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Shelby County (AL) Early Childhood SPED Services Professional Development March 22, 2010 William McInerney / Laurie Dinnebeil Judith Herb College of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Shelby County (AL) Early Childhood SPED Services Professional Development March 22, 2010 William McInerney / Laurie Dinnebeil Judith Herb College of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shelby County (AL) Early Childhood SPED Services Professional Development March 22, 2010 William McInerney / Laurie Dinnebeil Judith Herb College of Education University of Toledo Support provided by Margie Spino, M.A.

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3 Children who are identified as ‘hard to manage’ at ages 3 and 4 have a high probability (50:50) of continuing to have difficulties into adolescence (Campbell & Ewing, 1990; Campbell, 1997; Egeland et al., 1990). 3

4 4 Early Predictors Temperament Difficulties Early Aggression Delayed Language Difficulties in Communication Noncompliance

5 The correlation between aggression in preschool and aggression at age 10 is higher than correlations between IQ scores (Kazdin, 1995) 5

6 Young Children with Challenging Behavior:  Are rejected by peers  Receive less positive feedback from adults and peers  Do worse in school  Are less likely to be successful in kindergarten 6

7 There are evidence-based practices that are effective in changing this developmental trajectory…the problem is not what to do, but rests in ensuring access to intervention and support (Kazdin & Whitley, 2006) 7

8 “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -- Benjamin Franklin The single best way to address challenging behavior in young children is to take steps to decrease the likelihood that it will occur.

9  Analysis and design of learning and living environments  Evaluation of schedules  Implementation of rules, rituals, and routines

10  Carefully plan traffic patterns ◦ Minimize large open spaces ◦ Insert obstacles and other dividers to divert child traffic and minimize running ◦ Consider the needs of children with physical and sensory disabilities re: mobility and access to materials/centers 10

11 11 CSEFEL 1

12  Physical Design ◦ Clear boundaries ◦ Visibility of children and opportunity for children to scan other centers ◦ Visual prompts to indicate when centers are ‘open’ or ‘closed’ ◦ Adequate number of centers ◦ Size and location of centers: minimize congregation ◦ Identify the number of children allowed in specific centers ◦ Organize materials in classroom to allow or deny access and to indicate where materials are stored 12

13  Create Meaningful and Engaging Learning Centers ◦ Relevant to children’s needs, interests, and lives ◦ Highly engaging and interesting ◦ Variety of materials in each center ◦ Items and materials need to be changed and rotated on a regular basis to ensure novelty and engagement 13

14  Develop schedules that promotes child engagement & success ◦ Plan for transitions (Centering Ativities) ◦ Balance the following activities: 1. Active and quiet 2. Small group and large group 3. Teacher-directed and child-directed ◦ Teach children the ‘schedule’. Post schedule.  Establish routines and follow them, consistently ◦ When changes are necessary, prepare children ahead of time ◦ Provide guidelines for expected behavior in learning centers, in groups, and during choice time 14

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16 1. Turn on water.2. Wet hands. 3. Get soap.4. Rinse hands.

17 5. Turn off water. 7. Throw away towel. 6. Dry hands. 8. Go play.

18 18 CSEFEL 1

19 ◦ Minimize the number of transitions in a day ◦ Minimize the length of time children spend waiting with nothing to do (centering activity) ◦ Structure the transitions so that children have something to do while they wait ◦ Prepare children for transitions by providing a warning (Auditory……song/CD……Visual…….raise a flag…..colored light cue) ◦ Teach children behavior expectations related to transitions ◦ Provide individual supports and cues (especially visual cues) where necessary 19

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23 Schedule/Routine/Transition Activity Divide into groups Create a schedule from an EC partner teacher’s classroom. Consider what we have discussed. What changes could you make in what you are currently doing that might increase engagement and prevent challenging behaviors?

24 24 Providing Directions Make sure you have the children’s attention before you give the direction Minimize the number of directions given to children Individualize the way directions are given (cue cards, linear sequence cards, step x step task analysis cards) Always provide directions that are concrete and organized (sequence of tasks)

25 25 Providing Directions Give children the opportunity to respond to a direction before repeating or prompting When appropriate, give the child choices and options for following directions Follow through with positive acknowledgment of children’s behavior

26  Have a few simple classroom rules  Involve the children in developing the rules  Post the rules in locations (may need multiple postings / different font size) where they can be seen. Print and graphics.  Teach the rules, systematically  Reinforce the rules at high rates initially and at lower rates throughout the year. Ditto with individual children entering the program at different times during the year. 26

27  The single best way to address challenging behavior in young children is to take steps to decrease the likelihood that it will occur.  Focus on the strategies discussed: ◦ Look closely at the physical environment ◦ Consider the schedules, routines, transitions, and rules within your ‘host’ settings

28 What do we do when a child engages in behaviors that …  Cause injury to self or others  Cause damage to the physical environment  Interfere with learning  Socially isolate a child

29  Attention: to get someone's attention (positive or……. negative attention aka…. ‘punishment’)  Escape: to get out of or avoid something or some task  Tangible: to get something (e.g. toy, food, etc.)  Sensory: to get some kind of sensory stimulation (e.g. vibration, noise, pressure)

30 Devon, a 3-year old, hits the teacher and says “NO!” when given a puzzle to complete. The teacher removes Devon from the table and places him in a chair away from the group. See MAS Tool - Exercise

31 Christina, a 4-year old, shrieks and spins when she knows it is time to paint at the easel. The teacher tells her ‘no painting if you yell’. She continues to shriek and spin, and the teacher allows her access to the easel in hopes of reducing the shrieking.

