Accommodations for Aggressive Youth within School Settings
Abran Rodriguez, MS, CSC
A couple things… (1)
Children who are angry and aggressiveneed support and coachingto help them manage their behaviour and responses in the classroom, on the playground, with friends, and at home.Although many children have occasional outbursts of anger and aggression, the children whoconsistently have difficulty controlling their emotions andbehavioursare the ones who need support in developing social skills.Many teachers have atleast one child in their classroomwhosebehavioursare so concerning that they need professional intervention.
A couple things…(2)
When we think about children's anger and aggression, we need to consider thestage of developmentas well as other factors such as gender, cultural background, and family and community circumstances.As children develop social skills, they areless likely to use aggressionto solve problems, and the type of aggression they do use becomes more sophisticated.In early childhood, children frequently rely on physical aggression, but as they mature, they begin to use more verbal aggression and social aggression (which hurts another person's reputation and friendships).
A couple things… (3)
Children'sdevelopment depends on their personal characteristicsthat can either smooth the way or make it difficult for them to learn from their experiences.Development alsodepends on the abilities and skills of parents, daycare staff, and teachers to provide daily lessons in social and emotional learning.Most children are able to benefit from these lessons. They are on a timely and positive developmental path.
A couple things … (4)
When children'sbehavioursare typical of a younger age,this is a sign that they require additional supportto catch up to their classmates in social and regulation skills (skills for managing their own behaviour).We need to be particularly concerned for those children who for some reason have not had adequate experiences and support to develop the social skills and regulation required for healthy relationships and successful school adjustment.
Teachers need to consider thebehavioursof boys and girls through somewhat different lenses in order to determine which boys and girls are on a timely and healthy developmental path and which children are lagging behind.We know that boys and girls tend show their anger and aggression in different ways as a result of both their biological makeup, as well as their different socialization experiences.
Boys are generally more physically aggressive than girls,making their anger and aggression more obvious to adults. Girls tend to develop social and language skills a bit earlier than boys.Girls, therefore, are earlier than boys in moving from physical aggression to more indirect or social forms of aggression (e.g., exclusion, gossip, non-verbal gestures, cyber bullying), which are less easy to detect, but still as hurtful and distressing.
Identifying Risk of Serious Problems
These children can be identified by asking four questions:How often do the problem behaviors occur?How long has the child been showing these behaviour problems?In how many settings does the child experience these problems?How severe are the child's problems?
Levels of Intervention
Children who havedifferent levels of difficultiescontrolling their anger and aggressionrequire different types of intervention.The majority of children who seldom have problems expressing their anger in constructive ways and finding positive ways to resolve conflicts can benefit from the universal and whole school programs designed to promote social and emotional learning.Children who have occasional and moderate levels of problems controlling their anger and aggression will also benefit from the universal and whole school programs, but they may need additional focused support and coaching to express their feelings more constructively and resolve problems without being aggressive.
Aggressive/Bullying BehaviorThe students may…
Verbally or physically harass others, causing them to report incidents to adultEngage in bullying activity, intimidation, threatsBe observed hitting, kicking, and repeatedly pushing othersDemonstrate Intense angerFrequently lose temper or have blow-ups
The students may…
Extreme irritabilityExtreme impulsivenessBecome easily frustratedHurt or interact roughly with others during play, recess, or free timeName call
The students may…
Instigate and be involved in frequent conflicts, arguments, and fightsValue being seen as tough and one to be feared or avoidedFrequently be told on for conflicts, hurting others,etc, and deny any partNot demonstrate guilt, remorse, or concern for others’ safety and well-being
Before you start, a few important points:
Trymultiple interventionsEach intervention should be tried for aminimum of 4 weeks, & more than 1 intervention may be implemented at the same timeCollect and track specific dataon each intervention tried & its effectIf your data indicates no progress after a minimum of 6 months, you may consider moving to other interventions
Tier 1 Interventions
Take away unstructured or free timeTalk one on one with studentTeach conflict resolution skillsTeach coping skillsTeach relationship skillsTeach relaxation techniquesTeach social skill
Tier 2 Interventions
Alternatives To SuspensionBehavior ContractBehavior Intervention Plan (BIP)Structured BreaksCheck In Check Out (CICO)Daily Behavior FormForced Choice Reinforcement Survey
Provides students with more one on one help, support, and interventionHolds students accountableProvides structure, routine, consistency, and organizationPromotes self responsibility
Utilize adaily behavior form, chart, or report cardDecide on themain problem behaviorsand put these on the chartExplain theprocedurewith the studentRate the student for each period, hour,etcin the areas you decide to put on the form or chartSend a copy of thechart or form home for the parent to signand review with the student, either daily or weeklyReview the student’s daily behavior and marks with them in a productive manner, discussing how they felt they did, why, and what to change or do differently the next day, etc.
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)
Provides moreintensive interventionandmonitoringIncreases support around studentProvides anindividualized plan for successAddresses specific issues in a specific mannerInvolves teachers, support staff, the student, and parents activelyHelps teachers to address behaviors and issues consistently across subjects, rooms, sessions,etc
Check In Check Out (CICO)
Improves student accountabilityIncreases structureImproves student behavior and academics when other interventions have failedProvides feedback and adult support on a daily basisImproves and establishes daily home/school communication and collaborationImproves student organization, motivation, incentive, and rewardHelps students to self monitor and correctInternalizes success and accomplishment of goalsStudents get involved and excited about the program, enjoying the structure, support, and incentives of the interventionLeads to maintenance free responsible behaviors, habits, and effort
Check In Check Out (CICO)
The program consists ofstudents daily checking in with an adult at the start of school to retrieve a goal sheetand encouragement, teachers provide feedback on the sheet throughout the day, students check out at the end of the day with an adult,and the student takes the sheet hometo be signed, returning it the following morning at check in
PBIS WORLDhttp://www.pbisworld.com/Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports
Lane, K. L., Oakes, W. P., Harris, P. J., Menzies, H. M., Cox, M. L., & Lambert, W. (2012) Initial evidence for there liability and validity of the Student Risk Screening Scale for Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors at the elementary level. Behavioral Disorders, 37, 99PBIS World