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Screaming Kid & Other Issues VENT
Old 04-17-2018, 02:59 PM
 
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What a day!!! What a week!!

I have a student (KG) who screams and throws a huge tantrum when he doesn't get his way. On the autism spectrum. I am not qualified to deal with it. He hit me 3 times this year and my buddy teacher 1. He has hit other kids. Out of the 25 documented incidents, administration has been involved 13 times. Today he took over the entire classroom, flailing his arms while running full speed at groups of kids. They hide and duck. Its so scary. I had to evacuate to my buddy teachers classroom. Admin says my students handled it well and so did I. I asked 3 times now for more serious consequences. He had out of school suspension the 3 times he hit me. Today's incident his parents picked him up. If you could advise anything - how do I get him removed from my classroom permanently? He shouldn't even be in the school. They kicked out a girl from KG for hitting a teacher.

Next: my buddy teacher convinced me that we should move to another grade to team teach. We were both excited. One of her pros of the decision was that it would be good for our resume since we both only have KG experience. In case either of us wanted to move. Her words were "I'm not planning on staying here forever. And I know you aren't either. Lets do it." So we told our principal and celebrated a new job. Fast forward to last week where she is crying every day saying that if I left, she wouldn't want to be stranded by herself in a different grade. I assured her I wasn't leaving anywhere, maybe after a year if my husband got a new job in another state, but we already talked about that and how its good for our resume. She says she didn't really think it was a possibility of only one year. So we had to go tell our boss that we were having second thoughts and wanted to stay in our current positions. She said its fine.

So that same day and the day after, all she could say to me was "I feel like I ruined your life. I understand if you have to leave. You can go to the other grade with another KG teacher. I will help you find another job." I kept assuring her everything was good and I was staying where I am. Then when my student hit me that same day (not the time mentioned above, a different time) her and the new KG teacher came to me saying, " Are you going to find a new school?" and just with the same stuff as before saying she will help me find a new job. I feel that both of these teachers are trying to kick me out. Who do they think they are? I find all of those comments very rude. I held myself together and just said I have it all taken care of, don't need your help with anything, etc.

I'm just upset about these teachers trying to get me to leave. Plus her taking her word back, making me look like a fool. I have no reason to leave KG, except for the team teaching experience. What in the world is going on?

I'm usually a reserved teacher. Kind to others, always willing to help out, grade level chair a few times, I do a lot for my team. I feel this teacher is sabotaging me. And using this naughty kid as an excuse that I should leave. But why would someone do that? This is our first year working together and she says she loves how I teach and all I do.

What is going on???!


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Old 04-17-2018, 05:25 PM
 
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Make whatever decision is best for you. If that means staying in kinder, do it, if it means changing grades, do it, if it means looking for another job, do it. Iíve never heard of co-teachers moving together.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:32 PM
 
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Quote:
I have a student (KG) who screams and throws a huge tantrum when he doesn't get his way. On the autism spectrum. I am not qualified to deal with it. He hit me 3 times this year and my buddy teacher 1. He has hit other kids. Out of the 25 documented incidents, administration has been involved 13 times. Today he took over the entire classroom, flailing his arms while running full speed at groups of kids. They hide and duck. Its so scary. I had to evacuate to my buddy teachers classroom. Admin says my students handled it well and so did I. I asked 3 times now for more serious consequences. He had out of school suspension the 3 times he hit me. Today's incident his parents picked him up. If you could advise anything - how do I get him removed from my classroom permanently? He shouldn't even be in the school. They kicked out a girl from KG for hitting a teacher.
.......I’m going to try really hard to respond in a helpful manner.

What are you doing to meet this child’s obvious needs? What behavior interventions have been tried? Does the child have an IEP? Does the child need and IEP? Have you referred them? Does he have an official diagnosis? Is he receiving therapy outside of school? Are the parents involved? Have you reached out to the SpEd teacher and/or therapists at your school for suggestions? What is triggering the meltdown (not always a tantrum...often a meltdown, very different)? Ask for a FBA. Where “should” he be, if not your school? I realize you have a class full of other children to deal with, but these are the questions I would be asking as a parent (and a teacher).

