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NewCAteacher NewCAteacher is offline
 
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Odd
Old 12-18-2019, 06:23 AM
 
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I need someone to help me understand ODD. I have a student this year with an extreme form of it. We are at our wits end. We’ve spoken to the child’s parents and they freely admit that they give him whatever he wants, and tantrums nearly always lead to a reward for him. You probably saw my previous post about how I don’t think parents are always at fault for poor behavior. Well, this is one where I think parents have a HUGE impact on behavior.

Can someone please give me a more logical perspective of ODD so I don’t lose my mind? I feel that this child is choosing to push everyone’s buttons all day long.


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Old 12-18-2019, 08:03 AM
 
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So, first of all, he is not choosing to push buttons so much as it has become his only mechanism for coping with his problem.

If you have any kind of school counselor or psychologist , arrange a meeting with parents and support staff. You are right, they are creating an untenable situation by always giving in. And they need professional help.

You might want to start lobbying for an aid, even if it’s only part time. Someone who can begin intervention before child’s behavior escalates.

And ,you’re going to have to be the first teacher to attempt to establish boundaries for him.....at least for when he is at school.

I had an ODD student once. He was very likable when not melting down. Nit was as if he was two people. And I had to learn for tell tale signs of a meltdown. Sometimes I could head them off. I discovered he really, really liked to draw, so I would bribe him a lot “If you can finish half this page of work, you can draw for the rest of the time.”

By February, P managed to get him a part time aid. Made life better for everyone for at least half the day.
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Thank you
Old 12-18-2019, 09:53 AM
 
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Thank you, Keltik. I didn’t want to believe that he was purposefully pushing buttons — I try to stay away from negative “assumptions,” but it is hard to when we are at our wits end! I like how you explained it as the only coping mechanism he has at this point. A much more reasonable viewpoint.
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There are some great posts.
Old 12-18-2019, 10:05 AM
 
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About ODD here. You'll have to search to find them.
ODD is a tough one.
It's not about pushing buttons. It's about finding some control in a life that seems out of control.
My suggestions:
Give praise on the down-low. Even just a subtle thumbs-up and walk away. Anything more and he will push back.
DON'T engage in power struggle! Give choices and walk away.
Don't react with any emotion.
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Won't Happen
Old 12-18-2019, 10:08 AM
 
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Just sayin' in CA you won't get an aide. But that's another topic.

Onto the ODD, can you give him choices about what he wants to do so that he actually ends up doing what he is supposed to do?

First of all, watch him for a week or so and tally the times he exhibits the ODD tendencies and/or has a meltdown. You are looking for a specific time of day, subject, whatever. Hopefully you will begin to see a pattern. Then you can learn to proactively offer him choices before he starts to melt. When a child is in full meltdown they are not able to control their outbursts, so try to anticipate what will set him off, and be ready to offer him the choices.

It sounds as if the parents are needing some strategies, too, so when you find some that works, let them know. Maybe they could try it at home, and consistency from school to home is a good idea for students like that. Above all, don't take his behavior personally. Is he officially diagnosed, or is it something his parents have told you that he has ODD? If he's not diagnosed, be very careful with referring to diagnoses. Also if he is not, you could ask the parents when you talk to them next if they have taken him to the pediatrician and voiced these concerns.


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Old 12-18-2019, 10:22 AM
 
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I had a very likable ODD kid and a very not likable one, too.

The likable one pretty much did that I wanted him to do once I figured out that anxiety triggered meltdowns. He sat in the floor, not a desk. I chunked his assignments so he wasn't overwhelmed. He also used my room as a safe place when he got overwhelmed with his other classes. He was awful with his mom in the mornings. They weren't able to get him out of the car sometimes. She engaged in the power struggle with him every time. So did the school resource officer.

The other kid was basically just an @sshole. He treated everyone poorly and did exactly what he shouldn't have been doing every single time. He had a seriously crappy home life because he got passed around from mom to dad to grandpa to great aunt. Parents in and out of jail. He eventually ended up in juvenile detention. I think that he had so many other issues that the ODD was the least of his problems.

Learning triggers, providing choices, and failure to engage in a power struggle will usually help considerably with kids who have an ODD diagnosis without a bunch of other issues going on, too.
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Seconded
Old 12-18-2019, 04:57 PM
 
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I second a previous posters observing for triggers. I recommend looking at the ABC method to help you out. It’s also good for documentation that you can take to your experts and ask for suggestions.

ABC
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:40 PM
 
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I have had several ODDers-The most extreme of which couldn't even do his preferred activity if I "told him to do it". He was defiant to the point that it was compulsive and he persisted even when it did not serve his own best interests or desires. That was rough. Imagine telling a child to go and do something that he wants to do and like to do but, simply because you told them to, they refused and instead raged. I will say it was easier not to take it personally-when it kept the student from doing what he wanted to do and what he enjoyed it was very clearly outside of his control. For him I had to present everything as a series of specific choices. Would you like to walk to recess at the front of the line, the back of the line, or next to the line? I could not tell him to walk or use his "walking feet", I had to say "would you rather walk like a boy, stalk like a tiger, or glide like an ice skater to get to the library?" I also had to build up my task compliance slowly-he started out doing almost zero work. I had to present his work to him as a modified task that was already coupled with rewards and still gave him control-which problem would you like to try earning a token for today and would you like to use crayon, marker or pencil for it? Since you get 1 token for every 2 problems how many tokens do you think you will earn during math? which problems would you like to skip and which would you like to do first-you pick. "

All of that intense intervention and talk time took up a ton of time and was only manageable because I gave him a LOT of think time. For example-which math problem do you think you would like to try earning tokens for? Lets set the timer for a few minutes so when I come back we can see which one you like and then you can pick if you would like me to help you with them. How long should we set the timer for do you think?-Then I would set the timer and walk away.

