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lakeviewSPED 04-07-2010 07:04 AM

17 y.o Down boy
Hello! I have a 17 y.o. student with Down's who is having some behavior issues....he's stealing from others, running away, and becoming more defiant every day. We've tried a positive behavior plan, where he earns tokens for doing his work, catching him being good, etc. He can cash in the tokens whenever he likes...prizes for 1-10 tokens (computer time, free drawing, buying a treat). It doesn't seem to be helping at all. His IQ is 70's, he is able to recognize and tell you what is right and wrong, but I don't think he internalizes or really 'gets' it...which is why I don't think the behavior plans are working for him. I'm at my wits end...I don't know what else to try, my 'bag of tricks' is empty...any ideas??

globugg 05-01-2010 06:28 AM

get it
First of all, he has a 70 IQ, he gets it but just hasn't bought into the system. Have you asked him what he wants? He wants attention. Maybe he gets to spend some one on one time with an adult that he likes. I wouldn't have it where he can cash in at anytime he wants as he can use this to avoid expectations. How about setting him up with the school lunch program, custodian, mail delivery, or where he gets to go do a job that he gets lots of positive strokes.
I had a similar kid who was stealing and we set it up that everyday when he arrived to school he had to empty his pockets and backpack. Then at the end of the day, the same thing happened. If he had anything different, then it was removed. These arrangements were set up with the parent so that they supported us. We had a check sheet that he carried throughout his day for each class. In the beginning he got a check every 15 minutes as he needed reinforcement more frequently. He had to have a certain number of positive checks to cash out at the end of the day when his backpack was inspected. (He liked rocks, so I had a box of rocks he got to choose each day) We also made it easy at the beginning so he got that positive reinforcement at the end of the day.
I am also thinking that this kid is telling you that his program isn't working for him. Is he being challenged enough, or too challenged? Does he have things in his day that he is gains a sense of pride and accomplishment?
The same kid would have these defiant moments often and was clearly wanting attenion. It didn't matter if it was positive or negative attention that he got. We started either removing him from the classroom or if he wouldn't move, then the whole class got up and left him. He didn't like that at all. It didn't take long for him to get it, along with all the behavior plan we had in place.
How is his behavior at home?

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