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Biting!


mrsbat
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We have a little girl who has just turned 3 and she has severe behaviour issues. There are very few times that she is actually well behaved. She doesn't keep attention to anything for more than literally 1 minute at a time, watching her you can see she is constantly looking round for something to "do". Last week for example she stood in the middle of the room looking around at the children with her finger tapping her chin then ran to a chile and pulled her hair, as I witnessed it I spoke to her and explained etc etc, straight afterwards she ran to a child and took a toy they were playing with, she'll then run and knock down towers, tip over boxes etc etc and this is constant for the whole session.

Today we decided her key person would shadow her all session, the key person only had to remind her a couple of times about sharing and being kind etc and she had a good morning - but only because she had the constant 1:1 attention because as soon as the kp went to the toilet she turned round and grabbed another child around the neck! Towards the end of the session the key person took her and 2 other children for a story as we are trying to get her to interact with small groups, she didn't really listen but sat niceley and was praised all through, as soon as the book was finished one of the other children asked to hold it so she was given it, the other child wasn't happy with that so she grabbed her arm and bit really hard into it leaving teeth marks.

 

This was the 5th time she had bitten since she started in September and each time they have been really bad bites leaving really nasty bruises.

 

The child has an iep in place, parents are regularly spoken to, dad has adhd and I have spoken to the family to say it might be worth speaking to their health visitor for advice.

 

I am just totally lost, we have strategies in place, all staff are aware of the iep, that we all need to constantly watch and praise any sort of good behaviour - unfortunately some of my staff are old school and expect children to just do as they're told and that we are "pandering" to the child by praising her all the time!

 

Sorry for the ramble but I am totally at a loss for what to do :o she is in again tomorrow and I'm dreading it - and I know that's really unprofessional but I can't help it.

 

The children do not want to play with her and if she comes near they are absolutely terrified, soem cry, some move away and some run to the staff and that's before anything has been done to them! Of course the parents are talking as well which is awful for the parents of the child in question and lets face it it isn't very good for the setting either and I just know the parents will be saying that nothing is getting done about it xD

 

Any help or advice would be very much appreciated.

 

Oh I forgot, I asked our EYA to come in and informally observe the child but "unfortunately" the child was having a good day at the time and she didn't see a problem! I have got the forms ready for tomorrow to make an official referal and will go through them with the parents tomorrow but that's not going to help us for tomorrow's session

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Oh poor you...I think we have all had children that we knew could cause chaos and be relieved a little when they were not in so don't beat yourself up for that.

 

I think that until you can get help from the LA or have some behavioural assessment done by an outside agency all you can do to protect everyone is for the child to have the 1 to 1 she needs. You may need to share the role around to give your staff a break. If she is given 1 to 1 and behaves better then the children when quizzed by parents can say she was nice today and hopefully that will help stop the parents talking and casting aspersions on the child and the family.

 

Has she got activities she really likes or special interests that you can try and focus on? Are there any of the other children who aren't wary of her who you could try and pair her up with....preferably a well behaved child who could help model good behaviour.

 

Feel for you and will keep fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Sue

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Unpredictable biting is the worst isnt it? I really feel for you.

Could you have a list of jobs as soon as she comes in tomorrow? Sorting the dressing up, counting the musical bells ready for christmas, washing the dolls clothes, writing a list for snack...something to keep her busy and that might make her decide to play with something. After each job she gets loads of praise and then you remember another job she'd be great at helping with. I'm not keen on stickers but could she have a token to acknowledge just how fab she's been. If you dont give stickers, we used to put a stamp or a sticker in a small exercise book.

Good luck :o

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Thanks for the replies everyone :)

 

Sue she does have things she enjoys, at the moment that is sticking but again she just won't stay at it even with adult attention to try and extend the time there by asking questions etc.

 

Rea I will do that tomorrow and have soemthing ready for her to help with Thank you :o

 

Unfortunately the staff attitudes aren't helping as some feel she is just being naughty and shouldn't be allowed to come anymore!

 

I've just bought some postcards and am going to send 2 home each day which I have written with the child during the session, one with "I made people happy by......" and one "I made people sad by...." (although I feel a bit uncomfortable with the 2nd one....)

 

Thanks again and I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

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Its a shame your staff see it like that but some people just do.

I printed off something I found in the resource library a few days ago about behaviour. Its not specific to biting or any other behaviour but it might make your staff look at this little girl differently.

I misbehave because...

Thanks to Littlestar123 :o

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We have a biter and he is also unpredictable. I have had several parents comment as it is, understandingly,a very emotive subject amongst them. We have brought in outside help in the form of our foundation stage adviser and the area SENCO, and although they haven't come up with any instant cures their support for us has been invaluable and we can show that we are trying to solve the problem. We also gave all the parents whose children had been bitten a copy of our biting policy so that we could show them that we took the situation very seriously and had stronge procedures in place. He still bites but we feel we are doing all we can, his mum has been finding it difficult as he has been biting outside the setting but last week she came up with her own idea of teaching him to shake hands when he meets people to try and distract him from biting so that is our latest ploy, will it work? who knows but its worth a try

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we have had a child that bites in the past, we always give out an information leaflet of 'why children bite' and use visual and verbal aids for the child who takes the notion to bite.

