I am a resource teacher serving a 6 year old who is repeating K. The child has come to me with what appears to be no controlled behavior. It looks as if child has not learned any discipline, runs around infront of parent with no response from the parent, is clever enough to know he/she can do whatever he/she wants including eating off the cafeteria floor, says "no" to any direction, spits, strips and runs and other unacceptable behaviors that are truly menacing. I'm at my wits end as where to begin with such a child that is already 6 yrs. old. I am trying to use a visual schedule, timer, reinforcements...but am truly overwhelmed with the task. I think the child needs some t ough love and I don't believe I will get support for that. Parents are very angry at the whole situation. It must be really rough at home and school is a relief for them. I am not the only one who needs help, the parents need support but are so angry they are almost unapproachable. I think that DS is not an excuse for bad behavior. Any suggestions for positive steps?
I'm really not sure I have any suggestions or solutions...but I definately feel for you!
In our home, we've always treated our son with DS the same as our other children, and expected the same behavior from him as the other children. He has chores, and is disciplined if he misbehaves, etc. I've seen families who treat their disabled child as if "awww..he has it so hard already, I don't want to make life any harder on him" and they are not realizing that no social skills, and negative behaviors are a hardship on the children!!
Lots of deep breaths, and consistency...that's all I can think. I'd even be tempted to take the child aside and explain, that "you are not at home, my rules are different from your mommy and daddy's... you need to follow my rules or there will be consequences"...and then stick with that...wether its a time out, or a missed recess...depending on the severity of the behavior of course, and depending on his level of understanding his behaviors.
The school year is early... it may take longer with a DS child...but he'll get the message if you are consistent. I bet in another month or so, he'll really get the message!!
How about some kind of intensive treatment, such as a special-ed teacher willing to live with the family for a month, or a treatment center where the family would live for a month to try and change her behavior? Or some kind of intensive schooling.
I have four children, one is DS, I always corrected him and he had time outs just like the rest of my kids. I have seen in the past that some parents who have specail children who don't correct then at all, don't teach them , some don't even get a bath as often as they need, allot of them are just ignored. I know this one teacher my son had, she had a socail worker working with the parents, also if the child has that bad of behavior, he or she should be in a class setting for specail needs, there is no way this child can be in your class room disrupting everything and expect the other children to learn, it's too much of a distraction. Have you talked to the principle of the school regarding this issue? If not, I would, maybe the parents, you and the school principle need to have a meeting.
It is tough. My child just started school and has had a really hard time transitioning and going to class. She sat in the hallway for a really long time today, again. My kid is pretty well disciplined. But I will tell you this she is stubborn and it can be soooo hard to discipline a DS child. Try to talk to the parents. See what is going on at home. I feel for the parents. Having a DS child is an emotional roller coaster. Start with them first and try to have a meeting or something one on one and see how they feel. It is a really hard challenge. Try to work together.
I worked as a special ed teacher for children 0 to 6 years with children who had special needs . Most downs and Autism. Visual schedule and reinforcements etc all good ideas but I have found often more suited to kids on the autistic spectrum. Not always of course visual schedules work across the board but behavior modificatin therapies often dont work as well with kids with downs as they would with other diability types in my experience .
I have had kids like this . A couple of things .... How is this childs level of communication ?? Just because he responds verbally with a no does not mean he understands fully what is being said . We know about auditory processing problems our kids have even when hearing is unimpaired. So short clear sentences is the key. Eye contact and coming down to the childs level is also necessary. Whatever the childs developmental age is then thats where you aim the length of time for the time outs. ( if you do them)
Just wanted to say one thing though. This little boy sounds a lot like my own son did . Everyone thought he may have had ADD ADHD and was never disciplined. He was disciplined. ( I am trained in Appied behavioural analysis )
What i discovered is that probably Samuel has sensory issues. Sensory issues are huge in DS and usually go un diagonosed. So I got Samuels Occuptional Therpaist and phyiso to do a sensory profile on Samuel and we found that Samuel has sensory integration dysfunction. He was not aware of himself or his place in space. So he was constantly on the move. LOved mirrors or lying on the floor as he was constantly trying to "ground " himself" . So we put a programme in place. he wore a weighted vest to keep him seated. It "grounded" him. He also sat on a moving cushion called wiggly cushion. This allow him to sit at a table but still have the movement he craved. Also we gave Sam a workout on a gym ball and joint compressions before we started work and this hugely increased his attention span !!!! We had it all written into his ieps. Now at nearly 7 Samuel sits all morning working at a table , 3 years ago it was about 90 seconds at a table at best.
He still gets his work out as this wakes up his body for work. He has the same issues orally and has a senory programme so he now does not mouth and lick things constantly. So make sure this liittle boys senory diet is seen to.
One last thing , mum and dad may not realise they have the power to tame this little boy and also they may not know how. So it do get a programme in place offer to have it extended to the home and give the parents the tools to help their son . Get " the out of sync child" if you can , its and excellent book going in to all this sensory stuf in detail . Hope this helps, ,