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At home ds is generally fine. He's almost never violent. At school, however, is a different story. With the other kids he's usually okay. He's had a couple incidents where he hit another kid (because ds wanted to be the caboose when they were walking from the bathroom to the classroom but the other kid was so ds flipped out). Today he only got one stamp (out of 5... yeah, worst day in quite awhile). On his report it says that he pushed a little girl down the slide at recess (head first
... the little girl is okay). After talking to ds about it he says that he was running at the top of the slide (it's one of those jungle gym things) and the bridge he was running on was slippery (quite possible, as everything is wet and muddy right now) and he fell into the girl and knocked her down. He says it was an accident, and I believe it.

But the big problem is with the adults. DS is so violent with them and I don't understand why. Yesterday he had a horrible day too (3 out of 5 stamps, but I think they were really trying hard to get him as many stamps as possible because from what I hear it definitely wasn't a 3 stamp worthy day). He hit his para (aide) multiple times. He was violent with his OT who spent much of the day in his room trying to get him back under control. He apparently kicked, hit and pinched her. Today he hit another para who was trying to help him today. When I asked him why he hit the other para today he said that she told him that he couldn't watch some movie about the presidents in the computer lab (they had computer class today, I don't know if class was over and ds was trying to keep playing or what). He's running away from his para at least once or twice a week (yesterday it was towards the back door of the building). His regular kindergarten teacher tries hard, but can't risk getting hurt by ds (he pushed her in December before Christmas break and she has a bad back so ended up getting pretty hurt). He's pushed/hit/kicked his special ed teacher (well, his substitute special ed teacher, his regular one is on maternity leave). I don't think he's in his advanced reading group anymore because the teacher found out she was pregnant and didn't want to be around ds so they pulled him out of the group


When we talk to him he KNOWS he's not supposed to hit. He'll say he's sorry. He'll tell me that hands are not for hitting. I don't understand why he won't STOP! This is becoming a daily thing and it's out of control.

There are other behavior issues also, but the violence is the worst. He's crawling under desks, screaming, running away, today the report says he was "pounding on the table" (he says he was pounding his paper to make sure the glue was sticking), he was "making mouth noises" yesterday and disturbing the class....

I'm at a loss. WTH do I do?!?
 

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Is he being mainstreamed all/part of the day? Does he frequently change parapros so that he's not getting consistency among adults? What happens when he hits or hurts another person/parapro?
I just attended a PD today about behavior issues. The presenter said that behaviors only occur for 2 reasons, to either get something or to get out of something. (I would add a caveat in that I have 1 student who is sooooooooo impulsive that it's just a knee jerk reaction. He's mad=he hits every.single.time.) Do you think he's getting/avoiding something by hitting or is it impulsivity that drives it? I can probably give you more feedback once I know more about the situation but the big thing that stands out is that it sounds like he is frequently exposed to a variety of adults which means that there is little/no consistency in how the behaviors get dealt with and that is an absolute recipe for failure when it comes to aggressive kids. The consequence/reaction that child gets has to be effective and consistent 100% of the time for the behavior to be extinguished.
 

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Ita, it sounds like he is dealing with very little consistency beyond adults who aren't sure how to handle him. It sounds like the behavior that needs to be addressed by all the adults working with him is the aggression, and that it needs to be addressed with consistency. He knows its wrong it sounds like, however is unable to control his impulses. So coming up with a consistent plan on handling it, that works on figuring out how better to manage his impulsiveness as part of the whole picture is something he needs asap. Can you request a meeting with his teachers/support staff?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by wytchywoman View Post
Is he being mainstreamed all/part of the day?
He is supposed to be mainstreamed the whole day. He is not in a special ed room, but does spend time in the resource room (with his special ed teacher).

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Does he frequently change parapros so that he's not getting consistency among adults?
No, he is usually with the same para every day. If the para is absent for whatever reason then he will have a sub para (like last friday he had a sub para for the second half of the day.... and didn't give that para any trouble at all!). The other para that was in the room today was in addition to his regular para, because ds was having such a hard time. On a daily basis he has his regular teacher, the teacher assistant, his para and the special ed teacher (as needed, at least once a day). On tuesdays his OT is in the school (she's specifically with ds from 8-8:30 every Tuesday morning and then as needed for the rest of the day). If ds is having an especially hard time then there are other adults (paras and other people who work in the school) who will step in to help with him.

