What are the issues?
Children benefit when teachers and parents communicate frequently and share concerns or problems when they happen. Students with significant disabilities may have difficulty communicating their wants and needs, may not like “letting go” of an activity they enjoy, or may challenge adults when “beginning” a task they don’t like. Many youngsters need help preparing for transitions throughout the day or in learning how to get positive attention from friends or teachers. Some children with significant behavioral or emotional needs can engage in challenging behavior when they are upset or angry. It is very important for the IEP Team to respond to problem behaviors immediately, and to bring additional professional help to the school to do functional behavior assessments so that positive goals, interventions and support strategies can be developed for school and home.
Here are possible responses:
“Hakaru’s behavior can be disruptive at home, too. But we know that when Hakaru feels like he is communicating his wants and needs and when he is not frustrated, his behavior is much better and is not disruptive. I need the IEP Team to help everyone understand why Hakaru has hard days sometimes and what we can do to help Hakaru improve his communication and his social skills.”
“Hakaru has a lot of strengths. He loves music, he is funny and enjoys humor, and he really tries hard to do what his teachers and we expect him to do. He wants very much to be with other boys his age and socialize. Why can’t we use Hakaru’s strong skills and the things he really likes to do to help him get better at handling the things that frustrate or upset him?”