Worst behaviour I've ever seen in Reception. Help!(254 Posts)
I've been teaching nearly 10 years, but I've never seen a child like this.
It's a little boy. He comes into the classroom and goes immediately into the construction area, where he throws everything on the floor and screams at anyone else trying to go in. When an adult attempts to redirect him, he will either run away from them (straight out into the playground on several attempts, or into the nearest cupboard), bite them, kick them or hit them. Even when he is 'playing' he is lying on the floor screaming and won't let another child go near him.
I am at a total loss. Nothing works. He does not care about stickers or any rewards. We've tried saying '3 pompoms and a treat' but he will take what he wants if it's in sight. If it's not in sight he will go into all the cupboards to look for it. We can't give him time out because he wouldn't go to the time out zone anyway.
Please help me out here. It's so distressing for everyone involved
How hard for you... Have you spoken to his parents? Did he go to nursery- can you speak to them? it sounds like he probably has some SN- can the senco come in and observe, get the ball rolling for assessment?
You urgently need to get the parents in. You need to establish: is he like this at home? If not, what's different? Has he been assessed for any additional needs?
In the meantime you need to be consistent for the sake of the other children as well. If his behaviour is not as it should be then appropriate sanctions (time-out?) should be put in place. And, obviously, any good behaviour should be praised to the heavens.
Is your phase leader or HT coming up with ideas?
He did go to nursery and we're trying to chase that up. Parents are nice but very ineffectual tbh. I suspect he totally rules the roost at home.
We know that he probably has some SN. SENCO has observed. In fact she received a nice bite for her troubles
We just have no strategies to begin to tackle this.
You need to go to the head with this. SEN or behavioural issues? You need a plan of action, an extra pair of hands and engagement with appropriate services. Are social services or gp or health visitor already involved? Have you met with the parents to discuss his behaviour? Can he go part time if he finds it overwhelming? Your head can ok a part time timetable.
If his behaviour is not as it should be then appropriate sanctions (time-out?) should be put in place.
How can we put him in time-out? He bites us or scratches us if we try to hold his hand. He'd run away
We're still phasing in our reception kids so he is part time just now anyway.
We're all at a loss. It's terribly sad.
Yes to urgent parent and SENCO involvement. Do you have a TA who can stick to him like glue as a temporary measure? Anything that will distract/engross him for short periods that can be gradually built up? Is it adult engagement he is after so you think?
Yes, we have a TA at his side constantly. It's strange because he doesn't try to interact with any adults.
He loves the construction but he screams when he plays, which obviously has a terrible effect on the classroom. He also goes berserk when any other child tries to go near him.
We don't have space or resources to create a second construction area especially for him. I don't even know if that's the right route to go down.
It sounds like sanctions aren't going to work, b/c either he can't self control or he's got some nightmare pile of feelings he can't deal with any other way and he won't self-control until his issues get fixed.
What does your SENCO advise?? Don't the know what the options are.
Can you work out what triggers the biting for a start (being touched?). Do you have the option to put him on a reduced timetable? Do you have a quiet place in the school that children can be taken to for some sessions? Can he have a 1-1 with experience in SEN?
What was he like on transition days?
This clearly can't go on and whatever the underlying cause he clearly has some Sen.
First port of call needs to be meeting with parents and logging all support you are putting in. 1:1, rewards, sanctions etc. at leats it gives you back up if you need exclude and/or apply for EHCP.
If he's a danger to staff and children then my suggestion would be a room/area that he can go to with things he likes in it (construction stuff?) if he's putting himself and others in danger then staff need to go on a training course with regards deescalation/RPI.
Repetitive simple language with instant reward and firm routine can work wonders to build his trust in you. Worthwhile writing a list of key phrases staff will use and a behaviour plan.
If he's biting and scratching make sure staff are wearing sleeves.
You need the team teach training, it's brilliant!
In the short term- phased entry is phased right down-
In at 9.30- after all the hustle and bustle has settled down and he stays until
Morning play. Build this up to just before lunch then after lunch.
I would be looking At the morning slot until half term. Have parents come in and stay for a short time. Have them link with the PFSA and if necessary go on the triple P parenting course.
Lower your expectations.
