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Handling child with physical outbursts

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Sally006, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    Hi there. Any advice welcome here. I have inherited a child into my Y5 class who has serious problems controlling her emotions. She has many ASD traits but at every turn since EYFS the parents have refused to agree to any referrals for profession support/diagnosis. Therefore, there is no funding for this child who so desperately needs support in managing severe outbursts. Previous colleagues have tried to introduce helpful strategies to ensure he can communicate when her frustrations are building and teacher or TA (if there for we have no TA in the pm) can help distract de-escalate. This worked until the parents found out and then she told staff she was “not allowed to do that anymore “. Likewise my job share and I have tried preventative strategies which were starting to work and we now discover these have been undermined by home. She will scream continuously for 20 minutes or more causing stress to her peers and staff. She will refuse to move to her chosen “safe place”. She has pulled other kids hair and thrown a water bottle and my colleague. Where do we draw the line between making allowances for her difficulties and applying some consequential sanction? It appears sanctions with consequences have NEVER been used for fear of escalating. But where do you draw the line? What if another pupil or staff member is more seriously hurt? Both children and parents have been incredibly tolerant but I’m not sure this will last and I can’t blame them. Any advice welcome.
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If parents won't allow you to refer her, they'll have to understand that you can't continue to make allowances for her difficulties, and normal consequential sanctions will have to apply. They need to get that message now, because she is not going to cope in mainstream secondary with those sorts of behaviours and no support; if there's a diagnosis to be had, that needs to be underway this year. I think you need your head/SenCo in on a meeting with the parents.
  3. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    My feelings precisely so I am demanding a meeting with Head and SenCo tomorrow to discuss this step. I know the likely outcome from the parents - they won’t accept she has problems, will resist any attempt to “label” her difficulties but equally won’t like us applying normal sanctions. They have threatened to remove her from the school before and home school her. It’s tragic really as she is very bright and needs all the help she can get to function in society in the future.
  4. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    I had a similar child.
    Record every incident.
    Tell the parents every incident aswell.
    Try a behaviour chart with a reward, could be a 5 minute puzzle during the afternoon or extra reading.
    Work out the triggers.
  5. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    Have more or less been warned off telling the parents by previous teacher as child is terrified of parent response at home. Safe guarding issue was implied. When my job share partner and I mentioned this to the head he said we would get nowhere referring that on the basis of not enough evidence that emotional abuse “might” be taking place. We just can’t win and my colleague felt she was being blamed for not handling the child correctly.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Other than the fact they sound utterly stupid, let them if necessary. You have an entire class for which you are responsible.

    Either she has a reason for the behaviour, which needs to be explored by specialists
    Or she is behaving badly and therefore sanctions must be applied.
    One of the other has to be true.
  7. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If nothing changes, then I suspect they'll be home-schooling her by November of year 7 anyway.
  8. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Firstly, read your school's behaviour policy.

    For a term record every incident electronically (I know it's time-consuming) - set up a document in Word or Excel that your TA can access too. Record: date, time, behaviour, trigger, intervention, sanction.

    This will help you to spot any patterns or reoccurring triggers for her behaviour. You could then create a behaviour plan for her that outlines what staff will do when she starts to exhibit frustration and how this will be dealt with to avoid an escalation and what rewards and sanctions will be used (in line with behaviour policy) if behaviours recorded on the plan are displayed by her.

    Normally a behaviour plan should be shared with parents, but in this case you could set it up and just share it with the TA and any other adults that work with her. I would ignore her parents if they complain about de-escalation strategies - you have a duty of care and will be acting within the confines of the school's behaviour policy. You need this in place for your own sanity.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019

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