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Managing Behaviour


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We have a child in the pre-school at the moment who we are having problems with.

He is 3 years old and has very good language skills. The problem is they are probably too good and he has an answer for everything! He seems to get a lot of attention at home, despite having a baby sister of 4 months, and I think he is spoken to very much like an adult. Consequently, when he is with us he finds it difficult to share the attention of adults. He is quite rough with the other children, pushing them over and hitting them, but says that it was an accident. One conversation he had with a member of staff, after hurting a boy in the group, went like this: Staff "That wasn't a very nice thing to do was it?" Child "No, but there are more serious issues here" Staff, somewhat taken aback, "What do you mean?" Child "The telephone is broken, that is a far more serious issue". What can you say to that? When I was talking to him about pushing one morning this week he said that sometimes he did it on purpose, sometimes it was an accident but other times he did it because he needed to defend himself, his words not mine!! So he knows that what he is doing is wrong.

We think that when he hurts other children he is trying to divert attention away from others to himself, I could be totally wrong here. He used to say why all the time not so long ago. You know the type, everything we said to him he just asked why. So we turned it back on him and asked him to tell us why. That seemed to work and he asks it less.

I know we are being very negative with him, we seem to be constantly asking him not to do something, to sit down, to stop talking. And we are conscious of this all the time. But sometimes it is quite difficult to know just what to do with him.

Mum is aware of all of this, in fact he goes home and tells her that we have been upset with him-too honest for his own good!!!

Has anybody got any ideas of strategies we could use with him? He is such a lovely little boy with loads of personality and we don't want to stunt this.

Linda

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I had a little boy like that last year. I thought his was reasoning was great it made us all think about how we were explaining things to the children. :D:D:D:D

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Hi Sophie -

That kind of attitude from 4 year olds can be quite disconcerting can't it? I find myself on the back foot so often when I'm talking to children I've developed whole new conversation strategies to hide the fact that I don't know what to say! :o

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Hi Linda,

 

When I found myself being rather negative with a child, I took a step backwards and reintroduced my expectations, behaviour/ class rules etc to the group as a whole. From this point I was able to approach all the children more positively.

If you can do this, I'm not sure how it works in pre-schools, you could encourage your little boy to articulate feelings, responses etc and then praise him for his knowledge & awareness, thus spinning the circle from negative to positive for him and also gives you a positve approach "do you remember..." if you need to talk to him. This could also boost his self esteem enough to discourage the unwanted behaviour by acknowledging him. He is obviously quite different to the other children, does he socialise with them appropriately the rest of the time or is he always on his own, with adults?

 

Does that make sense? What was he like before the baby, there could still be hidden resentments despite your perception that he gets plenty of attention at home. Is he trying to replicate the attention in your setting?

 

I have been using the Jenny Mosely book "Here we go round" circle time for 3-5yr olds this term and it is very appropriate.

My class are responding really well!

 

Good luck.

 

Susan

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Hi Sue

There are times when he interacts well with the other children. On Friday, for instance, when he had been behaving quite badly I took a helmet off him-it's almost like he has an alter-ego when he wears it. He was very contrite and promised he would be good. I told him he could have it back when I thought he was ready-I was actually going to try after about 10 minutes, I felt that was long enough. He actually went and played in the sand for about 20 minutes with two other boys. He was wonderful and I gave him lots of praise and avoided the "see you can do it if you try" scenario. I left the room for about 30 seconds to get something and when I came back he had thrown sand everywhere!! Fortunately it was tidy up time so I asked him to put the helmet away. Perhaps I should have let him have it for a while-it's difficult to know when you are rewarding bad behaviour and when good. I also realise that I should have perhaps given him the helmet sooner-I just didn't want to tempt fate because he was playing so well.

I think you are right that, although he gets lots of attention at home, he isn't coping well with the baby around. I am going to speak with Mum this week and find out what he is like at home at the moment. He was in full day care before coming to us in February and the baby was born in June. Obviously he was enjoying quality one to one time with Mum and then baby comes along to spoil that.

I have recently bought the book you mentioned but, as yet not had chance to use it much. I will have a go with it this week.

Thanks for the advice

Linda

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Hi

 

Poor you and poor little chap.

 

One or two suggestions.

 

His behaviour seems atypical of someone who is Aspergers. Often thouht to be rude, pompous, an answer for everything and sometimes with a degree of understanding hat surprises us all.But is it real understanding or repeated phrases that he has heard used in other similar situations.?

 

One thing I've learnt about our children at school, (all with special needs) is that always reward the good behaviour and keep your promise even if they murder someone in between. If they have managed to carry out your request first then reward it, but make it clear hat this is what you are rewarding.

 

There is a fantastic and very useable book about social stories written by a lady called Caro Gray. It deals withall sorts of social situations and demonstrates appropriate social behaviour by the use of stories/cartoon strips. This may be of some use.

 

Other than that he may be a forward and ontrelligent socially immature child. ut I think that it is worh remeberinf too, andI often remind myself of this, that all children have special needs and just because there are resources fro children with special needs doesn't mean we can't use them om so called normal children.

 

Hope this is of some help.

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hi Linda,

the more you say the less clear cut the situation becomes.

I don't think this is just bad behaviour & nor do you, do you!?

 

I think I'd still have a go at whole group work on behaviour expectations etc, although that's probably easier in my school setting but you do presumably have group times when you could address this and I think I'd prioritise it over other learning at the moment.

 

Kate could be right that this is a type of aspergers as social interactions are often difficult for these children but you will need to tread carefully. Keep a record, as I'm sure you are doing so that you have your evidence and the things you try to help. Behaviour modifiction with stickers and charts etc might work, although I'm never very good at implementing these! That always seems to be the sort of thing that we have to have in place in schools when we are requesting help from outside agencies.

 

this sounds dictatorial but i don't mean to be!

 

Susan

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I really don't know that this is more than it seems-it is a really difficult one!! I am going to try the group work with him-the trouble is that he is so busy thinking about what he wants to say that he doesn't always listen.

Thank you for your input. I will think about what you have said over the next few days.

Linda

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Dear Linda

 

I agree with you, we were always taught at college not to jump to conclusions, this wee boy might just be really clever, or it may be he just spends lots of time with adults as you suggested earlier.

 

The important thing is to keep observing him, it is really hard to stay calm and in control when you have a child who seems to always be getting into bother. We have a little girl at the moment who goes about hitting everyone, pushing them and pinching toys. We got to the stage that we all felt it very difficult to always try and find the positive out of the negative. So we took a step back, as someone earlier said, and started to take detailed observations of the child. We were able to build up a picture of what was setting her off and what made her happy. This allowed us to sit down as a team and come up with a plan to try and help her. We are no way there yet but we do have a behaviour strategy for her now which is making the playroom a little happier.

 

If you are worried about aspergers or any other condition ask someone who knows, don't guess, I can hear my special needs lecturer in my head at this moment saying this!!!!

 

Most of all stay calm, you are the adult, you are the one with the knowledge and the skills to help this wee boy.

 

Good Luck.

 

Marathon.

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Thanks for that Marathon

We have decided today to observe him for the next week or so and watch for whatever is triggering his bad behaviour. He was quite good for most of this morning until two of the other boys started a mad chasing each other all over the place game. He joined in and it got out of hand-needless to say they were all asked to calm down!!

So I am going to track him for a few days and write down as much as I can and see if a pattern starts to emerge. I will keep you posted.

Linda

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Guest squidgy mummy

Just to add to what Kate said,

the book is by Carol Gray not Caro (probably a typo). I work with a child with AS who sounds just like your child, not suggesting that he has AS though.

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