I knew very, very little about autism until my child was diagnosed. All I knew was as a teacher, I didn’t want a kid on the spectrum in my class. Now? I’ve learned so much and have come to realize I was mistaken.

“Serious consequences” or kicking my son out of school wouldn’t phase my DS nor would it help him. Therapy, sensory integration, and fantastic teachers/therapists who never give up have made a world of difference in his life. Your post reminds me to thank them each and every day.

Sorry, no advice about the rest of your post....I was so upset by the first part.

Good luck.

Last edited by h0kie; 04-17-2018 at 05:51 PM..
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:55 PM
 
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Everything h0kie said. You cannot kick this child out of school because you don't like the behaviors. Frankly, giving him "serious consequences" will not help if his behavior is a result of his autism. He has just started school, he needs lots of intervention and support, before any other decisions are made. As a KG teacher, you should be helping identify children who may need Spec Ed referrals. When I taught preK, a large part of my job was helping to start the referral process. That's a fact of the job.

Not much advice for the rest of the post, except make your own decisions about your job and don't worry about what other people want you to do.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:02 PM
 
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What triggers him? Not getting what he wants. I said administration has been involved and I have asked what to do. They said I am doing all I can. I have reached out and this is what they told me to do. Ignore. Call for help if he hits or screams out of control. Parents have an appt to get an official diagnosis. I have 20 students and can't give him everything he wants. Students are not allowed to hit teachers. Period. And make other students feel unsafe and unable to learn? Nothing is being done besides admin coming to the classroom to watch him run around and scream and hit them until his parents come pick him up. I'm glad your son had a great school with a great support system in place. Also glad to hear you had the opportunity to learn so much. Where should he be? Somewhere with the things you mention obviously.


I never asked what decision should I make when it comes to my job, as I have made it clear I am staying where I am. I am a highly effective teacher and always get stellar observations and evaluations . I was venting and asking what's going on with others thinking I should leave my job just because of seemingly normal difficulties in a teachers day.


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Old 04-17-2018, 06:16 PM
 
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You lost me here:
Quote:
how do I get him removed from my classroom permanently? He shouldn't even be in the school. They kicked out a girl from KG for hitting a teacher.
You need to be asking, "How do I help this kid?"
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:16 PM
 
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I also had a visceral reaction to the first part of your post. I read it on the bus home and needed to take some time to think about my response.

h0kie had some good points. I also wondered what type of support this child has. If he's a danger to students in the classroom, then he is not getting the support he needs. If he truly is autistic, then harsh consequences aren't going to work to change his behavior. Even if he's not autistic, it's unlikely those consequences are going to change his behavior. His behavior isn't completely under his control and the system currently in place is barely even trying to put bandaids on the situation. If his behavior is unmanageable, he is not getting the appropriate level of support. I certainly hope he has an IEP and he should also have an FBA and behavior support plan put in place. It might be that a general education classroom isn't the right place for him, or maybe he needs additional adult support. Advocate for him (and thus, you'd be advocating for your class and yourself) by getting him the support he needs. It's not ok to continue in this fashion-- not for you, not for him, not for your other students. And he's not a "naughty" kid because he has a disability. His behaviors are inappropriate and problematic, but naughty implies intentionality. Think of behavior as communication. He's telling you something by his behavior, and it's not that he's naughty.

As far as the other teachers talking to you about a new job, I have no idea idea what's that about. Do you really think they are trying to boot you? For the teacher who changed her mind about moving grades, I really don't understand why you went and withdrew your request to move. You're saying she is sabotaging you, but you're just following what she wants to do. You need to stand up for yourself and make the choices that make the most sense for you. If you think you look bad by taking back your desire to move grades, then it's not her fault-- you went to admin and withdrew your request of your own free will. I think you and that teacher going together to make and then take back decisions is what might not look good to admin. Like you don't have your own minds or something.

You say you are a kind, helpful teacher who does a lot. If so, you will be fine in whatever grade you end up and with whatever teammates you get. Decide what you want to do and how you want to grow and go for it! Don't just go with what others are telling you.

Good luck to you-- I hope you get more support from your school and are feeling better about your position.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:42 PM
 
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I appreciate your feedback, even if it is presumptuous.

