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six year old boy attention seeking

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by JohanneTripp, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. JohanneTripp

    JohanneTripp New commenter

    I've taught the same lovely age group for three years but in the last three months, one six year old boy is causing chaos.
    I think in the first instance I noticed that it would take him an extraordinary length of time to write on the IWB - usually in phonics - and it would be writing one letter, then rubbing it out so that it looked nicer, but I felt the whole performance was because he wanted to be doing something. His favourite thing in the world seems to be tidying - he seems to think that he will get constant praise for reorganising resources I've laid out ready for the next lesson when in reality I do not want him touching them, I want him to follow instructions. If students arrive at 8:40 I usually have early work ready but he hates to start something and then stop for example to sit on the carpet for the 9:00 register. When I choose other students to talk (I am routinely able to ask almost the whole class to take a turn to speak/demonstrate a particular skill) he shouts out that "it's not fair" and he ruins their turn by calling out the answer to irritate the chosen child.
    If he is taken to an intervention (e.g. withdrawn from class for extra maths) he monopolises the situation with the Teaching Assistant - demanding that he carries the tray of resourses, that he hands out the pens, that he tell the other children how to do the activity.
    He came roaring and shouting into the classroom (late 9:10am) the other day shouting that he wanted to chose the child of the day - technically it was his turn but due to horrendous behaviour he had not been able, then due to being late we had chosen for him. The Teaching Assistant was so scared of him carrying on with this temper tantrum she was arguing with me across the class that we need to let him change the child of the day - causing another child to burst into tears.
    I have tried using sticker charts - when he moves off his carpet space/seat, or begins shouting out over the teaching input because another child has a chance to speak (His latest thing is to shout that whatever we are learning about doesn't exist) but he gets hysterical about not getting a smiley face sticker - I remind him what behaviour I want to see and he can get a sticker but he shouts that "I am doing the right thing!"
    If I use parallel praise to say another student is sitting nicely or listening well he calls out "and me!" This sets one or two other children off giggling - one or two have called him a baby - and he starts yelling "Don't look at me! Don't laugh at me!"
    If I tell him he is missing break time due to disrupting learning he tries physically to get out the door and cries for 25 minutes.
    I know this is ridiculous in that with this age group usually the offer of a dojo point or the mere praise of another student has them all displaying the right behaviour to enable learning to flow smoothly - I feel that he has brought a bullying campaign of terror into my classroom - and he is only six! What should I do?
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. GladRagsAtMidnight2017

    GladRagsAtMidnight2017 Occasional commenter

    First port of call is SENCO. Are you also keeping records (or a TA doing it) of his behaviour using an ABC chart? Have you discussed what he is like at home with parents? Has his previous year teacher been able to say whether this is behaviour that they witnessed or has it suddenly manifested itself?
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Your first line, about repeatedly rubbing out to make it look nicer, immediately made me think of OCD - the tidying/organising could fit that as well.
    Not the rest, but it's worth maybe keeping in mind.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    He may be autistic.

    Tess9876, Lelly64 and pepper5 like this.
  5. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    This sounds like quite extreme behaviour that is having a great impact on yourself and the other students.

    Firstly, has there been a recent change in him? You start off by saying this has been happening for the last three months. Is that because he's just arrived/switched classes/you've just taken them or was he more settled at the beginning of the year? If it's the latter, it will be worth finding out what is happening at home. Drastic changes in behaviour are very often connected to changes at home and especially if you consider it to be attention seeking. Do you know anything about the family? If you think it's appropriate, I would get the parents in as a first action. If there's concerns about that, start with other members of staff who may have some insight.

    I would of course get the parents in either way. Keep a record of his behaviour - with specific examples of exactly what he did/said. Avoid any language like "causing chaos" or "ruining the lesson" and focus just on what he did in response to instructions etc. If possible, ask one of the parents to come in and sit in on a morning or afternoon session. It will be interesting to see how he behaves when a parent is in the room and that will indicate how in control of it all he is and therefore help inform your next actions.

    At six, the difference in a child's self-awareness, self-control and appreciation of how his behaviour affects others is huge so you'll need to consider those things in deciding what the appropriate steps are with him and how tough the sanctions can be. If you do think he is attention seeking, it could be best to ask for support in having him removed from the class for short periods of time. Give him one clear and specific target to focus on per session - such as no speaking over others. If he calls out, he gets a warning and if he does it again, he is removed from the class. Do you have the facility to do this? I'd get the headteacher/senior management in if you can as it sounds like he's making it really tricky for other students and parents might start to complain (at least, it's worth using this explanation to management to persuade them to support you if it's not usually done in your school). If he achieves the target, then and only then can he hand out resources/be in charge of something as you say he enjoys.

    Certainly get the SENCO to come and observe him and help him with impulse control or even assess him if they think there might be other issues. Do you think he might be struggling to understand the the work and therefore acting up?

    In terms of working with the TA. Is it possible to minimise his time with her in the short term if it isn't productive and causes tension between the adults? Try to speak with her outside of the classroom approaching it with her feelings about working with him and how you can support her. If possible, remind her that you must present a united front before the children.

    Get whatever back up you can to help shift the focus away from him in the class and allow the other students to get back on track.
  6. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Perhaps this section needs a 'sticky' on identifying autistic pupils?

    The OP gives an excellent description and I am sure anyone who regularly works with these pupils would agree that he is clearly autistic.


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