This was kinder so the work load and the need for independence wasn't as much as what it takes to make it in an older classroom.

Last year I had a less extreme ODDer in 3rd but still quiet a handful. She didn't work against her own self interest much BUT she would absolutely loose control of herself if she was given a non-preferred task or a consequence. Her reactions were bizarrely over the top which clued me into the fact that she was having a full on fight or flight response like she was facing danger when all that she was really given was preferred task. If she was already mad when she was given a directive she would refuse preferred activities like recess sometimes. In that instance I would just sit down and ignore her while I did some work-the more I didn't care and show that her refusal had any effect on me the less she resorted to that though. She was like another poster posted about above. When presented with a non-preferred task she experienced anxiety and she would say or do anything to avoid the task-it was her only strategy for feeling in control and feeling out of control felt like she was going to die or something. She also liked to create reactions in others-it made her feel powerful and gave her a sense of control. THANKFULLY my other kids were awesome and with the right reminders, practice and rewards they would completely ignore a full fledged tantrum that probably should have cleared the room and they would work right through it. Once we cut off that reinforcement it was much easier to help her learn better strategies to help her feel in control and to deal with negative feelings. When she tantrumed She threw items at me, threatened me, cursed at me, and took a sharpie to the carpet, and broke class supplies then threw the broken pieces at me-I pretended not to care and to actually be bored with the whole thing. Not making eye contact or talking to her was crucial. We had a list of calm down strategies I would walk by point at one-point to the reward for using that strategy and walk away. In time it worked-she stopped doing that and replaced it with methods that actually got her results and earned her rewards for trying them (take a break in the quiet corner, squeezing/pounding a squishy toy, choosing to do the task at home instead (I was lucky and mom did work with her on it though so she never completely avoided the work) and spending the rest of the time reading quietly, going for a water break, chew a piece of gum). Not only did I have to talk with her about the strategies and get her to pick/agree to them before hand and have them written up for her but I had to explicitly teach her these other strategies and we had to practice them when she wasn;t triggered. When did I do this-usually during my breaks or prep time which sucked-I'll be honest. But I liked this kid and I would be damned if I wasn't going to help her. We also had to talk about her consequences for not using the strategies and engaging in unsafe behavior way after she had calmed down-sometimes the next day-and since consequences would give her anxiety and trigger her I would let her know that I would stay with her to help her through her consequences but, that end the end of the day the consequences weren't torture. She would have to sit through them and she wouldn't like it but it wouldn't hurt her in any way and that when it was over she would realize that it wasn't that bad and it was fair considering what she had done. It felt weird reassuring a child that her consequences "weren't that bad or that big of a deal" but truly her response to small consequences and non-preferred tasks like math were a full fledged fight or flight response so to her it felt like she was going to die. You could see it in her eyes. This year she still is too impulsive and talks out too much and acts sassy but the tantrums and violent behavior and property destruction are gone. That was a lot of work but it did stick and she has improved.

I have had others who just needed more choices and less commands, Others who needed meds, and others who needed less stimulation-more explicit social skills training and consistent follow through.

In my experience though if the parents wont back you and wont follow through with anything you might help the student improve grow a bit but you cant make bigger more meaningful changes. You have to get them involved and have a community resource help them to help their child.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:47 PM
 
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Unless things have changed recently, ODD is not designated as a special ed disability in California. Makes it nearly impossible to get any help in the school setting
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No
Old 12-19-2019, 07:10 AM
 
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He is eligible under “OHI.”


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Summerwillcom Summerwillcom is online now
 
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I have worked w/ a lot of ODD kids
Old 12-21-2019, 03:55 PM
 
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If these are his bio parents, they have created the problem.
If they do not change themselves, the kid is not going to change.
I don't believe kids are "born ODD." Most of the ones I have worked with had been physically abused for a period of time.
Others may have overly permissive or nonexistent parents.
The majority I knew had been abused or witnessed extreme violence at home.
I think it is ridiculous that teachers can no longer spend the time they would teaching kids who want to learn without having to pussyfoot around kids like this.
Other kids do not need to be exposed to this garbage either.
I think a military academy might help kids diagnosed as ODD.. The parents sure aren't.
The schools are too ill equipped to handle all of the SED kids.
I do not know how you put up with it.
I am not going to ever again if I can help it.
Public schools in some places have become dumping grounds for kids who need a different type of help.
I wish you the best. I wish there was a magic wand to fix these kids too, but there isn't. I am really sorry that you have to deal w/it for now though.
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