Lock and store things away so he can't get into them. Have some construction toys that he can access and be given piecemeal as he earns them for-
Sitting on the carpet for a short (3 mins- on an egg timer) time
Have your simple rules in place and have your TA help him follow them.
Ultimately if he can't be safe and is distressed as much as you say, then tou need to pull it right back to basics.
Look at the EYFS guidance for 18-24 months and realistic goals.
In the meantime, I would make a corner for him alone. Use cardboard boxes, make a zone for him, put the toys that he likes in it, and lead him to it. He could decorate it if he cooperates.
If it's a schema, or a defence mechanism because he can't cope with over stimulation, you could provide for it and it may help to protect yourself with the other children from harm. Have you got a black out tent, or a tent, or shelter of some kind that he could go in if overstimulated? This could be a temporary solution until the correct professionals are involved, including an ed psychologist. Give him fidget toys, his own circle rug for sitting on the floor.
I am a childminder and have little experience in a classrooms environment, but if a child displayed this type of behaviour I would definitely approach other professionals for assessment.
I have used blackout shelters before for children who had problems with overstimulation and with the right toys, it can be very calming. Depends on the child though.
It sounds like ds when he started school but fortunately he had a statement and full time TA support. Things that helped ds would be a small area that was his with calming toys, ds liked bubble tubes and things to spin. There must be something he likes if not stickers marbles, blob of blu tac, probably not done in school but ds had wotsits and was rewarded for absolutely everything whether that was holding something without throwing or keeping his feet still.
You probably need to have an adult just mirroring his play initially (sit at 90 degrees) it will take a long time and when he's comfortable you can give a commentary to his play and slowly give direction.
Of course you need to call in an ed psych and contact LEA to secure TAP funding atthe same time.
If he likes Lego you can make a calm down jar. They worked well one little boy I looked after who was having major meltdowns, lemonlimeadventures.com/lego-calm-down-jar/
Thank you. There are some really helpful ideas- not entirely sure a calm jar wouldn't be used as a missile though!
I like the idea of him coming in after everyone. That might get us off to a better start. We are trying to find keys for all of our cupboards and we've been ploughing on with the visuals even though they don't seem to make much of a difference.
Does he have any language? Does your local children's centre offer any speech and Lang drop ins, could be he understands practically nothing. Is he EAL?
Do visuals work and now and next cards?
Do iPads engage him?
When is he 5? As above I would look at part time hours as pp said, an hour to start and then building up.
Would he go to a sensory circuit? And if he screams a lot maybe ear defenders might help?
Sounds very difficult though, I would suggest team teach too.
Soz X post re visuals. Could you use makaton for a few key phrases to reduce the amount of language?
I don't know what's actually feasible in a school but it sounds to me as though the needs to be taken to another room to be taught 1-2-1 until he is a bit less feral.
No, not EAL. His language (from what I have been able to tell) is actually quite good. He just isn't able to use words atm.
The visuals haven't been working at all. He will just go and get what he wants. Sanctions don't work because he will just run or hit.
I think an iPad probably would work but he seems like the child who would be absolutely glued to it all day. I don't know whether to go down that route or not.
We don't HAVE another room. He's distressed, not feral.
We do Pretty much the same as nilbymouth
We operate a staggered entry system, and make it clear before they start that a child can only attend full time when they are ready. (For most this is the 3rd week)
if we have a child struggling to settle, we normally send them home at lunch time, or sometimes earlier if they are really not coping, and slowly build up their hours. Other times we have arranged for them to be dropped off after registration and Mat time in the morning.
We make it clear to the parents that we have to do this because we are unable to keep them or their friends safe if they are throwing/tantrumming etc. most parents find it very inconvenient if their child is part time and they do try to work with us.
Other times we have had the parent in the room, playing/supporting their child at first, then being in the room but maybe leading a game or supporting outdoors or in the creative area. But it really does depend on the parent/child for some it could be the worst thing to do!
I would second an adult working near him, mirroring/modelling brick play, once he has settled with the adult near him, start talking aloud/or to others near by, but not directly to him.
Also, if he went to nursery they must be the shittest nursery ever if this was a total surprise!!
Unless there is something really wrong in your environment, eg harsh light, too noisy eg underlying hum or something and he is having sensory overloads all the time.
Is there a safe area outside that he can go to if he runs? He's definitely trying to tell you something, just takes ages to work out what the hell it could be!
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