Tag Archives: ADHD

Are kids born naughty?

Are kids born naughty or are they just spoiled?

Why do kids misbehave?

Is it nature or nurture?

Dr. Dawn Harper and Dr. Ravi Jayaram will explore these questions in a new documentary series calledBorn Naughty?‘ on Channel 4 (UK only). The series will start tomorrow, 14 May 2015 at 8pm.

I really hope that this programme will give describe the complexity of the development of behaviours. I guess we shall see…

Advertisements

We Showed Them

We have come to the end of the road
These past few years have literally been the best of my life
We started as strangers
We were unsure of each other
But we showed them

We showed them that it is possible for me to be trusted
With your education, development and safety
You showed them that you’re able to love
Trust, learn and laugh

They thought you won’t be able to read
They thought you won’t be able to speak
They thought you cannot learn
They doubted us
Now they look up to us
We showed them

You may be different
But so am I
We’re proud to be who we are
It helped us grow
We showed them

Look at you all now
You enjoy reading, writing,
Calculating and even spelling
Most of all, you are all happy
Well, WE are all happy

I taught you a lot
But you taught me to live
A life of acceptance
A life of awareness

You taught me to teach
And most of all,
You taught me that anything is possible.
We showed them.

Our time together has come to an end
Although I am sad, I am sure you’ll be great
The future is bright for you
Thank you, dear students of mine

Top 10 Tips for Disciplining Children with Challenging Behaviour

When it comes to teaching and parenting, one of the most talked about topics is discipline and behaviour. Most of us expect children to behave in certain ways – with respect, listen and respond appropriately, have infrequent tantrums, etc. Getting children to behave in these ways is not always easy. Even though a lot of children respond to our unique ways of disciplining, a few of them may display more challenging behaviours that are persistent and could seem uncontrollable – from theirs and your point of view. Below is a list of strategies and tips that has worked for me in schools and different settings over the years.

(It may be usefult for you to read Understanding Children’s Behaviour as well)

10. Know what the triggers are – Every behaviour is triggered by something. Find out what it is.

Potential triggers:

  • Medical diagnosis  (Autism, ADHD, etc.)- Please note that I am not saying that having a diagnosis is an excuse or a ticket to behave badly. What I am saying is that a diagnosis provides a signpost on what interventions you could use.
  • Medication – some kids on Ritalin could become hyperactive as the medication wears off
  • Sensory Stimuli such as noise, certain smells, bright or dim lighting, temperature– Some children are very sensitive to sensory stimuli and tend to react in unconventional ways when they encounter an unbearable one. If they are not able to communicate this discomfort through words, they may act out.
  • Change in routine (substitute teacher/Teaching Assistant, cancelled or swapped classes)- This is not specific to children with Autism. I have encountered children with no diagnoses who were unsettled by changes in routine.
  • Home life- problems and/ or changes at home
  • Bullying– It is worth investigating whether your student in question is being bullied by others when you are not looking. Not all children will report bullying.
  • Relationship with classmates– Investigate their relationships with other children. Are they getting enough attention, and if so, what kind of attention are they getting? If they are not getting any attention, make sure that you find out why.

9. Find out what the student’s receptive and expressive language skills are.

A lot of our behaviours are forms of communication. If children are not able to verbally express what they are feeling (see above), there is an increased chance that they would ‘act it out’. This can also happen if they do not understand what the others are telling them. Some children struggle to read body language, understand people’s tone of voice and/ or metaphors. If this is the case, you can organise for them to have lessons wherein you or other professional(s) will explicitly teach them these things.

8. Give them chances to succeed.

Give small targets that are achievable by the students. Set them up to succeed. For example, instead of asking them to ‘be quiet inside the classroom at all times’, you could start by asking them to ‘try to be quiet during carpet times’ (Primary school) or ‘try to be quiet when the teacher is talking’.

