students with behavior in crowds

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by shera1313, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. shera1313

    shera1313 New Member

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    Dec 4, 2019

    I have a new student that just came to me this month. He is non verbal with some behaviors. After reading his IEP and speaking with the previous teacher, I have heard he has major meltdowns in large crowds. I have a christmas show for our school coming up and the parents REALLY want him to participate. Any suggestions on how to make this work?
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Dec 4, 2019

    Yes. Have his parent come too, and be responsible for him, without separating him from his classmates. This way he can be with his peers, and if he has a problem (especially one that will lead to a meltdown) then his parent can take him out of the crowd situation and help him calm down. As a teacher with the responsibility for 20-24 other children, you can not be expected to do this. If his parents want him to participate, they will need to help make this possible.
     
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  4. shera1313

    shera1313 New Member

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    Dec 5, 2019

    I only have 10 students though and he has a 1:1 aide with him at all times.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 5, 2019

    I would talk to the parents for some guidance. They know him. The fact that he has a 1:1 aide really helps your situation. There is a person in charge who can watch for signs of meltdowns and get him out of there. Come up with a plan with them and a plan for the out. Make sure that they know you really want him participating in any way he can but be clear that a meltdown is not good for him or anyone else.

    Parents are part of the IEP team. They can be an asset. And remember, they may also see you as an expert with students with disabilities.

    Age? That does have some impact on how you address this.
     
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  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Dec 5, 2019

    Ask the parents what they do in this situation. It boggles my mind why parents would purposely put their kids in situations like these when they know they are stressful for them. I had a student who had the same issue during a yearly school event and when I mentioned it to his mom she was supportive of me holding him back from the activity since she had experienced the problem first hand herself.
     
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  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Dec 5, 2019

    My friend and I have similar internal experiences due to our AD(H)D, minus the meltdown. When I enter a strange environment, the immediate surroundings seem to blank out. It takes me a few minutes to adjust and focus on my surroundings. It's kind of a feeling of being overwhelmed. I'm assuming your student's initial reaction to crowds might be similar, not that he's AD(H)D, but his brain is reacting and adjusting to the crowd. The meltdown is the best way his brain reacts to the situation; it is probably also a habitual reaction.

    The best way to outgrow this reaction is through experience. I said "outgrow", but realistically, a better word might be compensate. I'm 61, and I still experience this. Through experience, I've learned to be patient with my brain and adjust accordingly. I agree with all of the advice above, especially to have a plan in place in case of problems. (To us as adults, a meltdown is a problem; to the child, the meltdown is the current coping mechanism). I wonder if being non-verbal is a contributing factor to his inner experiences.

    Something I like to have in place in similar situations with students is to have a quiet signal between myself and the student. This might be difficult to establish with some non-verbal students, but if possible, it might provide a way for him to communicate his discomfort and receive confirmation from you as his teacher that you understand his current feelings and you are there for him.
     
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  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Dec 5, 2019

    The student has a 1:1 aide. Everything hinges on how well the aide can support this student. If there is doubt that the aide will be sufficient, a parent should by invited to join the group, with the express purpose of supporting the aide with this child. I have gone out with such children in a crowd, and sometimes they are pleasantly OK with the situation. If a parent is there to either support or remove the child in case of a meltdown, the rest of the group will not be negatively impacted by any changes that need to be made/incorporated the day of the outing. This is, after all, a group outing, and other student's actions and experiences need to be taken into consideration.
     
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  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Dec 6, 2019

    With the students I have
    I would say many kids outgrow these issues but it sounds like the OP's student is similar to my student with autism and maybe other neurological impairments so it's less likely they will outgrow it until possibly adulthood with many years of strategized integration into the community. If the behaviors will impact the rest of the class there needs to be some protocol in place for when a meltdown occurs. It would be a shame to halt the whole Christmas show because of one student.
     
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  10. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Dec 6, 2019

    I think I get why the parents want him to participate, and I don't disagree--there's something to be said for pushing the comfort zone.

    But sometimes it must be handled with care and sometimes it's best to try at a later date.

    Best of luck however the plan goes!
     
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