Stu. touches everything!

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Bored of Ed, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 30, 2007

    ...but I do mean everything.

    Nothing seems to stop him. The principal keeps saying I need to give him more frequent positive reinforcement. The other principal says I need to make class more interesting for him. My sort-of mentor says my expectations are too high.

    IMHO, none of those are the answer. The kid touches things/people to varying degrees from the beginning of class until the end. If my expectations are too high, too bad -- he can't be allowed to disturb the other kids like this! If class isn't interesting enough -- well, tough. I try to keep things interesting but as different kids have different interests, there will be times when it's just not so captivating. Besides, the touching is even a problem when he's very interested -- the difference is that if he's engaged in the class then he'll be messing with the materials I'm trying to use instead of just distracting himself with, say, a pencil sharpener. As for the positive reinforcement, it's a start but it's not enough. (I am doing it) The connection isn't clear enough for him, and he doesn't see any immediate result when he does touch things.

    This is a special ed kid who clearly has a problem with this -- probably impulse control. So I don't want to be harsh with him. I just don't know how to teach him the correct behaviors.

    Also, some of these disruptive behaviors seem possibly obsessive. I'm not entirely sure, though-- it just seems that he has certain things that he ritualizes/obsesses about. I know I can't simply forbid them and try to prevent him from doing them or he'll just keep on feeling like he has to... For example, he likes to erase the board. After countless reminders, he's actually started to ask me some of the times instead of just erasing what I've just put up. But if my answer is no, I'm still using what's on the board, he gets very upset. Or, any time he's near the board for something else (passing by, e.g.) he'll start wiping it with his hands.

    Another example is the pencil sharpener. I have an autistic kid who used to be kind of obsessed with sharpening pencils, but after a few reminders he stopped. My rule for the class is that you sharpen your pencils before class and if you run out, I have spares. We have two of those old wall-hanging sharpeners and they make a racket. So now this kid always goes to the sharpener during class (and I KNOW he has plenty of sharp pencils). When I ask him to stop, he doesn't. Or he says, "Yeah, just a minute." (ALL the kids need to learn that that's not an appropriate answer.) Then -- this is the worst part -- every single time he empties the sharpener. I told him a thousand times that it doesn't need to be emptied every time, to a point where I decided, that's it, kid's can't empty it at all -- I'll do it myself at the end of the day. Because this, too, is very noisy and distracting. The shaving-catcher doesn't go on and off very easily. Then it turns into a group activity, with kids grabbing it from each other to try.
    THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY.
    And nothing I've said or done so far has stopped it.

    I'm not even going to go into the window situation here... but our windows are also not the smoothest. :tired:

    To make things worse, it's urgent because I have one kid who is generally well-behaved but gets extremely tense and upset when kids are making extra noise (minor problem) and touching his things (major problem). How can I stop the toucher from setting him off every day?!
     
  2.  
  3. cmw

    cmw Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    2

    Oct 30, 2007

    2 words - duct tape (I couldn't resist :lol:).

    Luckily in my school we have behavior specialists to assist. We also have aids to help in some classes. We have 1 student who is very touchy, agitates others, takes staples & tacks off the board, erases dry erase signs, etc... He's quite sneaky & manipulative too. He'll hide his pencil or fork (at lunch) and ask for another one. I watch where I put him & let the aid deal with him. I try to call on him often, but will not tolerate constant disruptions (there are 29 other kids in there). I teach music so he gets to be tactile with inst. and stuff. But if he can't control himself he will lose the instrument!
    My only suggestion is maybe give him a stress ball or something to mess with. GOOD LUCK! :D
     
  4. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 30, 2007

    What worked last year?
    What is he touching the most throughout the day. is it a favourite object?

    Sounds like he is learning with touch, but it can be frustrating when he's doing it all the time. I've got a student who is not special ed and he will sit for 25 minutes with nothing written on his paper claiming his pencil is not sharp. 25 MINUTES! I can understand your steam.
     
  5. heatherleigh

    heatherleigh Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 30, 2007

    do you think if you gave him the job of sharpening your extra pencils and emptying the sharpener and/or erasing the board it may help with those issues any? it sounds like you already let him do the board sometimes. maybe making some of the things he seems fixated on a special job/reward for not touching things when he's not supposed to? i really have no idea but maybe trying to switch those things that make you crazy into something that's actually helpful to you. i'm sure it won't solve ALL the problems but maybe it will help.
     
