I am wondering what a good consequence would be for a student working on an IEP goal of taking responsibility for his actions. This student does not admit when he does something inappropriate at school. So how can a consequence be administered when he doesn't think he did anything wrong?
responsibility for his actions should keep him from getting consequences. You can lay it out very clearly--If you do X general bad thing, then Y consequence will happen. If you grab and push at recess, then you will come inside and sit in a chair. If you throw food at lunch, then you will eat lunch alone and facing the wall. Make a very general behavior contract, and review behavior expectations daily, and have him set a behavior goal. Mine is follow directions 1st time; hands, feet, objects, and mean words to self; and so on. Also, take time in your social skills groups to teach about responsibility, accepting consequences, and considering the feelings of others. It can really help to teach about these things during a neutral time. Remember that an unwillingness to accept responsibility for wrongdoing would not keep him out of jail if he committed a crime.
I agree that this little one needs clear, concise if... then statements to keep him on track. At first, he bucks these redirections but with time, he will come around. Positive thinking always works, right? Thanks for the advice.
Instead of a consequence try a reward system for each time they own up to their action they receive a reward.
I usually handle it in that I don't care if responsibility is acknowledge I just deal with the action. If the person is seen pushing a student, throwing a pencil etc I address the behavior.
I had a student this past year who had a point sheet with three goals, one of which was not arguing with adults. He refused to take responsibility for his actions by arguing and saying he didn't do it. We didn't require that he necessarily admit the wrong-doing, but he couldn't argue about it. We (the SPED teacher and I) just set up the point sheet so he could earn a 0, 1, 2, or 3 (or NA) for each time period during the day. 0 was for being sent to the office, 1 for major teacher intervention needed, 2 for needing a small reminder, 3 for successfully achieving that goal. You can track the percentage of points they earn for each day. You can also set up a reward system based on the points they earn.
Depending on what he is doing, you can use retribution. That is, they make what they did wrong, right. So if they throw food, they clean it up. If they break something, they fix it. If they spray paint the school walls, they have to repaint. Or, have a list of consequences and follow them. If the issue is not serious enough to get the principal involved, what is your list of consequences? I do warning, loss of star (behavior chart thing), loss of privileges (computer, free time, reward movie, etc. Notice I did not include recess! It is up to you, but I think that is the last thing they need is no recess.) After they lose their star, we are still having trouble, but principal doesn't need to be involved I usually assign a behavior essay or take privileges like I said. I tell them that work missed because of their behavior or what not will be made up during free time that day (which on my schedule says free time/study hall) just for those who like to question me! If they chose not to do it then, they do it for homework. If I don't get it back, we lose free time again, or they do it on Friday during the reward movie. If I assign a behavior essay (I have about 30 different ones for different issues) they like to say they won't do it. My consequence to that consequence is if it's not on my desk the next morning when school starts, you have unsuccessful days until I get it back. Which means no reward movie, no field trips, no parties, etc. Usually they end up doing it. I have worked in special ed for 4 years and have done essays this way since I started. In that time I have had one student test me more than 2 days. He lasted a week and then decided to do it so he could start having his privileges back. I just tell them, when they say "I'm not doing it, you can't make me." I reply (to almost any time they say this), "You're right, I can't make you do this essay. It is your choice and I can't force you, however if you chose not to do it, then you have unsuccessful days every day until you turn it in." And I walk away. Like I said 1 kid in 4 years took a week, the rest usually go home and do it the second night.
Last thought - break it down. What specifically can he work on this week to take responsibility? Is it let's work on cleaning up after ourselves this week, cleaning up after making a mess, apologizing to a peer? Small steps to reach the overall goal. Just keep explaining to him why what he did was wrong whether he acknowledges or not. Why wrong, what he can do instead.
Catch him being good too, more than misbehaving. Sometimes they have learned that the only way to get attention is by acting out. It's hard, but try to catch him being good at least 2 times a day, and reward him. Sticker, candy, pat on the back, extra computer time, whatever.