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Autistic child biting and pinching

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by Oopse, May 11, 2011.

  1. Can anyone give me any advice on how to cope with a Year 1 autistic boy in mainstream who has started pinching and biting? He has HLN2 and is fully supported 1:1 with AEN funding. We work with a key learning centre school who send an advisor in every two weeks. Autism Outreach don't have anything to offer as the KLC teacher works in a school with an autistic unit and AO aren't as up-to-speed with best practice (their opinion). We are close to having to say we can no longer meet this child's needs. He is statemented and it is possible that his parents will insist that he stays with us, despite our recommendation. To relieve his 1:1 worker, we have to rotate other TAs who also have 1:1 responsiblity. We have tried everything we can think of but the three TAs involved are starting to say they have had enough - they don't come to work to be bitten, pinched and grabbed (more often inappropriately). I agree but what can I do? The child reacts so fast, staff have no warning of when he is going to strike. He has had to be removed from the corridor at busy times as he is lashing out at other children. I just don't know what to try next. We don't have enough Ed Psych hours left so that route is cut off. Help???
  2. I support an Autistic boy who has become increasingly aggressive this year, kicking, hitting and swearing, mainly. After advise from Autistic Advisory teacher I have made two large cards. 1. Yellow- has picture showing no swearing, shouting and spitting and a large arrow pointing to a bench outside classroom. Advice was to get involved in minimal conversation point to the card and place him on the bench, advise him he will be allowed to leave when he is calm. 2. is a red card same idea this shows all physical violence will not be tolerated- here there are 2 consequences, the bench and a note home to mum, which he hates.
    The red card is used for even the lightest of touches as AAT states he will be unable to differentiate from a gentle tap to a smack, so all need to be stopped. First couple of days were hell , permanently sat on bench, I just hovered but didn't engage in much conversation. Child now knows which card his misdemeanor is on and what the consequences are. This week only 1 yellow card - Result!!
    Trick is for the consequences to really hurt- my child hates letter to mum and being excluded from classroom.
    Hope that is of some use.
    Good Luck
  3. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    sorry, but what is HLN2?
  4. Hi there I work in a special school for children with autism and SLD. All of my class have this duel diagnosis and they range from reception to year 2. We obviously do experience some challenging behaviour but we deal with it effectively by viewing all behaviour as purposeful. You need to start to think about why is this behaviour occuring and what purpose does it serve. Once this is understood you can start to put strategies in place to prevent the behaviour. I would highly recommend looking at the STAR model - settings, triggers, actions and results. If you analyse behaviour in this way you can often understand why it is occuring and what the purpose of the behviour is.
    For example, it may well be that the child has sensory issues in the classroom - it could be the noise of the classroom environment - if so get him a pair of ear defenders to reduce the noise, give him a 'break' card for him to request a break when the environment becomes too overwhelming. Give him a quiet place to retreat to when things become too much.
    It may well be that the child's communication is very poor so he is actually using this form of behaviour as a method of communication. I do not know if the child has associated learning difficulties or not, but if so it may well be that the behaviour is a form of communication, often request. Maybe the child wants a favourite toy but does not know how to ask for it so bites or pinches as a form of request. One of my children was pinching at the beginning of the year as a form of requesting the computer - we taught him how to use pecs (picture exhange communication system) to request and now he uses that instead of the pinching.
    Alternatively - could this behaviour be caused by anxiety over the routine of the day. Does the child have access to visual supports such as visual timetables etc to make him aware of how the day with be structured. Lack of this may result in anxiety when manifests itself in the challenging behaviours.
    Without knowing this child it is difficult to say, but these are some of the common purposes and causes of challenging behaviour. I know being a mainstream school you will have a lot on your plate with the other children in the class - I was also a mainstream teacher 2 years ago, but taking the time to think about the purpose of the behaviour may make this little boys school life alot more enjoyable, both for you and for him. He might be one of the few autistic children who actually expereinces sucess in a mainstream setting - you just never know!
    I would highly recommend the book 'challenging behaviour and autism, making sense making progress - whitaker 2001, publisehd by NAS. You can buy it off amazon for about £12 as a starting point. Its very easy to read but has some good ideas.
    Hope that is useful!
  5. Hope the post was useful in the meeting.
  6. The post was really helpful. It meant that we talked about the child's problems and stay focused on those rather than being drawn into staff complaining about being pinched and bitten. Everyone agreed that the child was trying to communicate something and went away determined to resolve what it was he was trying to say. It also showed us that the problem is one that is happening at school and not elsewhere in his life. So thank you again. We are reflecting on our practice rather than saying that we have a child we can't cope with. I'm a lot happier with that outcome and feel that the child will have a fair assessment. I'm very happy with that outcome.

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