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A SN child at school is hitting me! WWYD?

(58 Posts)
Nokidsnoproblem Wed 20-Mar-13 10:17:37

I work as an English teacher in an Asian country. I teach elementary students at a small school (around 100 students). My classes are completely in English because I cannot speak the language of this country.

In my grade 3 class there is a boy with SN. I don't know what exactly is wrong with him because of the language barrier, the most I've been told is that 'his brain is not working properly'. He comes to my after school class and is an absolute nightmare. He cannot speak a word of English so I cannot control him at all. As soon as he comes into my classroom it is like a firework has gone off. He will scream, shout, annoy the other students, and just recently he has started to hit me. I was very shocked when he first did it as I had never known him to be violent before, I took him straight to his teacher, she told him off and brought him back five minutes later. The same thing has happened two more times since then.

Today his teacher spoke to my boss and told her that I should deal with this child by myself. According to her it is my responsibility if he is in my classroom. I understand her POV, but me and this child cannot speak the same language and he hates me!

His mother cannot speak English so that conversation is out of the question.

I would really appreciate some ideas on disciplining this boy. I honestly have no idea what to do!

Yfronts Thu 21-Mar-13 21:17:29

Get a translator and talk to the mum. There is no choice.

raisah Thu 21-Mar-13 21:01:54

use music, nursery rhymes, bubbles and create a sensory rich environment for him. Messy play etc to keep hin engaged & connected rather than discipline. SEN is not ackniwledged in asian countries and this boy has a tough life ahead of him. Use stickers & create a reward chart where he is rewarded for participation rather than for good behaviour.

raisah Thu 21-Mar-13 20:53:59

lots of asian countries do not manage / view sn like the west. Some communities have a very medieval take on it, viewing it as a product of witchcraft, parental sin & as op said 'brain not working'. There may not be support structures in place like in the uk. As language is the barrier you should use a visual time table for the whole class. As each activity starts/ ends a different child should take the picture down & put it in a bag/box.
Make a magic box/bag & fill it with cheap tactile toys/ bubbkes etc & let everybody have a turn pulling/ putting in & out of the box.

The boy seems to be frutrated at hus lack of social communication skills hence the anger and disruption.
Try sparklebox, c beebies parent site, majaton society & national autistic society web sites for help & ideas.

sukysue Thu 21-Mar-13 20:32:34

Bribe him with sweeties, toys or try some sort of reward system. Am actually surprised you are asking this question surely this is semester 1 in uni teacher training course stuff they teach you asap ?

lljkk Thu 21-Mar-13 18:02:26

I am not advocating that OP smacks or bullies a child, so sorry if it sounded that way.

I am suggesting that I think that's what her colleagues expect, and that's why she's stuck in this messy situation with poor support. sad I have no idea how she fixes it, although she may need to find some way to be tougher in general if she wants to stay in this job; it may be culturally what the children expect, too. Perhaps cannot do her job properly without being a HardAss.

anewyear Thu 21-Mar-13 09:46:19

I agree Hec,
In my limited experience, some people just dont care enough, would just like to brush any problems like SEN under the carpert.

PolterGoose Thu 21-Mar-13 08:08:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 21-Mar-13 08:04:58

"I love the way the second SN is mentioned on MN everyone starts being experts"

I don't start being an expert, MrsE. I have 2 children. one of them has autism and erbs palsy and the other has autism and adhd. I don't suddenly become an expert when sn is mentioned. I know about sn and I damned well know a description of a child being failed when I read one and I don't give a shiny shit if it is considered culturally acceptable to treat a child badly because they have a disability. It isn't right. And there is no reason on earth why the OP can't make a few changes in that child's life for the time they are in her class.

duty of care may be a british concept, but so what? It's the right way to treat a human being. What is the reason why someone can't do things differently to the way they're done in a particular country if they feel that that way is really unfair to a vulnerable child?

AmberLeaf Thu 21-Mar-13 07:50:38



Smudging Thu 21-Mar-13 07:34:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RubyGates Thu 21-Mar-13 07:20:08

I forgot to say, we use it in our setting with great success for both children ho have SEN requirements, and those who arrive in the school with absolutely no English.

It really does help overcome the frustrations of not being able to communicate.

RubyGates Thu 21-Mar-13 07:17:57

Could you try something like Makaton, which you could incorporate into the other children's learning, and would make it possible for him to communicate with you (and everyone else) using the symbol/sign for basic needs/vocab for both his language and English.

