6 yr old w/ social issues in school - FamilyEducation
6 yr old w/ social issues in school
03/11/2010 at 14:19 PM

I recently rec'd a note from my son's teacher saying she was very unhappy w/ an incident that occured in class. My son apparently took another student's item off his desk and hid it. When the student cldn't find it, the teacher asked if anyone knew where it was. At that pt, the teacher saw my son was looking at her, and she asked him if he knew anything about the missing item. He proceeded to get up, retrieve the item from across the room and give it to the teacher. She then made my son say sorry to the student and tell him that he wld never do that again. He did, but according to the teacher, he didn't look guilty about it. I believe this to be true b/c I see the same reaction at home as well. My son was then put in time-out. I later found out that this was not the first time my son has touched another student's property or another student for that matter. I believe this too b/c my son is very sensory, and he has to touch EVERYTHING! The teacher spoke to the school psychologist who feels my son is seeking negative attention. The solution: to reinforce the positive behavior and ignore the negative behavior. I've personally tried this at home and it doesn't fix the problem. I even had a mom come up to me at school saying her daughter told her my son is bothering her at lunch (getting touchy and probably a little too much in her face). I told her I'm working w/ the school to correct the problem, but that I'm not there, and I don't see everything that's going on. Now this mom wants her daughter to change her seat at lunch. What kills me, though, is that my son really likes this girl and talk about her like she's a friend. The problem is he really doesn't know how to express himself appropriately in social situations, so instead he gets touchy and often annoying. I'm at a loss as to how to teach him to act appropriately in school if the school won't support me. My son needs to be TAUGHT how to interact socially. I just wish others cld understand that as well. A very frustrating situation to say the least!

One of the things I do professionally is to teach children with Autism Spectrum Disorders how to interact with peers in a socially appropriate manner. Most of what we do is modeling and coaching the appropriate behavior. The teacher's suggestion to ignore the negative behavior does work best in the long run. Many children with sensory issues will continue negative behaviors for much longer when they are getting attention for those behaviors. While it is frustrating, it will get better with everyone who is working with the child using consistant methods.

Thank you. That's reassuring to know. I guess I'm always looking for that quick fix, but in all reality I know things don't always happen over night. I appreciate your support 2x. We'll just keep plugging away.