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Thanks again everyone :) Deb I have ordered that book Thank you!

 

Toadie whereabouts do you get your leaflet from please?

 

We actually had quite a good day today, it does seem to be a pattern that she is worse on mondays each week so could be to do with late nights etc after the weekend?

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Hi

 

 

Biting is a bad one as all the other parents get upset.

 

Have you tried keeping a written observation of her behaviour. We use an ABC sheet. ie what the children has done, when, circumstances, who's around. and then try to use this for a behaviour management plan.

 

It does work and makes you feel incontrol.

 

Could the other staff go on some training?

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Hi Mrsbat,

 

When I was reading your e-mail, I was struck how similar your situation is to one we have. We have a little boy who joined us in September, who although he doesn't always bite, can be very aggressive and destructive at times. We are currently working one to one with him most of the time, mainly to protect other children, but also to teach him how to behave socially. It is very hard work and definately two steps forward one step back, but it is starting to work.

 

It is a difficult balance isn't it between looking after the interests of the child, and of other children and doing PR with the parents who think there children are never to blame, and helping staff cope.

 

We share the job between 2 of us, (anymore and he would become confused by possible inconsistencies). We role model good behaviour and give praise for any tiny bit of good behaviour. He also responds when we praise other children by attempting to copy some of their behaviours.

 

We have found ABCC charts very useful to find reasons for his behaviour, as well as anticipate possible triggers, so we can be in place to (hopefully) prevent anyone getting hurt.

 

It is slow progress but definately worth it. This child is not naughty. He is just trying to fit into the environment and has never sociallised with other children before.

 

I hope things start to improve for you too, good luck and let us know how things go.

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  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to update you a bit after all your help and advice, well...........................

 

We haven't had a bite in the whole of december! We invested in some tangle toys and they must be THE best invention I've come across ever! myself and the little one's key person have one to hand at all times and when we see her getting agitated we give it to her, she either fiddles with it or chews on it and since using it there have been no incidents and she has really calmed down :o

 

We have also been doing the postcards that I mentioned earlier, one has on it "I made people happy today by...." and the other one has "I found it difficult today........" we put a little sticker on the happy one for each kind/well mannered etc thing that is done and if she doesn't have anything on the difficult postcard then she also gets a bigger sticker when she goes home.

 

It has really worked well and really helped staff relax - especially myself and her key person. I'm not saying the problem is cured forever but it's working at the moment which is a good start xD

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone, I have been looking at this thread with interest as we have a new situation with a girl of three who has just joined our brand new setting (opened 3rd Jan). Due to current small numbers, we have all ages together at most times, especially mealtimes. She has excellent language skills, but undeveloped self-care skills and finds it hard to sit still for any length of time. Last week, on her second settle in session she bit a fifteen month old child on the cheek with apparently no provocation. When the child screamed, the girl smiled broadly and admitted having bitten. Obviously we went through the usual motions explaining to her, but all she did was smile. This seemed to gratify her :o She also pushes with a smile on her face and then owns up voluntarily with a look of pleasure. She then says, I'm X again now, so I will be good. She refers to the pet name for her unborn sibling doing the not so nice things. This looks like a bit of a challenge!

 

I am planning to implement the postcard procedure and have now drawn up a biting policy.

 

Much advice in this thread has been really helpful - thanks everyone!

 

Lesley

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  • 4 months later...

We had a biting incident today, a child bit another one three times, the last hard enough to leave a very angry mark, even after a good twenty minutes with a cold bottle of milk held against it. Reaction from mums? Biters mum laughed, little girls mum said 'don't tell me who it was or I'll be tempted to drop kick him'. Sounds like tomorrow is going to be a lovely day! Spare me from the parents!!!

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Oh Cait how horrible for the little girl on the receiving end. As for the not so helpful comment from the biters mum, is this the first time he has done this at your setting, has mum indicated he does this outside of your provision.

Lets hope this was a really bad day, but if it does continue i think i would say to mum how would she feel if her son was on the receiving end if she continues to find it highly amusing. Do you think she was embarassed by his behaviour. Secondly for the mum whose child was hurt i can empathise with how upsetting this must be for her, even though i don't suggest drop kicking him either. :o

I would be thinking about a staff member shadowing and observing the biters play, including whether anything seems to trigger this reaction so you can support him too.

As for the little girl i would also suggest some one on one too, so that she feels secure and supported and the parent can see that you have taken it seriously.

Lets hope tomorrow brings a better day. :1b

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Yes, thanks Fredbear. His Mum says 'he only does it when provoked' but as on this occasion he'd taken the little girl's slipper off her, and reacted when when tried to take it back, I think 'provoked' possibly isn't the word I'd use.

The little girl enjoyed a lot of one to one - and sweeties etc and not having to tidy up at the end of the day! She was fine. I'll be spending a good deal of time with her again tomorrow. I really have this on my mind though.

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