From your posts, I have realized that I am not getting any answers and I am not getting any support at all. I am not allowed to diagnose students but his parents told me he has an appointment to get diagnosed. A neurotypical child would not get away with this behavior, and until this child is diagnosed, he is handled as neurotypical. I understand that other schools have support in place based on your replies. I do a lot for my students, more than needed, as admin has said before. They said this is the perfect class for this student. They said he would be worse off in other rooms. My classroom is calm, structured, fun, and I reach all learners. When this student tells me his interests, I get those materials for him. He is super smart and I make sure to show off his amazing work to everyone. However, he cannot always get his way. He stopped doing any of his work lately. Of course there are too many details to post. But the important thing I have realized is that when I ask for help, I have gotten none of what has been mentioned. What does this mean? What am I to do? When I ask for help, I am given a stern look, told I'm already doing everything, then firmly told thank you. And I can only leave at that point. I have also asked for help, told I'd get an appointment, but a month and a half later, nothing.
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Wow.
Old 04-17-2018, 06:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Nothing is being done
You hit the nail squarely on the head right there.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:54 PM
 
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As for moving grade levels, KG is my place. I have done countless hours and years of research to be the best in this position. Its my passion. However, my buddy teacher and I have similar teaching styles and I would only move to teach with her. We made that clear to our P. I am not confident going to another grade, as early childhood is my specialty. I was counting on learning from my buddy teacher since she had 1 year experience in the other grade. Plus I love mentoring and she was looking forward to that.
Since I may move in a few years, I thought it was a good chance to test out new waters. Well, these ideas have come about for one reason or another. I guess I will see where it leads me.


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Old 04-17-2018, 07:04 PM
 
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Hokie had great suggestions. One of the things I would suggest is to make sure you have LOTS of visuals and keep verbal input and verbal redirection limited. For many students with autism too much verbal input can be overwhelming, especially if they don't get enough time to process what is being said. What looks like a tantrum "because he doesn't get what he wants", may actually be a meltdown because there is something happening in the classroom that he doesn't understand.

For example, if he is having a "tantrum" when it is time to change activities, you may be interpreting that as he's being stubborn and wanting to continue the activity, even though you said "no", when actually he just doesn't know what is coming next and wasn't given enough warning to anticipate a change. Along with this, while the other students in your class may understand directions, such as "it's time to go to music" and know that means time to clean up and get ready, children with autism need very explicit language and advance notice, such as being shown a picture of a clock or symbol for clean up and being told directly "Joey, clean up in 3 minutes" then a minute later, "Joey, clean up in 2 minutes" until finally it is time to clean up.

Also you are interpreting his aggressive behaviors as being intentional, when there is great likelihood that he doesn't have the language to express why he is upset and the only way he know to express it is through a physical response. Most children with autism that I've worked with are not intentionally being "naughty", but when they don't understand what is happening around them and don't have a way to express their frustration, the only option left is to cry and have a meltdown.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:47 PM
 
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Your classroom is not the best placement for the child. I have seen some wonderful programs for autistic students where they got the support and direction they need. Not every school has them and it can be expensive.

If you want to help this child look into ways to help autistic students. There are things that are helpful to all students, especially autistic and ELL students, such as visual schedules and first then instructions.

I do not understand the drama between you and your coworkers so I will stay out of that.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:41 PM
 
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Iím sorry you had such a bad day. I get it. Sometimes is not about not wanting a kid. Itís about knowing we donít have the resources to properly service a child.

Iím confused by the strong negative response to the OP. I think weíve all had it happen at least once in our careers. That child we knew in our heart of hearts shouldnít be in our classroom. Not because they were some how less than or unworthy, but because gen. ed was not truly their LRE.

Neither the teacher nor other students should have to deal with violent outbursts. Regardless of if they are ďtantrumĒ or meltdowns due to autism.

