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New pupil exhibiting disturbing behaviour - advice please

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by Tabby1963, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Age 10, been to more schools than his age before coming to my school. First couple of weeks he was quiet, then aspects of his behaviour began to surface. For example, a couple of pupils playing a board game, he walked past, his hand came out and quickly shoved the board dislodging the pieces. Walked away laughing. Took another pupil's toy and broke it (in front of teacher), then denied doing it. When in another classroom, damaged a card belonging to a pupil. Admitted it to a few pupils(laughing) but denied it to teacher. Upended a board game so all the pieces went on the floor, laughed, and blamed another pupil. I witnessed this. He denied doing it again and again.

    Myself and teacher have been keeping a note about incidents we witness or hear about to build up a picture. I get a sense that he simply feels an urge to damage things, spoil games, cause a scene, and suddenly the hand snakes out BAM, game spoiled, toy damaged or whatever. It is the barefaced denial when clearly seen doing this that is odd. Worryingly, I forsee that this is just the beginning of more disturbing behaviour to come. He displays a cynical attitude towards teachers and the school saying he hates school/teachers and doesn't see why he has to attend.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. As you are posting in the SEN forum, I assume this student has a history of behavioural problems. You don't say whether he is statemented or whether there is any history of referral to to specialist services, nor whether he exhibits behavioural issues outside of school or at home for instance.
    There is usually an underlying reason for behaviour of this type, not always of course, but it may well be considering moving towards discussions with the school's EBD consultant or other external agencies, ultimately with a possible view to setting up a TAC (Team around the Child) meeting.
  3. Thanks for your reply, Zeberdie. This pupil has been at so many schools in his short life that support has been fragmented. I have not seen his file but am told it is massive. He has been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum and my school is working to put support in place for him and his family, using outside agencies and specialist teachers. In the meantime, we would like this to be his last school, one where at last his needs can be met, and that he can develop a positive view of school and his education. I am under no illusions that this will prove to be a very challenging time for everyone.
  4. Without trying to minmize what you perceive to be a problem, I would say that there is nothing particularly odd about barefaced denial! Quite a few of our perfectly 'normal' children do it as a matter of course!

    I'd be more worried about the deliberate spoiling of things. It sounds like an attention seeking ploy, taken to extremes.
    Have you encountered his parent/s/carers? I bet they have much the same view...
    I bet the child can't read, either...
  5. Hello there Maizie
    It was odd because in the example, the pupil did it right in front of the teacher then denied it, but I do take on board what you say about some pupils lying as a matter of course.
    I believe his mum is very supportive and desperate to find a place where he will settle. He reads very well, his writing is abysmal, he types and spells well. Attention-seeking most definitely, he makes funny noises to disrupt the class too and loves to get a response. He seems to have no conception of the distress his spoiling behaviour causes to other pupils and I have noticed that some pupils are starting to avoid being with him. His attitude is that everything is everyone else's fault, not his. He has complained of being bullied at other schools, and I can see why other pupils will steer clear of him or avoid him if he regularly damages their property, spoils games, disrupts events etc.

    The class teacher will be putting in place strategies to ensure that he is engaged and interested in the classroom so that boredom does not become an issue, and we will continue to find activities that he does enjoy, to use as a reward.

    Thanks for your reply.

  6. I was wrong on all counts, then[​IMG]

  7. This is surely why he behaves as he does - if he is unable to empathise with the other children then he will not understand how his actions affect them, therefore he is simply entertaining himself and trying to get attention. This makes perfect sense for a child who knows what his needs are, but cannot extend that to understand that others have the same needs.
    When my son started primary school he was put with a boy of similar (high) ability who 4 years later was diagnosed with aspergers. He regarded my son as his best friend, but had no understanding of how to treat him. One day he'd be (literally) wrapped around my son cuddling him, and the next kicking him until he was black and blue. His only thought was for his own needs and not my sons (he clearly felt emotions very strongly). When my son finally rejected him (as the rest of the class had done very quickly) he took to waiting outside doors until my son came out and knocking him to the floor, sitting on him and punching him in the face. He did this without any regard for who was watching or what trouble he would get into. I assume his only thought was that he wanted my son as a friend, and this was his way of trying to make it happen. I believe the school leant on the parents and they moved him to another school where he caused equal chaos. He was only helped finally after being diagnosed with aspergers when he was put into a special school. Here, although he continued to be unable to empathise with others, they taught him what was acceptable in terms of behaviour - it was purely theoretical to him because he still didn't naturally empathise - but he was able to learn because he was intelligent, and he was able to understand that he was different and therefore had to behave in a certain way in order to fit in and not alienate people. It took the right type of help in the right environment.
    If you think the child you describe is like this then I'd suggest you get advice from your LA autism outreach on how to teach behaviour strategies to a child who cannot empathise with others.

