpson in it.

    I wouldn't handle a student sleeping this way, but a teacher I had in HS had a student fall asleep in her room she let him sleep, he had trouble at home. But when he had been asleep for several classes she gave him a wet willie. It startled him awake. He was embarrassed by how long he'd been asleep.

    Now teaching, I try to wake the student up. If they seem sick I send them to the nurse. Otherwise I tell them go get a drink, and walk around the room (or hall) a few times. I even have them slash their face with water.

    Students can also fall asleep because they get too hot or too cold. Some people are very temperature sensitive. (I am I can use the air in my car when it is in the 50's)
     
  32. Grover

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    Apr 8, 2010

    Perhaps you don't consider autism a medical issue, but the behavior you describe is consistent with autism-spectrum disorders.
     
  33. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    He doesn't have autism. He has LD and behaviors. He's simply an under achiever with several siblings that have been in and out of jail. In his whole family, there's only been one of them that have graduated from high school. I've never met his mom and his dad died a few years back. He doesn't seem to have any positive role models in his life and nobody to encourage him.

    It bums me out 'cause underneath it all, there's a good kid in there. I've got him for one more year. I'm hoping I can help him. I just get discouraged sometimes.

    But no, it's more to do with "who gives a rats a$$" than a medical condition. Trust me. I've known this kiddo for a few years.
     
  34. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Apr 10, 2010

    Well, skipping the jail and family issues, most of what you say could describe my son, who does have autism. He has no trouble telling people he's bored, he doesn't give a rat's @ss about school, and he sleeps a lot during the day, including in class. For the most part he gets A's, because he can do that pretty much in his sleep, but sometimes he get's D's because he just doesn't care enough to do anything at all.

    What's important to understand about him, is that 'caring' is a problem in autism. It's not an automatic, natural thing that can be reached from many directions (like rewards and punishments). If he isn't interested, HE ISN'T INTERESTED. As he gets older, it is sometimes possible to get him to ACT like he's interested, but in jr. high it's still by no means a sure thing. My son is very high-functioning in the autism spectrum, but motivating him externally is almost impossible.

    I'm not saying the kid you're dealing with has autism, but you still haven't said anything that really shows he doesn't. If he is, the only way you're likely to get him going is by figuring out what he's already interested in and finding a way to use that as channel through which what you want him to learn is broadcast.
     
  35. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    Apr 11, 2010

    If the work isn't being collected, I just let them sleep. I don't know what environment the kids are in or anything, so I don't feel like I should wake them up.

    Thankfully all of the kids who have fallen asleep did it when work was finished or clearly stated that it could be finished for homework.
     

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