Gen. Ed may one day be this childís LRE, but for now from the OPís post that he needs a different placement. A placement that will allow him to get the therapies he needs to be more successful and be able to function in a Gen. Ed classroom one day. Sitting in a class without the proper staffing or resources is robbing the child of the opportunity to meet his full potential. It isnít just the other kids affected and teacher, but the child himself as well.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:09 AM
 
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It sounds like the other teacher went behind your back and made plans to try and teach with this other teacher... she may be complaining that you are evacuating to her room.. unless you have known someone for a very long time I would be cautious about asking for help, not everyone want to be helpful and supportive.
I donít think they are going to give you a lot of help with the student now since itís amost end of the year.. I would try whatever you can to help everyone make it through the the day.
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What to Do
Old 04-18-2018, 03:55 AM
 
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Do what you need to do as far as where you teach next year. Don't worry about what other people think or say. You need to make the best decision for your needs.
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:13 AM
 
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You’ve said that you’ve spent countless hours learning about early childhood education, which has made you an effective teacher. I would suggest you use that same initiative and start reading up on autism.

Although this child may need a different placement in the future (LRE), he is in your room now and deserves your help. It is clear that you are coming from a place of ignorance about autism.

You need help. You’re not getting it from your school which is appalling, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

The suggestions given are good starting points. Research using first/then language. For example, if he wants a toy and you want him to do some work you say, “first work, then toy.” Keep your language simple. Pair instructions with visuals whenever possible. Post a visual schedule of your day so you can reference it for transitions.

Children with autism do not handle change well, and they often need to finish what they’ve started. Asking a neurotypical student to put something away before it’s complete generally goes okay, but children with autism may meltdown over it. That’s where pre warnings help.

Things you are expecting from him and the approach you are using to gain compliance may be what is triggering his violent outbursts. There are many relatively simple solutions that can be implemented by you if you come from a place of understanding rather than intolerance.

There are too many strategies to share on one post and each suggestion would have to be specific to your student as every child with autism presents differently. Social stories and social scripts can be highly effective, especially if your student is high functioning which it sounds like he might be.

Start researching. There is a lot of great information out there to support your learning. No one is offering to come in and support you or this student so it’s up to you to help yourself.
If you start a new thread and ask for links to great autism resources you will find many teachers on PT have a wealth of information they’d be happy to share with you.

Good luck in your learning.

Last edited by TeachNFriend; 04-18-2018 at 04:15 AM.. Reason: Added paragraph breaks
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:10 AM
 
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We had no SPED at my school

Two things you can do.

What are triggering the meltdowns?

I bet it's transitions.

Give him a huge heads up when one is coming.

There is nothing you can do once a meltdown starts. BEFORE one starts have a "safe" spot he can decompress. It's not rocket science to figure when he is uncomfortable.

"When you feel (overwhelmed, need a break, etc), you can go to Recharge Island. Beats clearing out a room, which I have had to do.

My DD school has kids in the classrooms in Kindie that are BARELY verbal. If this kid can communicate at all, you've got half the battle win.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:14 PM
 
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Iíve been reading on here for years and only replied to a few posts, but I think this will be my last visit. The OP asked for support. Several responses were very critical of her. Thereís a big difference between offering suggestions on how to handle/help an undiagnosed child with possible autism and jumping all over every detail in her post. There are enough people critical of teachers online. We shouldnít be.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:53 AM
 
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I am picking up a lot of bad vibes on this post too like seen the light and angel.
The OP asked for help. I understand her wanting to know how to get a child out of her classroom who is disrupting the learning of others. We don't know all of the problems she is facing with this student other than he hits adults and kids. ( That is bad enough.) We do not know what resources her school has to help this kid, the kids who have to tolerate this abuse, and the teacher. It doesn't sound like there are any and she is not getting any support. I get that. I have been in a school that had massive resources and ways to help kids who needed it. Also, I have been in a tiny school w/ zero support. The SPED teacher was brand new and the P had no experience. That was a year I had a kid who I felt a child had no business in a regular classroom for the safety of others and self. The SPED teacher kept quoting LRE to me. ( She could not deal with the kid at all. The P quoted LRE to avoid problems w/ a Sped director.) The rights of 1 should not override the rights of the vast majority who have the right to feel safe and learn without needing to be evacuated from their own classroom. I am sorry for the harsh comments made to the OP and Angel, most people on here are supportive. You ended up on a weird thread.
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I agree with Summerwillcom
Old 04-23-2018, 02:43 PM
 
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I totally agree with everything Summerwillcom wrote. Especially "The rights of 1 should not override the rights of the vast majority who have the right to feel safe and learn without needing to be evacuated from their own classroom."
My own child was in a classroom with a student who had no official diagnosis but was violent towards students and teachers. Cursed, screamed, yelled, hit, threw things, spit on others, blew boogers at people, made lewd gestures, through a chair and broke a window, and all of this was by 3rd grade. His class was evacuated many times. I understand that child has issues that need help, but why should it be at the expense of my child's safety and education?
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Old 04-24-2018, 02:57 PM
 
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Kindergarten is an unusual beast in that kids come in undiagnosed and there is NO special ed support or anything else in place to help those kids. Don't assume the teacher is not doing his/her best because it becomes clear it is not an appropriate placement.

