Children with Learning Disabilities often perceive punishment in a quite unique manner. Here are tips to help guide the child in the right path while taking into account their particular issues. Some behavior disorders, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) often have short attention spans. It is very important to make eye contact with the child. Avoid power struggles at all costs. You will not win.
Attempts to punish the child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder can only make things worse. If possible, ignore negative behavior. Ignoring negative behavior may be difficult for you to do. If at any time the child (or anyone else involved), is in danger, then it is time to step in. If you believe the situation is dangerous, try to de-escalate the situation by talking the child through it. If other children are involved, it may be safer to remove the other children from the situation and call for help. Be very careful if you decide to isolate the child. I do not suggest this because it can be very dangerous for the child. If the child is alone, he could hurt himself on something as simple as a blind string. In severely dangerous situations, restraints may be used. Again, extreme caution should be used. One wrong move could hurt the child. Most schools offer Special Education Teachers and Paraprofessionals CPI training (Crisis Prevention). This training is nonviolent intervention.
Always reward positive behavior. Small things, like sitting in a chair without any outbursts could be rewarded. Because you are the authority figure, the child may see you as the “bad person”. As a parent or teacher, it is wise to learn to deal with the behavior rather than cure it. Creativity will become natural as you seek different rewards and choices.
Redirection works wonders. Pay close attention to your child. Take every opportunity to redirect the child. For instance, Little Bobby is flying his kite. His kite will not stay in the sky. He begins to get frustrated. You are observing Bobby and his kite. You step in and offer to fix the kite, or offer another fun activity.
Choices can be an easy way to stay in control. Because the child wants to be in control, the ability to make choices may keep him happy. For instance, you want Little Bobby to eat a vegetable. You might say, “Would you like salad or green beans with diner?”
Patience is a necessity. Concentrate on things that cause the bad behavior. Teach the child to recognize the things that frustrates him. Help him to separate himself from the situation. Try to redirect the behavior before it escalates. It is a lot easier to calm the child down before he gets to a point of explosion. Always ask yourself whether it is worth the battle. Children often react to what they see or feel. You may not see positive changes overnight. This process takes a lot of time.
Article By Celestine A. Gatley
Celestine Gatley´s Designed Transformation Blog