I’m frustrated too, G.

One of the major behavior issues we were working on with G is that he would lash out physically whenever he became frustrated.  His teacher called him unpredictable.  One moment he’d be working along side another student and the next minute he was hitting or shoving them.  The problem was, in my mind, that he wasn’t able to express his frustration as it occurred and that he maintains a very placid facial expression so there aren’t any nonverbal cues either.  Instead, his frustration and anger built up inside him until he exploded.

 We’ve really worked hard to coach him on expressing himself.  After an outburst at home, he gets a timeout to cool off.  When he is calm and able to talk, we problem solve to find out what set him off and help him come up with better ways to handle a situation.  He is now at the point where he will have screaming meltdowns where he will yell “I want to hit you!”  While I fully realize this isn’t ideal behavior, it is fantastic progress.  He is verbalizing his desire to hit while not hitting.  He’s expressing his anger and frustration in a way that isn’t actually hurting anyone.

Unfortunately, his school does not see this as positively as I do.  His caseworker has asked to set up a meeting with us and his teacher to come up with behavior strategies to use at home and in the classroom.  I am sure they mean well – I really like and respect his teacher and caseworker, they are awesome with G.  But I am also feeling beaten down.  It is a one step forward, two steps back kind of feeling.  I know G is making progress and if we give him some time and work with him more he will be able to express *why* he is frustrated before he gets to the boil over point.  This is just the middle step, not the final result.  My job now is to get my thoughts lined up so I can express this firmly while understanding the position of the school. 

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Published in: on January 30, 2008 at 7:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

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