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Disruptive child in class

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by taj, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. taj

    taj

    Hi I am a TA and I work with groups of Special needs / low ability children every day. This term I have been given a boy who has the attention span of a gnat. He calls out, fidgets constantly, gets up and down out of his seat, plays with pens etc. which distracts all the others. If I take the things off him, he starts pulling faces or jiggles about which distracts the other kids again! I have tried ignoring him but that that doesn't work because then the other children start complaining that "X is doing such and such," and is stopping them from concentrating.

    I follow the behaviour policy which involves time out at the third warning. He goes for time out to another class, then comes back and starts all over again! The teacher I work with is only in her second year of teaching and she has the same problems with him in the afternoon. She hasn't found anything that works with him yet either. She tried giving him some blu tac to hold but that
    didnt work either as he just disrupted the class by showing them all what he had made out of it!
    I think this child has some problem like ADHD as I really think he can't help being such a pain. He also sometimes seems genuinely bewildered when he gets told off for being rude and disruptive. I have spoken to the SENCO and the Head about him but in the meantime I am struggling. Any advice or strategies that might work would be really appreciated please.
     
  2. taj

    taj

    Hi I am a TA and I work with groups of Special needs / low ability children every day. This term I have been given a boy who has the attention span of a gnat. He calls out, fidgets constantly, gets up and down out of his seat, plays with pens etc. which distracts all the others. If I take the things off him, he starts pulling faces or jiggles about which distracts the other kids again! I have tried ignoring him but that that doesn't work because then the other children start complaining that "X is doing such and such," and is stopping them from concentrating.

    I follow the behaviour policy which involves time out at the third warning. He goes for time out to another class, then comes back and starts all over again! The teacher I work with is only in her second year of teaching and she has the same problems with him in the afternoon. She hasn't found anything that works with him yet either. She tried giving him some blu tac to hold but that
    didnt work either as he just disrupted the class by showing them all what he had made out of it!
    I think this child has some problem like ADHD as I really think he can't help being such a pain. He also sometimes seems genuinely bewildered when he gets told off for being rude and disruptive. I have spoken to the SENCO and the Head about him but in the meantime I am struggling. Any advice or strategies that might work would be really appreciated please.
     
  3. How old is he?
     
  4. taj

    taj

    He is Year 5 so 9 - 10 years old.
    Thanks
     
  5. Hi Taj,
    If possible, try doing some one
    to one in subjects where he is at his most disruptive, so that others
    don't become distracted and so you can concentrate on gaining his
    attention. Also, use this time to talk through a reward system, perhaps a
    sticker chart, which is tailored to him and the progress he needs to
    make. Talk through his aims for the next term, or next half a term,
    and decide together on his personal plan of action - get him involved in writing this - and personalise it with a photograph or a drawing of him. You can then refer back to this when he breaks one of his own aims. Finally, be
    consistent in everything you do with him.
    I hope this helps, good luck!
     
  6. Hi Taj
    I would recommend that using timers and explaing wht was required for the duration of the timer. So for the next 5 minutes and use a 5 minute timer they need to be quiet. Also their are some toys that are good to aid concentration, we use tangle toys and explain to the whole class that it is only a certain pupils to use and that it is to help them concentrate. These often work because it keeps their hands busy but their mind can focus on what the teacher is saying. Hope this helps.
     
  7. purplepixie

    purplepixie New commenter

    If he is fidgeting, it might be an idea to give his group some more hands-on work. Talk to your teacher about differentiating his work to his needs, which may be the need to be constantly doing something. Don't spend more than 5 minutes doing one task but move quickly onto the next, which can still be focused on the lesson's objective, e.g.:
    LI: describe a character
    -Print out a picture of a character and give him 30 seconds to think of 5 words that will describe the character, and write them on a whiteboard/in his book.
    -Challenge him to think of a simile for two of the descriptions in under 1 minute (challenging him to make the simile more descriptive of course!)
    -Play a verbally descriptive round in the group so each person has to make a descriptive statement about the character as quickly as possible, passing an object around the circle/table - but it also has to be good enough to be allowed, and you can time how long it takes the object to go around twice.
    -When you come to describing your own character, the children in his group could mould their characters out of Play Dough so that you are asking him to talk you through exactly what his character looks like, and if he says "He has a big nose" then ask him to give his Play Dough character a big nose. This gives you the chance to ask him questions that will further his literacy skills, e.g. "What does his nose look like?" e.g. a carrot, a warty witch's nose and so on.
    -For writing he could then write on strips of multicoloured paper, or Post It notes, that he can move around and place conjunctions/embedded clauses/punctuation/extra information between, and these can be pasted in, in the final order, once it's been talked through and moved around to a satisfactory way - all the while actually keeping him moving and talking.
    I chose to give writing as an example because I personally find it the hardest one to make kinaesthetic!
     
  8. Is this mainstream? Why is the teacher not working with this child? Is he ever given the chance to work independently?
    I sympathise for you but despair at still how often the lower ability/troublesome children are palmed off on to the TA as opposed to being taught by the qualified teacher.
     
  9. it sounds to me that he may have sensory integration problems . Thank God you realise you can't help it as making him feel as if hes to blame may add to his problems "The out of sync child "" is a great book for pinpointing specifically what he may have problems with and giving lots of practical ideas to help. It is the teachers job to differentiate her lessons to meet his needs as our collegue said and she may also like to read it.
    His beweilderment at being told off also sounds like he is somewhere on the autistic spectrum . It is amazing how long children can go without these things being diagnosed and everyone just muddling through or the child being labled naughty ..The use of a timer is a good idea and maybe having rules for the lesson taped to the table , for constant visual reminder eg listen to the teach , don't leave your seat, no touching etc .An OT with experience of sensory integration disorder may be able to help you if the school could refer him
    Good luck
     
  10. I really sympathise with you as I had a child exactly like this in my mainstream class a couple of years ago but with no TA and I am now teaching in a special school with children with Autism so all my children are like that.
    In mainstream I definately think reward systems work better than sanctions, i kept mine really short and simple, 5 minute intervals before praise/reward and the reward system very colourful in front of him to keep his mind on it. I used to have him as my helper at the front when he could be trusted and before I saw an outburst coming I would send him on an errand to calm down, this usually gave him the break he needed and he came back better, it also gave me a chance to praise the other children. A lot of behaviour i did ignore, if he wanted to stand instead of sitting he would do sometimes as long as he wasn't messing about and I would praise those around him when he wasn't doing as I was expecting.
    I also used timers, but instead of saying you have to sit for this amount of time i would say you have this amount of time to complete this piece of work for your reward/sticker etc. It means having lots of little activities for him to do but this is your teachers job she should be able to provide things.

     
  11. Also, I arranged a time during the week where the headteacher came in to look at his reward chart and praise accordingly,as my child loved the head it really worked well.
    If shouting out is a problem let him whisper answers to you, the child I had couldn't actually keep the answers in to himself so I used to tell him to either whisper it to me or write it on his whiteboard and show m. He felt like he was being listened to but my lesson wasn't becoming really disrupted.
    Are there any peer relationships you can facilitate to help? I paired up my child with another boy in class who's behaviour was exemplary and they really got on well. When he was having a particularly disruptive day I would set up and 'office' outside for him to work on and make sure the teachers who went past praised good work and mentioned his 'office'. He loved this.
     

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