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grammam 02-24-2019 12:32 PM

Hey, You wonderful SPED teachers~
I am a gen-ed 5th grade teacher with a problem. I have a student in my class who is a significant behavior problem. He came to our school last year from another school in our state. He came with a cume 2 inches thick filled with suspension notices, etc. along with extensive testing results done by their SPED team. In the results, he was "extremely elevated" in OD and ADHD (has diagnosis for this), "elevated" for Conduct Disorder and ED. The parents never signed off on the IEP and they moved from that area soon after. We are back in the process of trying to figure out what to do. We have gotten them to sign a 504 plan for the ADHD (which was completely refused last year) and our psychologist is trying to come up with a behavior plan. The results from previous school has so far been completely ignored in these meetings.

Here's the problem. I feel like the parents and I are the only ones who understand how difficult this kid is. They have even asked if there was another room he could go to because of his disruptive behavior, but they don't want to acknowledge that there might be something diagnosably wrong. Our team wants to "try everything else" first. In the meantime, the kid constantly talks, shouts out, bullies others, argues with correction, sneaks, steals, makes inappropriate comments and gestures, etc. Every other student in my class is negatively affected by his behavior but the wheels of "help" for him are turning very slowly. The psych is very young and inexperienced though very sweet and tries hard. She keeps suggesting low-level sorts of strategies that have either been tried or would absolutely not work with this kid - even parents said that at the meeting. Now we are supposed to meet to try to devise a home-to-school or school-to-home plan for rewards. In the meeting with the psych, the student said that he doesn't want to do it because he already has the things he wants and doesn't want to risk having them taken away. He is very spoiled and very smart (identified gifted).

I have a friend who is a SPED teacher in another district. She said I should keep track of behaviors and document them. I don't disagree, but I would be spending all my time doing that. The SST team said to give him 5 positive comments for every 1 negative or redirecting comment. It is such a struggle to find 5 things to say without sounding ridiculous. I like your shoes?? How many things do I have to ignore before finding 5 good things to say? I am not good at this. I definitely say positive things to kids all day, but it's really difficult to find things this kid is doing well.

I must sound like a complainer. I'm really not. I traditionally get the most difficult kids because I manage them with respect and kindness, I guess. I have several behavior problems this year, but he is the only one I just can't seem to manage.
Any suggestions??

Amy L 02-24-2019 01:30 PM

I agree with your friend re the documentation, recognizing it takes up much time. Could you just have a sheet with the specific behaviors, so you can put tally marks on it as you walk by the sheet? To get someone to act on it, you may further need to id what classes the behaviors occur/time of day/etc.

If parents are agreeable to the school-home plan, should the student get to choose that?? I'd think the adults would do that, allowing for some input re the positives he'd choose from.

Re bullying, doesn't admin. need to address that based on school guidelines?

I hope something gets in place, for all of you. Good luck.

teabreak 02-24-2019 06:13 PM

I second what Amy L said about the documentation and the tally marks. Just makes it easy for you.

As for the process, if the psych doing a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)? If so, those take some time so she may be giving you suggestions in the meantime.

Document any interventions you do with the student and his reaction to them. Any little gain is still a gain. Do you know what he would work for? What is the carrot that would help him reshape his behavior?

theroad 02-24-2019 06:21 PM

I'm so sorry, sounds like you have a great relationship with the parents and that's always a great thing!

Does your district have a BCBA? If so, you may want to consult with him/her, just informally, to get some ideas. I agree with others, document behaviors.... focus on 2-3 behaviors at a time though... as a special ed teacher, I know how important it is to take data, however, I also know how cumbersome that can be if you overload yourself. I'd narrow down a couple of the most major behaviors you specifically would want to modify and then do a functional behavior analysis on each. Other special ed teachers in your building should be able to help you do this, however, there are many forms online that can also help you collect this type of data in a very scientific, but streamlined way. It really doesn't have to be fancy or pretty, many times it's just determining the function of a student's negative behavior. In my *very limited* experience, I've found that once I've been able to get at why a student behaves the way s/he does, and I've been able to teach a replacement behavior, other not-so-great behaviors tend to diminish.... best wishes!

TAOEP 02-24-2019 08:27 PM

If you (and the psych, admin, etc.) believe that this student would do better with the services that having an IEP could provide, rather than just the 504, you might need to be tough to get the parents to agree to an IEP. For example, expecting the student to behave and follow all rules--with consistent, firm discipline--including detentions. And not providing IEP-type services. And then you say to the parents, "I think that he would benefit from ___, but without an IEP we can't to that."

Another thought, since you said this boy is also identified gifted, would he do better with more challenging work that is on his level?

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