Dealing with Behavioral Issues in School

Dealing with Behavioral Issues in School

Special needs children can thrive in a regular school setting, yet many times, their behavioral issues can become a problem with the teacher, staff, or other students.  While it may be hard to hear about your child’s behavior problems, there are easy ways you can work with the school and your child. 

Offer to Volunteer in Your Child’s Class

Helping out in your child’s class once a week not only helps the teacher, but also shows the teacher that you do care.  At some schools, teachers must eat lunch and attend recess with their class.  Offering to supervise the kids during lunchtime once a week could be a nice break for teachers.

Some children do better with their parent present, while others do not.  However, if your child’s teacher welcomes your help in the classroom, address discipline issues right away.  Does the teacher want you to step in at all if your child is acting unruly?  Knowing what the teacher expects and wants can keep her from feeling inadequate while you are helping. 

Learn How The Teacher Disciplines

Every parent and every teacher disciplines differently.  While many methods of discipline work for children without special needs, children with special needs may only respond to a certain type of discipline.  If your teacher is complaining about your child’s behavior, ask him or her more about it.  Ask the teacher what your child is doing and how his teacher disciplines.

Share with her how you discipline at home to shed insight of what might work to get your child to behave.  Perhaps moving the child’s desk to an isolated area in the front of the classroom will help them concentrate and behave better.  Ask for weekly progress reports to learn if your child’s behavior is improving.

Have Your IEP Reassessed

An IEP, Individualized Education Plan, is a common treatment plan for special needs children.  The IEP allows children to work at their own level and get the specialized tools and treatment they need.  If your child is disruptive or has a hard time paying attention in class, perhaps a teacher’s assistant is needed to sit with him and her and guide them through each activity.

Be Respectful

While it is your job to be your child’s advocate, it is also your job to be respectful to all staff and teachers.  If you feel that a certain teacher is not handling your child’s special needs and situation correctly, do not be afraid to speak up to the principal.  Do so in a non-threatening way, so that the two of you can come up with a solution that works for the teacher and your child.

Behavioral issues in special needs children are never easy to deal with, especially in a school setting.  However, staying on top of your child’s needs and the reason why they are misbehaving will most likely result in a better situation for you, your child, and the teacher. 

Photo by familymwr

Resource:  UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools

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Written by: Ashley Eneriz See other articles by Ashley Eneriz
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