Behavior is back in town

I kind of knew that when they said she had no behavior issues at our IEP meeting last month that it was just a matter of time.  Now we have some new behavior issues.

Just last week she started to hit E. and I when we tell her to stop doing something.  Sometimes she will say R. no in a snotty voice and then she will try to hit us in the face.

She is really insistent about it too.  When I stop her from hitting me, she will get really mad and cry and follow me around until she can get in a smack.  She wants to hit our faces, she is tall enough that she can just about reach mine, but she has to pull E. down to reach his face.

She did it for the first time in school, she smacked an aide in the face.  Of course it had to happen during the time she was mainstreamed.  The teacher said that it has been going perfectly up until today.

She has also been running away at school.  Once she ran off when they were walking from the bus, and she ran from the cafeteria towards the SDC Kindergarten class.  The teacher said she got a look in there (it is right across from her classroom) and has been obsessed with gaining access since.

We discussed it with the behaviorist.   Regarding the hitting, we are going to make sure that we stop her before she hits us.  We will try not to use words like no or don’t, and phrase our requests in a positive way.   We are also going to say nothing when she is trying to hit us, so it does not become a power struggle.

They are going to work on teaching her to respond to the word stop, which I know she can do, just not consistently.   I asked if she could have a chance to explore the kindergarden class, to just get it out of her system.  She is very curious about new things.   They are also going to work on having her ask to leave the group.

R. was really prickly last week, and still is but not as much this week.  I was wondering if she was getting sick or if there was some cause for the changes.  This all started last week.

I also wondered if it is a developmental thing.  Maybe she is just becoming really aware that we are telling her what to do, even nagging from her perspective.   There was a time when she did not listen at all because she did not have the receptive language.  When she had the receptive language she began to follow instructions.  Maybe now that she has been doing that a while she is thinking about it more.

I know that hitting is not appropriate behavior, but I can’t help but be amused at her reaction after the fact.

I think that the running away at school is similar.  I’ve noticed when we go to the zoo recently that R. really seems to know her way around and she is asking to explore areas we have not seen.   (Usually because there is no stroller access, and she is walking holding my hand).

Maybe she never really noticed there was a classroom across the hall, or had the ability to think about how to get there when she was in another part of the building.

I certainly hope this is just a phase.

3 Responses

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  1. Love the title of this one! I, too have noticed more behavioral issues with Tootles, lately. I’m thinking it may be, in part, the sensory overload with the Christmas season. Everywhere we turn there are bright lights, decorations, music, crowds… changes in routine with Christmas break… I’m hoping it will change with the New Year.

    Tootles went through a similar stage where he would make what we called the “claw” and act like he was going to claw our tutors’ faces when he did not like an instruction. Sometimes, it would make it’s way to an actual contact but very rarely. They collected data on how many times he’d do it and totally ignore him when he did it. Completely. It took probably a year but (I must knock on wood here) we have not seen this one reoccur. Probably ages 3.5 to 4.5 before it was pretty much gone – and his verbalization had improved also so he could communicate verbally (partially) or through echolalia we’d understand what was upsetting him. (didn’t mean to write a book – just thought you might want someone else’s experience!)

    1. Maybe it is partly the time of year. I appreciate reading your experiences, thanks for commenting.

  2. When school district staff say there’s “no behavior issues” at IEP meetings, what that really means is “we won’t supply your kid with aide support”

    I keep meaning to write that IEP dictionary 🙂

    “when needed” = never
    “as necessary” = hardly ever

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