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Tipping toys out

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by sarahlat89, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. sarahlat89

    sarahlat89 New commenter


    I have a boy in my class with ASD (mainstream Reception class) who loves tipping toys out - all over tables, all over the floor. He will not always play with them after, he just enjoys the tipping. As you can imagine in a mainstream R class this can cause a few problems as the other children in the class cannot access the provision set out on tables, it is a mess/danger hazard, and can be very difficult getting him to tidy it up. For e.g., if I have conkers for counting/adding/subtracting on the maths table, he will tip them all out and then leave the table.

    We've tried symbol cards, tipping construction into a tuff tray so it is more contained, he has access to water/sand where we reiterate that this is for emptying, but with no luck. I have also tried limiting items that he can tip, e.g. rather than a whole tray of counters, I will put out a small box. He is still tipping though!

    Any practical advice you would recommend? Thanks.
  2. pinkp

    pinkp New commenter

    Maybe try a social story about what behaviour you would like to see
  3. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Regardless of ASD. this sounds like pretty normal behaviour for a 4 or 5 year old child, I definitely wouldn't consider it an aspect of SEN, and I suspect if he didn't have ASD you wouldn't think of it as such either. It is basic fun, make a mess, build something then knock it down, tipping things out, etc.

    Make a specific mess area if it helps in the short term, timetable 5minutes with the TA to do it every hour or so, then bring him back to whatever the rest are doing. If you have a diagnosis of ASD in reception it is probably a good idea to start having specific areas anyway, he will need it in the long run.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I had this a few years ago in a year 1 (but run as CP reception model) class.
    He would also go over to the shelves and simply tip whatever was in the drawers on to the floor. (Lego, toy money, scissors, pens, whatever was in them.) Anything on tables was clearly there, in his mind, to be tipped.
    Like you say, no reason for it other than to enjoy the tipping. He would even say things like 'ooooo' as he tipped, the way an adult would with a much, much younger child.

    All I could do was let it happen, knowing he would move on to a different schema in a while. If I had a TA, they or I would go over to him immediately after the tipping and work with him to put the things away again. If I was on my own, I'd work with him at break, if I couldn't do it in lesson, to put things away.

    When it came to maths, we'd tip out all the bits and count them back in. Or we'd tip out all the lego and split into colour groups and count and add. Or, for English, we'd tip out two boxes and make new labels, then put away in the right boxes. Or tip out all the dinosaurs and make a story with them to get them back 'home' again. So trying to use his interest to learn the curriculum. Otherwise it would just become a behaviour battle ground which was pointless.

    Involve the SENDCO and ask for extra TA support, so he can have immediate attention to put things away.
    Don't fret on the days when everything has been tipped and the room is a bomb site. You have 29 other children who will adore helping you out with tidying, if you do it positively and with heaps of praise. (It is ok to swear and fume in your head though!)
    Read up about scattering and tipping schemas to get some ideas of what to provide.

    Much as this is not normal in a reception class, it is where this child is at developmentally and trying to stop it will just frustrate you.

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