  6. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 30, 2007

    On another thread a teacher had a good suggestion of putting the sticky back velcro on the underside of the desk so the child had something to touch. Also some type of sensory object in the desk they can hold and manipulate as an alternative for getting up and feeling things.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 30, 2007

    That's what I was gonna suggest. Also you may have to watch what you put around his area. If it is too visually distracting, he may want to put his hands on it. This won't help though for those times when you do have to move the classroom around. You may want to keep this in mind for tests, etc.

    Your expectations do have to be reasonable. You do need positive reinforcement. You do have to find out how to keep him stimulated in class (objects might help) so it can help him focus and stay on task. I agree with all of these. But the answer I agree with the most is yours. All of these aren't the full answer. The truth is all of us can offer you some advice but in the end you have to learn your student and figure out what works for the two of you. Didn't you know that teaching was one giant puzzle?! :p
     
  8. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 30, 2007

    3 words - electric shock therapy. (sorry, while we're fantasizing already I couldn't resist :p)
    So what did the behavior specialist suggest for yours?

    h2omane:
    1. Last year he was in a regular ed school; they sent him to us because they couldn't handle him.
    2. No, besides the things I mentioned, it's anything and everything, but particularly things that don't belong to him.
    3. Tactile learner -- Bingo. But also highly distractible.
    4. As for your kid whose pencil is never sharp enough: Have you tried giving him a mechanical ("lead") pencil? I had that problem when I was a kid. With me, it was a sensory thing. But the mechanical pencil solved it because the lead is so thin, it always feels sharp. And if it breaks, you don't need to sharpen... HEY! Maybe I need to try that :woot:

    Heather -- thanks. I was going to make him board monitor anyway; using it as a reward is a great idea.

    scmom -- Thanks for bringing up that suggestion. I actually tried it a while ago for my whole class, it stayed on until about a week ago. Not sure if they need a replacement or something new, because it wasn't all that helpful anyway. It's just not as exciting to touch as the other kid's new markers! :rolleyes:
    But it's a good thing you brought it up -- it's one of those great ideas that no one wants to miss :)

    CutNglue -- our whole classroom is pretty small. His seat is as out-of-the-way as I can get it without stuffing him into a corner. (and we don't have tests regularly)

    As for the puzzle... I think I'm missing pieces. By the time I find them my marbles will be lost. :( The puzzle is what I loved most about education... until I got this class. Now I love my kids (really) but I'm sick of the puzzle.
     
  9. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 31, 2007

    I had a student like this in my regular ed class! I gave him a medium size stuffed animal to have on his desk and hold. That worked really well. I also have three sombreros in my room (I teach Spanish) that are much coveted so they get to wear them when they are caught being good!
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 31, 2007


    I hear that! It's hard when they give you kids that need special help but don't give you strategies to implement that. I think it's unfair for the teacher but also for the student who has to wait half the year for the puzzle to fall into place. I felt like that a good portion of last year.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Oct 31, 2007

    Would a stress ball work at all for him? A couple of my students are always fidgeting, etc. so I got a variety of stress balls (there are so many different kinds!) that "live" in a basket near my door. They can pick one up when they come in, but can't leave the room with it. The main rule, is "no throwing". It works well for some of mine, not for others.
     
  12. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 31, 2007

    The thing is, he's not fidgety. I have fidgets; they can usually find their own thing to play with, or they accept the velcro. This kid is on the go, looking at what other people have, at what's going on... and then he wants to touch it. As for touching other people, I'm not sure what prompts it. Maybe it's a general need for tactile stimulation/interaction. He just does these things when he's overexcited. It doesn't take much to excite him, either -- for my whole class, not just him, I always have to walk this tightrope between too boring (they find ways to excite themselves) and too exciting (can't control themselves). So far, the only happy medium I've ever found is reading picture books, and even that they have a very short attention span for. I can get away with at most two short books per day. Plus, they only sit for the book, but if I start asking comprehension questions it goes sour.
     
  13. cmw

    cmw Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    2

    Oct 31, 2007

     
  14. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 31, 2007

    Oh wow... 2 people for 600 kids? Even general ed is not that simple...

    I'm going to have to work on training in my aide. The only catch is that there is only one for the 4 special ed classes, though she's mainly there for two -- mine and another. Another problem is that I don't know what to suggest to her for those situations where I don't know what to do myself!
     
