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Tiamat Tiamat is offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,719
Senior Member

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,719
Senior Member
A Very Challenging Student
Old 08-17-2018, 02:40 PM
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I teach Year 3/4 in an Australian rural school, so we are halfway through the year. I have a little boy in my class (he turns 9 this coming Tuesday) who is a handful in many ways.

1. Movement. He can't sit still. He will wrap himself in his jumper (sensory?) and then roll around on the floor in a "cocoon" until somebody rescues him. I don't do that any more and he can extricate himself quickly when the attention is removed.
2. Noise. He calls out. He calls out random stuff (everybody will be working quietly and suddenly "macaroni and cheese!" or "Peppa Pig is ugly!") or makes random squealing or clicking noises.
3. Defiance. "H, we're inside, please take your beanie off." "It's not a beanie, it's a hat." "Please take your hat off" "It's not a hat, it's a head covering". School rule is no hats, beanies, headcoverings, or anything else in the classroom, so when I enforced the rule yesterday I got "Fine! You always get your stinking way!" I've also heard "I hope you die."
4. Rudeness. Aside from the last incident, he is very rude to all adults in his environment (should hear him talk to his mother!) including the Principal. This isn't just his way with me; it's everyone.

What I've tried:

1. Weighted lap cover. Won't use it.
2. Normal consequences. Mean nothing to him. He does the consequence and doesn't modify his behaviour. I only continue with this because of classroom expectations.
3. One on one relationship building time or quiet talks about how his actions affect others. He outright says he doesn't care about other people. If I ask him to stop something in the moment, the best I get is "maaaybe" or a flat "No. I want to".
4. Removal from the room. He sits in the Kindy room or the Principal's office happily and returns unchanged.
5. More challenging work. He's pretty bright and gets through the classwork easily when he's in the mood. He refuses to do anything extra, or anything different from the rest of the class.
6. Setting up a separate reward deal just for him. Nope. Non-cooperative. Told me he was going to see how quickly he could ruin it.

At this point, I don't know if I'm looking at some sort of disorder, or naughty entitled little boy, or a combination thereof.

My teacher's diagnosis (worth what you paid for it) is revolving around autism, ODD and even Tourette's. Mum is very resistant to any sort of diagnosis for her Precious and, as we live remotely, getting one would involve some major effort on both our and the family's part. Not going to happen without their support. To be clear: I haven't suggested any diagnosis to her (not allowed to) but the Principal has recommended assessment on several occasions with a definite "no" as the answer.

The rest of the class is completely fed up with him (and they've had 3 1/2 years of him, I've only had six months) and he has only one friend. His one remaining friend is my little rule-follower, and H is driving him crazy by not following the rules. I'm trying to get them to ignore as much as possible but, when it comes down to it, they're 8 and 9 years old. I find him irritating at 59; it isn't reasonable to expect them to effectively ignore everything.

Staffroom (6 people; very small school) is also stumped. the ones that have had him are sympathetic but out of ideas, the ones that haven't are dreading the prospect.

Does anyone have any clues on working with this kid? He is a spoiling influence in my otherwise great room.

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