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Behaviour Help for HFA 3 yo - Page 2

post #21 of 30

:joy That's wonderful!

post #22 of 30

Such great news, expat-mama!

post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by expat-mama View Post
 

While I see what you are saying, I don't think it is for other parents to have a say in how the teachers manage my son's behaviour. How they react to and manage my son's behaviour has nothing to do with how the teachers are responding to OTHER children. Ignoring my son's behaviour in order to promote a more positive pattern and reduce the effect on other children does not stop them in reacting with the requisite compassion and care for the other children. This is how inclusion works right? Special needs children require different styles and methods of education than other children.


I have a child "on the spectrum" also. However, she is quiet and passive, common in female children with Asperger's.

 

I do have an issue with "ignoring the aggression" and people saying that other parents should have "no say" in your child's behavior. They do if their child is being hurt! My youngest DD is very quiet and passive, a perfect victim for aggressive or hostile kids. When they hurt her, it effects her very negatively, puts her development at risk and hurts her feelings as well as her physical well being and causes HER to withdraw and insulate herself. Add that to being a child who doesn't like being touched, and you have a recipe for disaster. I can't imagine the Nursery School she attended letting an other child regularly victimize her and simply allowing it to happen. They didn't and never would have. She's in middle school now and bullying and super aggressive behavior is always dealt with immediately. I'm glad for this because not long ago these types of behaviors were "ignored" and quiet soft children were hurt repeatedly without anyone to speak for them and the aggressors never learned any other way to relate to people.

 

The child being hurt and his or her parents certainly DO have a say in what happens that may damage their child. Their child is no less important than any one elses.

 

I understand that you are hurting because of what is happening with your son, but the children who are being hit need to be protected because their rights to being included are just as important as his. I'm not hearing a lot of understanding about the children who were being hit. I don't agree "kids this age have short memories." My DD remembers people who were mean to her when she was 2 or 3 and she's 14 now.  My older children remember being hit or aggressively touched in preschool and they are 25 and 27! No short memories that I see. Small children don't understand "someone is 'working through' something, so you'll just have to put up with being attacked on a daily basis." I'm sorry your child is hurting, too, but he can't hurt others in the process of learning. It just isn't the way socialization works and it hurts OTHER people. Other people have feelings, too. And they are just as important as he is.

 

I'm glad the diet seems to be working, but if the hitting behavior returns I do wish you'd have the empathy for the child being hurt by him as you want everyone else to have for your child. It's only fair.


Edited by MaggieLC - 12/7/13 at 12:28pm
post #24 of 30

In fairness to the OP, given that she's getting a lot of input about her son's aggressiveness and how it relates to the other children in the preschool, it IS very common for children to developmentally go through a hitting, pinching and pushing PHASE, especially in response to stress, confusion, and sensory overload.  It does not make a young 3 year old child a bully, an aggressor, or even hostile, as always, children at that very YOUNG tender age have not developed empathy for others so to confuse his behavior as deliberate is to misunderstand his developmental level.

 

It is not unusual for a child when beginning a school program, to be reactive in some way, either with separation anxiety or confusion. 

 

The concern for her child is that he not get stuck there but move on from this negative pattern.  She did not say, that the other children's feelings don't matter, but that how the school teachers handle the behavior would be different for her child, because what works for some children won't work for hers.  To react with emotion and chastisement only feeds the behavior.  To ignore it does not mean to allow it.  It is a method for eliminating behavior and is a COMMON behavioral technique. 

 

Parents of the other children can even be told of the technique if they have concerns, and if it doesn't work, of course they should be concerned.  The point is, to get the behavior to stop.  We live in a world where teachers need to learn how to respond and react to children with HFA.  For better or worse, the world is now full of children on the spectrum.  It is very typical that if you interfere with this feedback loop the behavior will stop.  This is good advise and important to remember that if followed all the children will be able to grow and learn together.   So, why is this bringing up so many negative experiences for other posters?  This child is only three and has two months of school under his belt.  There's a good plan in place, a mom willing to go the extra mile, and every hope for improvement.  Let's look at it for what it is and not project negative experiences any of us have had with our children in the past.

 

Only one more thing,  I applaud the OP!!!!!

 

When you open yourself up for advise and input from other parents it is very hard.  Your child was in crisis and you are trying your best to pull him out.  GOOD job!

post #25 of 30

livinglife, you said: The concern for her child is that he not get stuck there but move on from this negative pattern.  She did not say, that the other children's feelings don't matter,

 

Actually, she nearly did. ExPat Mama said: I don't think it is for other parents to have a say in how the teachers manage my son's behaviour. How they react to and manage my son's behaviour has nothing to do with how the teachers are responding to OTHER children. Ignoring my son's behaviour in order to promote a more positive pattern and reduce the effect on other children does not stop them in reacting with the requisite compassion and care for the other children.

