Question Detail

How do you deal with a child that will not follow along in lessons and seems to be on another planet?

Nov 4, 2014 11:19am

This student is not defiant about completing work. He seems like he is distracted by things that I can't see or perceive. He goes into hysterics if I take away any privileges. This can be more disruptive then not following along with the lesson. I can not rationalize with him or bargain. He just doesn't get it.

  • Other
  • K
  • Behavior


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    • Nov 9, 2014 2:24am

      this sounds like the student is on the Autism Spectrum to me. Unable to focus, unable to see the purpose for your activity and cannot see the connection between his behaviour and your punishment.
      It might be worth getting an educational assessment for him. No matter what the issue I think some of these strategies might work.
      Chunk the work into small sections.
      Ask him to explain what the task is.
      Say to him Tom what are you doing? Tom what should you be doing? Are they the same thing? What do you need to do to get back to work?
      Praise, praise and praise and say things like - hey there cool guy, look around you and tell me what the other kids are doing? What do you need to do?
      If this person has some learning challenges they may be trying very hard but still failing. If there are other things going on at home for example it is always worth asking and what about the classic line ...
      What can I do for you right now that will help you get on with your work?
      Think about what you can do differently ... Like I need to be a teacher that can work with you, what can I do better to make learning easier for you? What have other teachers done that has worked?
      These are things that have helped me in the past.

      • Nov 8, 2014 7:24am

        You need to perform a medial summary to see if the student is really not listening. If they are, then just keep moving forward and leave well enough alone.

        • Nov 9, 2014 5:31pm

          What grade do you teach? (I thought it was kindergarten from "Other K Behavior," but I'm not sure.) I agree with Kate when she wrote, "Praise, praise, and praise." Catch him when he is good, when he is doing what you want; make it loud, if he can stand it. Prioritize what you want him to learn; focus on a few things at a time. Make a behavior checklist to tape to his desk; only have one or two things on it at a time. Try a nonverbal code with him to signal when he is getting off track. Put his desk near yours, if you teach from there. Give directions in attention-grabbing, novel ways, and vary the ways you give them. Before a time when you need him to pay attention, give him something practical to do (e.g., deliver something to the office, erase the board, hand out papers). Include his name in the lesson (“For instance, if I gave Harry 12 apples and 3 more, how many apples would Harry have in all?”) Put the lesson in the context of interest to the child (“How do you spell ‘airplane’?”) Make frequent eye contact with him. Ask him questions more frequently than other students, if he allows it. Write down as well as say important points from your lessons.

          • Dec 19, 2014 7:50pm

            I have a student with similar behaviors. One thing that has worked well for me is to make her a part of the lesson. She holds my book, or points with my "magic pointer" or is my partner when I am explaining something. This keeps her engaged with the material as well as focused on the instruction.