  8. Thank you salw16, your observations and comments sum up beautifully the difficulties this pupil faces every day when he attempts to fit in to school life (or life in general), plus the devastating effect he has on other pupils when he wants to be friends or ;fit in'. Your experience and advice is most welcome and thank you.
  9. Hi if this child has an ASD diagnosis then the constant changes of school will have been hugely distressing. he is probably communicating his distress through his challenging behaviour. School is a confusing place for such children and he may not know how to interact appropriately or understand social rules. As his teacher you need to call in the appropriate help as he may need 1:1 support and a specialised approach such as TEACCH. He may also need a behaviour support/reactive plan so you are able to help if he gets overloaded in any situation. You as his teacher need lots of help to put a support structure in place if he stays with you, but you are doing completely the right thing in getting help. Try the National Autistic society website and tell his mum about it. This is often an invisible disability and difficult to understand so he is lucky you are taking the 1st step to helping him.
  10. Hi, I totally agree with what you say. For these children any sort of change in their life affects them dramatically. A friend of mine went to hell and back with her son. He was asked to leave two schools (due to behavioural issues). It was only at his last school, at the age of nine, that anyone took the trouble to help and understand that he had problems.With the help of the school and his family, he was finally diagnoned with Aspergers. A lot of people don't think deep enough to realise there may well be a problem. Instead they just label them as bad kids with behavioural problems, which is not always the case.
    Fortunately for my friends son, he now has a place in a Special School. My friend is much happier now.
    She was accused of being a bad parent, and not acknowledged by the first two schools.

  11. Normal



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  12. Thanks, Suefrancis1. I am an SLA who works in the classroom, predominantly with a couple of other pupils and now with this new pupil too. At this time he has not been allocated any official SLA hours which is somewhat surprising, although he probably has never been at any school long enough to have this put in place. Unfortunately due to financial constraints, it will be difficult to get extra hours approved quickly. However, we are all committed to doing what we can to ensure he gets the supports he needs to bring the best out in him. Fingers crossed. I will continue to do personal research and have just borrowed a book from the library called "You're Going to Love This Kid!". It is proving to be an excellent and informative book.
  13. Phew, what a relief for your friend to finally get a diagnosis, wrinklyrabbit. What a pity he and his family had to undergo four years of hell beforehand. We have come a long way in our understanding of pupils on the autistic spectrum, but I think we still have a long way to go. How distressing to be accused of being a bad parent, too.

  14. Just another quick note on good reading..try Freeks Geeks and Asperger's Syndrome- written by a teenage boy with Aspergers as a guide for the rest of the "normal" population. At our small school it is the bible!
  15. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    "Martian in the playground - Understanding the Schoolchild with Asperger's Syndrome (Lucky Duck Books) by Claire Sainsbury is also fantastic.
  16. Just saw this. clearly this chap needs a great deal of work with social skills, acceptable/unacceptable behaviour if it has been found (presumably through much observation etc) that he has Aspergers. Have you looked at the Carol Gray resources re Social Stories. It will need 1:1 with him and full co-operation from home. You need to meet with mum face to face no use taking it on trust from others. I like to meet the parents myself often reveals a lot. Behavioural plan needed too re sanctions etc and immediate action after each such episode. He is clearly bright. What would worry me would be the fact that he broke a toy in front of the teacher. That is throwing down the challenge to the adults/authority in the class/school in a kind of 'ok what are your going to do about it Miss?' He needs very tight boundaries in school and home. That would be my experience anyway for what it's worth.
  17. The ignorance of my son's primary school almost destroyed him and us. He had struggled intially with reception class and was diagnosed with ADD/DAMP. He then left to be home educated p/t and take advantage of a montessori school that took reception and y1 children.He then went into a mainstream class in a supposedly good primary school (great OFSTED, good results at least then, affluent area etc) that actually had a special needs unit attached at the time and as I naively though more understanding teachers. The school had very little understanding although some of the stafff showed him kindness. What was worse was the fact that some of the parents who also worked in the school were instrumental in making him more socially isolated than he would have been otherwise and the school allowed this to happen. The head and many of the teachers saw him simply as a behaviour problem and had no concept of how issues such as sensory overload, sensory integration difficulties, weak working memory, dysgraphia etc affected him in the classroom.On one occasion on trying to discuss sensory overload with the head I was told I was making excuses for him! Although at school action plus from y3 they refused to put into practice the recommendations of a Speech and Language therapist in y6 re prosodic language difficulties nor did they ever put into practice recommendations from an OT during y4. They just couldn't see past the bad behaviour and in their simplistic view of things the fact that he was intelligent proved that he should have known better than to behave how he did.He is 15 now and coping so much better with appropriate support and understanding he has at his local high school.

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