Perhaps you could also incorporate a theme on schools in Britain where you demonstrate how children (including those who have SEN requirements ) learn; identifying differences between the cultures.


anewyear Thu 21-Mar-13 07:06:18

I think what lljkk is trying to say that prehaps some countries would still do this, countries that prehaps are not as 'enlightened' as ours?
Think female circumcision/mutilation, foot binding etc etc
sorry its early, all I could think of as examples.

Floggingmolly Wed 20-Mar-13 21:50:36

What?? Would you expand on that a bit further, lljjkk? Are you actually advocating that as a method of handling a child with additional needs who doesn't even speak your language??

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 17:51:41

Do you live in a country where you are expected to smack him, OP, because reading between the lines, I think that's more or less what your colleagues expect if gentle treatment doesn't produce results. You are expected to harangue and bully the boy, otherwise. I suspect that's how difficult children are generally handled.

Sorry, but it seems to me like they expect you to be much tougher. Smack him back, shout with fury, wrench him around physically, etc. If you're being laughed at you're being humiliated (culturally in their eyes) and losing Face.

Floggingmolly Wed 20-Mar-13 16:28:21

What could he possibly be learning in your class if he doesn't speak the language? confused

MrsExcited Wed 20-Mar-13 16:24:39

I love the way the second SN is mentioned on MN everyone starts being experts - I am not claiming to be one btw but i have been a teacher in state secondaries for a while.

The fact is this school is in a different country, even different continent and therefore what we expect to be normal is different.

"School's duty of care" - Is a very British concept - rightly or wrongly - most other countries in the world do not expect the school to adapt to the pupil but the other way round!

OP - I suggest you need to talk to other people within the school to find out what is wrong, whether there are any ways to put this right, whether your class is the right place for this child to be, whether there is any support available.

You absolutely have the right to work without physical violence which is what this is whether or not said child has SN - So this needs to be sorted and yes if that means said child being remove so you can carry out your job without being subject to violence (even if from a child) this should not be frowned upon.

Please remember that even when Education relies on Inclusion there needs to be support and limits for those working with SEN

JustinBsMum Wed 20-Mar-13 16:17:43

Using a translator to talk to Mum

JustinBsMum Wed 20-Mar-13 16:16:33

Well, how does he behave in other classes?

If it is only this class (which seems unlikely if other children are frightened of him) then perhaps speak to the mother to ask what he does like doing so that you can incorporate some of that into his lesson.

The other teachers sound uninterested so perhaps the mother might be more helpful as she will no doubt want her child to be included.

PolterGoose Wed 20-Mar-13 16:07:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anewyear Wed 20-Mar-13 15:44:18

montage - that was gonna be my next question grin do you have teaching assistants or the like OP?

Agree with StanleyLambchop..

Which country are you teaching English in OP? that may give us a little more understanding prehaps?

ArtVandelay Wed 20-Mar-13 14:34:04

True Fab... OP is your background primary teaching or TEFL? I just ask because my lovely friend is a v. experienced state school primary age teacher that has had a lot of DCs through her hands. I can teach TEFL but I wouldn't dream of teaching school because I simply haven't got the paedogogy (spelling!) knowledge or experience. Maybe some extra reading around special needs or an online course could help? Who can recommend the OP some resources?

FabOeufsFromLaChocolateries Wed 20-Mar-13 14:00:22

The OP was asking about "disciplining" the boy and not teaching him and helping him, which I found a bit sad, your friend sounds wonderful.

ArtVandelay Wed 20-Mar-13 13:56:13

My friend had a similar situation so I understand a bit how stressful it is for you. A big part of what upset my friend was that she cared so much about the boy and really feared for his future as there is no statement system here and she had no support in how to work best with him because the parents and the school were in so much denial about his needs. She managed to find out his interests and motivations and also buddied him up with a very caring and confident boy in her class. She also did a lot of work with the whole class about supporting and caring for each other.

My friend's pupil is 8 but had the abilities of a 3-4 yr old so she went back to absolute basics. It was a lot of work but she acheived some real milestones with him through very basic exercises. I hope this story makes you feel less alone? I think its probably quite common in international schools and other countries.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 20-Mar-13 13:38:12

That poor child. He is being horribly failed. Why is there no support in the class for him? It's clear that he simply isn't coping.

Does the country you are in have anything similar to sn code of practise? or rules on support? Or funding for support?

You need to be insisting that this poor child isn't just dumped in your class but actually gets the support he needs. It is unacceptable that he is being put in a position where he is able to lash out like this or is so stressed that he responds by lashing out. And there is no reason on earth why you should accept being hit, regardless of his needs. I say this as the mother of 2 children who get full time 1:1.

It's a failure in the school's duty of care.

To him AND to you!

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