 

Only AFTER those children have already been not only hurt, but felt they were not protected by the very people who should have been protecting them!

 

IF no one is getting hurt, of course, ignoring behavior won't be a problem. But, to ignore aggression, when people like my daughter are getting hurt is simply not right. I wasn't "chastising" simply saying that the children who are being hit have just as much rights as the child who is doing the hitting. The school cannot, in good conscience, allow one group of children to be harmed, in an attempt to see if it will stop one child's aggressive behavior who may be "going through something."

 

As a mother of three kids with 504 Plans, two with Tourette Syndrome, two with ADD and one with Asperger's I know how frustrating it is to have children who are "different." However, I would never expect my child to be allowed to hurt other children, and be ignored while doing so, as part of their "going through something." There are other children involved here, and they need to be protected.

 

Please read my ENTIRE post and then tell me how my empathy and care for the children who were being hit was somehow off base.

 

My sympathies go to all children, but as mine are often the ones being victimized, I have to give the children being hurt a bit of attention and empathy as well.

 

Having the teachers of the school start "Ignoring" a child's hitting and other aggressive behavior MEANS the children being hit is being subjected to unfair and cruel treatment by not being protected by the adults who are enlisted to provide that protection. I just wanted to speak for those children.... as my kids were often those kids, until the hitting, bullying etc was stopped.

 

As for that type of behavior, one of my kids was a "biter." Granted she was only 18 months old, and it only happened in an intense situation. I was doing child care for a community field house. I was the mom doing the child care for the other children while the other mamas took their exercise class. There were too many children in too small of a room, my DD Moon reacted by biting other children. It happened once, and we thought it was a fluke, when it had happened 3 times, I felt awful for the children she had bitten and apologized profusely. I cried every day and felt awful for those other children and realized I couldn't expect other children, and their parents, to be allowed to be hurt.  I quit the job and my DD was taken out of the child care room.... and the biting stopped immediately. (She bit a little friend once during the days I was working there, but it never happened again once I removed her from the situation.) I didn't expect the other mothers to simply allow their children to be bitten because my DD might have been "going through something." She was going through something... a room with too many kids in it at an age where she wasn't ready to share her Mama with 25 other kids. She wasn't ready for the situation, nor was the situation a good fit for her. I removed her and the behavior stopped, never to return. I'm not saying the OP's situation may be as easy to remedy, just asking that she have the same empathy for the children being hurt as she wants others to have for the child who is hurting them.

 

It really sucks to have your child being the one who is acting inappropriately. It's sometimes comforting to try to find ways to explain it away, without taking into account the feelings and experiences of the other children in the situation. Sometimes the child is simply to young for the situation, or the situation isn't right for that child, but in the long run, the protection of the children being hurt trumps the child "going through something"  being allowed to continue to hurt others. Or at least, the other children shouldn't be expected to be allowed to be hurt repeatedly, until one other child may or may not resolve whatever the problem might be.

 

What about the other children in the preschool? Do they not count?

post #26 of 30

There's so much emotion in this for you Maggie LC.  I can hear how hard this is for you to write about in regard to your children. 

 

But, in reading through the OP's statements I am not reading them the way that you do. 

 

I am comfortable with a behavioral approach.  Children who are "reactive" can not have their negative behavior reenforced.  I think what may be tripping you up is the use of the word "ignore".  A limit is being set by adults when this child who is acting out physically is moved to another location.  The "ignoring" is then, not ignoring the occurance of an unsafe behavior, the ignoring is the lack of discussion about the situation because this discussion "feeds the behavior" and causes it to reoccur. 

 

How will that lead the other child who was hurt from believing they are still unsafe?  Discussion and time outs are considered ineffective in creating change for a child who needs a behavioral approach.  Would it make the child who was hurt feel better to see the other child get a "time out"?  Will it please a parent that there was some "consequence" for the behavior?  

 

These are notions of justice and fairness.  They don't really fit the situation.  I don't really know what else to say.  I'm sure we all have stories about how our children were targets in some way or who were at fault in harming another child.  I know I do.  Having special needs makes a child especially vulnerable to other's aggression and likely to be the cause of aggression to others.  I am sure that the OP does as well.

