DS v. bright, highly disruptive in class, sitting out of class most days, help!(10 Posts)
Sorry for long post! So, DS started year 1 in September. It started out v. well but over the last few weeks his behaviour in class has become unmanageable to the point of him having to sit outside the classroom on an almost daily basis – afternoons especially. The crux of the issue is: he has very high abilities in most areas (ed psych assessment found his maths ability 99.7 out of 100), but is being a massive pain in the bum at school (he has been through various assessments and all say he is a totally normal kid but just v. high ability). He has a lovely teacher who is trying her best, but is at a loss at what to do…he calls out constantly in lessons, answers back etc. She has tried various rewards for good behaviour, constant reminders etc, but nothing seems to make a difference. He is a very engaging child out of school and we love him to bits. He has always struggled with his peers, but recently he has actually made some friends and the children at school actively seem to like him (which a year ago I would have thought impossible)….We manage his behaviour at home by talking to him, loving him and explaining things, but he is by no means easy at home – rewards have never worked. I think the crux of the issue is: he has realised that messing around he can make other children laugh which must be lovely for a child who always had v. negative interactions with his peers; he is tired, this is a long term and by the afternoon he has just had enough; he is bored – he could do the level of work they are doing 2 years ago in some areas and he has never been one to sit back and chill out but likes to be challenged. He also has sensory issues and told me that he prefers sitting outside the classroom because he can’t be distracted. I am wondering 2 things – whether to ask the teacher whether he can actively have some time out of the classroom in the afternoon, eg sitting in the reading area doing his own thing, drawing maps, reading etc until he is ready to work sensibly or more radically, whether to ask if I can take him out of school for say 3 afternoons a week and do home-schooling with him? Any ideas gratefully received!
I cannot offer advice as to what you should do, as I have never been in your situation. However, I do know, from home edding dd, that some children are allowed to do flexi schooling where there are behavioural problems caused autism or ADHD. I'm not saying this is your ds's case, but it may be worth your while posting on the Home Education section to see if anyone there has done flexi schooling and under what circumstances. The aim is to integrate the children back into full time education rather than look on flexi schooling as a long term option.
It sounds as though the challenge of social interaction could be what he is finding tiring. One of dd's stages of tiredness used to be finding everything funny, especially her annoying behaviour. It is something they grow out of.
I have one similar to yours, OP, though cannot offer advice - you will see why if you see my recent thread! But lots of sympathy. Maybe we should set up a support thread!
I would be worried if mine were outside the schoolroom - are there no safety issues there?
Working away from the rest of the class hasn't worked for us, though it may for you, and although I think homeschooling would be best in terms of what he would learn, I think ds needs the social interraction, though maybe part time might work for you short term. Another poster on my thread raised issues of how things will be dealt with in the future, next year, year after, and I suppose another concern is that if I pull him out when things are tough, he won't learn the skills he needs to deal with things, and the same thing will keep happening. But then again, he will mature anyway as he grows and develop better self control and self awareness in any event, so maybe it would be fine.
So, I haven't a clue what the best thing to do would be! It would be great if people who had similar problems but whose sons are now fully grown could come on and give us their reflective, collective wisdom!
Mine makes children and teachers laugh too and one of my fears is that he will get away with a lot, encouraging the messing around, which I really don't think would help either. One of the things i say to him - there is a time for messing around and a time for sitting quietly and listening.... I am trying to convince myself that if I keep saying the same things over and over they will eventually take effect...
Sorry, long totally useless post!
Thanks both for your thoughts, sorry for late reply, but it has been a hectic few days (house on the market, everyone ill etc!)...I agree: re a support thread, it is really hard being the parent of "the one," I always thought I would have well-behaved children like I was!
I could have written your post last year, my DS was exactly the same in Yr1 - completely capable (especially at maths) but disruptive and often flat refused to do some tasks (for reasons we could never establish). Teacher was at a loss as to what to try (eg "I've never seen a Yr1 child give cheek to the headmistress/refuse to write a word for a whole hour's lesson/tell the time so perfectly")..end of year report was very discouraging...I also thought about home schooling, but he needed to learn social interaction almost more importantly...
Skip to this year (2) and things are much improved (not perfect) - which (I think) are due to
- general maturity/self regulation improving in himself
- more stimulating work topics (dinosaurs, space..)
- most of all - a teacher (well, one half of the weekly job share) who totally gets him, - she has set up some fab strategies to manage his short temper issues and keep him engaged.
I know all children are different, but Yr1 is a difficult phase (less play than reception, more focus on the basics (sitting and writing for an hour - boring!) than is needed in Yr2 when most of the class can read and write better.
So I'd say don't worry too much, but perhaps do keep in touch with the teacher (I got so fed up of the prospect of finding out what he had done wrong each day, I just kept my head down at picking up time and ran!)
Happy to be here to give support as we go along...
I'm in the same position now! And mines at preschool/nursery
Myangels thanks for your post, what kind of strategies did the teacher do? I would be really interested to hear...my son's school are being fantastic about it all and happy to try different ideas. I am sure growing up a bit makes a huge difference, year one is a big jump and he comes out of school bouncing off the walls, especially now days are filled with nativity rehearsals which involve a lot of sitting still.
I think either of your ideas sound good. School will appreciate your support in wanting to find a solution. Yes, there is such a thing as 'flexi-schooling' so it is an option. If he is allowed out eg. to the library they may not have the staffing to supervise him so you may need to be prepared with a solution for that also.
As my DS gets easily frustrated and then angry for some random reason which he wouldn't tell anyone, then refuse to do any work for the rest of the lesson, the teacher made a box up for him with a squeezy stress ball and a pen and paper and a 5 minute egg timer. If he gets frustrated or cross, he can get his ball, squeeze it for five mins, write down what's bothering him if he needs to, and then he can get on with his work. Before she added the timer he would just squeeze his ball for an hour, so the timer was brought in to limit the time he had to calm down and get back to work. The teacher gave the class dinner lady a stress ball too, in case one of his explosions happened at lunchtime. It seems to be working and I get "I haven't had to squeeze my ball for a few days.." but often he still needs to.
Its a very specific problem we're dealing with, and might not help in your DS case, but shows what a teacher can put together (Frustratingly this strategy never occurred to his Yr1 teacher) but if your school are being supportive some similar ideas may be suggested.
Have you heard of Potential Plus? They support children with higher learning potential, who often have behaviour and other issues at school. I get as far as their website, but haven't joined (yet), but some of their factsheets look like the might be helpful.
It does sound similar to my DS, he doesn't get angry, just disruptive and when we ask him about it, he says he can't help it, words just come out of his mouth. I do know potential plus, we had him assessed with them earlier this year and they were amazing, if you look up my previous posts, you can see my write-up - I honestly believe they changed DS's life, because they showed us in black and white that these things aren't because he is naughty, but because he is struggling with issues - feel free to private message me if you want further info.
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