The Second Question Answered at Sari Hati

The Second Question Answered at Sari Hati

The Second Question Answered at Sari Hati

So, why do our children behave differently than we expect them to?

I first explained that our special needs children learn differently & that they may have communication challenges, sensory challenges, motor challenges & intelligence limitations. They may get frustrated more easily, confused more easily & anxious due to their learning challenges. Their brains may be different than typical children their ages.

Due to these differences we will see behaviors that are unexpected. It is then our job to determine why. Then to do something about the why & replace the behavior with a more expected action.

I then discussed that the behaviors they see (hitting, kicking, grabbing, running off, refusal, pinching, screaming) are all communication actions. These children may be telling you that they are: bored, tired, sick, angry, confused or anxious, frustrated or cannot handle all the sensory input they are receiving.

These behaviors are their words. So we must teach them a different communication system. (Use signs, use gestures (pointing) use pictures)

We must also organize & structure their learning environment to decrease their frustrations & confusion. It is best if materials & equipment are organized & put away in a specific space. It is best if there is a visual schedule for the children to know what is going to happen to them. For more involved children perhaps just two or three pictures on the schedule at first. For more involved children keeping their activities short & very fun & meaningful are also very important.

Children have less behaviors if they understand what is expected, if it is fun to them & if it is meaningful for them. If they are bored, if they do not understand what they must do, if it is meaningless to them or if they feel they will not succeed, they mya have behaviors (refuse, run off, throw things)

One of the hardest actions for these wonderful teachers in Bali is to say no to these children. I explained that in order for our children to learn we must give them both kinds of feedback (celebrate success & let them know when something is not right, not safe that they are doing). We must say “No or stop” & then show them a correct action.

I suggested they not laugh or show a great deal of energy when the child is doing something wrong, but to remain neutral & help them use their communication first to tell you what they need, want or don’t want & then to use a positive action.

If they throw something, they need to pick it up and return it. If they hit, grab or pinch they must apologize & teachers need to tell them they may not hurt someone. They may have to leave the area for a little awhile if the behavior is to continue.

It was very important for me to tell them it takes time to change behavior. They must get the families involved too. It is best that everyone try to do the same thing to change the behavior.

It is hard for these heartfelt teachers to do anything that leaves a child out or makes them sad. It will take time for them to try & to see that the child will still like or respect them & that the child will be okay.



Karen Kaplan
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