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What happens when he hits or hurts another person/parapro?
They tell me
As far as I know, they are explaining to him what he did wrong and why and then they either make him tell me when I pick him up or they tell me or they write it on the paper I get at the end of the day. If ds gets 5 stamps in a day (stamps are given out for making good decisions) then he gets a reward at home (computer time, movie time, etc). Obviously violence means he won't get 5 stamps that day.

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The presenter said that behaviors only occur for 2 reasons, to either get something or to get out of something. (((SNIP))) Do you think he's getting/avoiding something by hitting or is it impulsivity that drives it?
I think he's learned that if he's not doing something that they (the adults) think he should be doing then they will "back him into a corner", so to speak, trying to force him to do whatever he should be doing. I think he's also learned that if he gets violent with them then they back off, at least temporarily (obviously nobody wants to get hurt). So I think at least part of it is avoiding something.

I also know that there are things they could be doing to help avoid the meltdowns in the first place. We've recently put the connection together that if ds misses even the first minute of his japanese class then it's all downhill from there. The whole day is blown. But what happens is that they often end up sending him to the resource room to do some work (he can usually concentrate better in the resource room). But if it's one of those days where he's digging in his heels and saying he won't do the work, the special ed teacher digs in her heels and says he can't go back to his class until the work is done. They get into a big power struggle which, in the end, makes ds late for japanese. If ds walks in the room and japanese has already started, he flips (which is what happened today).

So an obvious easy solution is to make sure he makes it back to his room BEFORE japanese starts.... but that would involve the teacher backing down and she won't do that.

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Originally Posted by MamaKath View Post
Ita, it sounds like he is dealing with very little consistency beyond adults who aren't sure how to handle him. It sounds like the behavior that needs to be addressed by all the adults working with him is the aggression, and that it needs to be addressed with consistency. He knows its wrong it sounds like, however is unable to control his impulses. So coming up with a consistent plan on handling it, that works on figuring out how better to manage his impulsiveness as part of the whole picture is something he needs asap. Can you request a meeting with his teachers/support staff?
I agree, and we're working on it. We just had a meeting last month and are working on a BIP. They are starting to track data on him (with + and - to show us how he did for each period/topic at school- everything from math to lunch to bathroom breaks). We get this data every day so we can try to figure out what is going on. Part of the BIP is also getting everyone consistent. Most of the time dp's para is with him, so that helps alot. We just got the autism specialist for the district to do some more training with ds's para to help (hopefully!).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post

They tell me
As far as I know, they are explaining to him what he did wrong and why and then they either make him tell me when I pick him up or they tell me or they write it on the paper I get at the end of the day. If ds gets 5 stamps in a day (stamps are given out for making good decisions) then he gets a reward at home (computer time, movie time, etc). Obviously violence means he won't get 5 stamps that day.

A day is a very long time for a child his age. I know the stamps are more frequent than 1/day, but they have to make the reinforcement schedule more doable for him. Some kids (like my dd, awhile back) need a stamp/sticker/etc every 5 minutes for awhile, or a reinforcer every half hour, with a buildup to the whole day. It doesn't have to be a big reward, like a whole movie, but something they can do for a couple minutes - can he choose to have a break by himself, play with a special toy, anything that lets him be successful, and have a chance to be successful multiple times throughout the day. He may intellectually know that he has this great thing waiting for him, but it's a lot easier and more practical in a young child's mind to think about getting through the next ten minutes than the whole day - especially if you've already lost one stamp/reward/whatever that day.

It sounds like he is having a rough year, and hopefully the new behavior plan you guys are working on will help.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Aridel View Post
A day is a very long time for a child his age. I know the stamps are more frequent than 1/day, but they have to make the reinforcement schedule more doable for him. Some kids (like my dd, awhile back) need a stamp/sticker/etc every 5 minutes for awhile, or a reinforcer every half hour, with a buildup to the whole day. It doesn't have to be a big reward, like a whole movie, but something they can do for a couple minutes - can he choose to have a break by himself, play with a special toy, anything that lets him be successful, and have a chance to be successful multiple times throughout the day. He may intellectually know that he has this great thing waiting for him, but it's a lot easier and more practical in a young child's mind to think about getting through the next ten minutes than the whole day - especially if you've already lost one stamp/reward/whatever that day.