7. Give praise that is specific, well-explained and well-earned.

Never give blanket praises such as ‘good job’, ‘excellent’, ‘well done’, unless they are followed by a brief explanation of why you said what you said. Let them know why and which part of their work is amazing. You could say for example: ‘well done for colouring within the lines’ instead of ‘good work’.

6. Approach them positively.

Try not to shout and try not to be negative. Humour definitely helps. If the children understand figures of speech and metaphors, sarcasm can be an excellent tool. I found that students of any age are more likely to listen and change their behaviour if I approach them positively.

5. Tell them what to do instead of what not to do.

There are a lot of research that suggests that if you tell someone to ‘not play on the stairs’, they would. This is because what registered in that person’s brain is ‘play on the stairs’. Even though some children will hear you loud and clear, chances are, they will not know what to do instead of the undesirable behaviour. Quite a lot of teachers always tell students ‘not to fight’, but a lot of these children may only know one way to behave. If this is the case, how can they behave appropriately if you are not telling them what tappropriate behaviour is?

4. Be consistent.

You should be firm and fair all the time. Punishments and rewards should be handed out consistently – not only when you feel like it.

3. Remember that behaviour can be changed.

The whole point of your efforts trying to make your students behave appropriately relies on your belief about behaviours and attitudes. If you believe that we were born with a set of attitudes that make us behave in a certain way which cannot be changed, you need to think again. Although genetics play a part in the development of our attitudes and behaviours, the people around us and our experiences also have big contributions. We should keep in mind that everyone is capable of changing, especially our students.

2. Communicate effectively with the children’s parents/ primary carers.

For any intervention to work, the children’s school and home should work in concert with each other. Although it may be a good start, it shouldn’t be enough that your students behave really well in school but throws tantrums and go wild at home (or vice versa). Having an effective professional relationship with your students’ parents/ carers is one of the most important factors in helping children behave appropriately. Regular communications through phone calls, emails, face-to-face meetings will help increase the likelihood that interventions will be carried out in both settings.

1. Set an example.

Kids will follow and copy your actions. If you practice what you preach, then you have won half the battle. Always remember that your students are far brighter than you think. They will start ignoring your advice and you will lose their respect if you do not walk your talk. Here are a few examples you can set:

  • Admit your mistakes publicly. You will make a mistake today- trust me. When you do, do not be ashamed to admit it.
  • Apologise to your students. When you make mistakes, say sorry. Explicitly let them know that even you can make mistakes, but your apology and subsequent actions are what matters most.
  • Respect your colleagues. Never say anything bad about your co-teachers, no matter what. Students notice how you treat other people and indirectly learn from your example.

Other bonus tips:

Get To Know Your Students Better

Positive Words and Phrases to Use in School

Luis Suarez is not Autistic

Luis Suarez, an accomplished footballer who plays for Liverpool in the UK’s Premier League and for Uruguay’s National team is in the middle of yet another media storm because of his actions yesterday. In Uruguay’s World Cup match against Italy yesterday, Suarez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini  in the shoulder. Suarez has a terrible history of biting players during a football match. Today, the Mail Online reported that Suarez has been charged  by FIFA for biting an opponent and could potentially be slapped with a two-year ban.

As if this story isn’t disturbing enough, I have found that my blog has been viewed hundreds of times yesterday when people entered the search terms, ‘Luis Suarez Autistic’. I find it offensive that some people would quickly assume that someone who displays inappropriate behaviours that Suarez did, is autistic.

Why would they? Is it because they have encountered someone with Autism who has the tendency to bite when they are angry? Yes, some people with Autism may have that tendency, but not everyone with Autism does so.

Is it because Suarez has been doing this exact same thing and he seems not to have learned? That’s not a sign of Autism.

Is it because he is unable to control his emotions whilst also not understanding social norms? Those may be signs of Autism but one needs to look at the whole picture and observe individuals in different contexts to see whether the behaviour and understanding are constant.