 

 

 

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by livinglife View Post
 

There's so much emotion in this for you Maggie LC.  I can hear how hard this is for you to write about in regard to your children. 

 

But, in reading through the OP's statements I am not reading them the way that you do. 

 

I am comfortable with a behavioral approach.  Children who are "reactive" can not have their negative behavior reenforced.  I think what may be tripping you up is the use of the word "ignore".  A limit is being set by adults when this child who is acting out physically is moved to another location.  The "ignoring" is then, not ignoring the occurance of an unsafe behavior, the ignoring is the lack of discussion about the situation because this discussion "feeds the behavior" and causes it to reoccur. 

 

How will that lead the other child who was hurt from believing they are still unsafe?  Discussion and time outs are considered ineffective in creating change for a child who needs a behavioral approach.  Would it make the child who was hurt feel better to see the other child get a "time out"?  Will it please a parent that there was some "consequence" for the behavior?  

 

These are notions of justice and fairness.  They don't really fit the situation.  I don't really know what else to say.  I'm sure we all have stories about how our children were targets in some way or who were at fault in harming another child.  I know I do.  Having special needs makes a child especially vulnerable to other's aggression and likely to be the cause of aggression to others.  I am sure that the OP does as well.

 

 

 

 


Thank you for listening to what I had to say.  :heartbeat   Yes, I feel emotional, because my children (and myself as a child) were sometimes targets for those who tended to act aggressively. I know myself and my two older children often felt unsafe in certain environments, because aggressive children's behavior were left alone, ignored or not "seen."

 

My youngest child was emotionally and then physically attacked by a neighbor's grandchildren, after playing together several times. The fact that neither the mother nor the grandmother seemed to think anything of it, and expected them to be allowed to play in our yard, after my child had come into the house crying (after being hurt)  astounded me. My husband had to kindly tell the children they would have to leave our yard, as they had made Sage cry, and she was in the house and that treatment of others was not allowed in our yard. They didn't get it, and as no one would intervene (I assume their behavior was "being ignored" by their mother and grandmother) they yet again were kindly asked to leave... and not asked back. Sage expressed no interest in those children the next few times they were next door at their grandmother's house, and I honestly don't blame her. She never blamed them, just said, "I really don't want to play with them, Mama." Her wishes were respected, and I can say, after parenting for 27 years, Sage's reaction is very common for children who have been attacked by other children. The end result, if adults do nothing, is eventually the child who hits or uses unkind words ends up with no one to play with. I hardly think the OP wants her child to be in this position, yet even if the adults do nothing, the children themselves will naturally not want to play with a child who makes them feel unsafe.

 

I would remove my children from any environments where they felt unsafe (and I wish I had been removed sooner from an unsafe environment as a child.) I can imagine the parents of the other children in this preschool may feel the same way if their children are allowed to ever be hit. Not to mention what the effect on the OP's son would be if he is allowed to hit others.

 

I would never want the OP's child to be punished! bigeyes.gif No, I hope I didn't convey that idea. I don't think punishing a child who is acting out is helpful or conducive to healing or learning at all!

 

When I think of this child "being ignored" I'm imagining his being allowed to hit the other children and nothing being done to protect them from the assault in hopes that this will eventually extinguish the behavior. In the meantime, other children are feeling unsafe, unprotected and losing trust in the adults who should be protecting them and even eventually not wanting to be in the company of the child whom they cannot trust with their feelings. (I hope that makes sense.)   But, I think several posts may have conveyed by lack of detail, that this very thing may have been suggested, if not carried out. I hope this isn't what is happening.


A way to distract this little boy before he starts hitting in the first place and perhaps ignoring his attempts to hit people is one thing (while removing him so he cannot continue attempting to harm others) allowing him to hit other children without preventing him from hurting others is an other. I see no reason to over discuss the behavior, either. I have seen to many parents talk their kids half to death about "what you did" and rarely see any improvement from this technique.

 

I'm not sure what is being done to ignore the behavior AND to protect the other children from attacks. Being attacked by a peer can be very upsetting to many children. I remember my children telling me the story over and over when someone at preschool  (or school) hit them or hurt them, and I know how deeply it offended them and made them feel unprotected. My husband and I don't hit our children, and I don't want anyone else to, either. I think physical impact is detrimental to growth and health.

 

I detest physical violence and I can't see allowing a child to be violent, and then simply "ignore" him and hope the behavior will go away. If that isn't what is planned, then I would certainly want to hear the plan for changing this behavior without sacrificing the safety and trust for their safety of the other children in the environment.

