(Part 1: Why is He Acting That Way?)
Have you ever had one of those days when you felt like that thirty-minute therapy session was a “total waste of time?” Be honest, we’ve all felt that way. Do you remember that session where little “Johnny” just couldn’t sit still? He couldn’t follow directions, stay on task, sit in a chair, stop making noises, and a sticker just would not motivate him. There are some days I feel like we don’t get anything accomplished in our therapy groups. Those are the days I am ready to just take those little friends back to class and hand them off.
Then, I take a deep breath and remind myself that all I am seeing is BEHAVIOR, but the intended message is COMMUNICATION. That behavior IS communication, and my job is to help students reshape that behavior into an appropriate form of communication.
- I want something, NOW.
- I want to get out of here (escape).
- I want to join in but don't know how.
- I just want to spend time with you.
- I am on sensory overload.
- I am trying to ask for help.
Before we talk about managing behavior, let’s talk about communication intent.
Communication intent is the reason or purpose for a behavior. Good or bad, we all have motivations. If I work hard, my work behaviors may result in a raise and I would be known for my strong work ethic. On the other hand, If I come to work slouchy and show up late, my behaviors are communicating that I do not respect my boss, nor do I like my job. I’ve listed 6 possible communication intentions that children may mask with behavior.
Why is he acting that way?
There may have been days you knew exactly what your child/student wanted. Then there are other days when it was truly a guessing game and you had no clue what he wanted.
How do I manage this behavior?
If you feel this way, and you can relate to these instructional challenges, you are not alone. I am here to help. Be looking for Part 2 of this series, 5 Highly Effective ways to Manage Behavior. You don't want to miss these strategies that work! You can also sign up for my blog email list so you do not miss the second part of the series.
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