It sounds like he is having a rough year, and hopefully the new behavior plan you guys are working on will help.
I agree 100% and was going to post the same thing. I think he needs reinforcement throughout each hour rather than at the end of the day. I'm thinking a timer system or a token economy system per activity rather than per day would be more effective. I'm glad you guys are working on an FBA and BIP and that an autism specialist is on board. That is a very strong head start on getting his behavior turned around.
I would also let the IEP team know the whole situation with the japanese class and Owen being late because he isn't finishing work on time. On one hand I can see where the Sped teacher is coming from in that he shouldn't be rewarded for not getting his work done, but on the other hand if him being late to that class causes the whole day to tank, then it seems like maybe the work time needs to be rescheduled or split in half. The work itself needs to be taken a look at as well. Is it too hard? not motivating enough? What's going on that Owen is resisting so hard to get the classwork done? If it seems impossible or useless to him, then he is going to dig his heels in and not do it. Again, battles nees to be picked. Is there another activity that can provide the same learning?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the thoughts and advice!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aridel View Post
A day is a very long time for a child his age. I know the stamps are more frequent than 1/day, but they have to make the reinforcement schedule more doable for him. Some kids (like my dd, awhile back) need a stamp/sticker/etc every 5 minutes for awhile, or a reinforcer every half hour, with a buildup to the whole day. It doesn't have to be a big reward, like a whole movie, but something they can do for a couple minutes - can he choose to have a break by himself, play with a special toy, anything that lets him be successful, and have a chance to be successful multiple times throughout the day. He may intellectually know that he has this great thing waiting for him, but it's a lot easier and more practical in a young child's mind to think about getting through the next ten minutes than the whole day - especially if you've already lost one stamp/reward/whatever that day.
I should have talked about that in more detail in my last post.... we were originally doing the 5 stamps a day, but then he went WEEKS without getting 5 stamps. I, obviously, put an end to that and called another meeting. It turns out that the aide was with-holding stamps (so even if ds did something well he wouldn't give ds a stamp sometimes because he wanted to be able to give ds the last stamp right at dismissal, so that he couldn't get 5 stamps and then tank the last hour of school or whatever). But that wasn't fair, as ds was trying hard during the day but not getting the stamp- and he knew it! So he stopped trying.

That's when we had a meeting with the whole team, including the autism specialist. That's when it was decided that the para would get more training. We also decided that the 5 stamps wasn't enough motivation. Since then we've started doing something different, in addition to that. DS gets a certain number of tokens each day (3, I think?) where if he's feeling overwhelmed he can turn in a token for a break (walk in the hall with his para, read a book, go to resource room to chill, etc). Also on the same paper as the stamps, there's a spot at the bottom with 2 of ds's goals and all of the activities he does everyday (from each class period to lunch to recess to bathroom and everything inbetween). If ds does well for each of those 2 goals he gets + signs. If he doesn't, he gets -. If he's doing well and getting + signs then they give him rewards throughout the day (a few minutes of computer time is a big one for him). The paper also has a list of what is expected of him, that his para goes over with him every morning. DS circles (or writes in if it's something different) in the morning what reward he wants at home when he gets 5 stamps. The last part is a little section he fills out right before dismissal with some of his goals ("I stayed with my adults", "I kept my hands, feet, and objects to myself", "I tried my best to do my work before lunch" and "I tried my best to do my work after lunch"). At the end of the day he circles "yes" or "no" for each question (with the help of his para if he needs reminders of how his day went).

Quote:

Originally Posted by wytchywoman View Post
The work itself needs to be taken a look at as well. Is it too hard? not motivating enough? What's going on that Owen is resisting so hard to get the classwork done? If it seems impossible or useless to him, then he is going to dig his heels in and not do it. Again, battles nees to be picked. Is there another activity that can provide the same learning?
I don't think it's too hard for ds. Today he didn't do ANY work at school. He had a better day than yesterday (4 stamps... woo!), he just refused to do any work (but he refused politely!!!). They sent it all home (9 sheets) for me to do with him. What he doesn't do at school, they just send home every day. 95% of the time ds breezes through it at home with no problems and very little prompting from me. But when I ask him why he didn't do it at school he tells me "it's too hard" and "I don't know how". But when I set him down here to do it he has no trouble at all


I honestly think it's one of those things that the staff has chosen to make a battle over, and ds will battle to the death. He will NOT do something if he thinks it will get a rise out of someone. He's like that at home too, but we've learned to not pay attention to it. If he's refusing to do something, trying to get a rise out of me, I don't do it. I don't play that game, whereas at school they seem to be in this battle of "you WILL do the work" and ds refuses. In the end, he wins because he gets to take it home- exactly what he wants to do.