Even though I am extremely offended, I understand that I may be over-reacting. I am here to educate and not moan. A diagnosis of Autism requires a lot of tests, conversations and observations. Observing someone on a football field is not enough to warrant a diagnosis. Also, inappropriate behaviours are caused by a lot of factors, which makes it impossible to pin it down to a specific condition.

I hope this clears things up somehow.

 

Gone with the Windfall – Inclusive School in the Philippines

Today’s Daily Prompt askedYou just inherited $1,000,000 from an aunt you didn’t even know existed. What’s the first thing you buy (or otherwise use the money for)?

$1,000,000 can go a long way. I would use most of it to build an inclusive primary school in the Philippines – the country where I was born. The school will cater for students of all abilities, socio-economic status, religion, gender, etc. It will not discriminate. It will show other schools how it should be done. We will provide a high quality education and will also provide training for parents of children with various needs. I would employ staff that have an open mind, great character and superb knack for teaching. The facilities will be able to cater for kids with disabilities.

One may ask why I would not buy a house, car or whatever for myself. I thought about it, but kids back home would need this school much more than I need those material things. Plus, helping them would make me happy!!

Pingbacks:

DP

turboblaze09

itsmathewburgos

tuckedintoacorner

underthemonkeytree

abozdar

jitterygt

dumbifyisnotaword

pippakinclawz

lifeconfusions

journeyman

naziyahmahmood

beautiful life

Patron Saint of Inclusion

Today’s Daily Prompt asked: ‘In 300 years, if you were to be named the patron saint of X, what would you like X to be? Places, activities, objects- all fair game.’

The main aims of my blog is to spread positivity and to inform people about diversity. A quick look around you would tell you that everyone is different. Different race, cultural upbringing, spiritual/ philosophical beliefs, educational background, gender, sexual orientation, I could go on. Some people are scared and some are angry just because the people around them are not like them. Such feelings could result in fights, arguments, prejudice and discrimination, and at times, war.

Inclusive practices in schools and communities are changing these negative attitudes, albeit on a slower pace than one would like. People with special needs and disabilities are being understood and included in schools, religious settings and community functions. Educating people about the differences between each individual significantly improves the likelihood that they will accept diversity. Although more needs to be done, progress is evident.

I would love to become the Patron Saint of Inclusion. The one who, throughout his life, lead by example. I want to show people that the way forward is to learn more about diversity and accept everyone who is different.

.

.

.

Pingbacks:

Daily Prompt

Alernesfs

eastelmhurst

djgarcia94

jakestew2015

fiftyplusandcounting

comingoutblack

jaynesdailypost

dianethornton

agirllikeme

psychologistmimi

angloswiss-chronicle

journey2dfuture

keyboardpizza

lifeconfusions

teepee12

kansamuse

Just Another Day: Autism (Daily Prompt)

Our days are organized around numerous actions we repeat over and over. What is your favourite daily ritual?

 

iStock_000015440188XSmall_crop380w

 

I spend a large amount of my time everyday with children and young people who have Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Autism is characterized by individuals’ difference in social interactions and repetitive and stereotypes interests. Most people with ASC, particularly my students, prefer visual representations, especially visual timetables. Visual timetables help make each school day predictable for people with ASC. By looking at their timetables, each pupil would know what activity they need to do next, and how long it is until home-time!

Visual Timetable for Weekedited-schedules

Putting up my each of my students’ visual timetables is the best daily ‘ritual’ that I have. I love starting the day by helping my students prepare for their day. ‘Timetable-time’ is also a great opportunity for me and my students to casually talk about what they did the night before, what they had for breakfast and what they would do after school. I also make sure that their mood is as positive as it could be by pointing out the exciting lessons and activities of each day.

I love this  ritual more than anything else.

Oh, have I mentioned that I love my job because of my students? Well, I do, and this seemingly simple morning routine is one of the ways that I can make their day better.

.

.

.

In response to today’s Daily Prompt: Just Another Day

Other entries:

Parents are people too

Psychologist Mimi

Serendipity

Abozdar

The verbal hedge

Prairie views

Kate Murray

Juimkul