Some of the posters here have obviously not tried to deal with teaching up to 25 kinders with one teacher and no backup with a child with needs that cannot possibly be met in that situation.

Whatadayomg, is it possible your coworker is just scared you will leave not trying to push you out?

I saw things my last 3 years of teaching that I'd never seen in the previous 32. For example, the constant screaming. I had never seen that until the last few years. Not coincidentally, it was when all day K and increased literacy goals started. With dramatically different expectations on kindergarteners have come really dramatic outcomes. That does not make it the teachers fault. At my school, the K team has changed every year since all day K started. Not enough support, too much blame from admin. People move to higher grades where students have already been evaluated for extra services.

Having to evacuate a classroom is a big deal and teachers who have experienced it need support not blame. OP went through a traumatic experience and deserves all the support she can get right now. I made it 33 years from when I first started teaching before having it happen. I wasn't all of a sudden not competent in year 34.
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I agree
Old 04-25-2018, 09:31 AM
 
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I agree with everything h0kie and TeachNFriend said. I especially like where TeachNFriend said that even though you're not getting the help you need from your own school, you're NOT off the hook from helping your student. And I also promise you that he will NOT be the last spectrum kid you will teach. For that reason alone, PLEASE start seeking out strategies to help kids like him. Several good basic suggestions have already been given, such as the first/then language, visual schedules, and easing into transitions with countdowns and warnings. You also do NOT need a diagnosis to recognize the need for behavioral interventions. You obviously know this kid needs help, but to say, "He's not diagnosed yet, so he's being handled as neurotypical..." is problematic. If this kid needs strategies, give them to him! Don't wait for a diagnosis.

I apologize if I'm coming off as negative, but I am the leader of a local autism support group in my area and the number one problem my families come across is the school dragging their feet when it comes to establishing supports because they think they need something "official" first. The kid needing help is in front of you. Help him.

As far as your other issues with the other teachers...obviously I'm not in your working environment, but I think you're reading too much into it. Good luck to you. If you're completely overwhelmed with where to start, I think there are several of us on this post who would be more than willing to point you in the direction of some good research.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:38 AM
 
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I can definitely relate to your post, and I share the confusion about some of these negative replies. I'm currently student teaching in a Kindergarten classroom and there is one student who has an IEP for Autism. He is very high functioning, especially with my mentor teacher. Almost no problems. With me, however, it's an entirely different ballgame. I follow the same routine, with the same verbal and visual cues. I use the same language. I even invited the SPED teacher to come in and observe me teaching to offer me tips.

Part of the conclusion we came to was him taking advantage of my lax discipline. I started off not wanting to implement consequences for things like meltdowns, because I know that a lot of the time they can't be controlled. This resulted in him throwing tantrums whenever. Didn't want to do writing. Okay, I offered him multiple ways of scaffolding. I tried the "first this, then that," language. I used computer time as an incentive. I implemented a calm down corner for him. Eventually it turned into him throwing tantrums if he didn't want to do something, despite regular warnings and expected transitions. Not meltdowns, tantrums.

This is a long reply but basically I'm trying to say that just because a student has autism, it does not mean that they are not responsible for their actions. I learned this when this students mother came in to observe, then told me that I wasn't holding him accountable enough and that there needed to be consequences for his actions. He has a meltdown? No computer time. He doesn't want to do his work? No recess or specials. Still made me cringe every time I had to do it, but it worked for him. Kids need consequences, especially when it comes to violence towards themselves or classmates. I was lucky enough to have a super supportive parent who gave me a lot of advice in how to handle her son. Maybe your parents know something that helps at home with these behaviors?
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