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Strategies to Encourage Participation at Class
Year 2 with SN


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#1 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

Okay EB'ers I need help. DS 7 (will be eight in April) who has special needs has not been participating in class and has been giving his teacher a really hard and trying time.

I need a reward strategy in place at school that she can use, so instead of calling me and asking me what to do (because at this point I dont know) we have something in place that encourages him to do what is asked of him and do his work.

Any Ideas ??

Right now he is just refusing to do work, hiding under desks, hiding in the classroom, putting himself in the quiet corner, saying he is too tired, etc etc.

Thanks !!

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

Has she tried The Way To A?

#3 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 17/02/2013, 02:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Has she tried The Way To A?


That link wont work for me ???

She is first year out of school.

It also needs to be an instant daily reward/punishment type program


#4 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

Okay I looked that up. It looks good. Can it be used daily?

#5 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:09 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 17/02/2013, 02:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Has she tried The Way To A?


Purchased. Thanks. Now lets hope it works

#6 Lyra

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:13 PM

The teacher could also talk to SPELD  or the autism people in your state. The teacher really does need to step up to the plate and be a bit more proactive about implementing some strategies.

#7 Trouble-

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:17 PM

What's his currency? What's his current obsession?
My ASD eldest in year one was obsessed with golf, so his teacher 'happened' to have gater golf in the classroom ready to go for anyone who finished their work early.
My DS, although necessarily finishing early, but he got a quick play at least once a day.
His teacher was also under strict instruction never to allow the I'm too tired excuse to get him out of anything.

Edited by Trouble-, 17 February 2013 - 02:17 PM.


#8 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:31 PM

Well his Ipad really - that and the playstation are pretty much his only obsession (that and bugs). It has crossed my mind to leave his ipad with the teacher and use that as a reward at school but he already plays it at home constantly. It pretty much the only thing he does. As his disability if physical also he doesnt go outside to play. I sort of didnt want to extent the ipad to school hours as well as home but I will if I have to.

Also about the tired thing. He does get extremely tired because of his disability so its really hard to tell whether he is telling the truth or really is tired (especially from home when they call me !)

He has been very difficult to get to go to sleep at night so he has had tired days.  The other day when they called me I said he could have a little rest but then he MUST participate. When I came to collect him at home time he had still done nothing all day.

This new teacher is great but she has a demanding classroom. The have put DS and another child with ASD in the same class. Two kids with impulse control problems makes for trouble and they are not getting along !! In addition to that she has a severe dyspraxic child also.

She was not told when she started about my child or the one with dyspraxia only the ASD child so it thrown her a bit and she didnt have any prep time. Its not unusual to do that to new teachers but it sure does make me angry. Literally she saw his photo in the staffroom and thought- hey that kid is in my class?!

We have already had a meeting about him and some strategies but they are not working so far so its time to try and come up with something different. Hence this thread because I just dont know anymore.

#9 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE (Regular Show @ 17/02/2013, 02:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Okay I looked that up. It looks good. Can it be used daily?

It's not so much a 'daily reward' system as making the child aware that their choices result in either pleasant outcomes or not so pleasant outcomes. Of course you can engineer outcomes eg. "When I make A choices I can use the computer." A choices can be designed for individual children and might start with "Sitting in my chair is an A choice." They can be built into social stories as well. It can therefore be used constantly.

Cues include "are you making an A choice?" or "I can see that Bobby is making an A choice." help prompt the children to thinking about their actions and modifying them.

#10 ausbokkie

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

First of all, the teacher needs to make sure the work she is asking him to do is realistic, taking into consideration his disability. As long as the amount/type of work is appropriate, I wouldn't ever let him use the excuse of being tired. At Year 2 level he needs to learn that he has to start taking responsibility for his learning/work output and that there will be consequences if he doesn't complete a task.

I'm not a big fan of teachers using different consequences/rewards for specific children. If there is a whole-class reward system (and consequences for not making the right choices), it's much better to work within that system so he sees himself as part of the class. The consequence could be missing some playtime for example - children quickly tire of that and decide to participate. It's important to sit him down and explain clearly what the expectations are and what will be happening if he doesn't follow through. Then it's important for everyone involved to be consistent.
Good luck, I hope things start to improve for you!

Edited by bubbles baby, 17 February 2013 - 03:23 PM.


#11 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:51 PM

ausbokkie - he is actually a Year 2  ph34r.gif

#12 ausbokkie

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

Ed for repeat post

Edited by bubbles baby, 17 February 2013 - 03:24 PM.