 

Maybe if I had an idea of what this "ignoring" is, it would help. I can understand not reacting to violence with more violence, that teaches no one anything. But, what can "ignoring" do to keep the children who are not hitting others safe, while still doing what needs to be done to help the OP's child?

 

My thought were perhaps he's simply too young for the preschool situation, not yet mature enough for it, or this particular school is not a good fit for him. If it's stressful, and he's hitting, then maybe either waiting until he's older or choosing a different environment for him would be to his and the other children's advantage.

 

But, if there is an other way, that doesn't allow the other children at the preschool to EVER be hit by him, then what would be workable?

 

I do appreciate your reading what I had to say. Thank you.


Edited by MaggieLC - 12/7/13 at 5:56pm
post #28 of 30

I think, MaggieLC, you just have to trust that the OP, when consulting with her experts, got a good working plan that she's confident in.  To me, when you consult a psychologist and a behavioral specialist, you are doing the best you can do for your child.  That's the opposite of ignoring a situation.  Nor did she seem unaware of the impact of her son's behavior on others because she is even willing to institute an expensive and hard to maintain diet to bring about behavior change.  To me it is another example of not ignoring the situation.

 

I think it would be fair to say that you are very sensitive about this but it is also fair to the OP to not attribute ideas or motives to her.  We all come to parenting with our own personal baggage and may also have hurts from when our children were not treated as well as we would have hoped.  Believe me, I am no stranger to that feeling either! 

 

But, going back to my original premise when I responded to expat-mama, I strongly suspect that the gf/cf/sf diet will clear her son's emotional reactivity and encourage his openness for healthy interaction with the other children.  I've seen the diet do the same for my child.  We can't underestimate the importance of gut and digestive health in healthy emotional and social development. 

 

I continue to think very positively and please, Expat-mama, let us know how everything turns out in another month or two.  I wish for the best.

post #29 of 30

And I just wanted to add MaggieLC, that my son remembers incidents of being hurt by other children too.  (Yikes, another boy once tried to set him on fire with a lighter....can you believe it??) But he also remembers how the situations were handled.  I think that's the key to remaining emotionally unharmed.  He remembers being heard and listened to by grown ups, he remembers the apology from the other children and the times he has been tempted to hold a grudge, it is a good lesson for him in tolerance, as his "imperfections" and emotional ups and downs have caused him to hurt other children's feelings too.  He wants to be forgiven and to be seen as a good person.  The trick is being able to rise to the challenge of overcoming his own strong emotions not to lash out, and realize other children have the same struggles some times.  It doesn't mean you take it....the opposite, but forgive it from the safety of the adults protecting you.  That's our job, right!  I can tell that you take that job very seriously.  

 

Blessings.

post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 

I haven't been getting updates for this thread and didn't know it had sparked such a discussion. TBH I haven't really read the last few posts (I plan to when I have a moment) but I have skimmed and get the gist of what ppl are talking about.

 

I just want to make clear that when I said that we (including my son's therapists) were advising the teachers to "ignore" my son's hitting behaviour this means not to give a normal reaction or punishment as they would to other kids. This was very reinforcing to my son and only served to INCREASE the behaviour. This doesn't mean they weren't taking any action to prevent the behaviour and prevent triggers to the behaviour and take all the OTHER measures to eliminate and discourage the behaviour! It also doesn't mean that the other child in any altercation would be ignored or not attended to!!! Sheesh.

 

*sarcasm* Yeah, I just wanted the teachers to let him go on a slapping rampage, ignore it, and say screw the other kids. 

 

Of course the other kids matter! I never said they didn't. What I was saying is that other parents don't get to determine what methods of behaviour modification the teachers use on MY kid because what works for him doesn't work for others! So while it may make other parents feel better that if my kid slaps yours that the teacher makes a big fuss about him doing it and sends him to time out, it will only make my kid slap your kid again and again. 

Anyway, if anyone cares, my son hasn't been acting out in this way for about 2 weeks now since we changed his diet and the measures that we have been taking at school and at home on the advice of the therapists have worked. And for the record, no children were seriously harmed (and no parents pissed off) in the process. :eyesroll 

eta : I'm sorry if your kid was hurt by another (my kid has been too!) but don't paint my son into a "violent, hostile, aggressive, problem child" box.  It would be just as easy to paint yours into a "weak, emotionally unstable child" box. I won't tell you how to manage your child's behaviour and I don't need you to tell me how to manage mine.


Edited by expat-mama - 12/7/13 at 8:28pm
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