  15. cmw

    cmw Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    2

    Oct 31, 2007

    Yeah, you hear all day on the loudspeaker them being called b-c students are having meltdowns. God bless 'em - I wouldn't want that job. :)


    We have the same issue (being short on aides). Some classes have them & they don't seem as necessary. Then there is a class with an autistic child & they put the aide in another class. - aagghhh!!
     
  16. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 31, 2007

    Now that doesn't make sense... last year I was an aide in general ed. We started off with 2 for 7 classes but one quit and was never replaced. I split the day between the two most...um, demanding classes, and the other teachers called me in from there whenever they needed to.

    If the autistic kid renders the class in need of an aide, shouldn't s/he have a shadow?

    I would love to send my autistic boy to general ed with a shadow. He wouldn't make it on his own, but academically he'd be close enough, definitely above my class... :(
     
  17. cmw

    cmw Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    2

    Nov 1, 2007

    Yikes - 2 for 7 classes & then only one!
    If the autistic kid renders the class in need of an aide, shouldn't s/he have a shadow?
     
  18. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 1, 2007

    Yes. Most of the classes didn't really need much assistance. I spent a good portion of my time standing over the copier or laminating machine. There wasn't much inclusion in that school and the special ed class had its own aides.
     
  19. GrandHighWitch

    GrandHighWitch Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 1, 2007

    I have a kid just like that in my class. Like yours, he's special ed, and he just has no self-control. He's not a bad kid; he's just very impulsive. He can't keep his hands to himself. He also blurts out, but the special ed. teacher and I decided that the touching was the bigger problem at the beginning of the year, so we decided to focus on that first.

    Together, we set up a behavior plan for him where he gets a star or a check for each period of the day... we broke the day down into ten periods. He gets one warning for each period, and if I have to say something to him more than once about keeping his hands/feet to himself, he gets a check. Otherwise, he gets a star. If he gets 60% stars (at least 6 out of 10), he gets a point which goes toward the sped teacher's reward system - the kids can save points to buy small prizes (school supplies, candy, stuff like that).

    It worked out REALLY well at first; it helped him control his behavior a lot better. Lately he's been struggling more, but still getting 60% stars pretty much every day, so I talked to the sped teacher tonight, and we modified the behavior plan so that he has to work even harder to earn a point for the day. Hopefully that will get him back on track.

    You might try some kind of behavior contract/reward system with your student. I have a similar set-up with a sticker chart for my two uber-disruptive boys, and it has worked out pretty well too.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 2, 2007

    Lately I wish I was at the copier. That would be a break. I'm constantly running. The teacher does her own copying and I rush to get to work 15 min before work starts to do any I might need for the day. I can't wish too hard because it would bore me after a while. I like my job. Thursdays and Fridays are the busiest though because I have to do my normal hectic job mixed with admin duties (grading papers, writing a newsletter, etc) for homegoing folders on Friday. The word wall stays constantly behind. I only have prep time to work on these things. During the day it is nonstop students and/or teaching.
     
  21. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 2, 2007

    Grand -- What happens when he gets checks?
    How long are the "periods?"
    Sounds similar to my system.

    Cut -- I would much rather have spent more time with the students. That's why I took the job in the first place. The teachers are supposed to submit their sheets a day in advance so the copy room staff can take care of it, instead of sending me at the last minute.
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 2, 2007

    I'm not really complaining. I love what I do so much I come home and do it. I do wish we had a copy room staff though!
     
  23. GrandHighWitch

    GrandHighWitch Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 4, 2007

    Nothing happens when he gets checks; the checks are the "punishment" because he knows if he gets enough of them, he won't get a point for the day to go towards a reward. If he's doing something serious or continues to act up after getting a check, then I will move his desk apart from the other students or send him to the hall or to another room to reflect on his behavior, but usually I don't need to do that with him.

    The periods are 30-45 minutes... they're broken up by subject, so it varies a little. Math is one period; that's 45 minutes. Independent reading is another; that's only 30.
     
  24. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 4, 2007

    Oh... that's cool.

    My student seems to really need negative reinforcement to keep him in check. He has this attitude that needs to be shown who's boss. Positive reinforcement isn't doing that. Plain ol' marks (I give a line instead of a check. Checks, where I come, mean something's correct) don't have any effect.

    My periods are 30 minutes, but the principal's telling me to make them shorter because he wasn't getting enough positives... :rolleyes:
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. stargirl
Total: 257 (members: 3, guests: 220, robots: 34)
test