In working with students with ADHD, how would you define punishment?
The only one who would be going over the edge would be you. You need more training with children with ADHD. Or maybe you are not the teacher who should be involved with these children.
The more aggression you display, the more aggression they will show you. Thus, everything gets totally out of control. The children just took the control away from you.
You’re going to have to take a look at yourself. Who is the one with the aggression? Just because children have ADHD doesn’t mean they are full of aggressive behavior. You’re getting the situations totally turned around.
ADHD children are really no different then any of the other child. They need to be taught differently and they learn differently. Hyper isn’t the same as aggressive. Hyper is when a kid can’t sit still in there assigned seat or are more fidgety. They have a tendency to have more energy then they know what to do with. They always have to be moving, moving, moving.
There’s no question, like any other child, ADHD children need consequences for their actions. Consequences like a time out away from the other kids. They may need a quite place in order to calm down. These children will stress easily with change.
Classroom work or different subjects need to be done at the same time everyday. Things need to be orderly and supplies put back in the same places, which they need to be responsible for. The smoother the classroom schedule is run the smoother the children will be. They need a calming atmosphere, which we all could use from time to time. They need it more.
If you’re not ready for the “special education” these children need, I highly suggest seeing a counselor yourself. At least get more educated about ADHD.
Don’t understand dangerous and controversial. Remember we don’t use punishment, it’s consequences for one’s actions.
Even adults without ADHD have consequences. There’s no more I can say on the subject. It gets involved and is hard to understand at first.
You need to learn to “cool your heals” because that just makes everything worse. Get into a different aspect of teaching. If you have any anger problems, now is the time to deal with those issues before trying to deal with teaching any children.
Ultimately, when looking to change behavior, you have to find the function or cause of their behavior. Once you do that, you can apply behavioral intervention (reinforcement or punishment). But, because you are dealing with a classroom full of behaviors, it is more difficult to individually diagnose the function of all of their behaviors.
So, you need to implement a structured classroom behavior plan. Set up your rules… Make sure that they know if they follow the rules, they are being rewarded, and if they are not, that the consequences you set forth will be implemented. Try this first, and implement it for about 2-3 weeks consistently… what this does is gives you a baseline (under these circumstances, we see these behaviors). Then, if it is still unsuccessful, you will need the help of a behavior analyst/specialist to help develop appropriate behaivor plans.
For example, aggression would be maintained by one of the following functions (tangible items, social attention, escape from task, or automatic/sensory)… You would need to take data with help from your behavior specialist and have them first determine why they are engaging in aggression. Then, based on the function, you apply appropriate treatment using either reinforcement or punishment.
Reinforcement increases behavior… so you would probably choose an alternate behavior and reinforce that. Reinforce does not simply mean to give a piece of candy or sticker… you need to make it funciton based.
Punishment decreases behavior. If you send them to the principal or call parents and that decreases behavior, then it is a punishment… IF it doesn’t, then it can’t be called punishment.
Comment on euphemism for punishment*******
The person who said they don’t like to use the term punishment does not know what they are talking about. Consequence is not synonomous for punishment, because reinforcement is a consequence for behavior as well. Consequence is ANYTHING that occurs immediately after a behavior… Punishment just means that the behavior decreases after a stimulus is presented/removed, whereas reinforcement means that the behavior increases after a stimulus is presented/removed. Get the terminology right dbag…
Thank you for all you do for the students….it must be very draining by the end of the day or even by lunchtime.
Mama Jazzy Geri
You also need to remember that when dealing with ADHD students, often times their disability punishes them enough. It is hard to be expected to sit still and focus, etc not to mention getting busted for doing the wrong things in the classroom. Try to make some allowances if you can, for letting the children have fidget toys, etc. Fidget toys are something that they can hold and play with while they listen. Sometimes it channels all that energy into a single stimulation, so the rest of the body and brain can focus on you. Remember that eye contact is a social reinforcer and we think of it as a sign of respect but it isn’t necessary for learning. There is no reason why a student should have to look at you in order to pay attention. In fact, looking at you may actually be a visual distraction from the things that you are saying.
You also need to build in certain times for active play, where the kids can move around. This includes transition times. You can’t just ask a kid who is running around to sit down right then and there and pay attention. You can go from running around to walking only, to sitting down but facing however they want, to sitting around and facing the front, to all this plus being quiet so you can teach.
You also need to catch your students being good. I firmly believe that children are naturally fond of pleasing adults. They will do the right thing if they know what you expect, and if you are consistent, and if you recognize that they are doing well. So maybe out of the blue every few minutes throw out a compliment to the whole class. “Hey, way to go Billy, you are sitting quietly in your seat!” “Everyone give Johnny a cheer, he is being so helpful!” (This gives permission for a little noise which might come out as an outburst later, too) You can extend this to small rewards every couple days. “Hey Joey, headsup! This is for your excellent behavior today.” (and toss a tiny toy, a sticker, or a little snack) You can also do a weekly contest for best effort per week. This might be a Friday afternoon award ceremony with all kinds of formality, so that the kid knows it is special. Maybe the reward is a movie pass, an iTune download, or a coupon for an ice cream, or something like that.
You should know, I’m sure that there are different learning styles, it isn’t all about you talking and them listening. You can do hands on projects with them, and have discussions to get them interested in your lessons. Both of these allow for their energy to come out in productive ways.
OK so you make these allowances and you still have problems, you have to have boundaries. How to set them?
Be clear. Address the action, not the child, in a specific way. Lay down your expectations, and let them know the consequences of meeting them, and not meeting them. You should role model what you want in your students.
Let the punishment fit the crime and know a power struggle when you see one. It isn’t always the worst thing for a child to get what they want, it doesn’t mean you lost, it means they win. It shows that you are listening to what THEY say they need. Of course this can’t be everytime for every child. But you can ask for respect more easily when you are giving it.
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