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Challenging 4 year old

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Leapyearbaby64, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    I've already had behaviour support involved, and am implementing some of the things suggested, but always find that TES can offer a wealth of experience and suggestions! I'm an F2 teacher and 29 out of the 30 children are pretty lovely generally - certainly well within the bounds of manageable! Then we have number 30 ... he's very young in the year and quite bright - eg he is reading very well (top quarter of groups) and has lots of interest in maths, science and making things. His behaviour has shifted very little since he started school. He frequently (3-4 times a week) hurts other children. Eg he may walk past someone and kick them, or punch them if they are in his way ... quite a bit of spitting etc. This is the thing behaviour support suggested we tackle first. But he is not really interested in his reward scheme. He's not really interested in any kind of reward - no interest in stickers, or the reward system set up. He has little respect for adults and when his behaviour is being addressed he generally closes his eyes or hums. We have major issues with sharing and turn-taking with other children. Even in conversation, he is not willing to take turns, despite lots of small group work input. He has a very hot temper and often when he is disciplined, he shouts and screams. Sometimes he screams at other children if they have a toy he wants. The major issue in terms of running the class is that he is is as disruptive as possible, and I think this is wilful behaviour. He wanders around, won't sit down, makes stupid noises etc. I know he CAN sit nicely, since he has been excluded from a couple of treats recently and clearly assumed we would change our minds because he sat beautifully and was very sensible. He is alienating himself from the rest of the class. Apart from hurting people and not sharing, he won't join in group activities like tidying up and he is very rude to some children. Now I know that I have to keep the perspective that he is ONLY 4, but after half a year at school I would have expected to see more improvement. I suppose the frustration is that we have not found a way to reach him. He can be a complete delight 1:1 and is a very sweet and funny little boy. He just refuses to acknowledge that classroom rules are for him as well.
  2. I don't care if he's 4 or 14, hurting other children is not on.
    Has this totally unacceptable behaviour been discussed with the family?
    Has the school revisited its policy about student safety?
    This boy is dangerous now and the only thing we can be sure of with 4 year olds is that they will get bigger and stronger.

  3. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    We have had a series of discussions with the parents. They can be a little defensive. Our observation is that he runs rings round them. He is constantly allowed to interrupt conversations, and they are often seen hanging around the playground after school waiting for him to be ready to go home. Our behviour support teacher thinks he probably has lots of control issues as it is likely he sees himself to be in charge at home. All very interesting, but doeesn' really help us. I guess the frustration is that he responds to punishment (eg beig excluded from class) but not reward. It feels rather negative from our point of view.
  4. Has anyone considered that he could be somewhere on the autistic spectrum? More specifically Asperger's.
    Reading this, he ticks quite a few boxes for me - strong interests, good reader, unwilling ( unable could put a different perspective on it though) to change,not interested in rewards,apparently rude and blunt, can't take turns,can't read a situation for his own benefit unless specifically explained,dislikes group activities, not that keen on following instructions, can be sweet and funny one to one etc.

    Blimey. If I were your ' Behaviour Support' person I'd be looking into ASD PDQ. It's possible his hopeless parents are at their wits' end and don't know what to do next. I'd suggest a visit to the GP and ask for a referral to whatever services are in your area (they vary). It's the only way to get a proper diagnosis ( mine's just educated guesswork).

    A 4 yr old doesn't behave like this for no reason.A label of being the 'difficult child' isn't going to help him.

  5. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    That's quite an interesting suggestion as it had fleetingly crossed our minds too. Mainly because he has approx 10 day obsessions with particular things. This is what made it so hard to set up rewards. By the time he's earned it, he's onto something else and the reward means nothing. Parents have said this too. Do you think via GP would get better results than via Ed Psych?
  6. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    I've just read what you said again about "can't read a situation for his own benefit". One of the early things I said to my TA was "he's a clever little boy, he'll soon work out that following simple rules will make his life easier". And that's what he's failed to be able to do. However when he's told concrete things in advance (eg yesterday, my TA said that he would miss out on a special reward the class was having unless he helped tidy up) he doesn't need to be told more than once.
  7. Don't approach this via an Ed Psych. They are not qualified to make a diagnosis - this has to be done via a child psychiatrist ( experienced in ASD). The GP is the 'gatekeeper' to mental health service referrals ( Asperger's is NOT a mental health problem but does come under their umbrella, especially in child and adolescent services, speech and language etc.). The GP ought to know the relevant path but the parents might need to push ( might not, of course) and waiting lists can be lengthy in some places.
    It seems like a win-win way forward as, whatever the outcome, a proper assessment will have been made.
    If his parents decline this idea (!) then I guess an Ed Psych could at least come and see him and give an opinion / advice.But I really would be cautious about involving one at this stage.I hope things improve for all involved.


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