Some days I sit here doing his homework with him and wondering why I'm sending him to school if I have to homeschool him too! LOL!
 

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I just wanted to say that I am constantly in awe at your patience with Owen, and your determination to get him what he deserves. My lo struggles with social stuff, and sensory issues and I love how you are patient yet firm at the same time. I think the school needs to learn how to do just that. I think he is just testing boundaries, and seeing how far he can push them, and how much he can win. They need to be careful of getting into a battle of wills, especially one they are obviously not winning. Is there any other school you could send him to??
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Originally Posted by jnet24 View Post
I just wanted to say that I am constantly in awe at your patience with Owen, and your determination to get him what he deserves. My lo struggles with social stuff, and sensory issues and I love how you are patient yet firm at the same time. I think the school needs to learn how to do just that. I think he is just testing boundaries, and seeing how far he can push them, and how much he can win. They need to be careful of getting into a battle of wills, especially one they are obviously not winning. Is there any other school you could send him to??
Awww.... thank you
I'm just doing my best, like any other mama


As for the school.... not that I've found. I found a Montessori school that I really liked, but would have been a horrible fit for ds. We actually just found out last week that there is going to be a new school opening up, which will change the districts around. Our house will fall into the new school district. We may or may not change schools at that time (fall 2011), depending on how ds is doing (he would be going into 2nd grade). But, even if we switch him, it's still falls under the same broad district so the same people higher up are in charge. He would have new teachers/paras/therapists... but I don't know if that would really help or not- ya know? He actually really does like his para. DS actually asked to shave his head a couple weeks ago because his para shaves his head
I did it and shaved him bald (it killed me inside though.... ds had beautiful blond curls just 2 years ago!). DS loves it... comes to think of it, it's about time for another shave! Every morning ds greets his para with a smile and a hug (unprompted by anyone!). That's huge for ds.
 

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Is there a way the school can outline consequences that they can use. Between this and a couple other posts, I kind of think the school might be at a loss. Their "go to" consequences might be to use the seclusion room, do a restraint, take away privelages, or call you. I believe you have it written that they can't do the first three, so all that's left is to call you...Owen likes when they do that.
: So, the school needs something they can have in place so that they can enforce the expectations that he has to sit there and do his work and not use violence.

Brandon had issues with violence and the school set up some consequences (not bad ones...like one consequence was that he has to carry books up to the principal's office. He likes the principal a lot, and carrying the books gave him a break and some heavy work...now the teacher keeps a stack of heavy books for him to carry to the principal's office every time it looks like he might be losing control. Thing like that...). I basically asked them for a list of things they would do as consequences for violent or inappropriate behavior above what they normally would do (have the kids write an apology letter to the person offended, etc.). Then I gave them complete control...I told them that they need to enforce their expectations and they need to do it consistently so that DS can trust that the school can keep him safe, regulated, and happy...otherwise he would test limits and be anxious. I told them that I will not give consequences for things that happened at school, and likewise, I would not come rescue him if they knew he was acting out just so I would come to the school. I had to be very firm about that so that they didn't call me for everything...it only worked because I trusted that they could keep him safe and I knew that their consequences were within the realm of what I would agree with...they don't do physical punishment, isolation, or taking away recess, so I was good with it.

But a BIG factor was that Brandon had to know that he follows the school rules while at school or the teachers would give them school-based consequences... It was consistent and his consequences were actually things that would keep him regulated...so not punishments, but just things like I mentioned above about carrying the books. He only has one or two days a month where things get really bad, and I've only had to be called to pick him up from school once since we all sat down and discussed it. But, as much as I didn't want to, I had to give them control over what consequences they handed out, as long as it didn't go completely against my wishes. It actually all worked out well because the school is really good about having kids learn personal responsibility and intrinsic rewards.

So maybe it would help for all of you to come up with a big list of things they can do to help extinguish the behaviors. Tell them that you want Owen to learn to use his teachers to help solve problems instead of them telling him he has to tell you what he did. Have them work on school issues at home so that he can make the transition back to you well. They need to immediatetly reinforce good behaviors and immediately deal with negative behaviors instead of calling you or making him "confess his sins" to you. So, if they had a list of stuff they could try and then they called you only if none of those things worked, maybe that would help?

Is he going to a psychologist or behavior therapist yet? That might really help him too...Brandon's psychologist has been a LIFE SAVER for us!
 
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