32 Kevin, who is 5 and has autism, rocks back and forth and waggles his hands when there is free play in the classroom. His peers ignore him. Mary, who is 4 years old, runs to the play area (violation of class rule) when she is told ‘it’s time to come to reading circle’. The teacher says “no running” and brings her back to the circle to sit next to her.

33  Choose from a variety of assessment tools ◦ Interview the teacher, caregiver, and/or child ◦ Complete a Rating Scale ◦ Observe the challenging behaviors when they occur, and also observe appropriate behaviors when they occur

34  Develop hypotheses about the function of the behavior. The WHY question.  Develop hypotheses about factors that may predict the behavior  Identify new behaviors to teach that match the functions of the behaviors and that can replace the inappropriate behavior

35  Find a behavior that serves the same function as the challenging behavior  Teach a different behavior that helps the child achieve THEIR objective in a more socially acceptable manner than the challenging behavior

36 Name: Devon Date: 3/7/10 Classroom Context/Activity: small group, manipulative activity Social Context: Peers close by engaging in task. Teacher gives Devon a puzzle. Child’s Response: Devon hits teacher Social Reaction: Everyone looks at Devon; some children gasp and say “uh oh!” Teacher removes Devon from table and places him in a chair away from the group Possible function?: Escape Possible replacement behavior: Teach Devon to ask for help Other ideas?

37 Name: Devon Date: 3/7/10 Classroom Context/Activity: small group, manipulative activity Social Context: Peers close by engaging in task. Teacher gives Devon a puzzle. Child’s Response: Devon hits teacher Social Reaction: Everyone looks at Devon; some children gasp and say “uh oh!” Teacher removes Devon from table and places him in a chair away from the group Possible function: Attention Possible replacement behavior: At beginning of activity, ask Devon to help pass out materials. Other ideas?

38 Heather is 5 years old with moderate cognitive impairment (mental retardation) and autism. The teacher notices that during recess Heather is socially withdrawn and spends most of her time spinning the wheels on a toy truck or jiggling items in her hand (pop bead chain, doll by hair, etc.).

39 Name: Heather Date: 3/7/10 Classroom Context/Activity: Outside playground Social Context: Peers are playing on the playground Child’s Response: Heather plays by herself Social Reaction: Peers ignore her Possible function: Sensory

40 According to a FUNCTIONAL assessment, the function of Heather’s behavior is SENSORY. The teacher also noticed from direct observation that other children asked Heather to play, but she did not respond. What would be a possible replacement behavior for Heather that addresses her sensory needs but also helps her to engage with other children?

41 The teacher decides to teach Heather to play with another child using the toy cars. She uses the following strategy: ◦ Teacher chooses a peer to be a model and buddy for Heather ◦ Teacher instructs peer to initiate with Heather by holding Heather’s hand and taking her over to the cars ◦ Peer instructed to prompt Heather to play with toys. ◦ Teacher praises Heather for playing with her friend

42 On the web: ◦ Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning ◦ Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention ◦ Positive Solutions for Families: Eight Practical Tips for parents of young children with challenging behavior s/documents/positive_solutions_for_families.pdf s/documents/positive_solutions_for_families.pdf

43 Articles: ◦ Conroy, M. A., Sutherland, K. S., Snyder, A. L., Marsh, S. (2008). Classwide interventions: Effective instruction makes a difference. Teaching Exceptional Children, 40(6), ◦ Michael, M., Meese, R., Keith, S., & Mathews. (2009). Bob bear: A strategy for improving behaviors of preschoolers identified as at risk or developmentally delayed. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41(5), ◦ Sandall, S. R., & Ostrosky, M. (Eds.). (1999). Practical Ideas for Addressing Challenging Behaviors. (Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series No. 2). Denver, CO: Council for Exceptional Children, Division for Early Childhood.

44  Conroy, M. A. (2004, September). Addressing challenging behavior in early childhood: Strategies for teachers and trainers. Presentation at the DEC Recommended Practices Training Series, Erlanger, KY. Retrieved from /9.04_addressing_challenging.pdf /9.04_addressing_challenging.pdf  Fox, L. (2010, January). Evidence based practices to reduce challenging behavior [Power Point slides]. Presentation at Opening Minds Conference of the Chicago Metro AEYC. Retrieved from kshops.htm kshops.htm  Hemmeter, M. L. Joseph, G., Ostrosky, M., & Santos, R. M. (2006). Building Supportive Relationships and Creating Supportive Environments. Retrieved from The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning web site:  McFarland, R. (October, 2008). Managing Challenging Behavior by Creating Supportive Environments. Kansas State University. Retrieved from


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