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picking fingernails and skin
Old 08-23-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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I have a student who picks her nails all day long. She has a cut on her finger, she's picking that now.

Would gloves (like winter gloves) work? What have you tried?

I think she's picking for 2 reasons. 1) to avoid work, 2) ocd


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Possible Function
Old 08-25-2012, 01:50 AM
 
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Hi,

I work with a 5 year old girl who does the same thing. She often picks almost the entire nail off. My student is a kinestetic learning and I've found that she has a high sensory need especially while processing information. Figets have worked well for her, such as squish balls or anything she can manipulate while listening or thinking. Doodling is also another activity that help her, however the fidgets have worked best. I hope that helps.
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Do you know if she takes medication for
Old 08-25-2012, 02:33 PM
 
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ADD/ADHD? Skin picking can be one of the side effects of Adderall, and probably some other medications. I don't think it would be comfortable to wear heavy gloves inside, and it would not help with her doing her work. She may be picking as a way to deal with stress, and needs to be taught a more productive to calm herself and keep her hands occupied. What does she say about her picking? She might have some suggestions and some reasons that will help you to help her.
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:44 PM
 
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her parents said they don't witness that at home. I do think it's stress related. She is on meds for ADHD. I might call the mom this time (I've been talking with dad) and see what she has to say.

I ask why she picks her nails and she says she doesn't want any white showing....she doesn't want nails.

I gave her a hackysack type ball and a spiky elastic thing. I think they do work a bit for her.

thanks for the responses.
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White showing
Old 08-25-2012, 11:53 PM
 
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Hmm, you probably already thought about this...polishing her nails in her favorite color?

I agree that she needs to learn a more productive activity to help her release stress. ADHD means she needs to move. I allow my students to pace, walk or stand in classroom while listening to instruction. Frequent breaks during a predetermined and agreed time of focused work is rewarded with a quick (5 min) walk/run/skip outside with our para. I allow students to chose outside activities with a para such as bouncing a ball, spinning in circles or jumping at regular intervals (example every 20 mins for 3 mins). To make it fun I tell them with a wink that they "HAVE" to take it whether they need it or not. It seems to help reduce the destructive behavior if they know an opportunity for whole body movement is given at regular frequent intervals. The stress is addressed before it builds and they seem to enjoy "HAVING" to get out and move. Hope that helps.


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Old 08-26-2012, 04:44 AM
 
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the kids are up every 15-20 minutes. She doesn't like to move around and we always have to tell her a few times to follow the class.

I'm thinking polished nails might make her pick off the polish.
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Nail Picking
Old 08-26-2012, 05:36 AM
 
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Maybe it's just a bad habit. My DH does this and it drives me crazy. He has always done it. He does it to his toenails too and it did accidently tear one off once.
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I completely agree with doing lots of
Old 08-28-2012, 08:00 AM
 
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physical movement breaks. I have yoga balls, a trampoline,one-legged stool, and now a spinner in my room. My IAs take kids who need it for breaks in the gym or outside. I also have schedule a time to walk or run laps every afternoon. My rule there is that the kids have to run or walk for the entire time that I am walking. Movement helps being oxygen to the brain, which adds thinking and reduces stress.

As for picking off finger nail polish--well, it's just finger nail polish.

Do make sure you talk to the mom about the side effects of skin picking, and ADD medication.
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