#13 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:05 PM

I'm not sure what SN you child has or what is in his NEP but you have mentioned a physical disability and that he gets tired. IMO as an educator these actually require adjustment to his program. The tiredness that naturally comes from a physical disability is something that must be allowed for. if he is tired and no one is allowing him rest periods it is no wonder he is struggling to get through the day. this is the sort of thing that should be bult into his day.

For example, he might be required to do x minutes of work before having a quiet rest in the reading corner, or actually be required to do less than other students. At the end of the day it would be reasonable for him to have an alternate program that is less taxing. It is not an excuse but a valid reason to adjust his program. It is a mistake to expect him to respond and behave the same as other children without his disability.

One of the great things about The Way to A is that it is a whole class/school program which works for children with ASD and singles out no one. The outcomes/consequences are logical and can be applied to all children. The cues are quick, simple and allow the child to retain some control so avoids power over tactics.

#14 anabh

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

I use a first and then card. You put the activity you want them to do on the first section using a compic. Then before he starts he chooses from three or four choice activities to do when he has finished, then stick that compic on the other half and place it in front as a visual reminder. You start off small then build it up. It could be Lego, playdoh, drawing with special texts, computer time etc. if he chooses not to participate then he gets nothing at all until he has done what is asked, tough to begin with but it does get easier once they realise they will be taken back to the point of error. So if everyone else is going to recess and he has not done the activity he is meant to then he won't get to go out until he has done x minutes of the task. It does work, the teacher sounds like she needs some strategies and you have to remind her and the ea to tough it out to begin with and stand their ground. I would say he is doing it because he is getting away with it. It is a hard slog to begin with.

#15 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:15 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 17/02/2013, 03:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not sure what SN you child has or what is in his NEP but you have mentioned a physical disability and that he gets tired. IMO as an educator these actually require adjustment to his program. The tiredness that naturally comes from a physical disability is something that must be allowed for. if he is tired and no one is allowing him rest periods it is no wonder he is struggling to get through the day. this is the sort of thing that should be bult into his day.

For example, he might be required to do x minutes of work before having a quiet rest in the reading corner, or actually be required to do less than other students. At the end of the day it would be reasonable for him to have an alternate program that is less taxing. It is not an excuse but a valid reason to adjust his program. It is a mistake to expect him to respond and behave the same as other children without his disability.

One of the great things about The Way to A is that it is a whole class/school program which works for children with ASD and singles out no one. The outcomes/consequences are logical and can be applied to all children. The cues are quick, simple and allow the child to retain some control so avoids power over tactics.


He has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy with changes to the white matter in his brain and frontal lobe regions.

He is allowed to rest - hence the resting quiet corner, and is allowed to use it. He actually fell asleep there the other day. He is not required to participate in drama or pe if he is too tired. He is in a wheelchair so doesnt do pe anyway like the other kids, its a modified program.

The problem we are having this term is that he is refusing to do ANY work at all. He is not required to do everything the other kids do but he is required to give it his best shot - which doesnt include deciding that he isnt going to do it before he has even had a go. Our rule at home and school is that 'the most important thing is having a go'. Right now hes not doing anything.

He will just flat out refuse. Climb under the tables, hide in the classroom, or in the classroom next door (which is empty) or lay on the floor or go to the quiet corner and not come out.

I have purchased that book now Howdo - one of the things I liked about it was that it can be a whole class program also so doesnt require her to find one on one time (which would be impossible). I'll speak to his teacher again tomorrow.

Everything is in his NEP but dont even go there *shakes head*

His OT will be going into the school and to meet the teacher next week I think. She will be able to build in strategies and equipment to help him with his work.

His psychologist will at some stage too.

Edited by Regular Show, 17 February 2013 - 03:36 PM.


#16 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:25 PM

QUOTE (anabh @ 17/02/2013, 03:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I use a first and then card. You put the activity you want them to do on the first section using a compic. Then before he starts he chooses from three or four choice activities to do when he has finished, then stick that compic on the other half and place it in front as a visual reminder. You start off small then build it up. It could be Lego, playdoh, drawing with special texts, computer time etc. if he chooses not to participate then he gets nothing at all until he has done what is asked, tough to begin with but it does get easier once they realise they will be taken back to the point of error. So if everyone else is going to recess and he has not done the activity he is meant to then he won't get to go out until he has done x minutes of the task. It does work, the teacher sounds like she needs some strategies and you have to remind her and the ea to tough it out to begin with and stand their ground. I would say he is doing it because he is getting away with it. It is a hard slog to begin with.


This definitely. I have explained to her very very clearly that she must not give in to him. He is very smart, determined, and likes to negotiate. She been told she need to make it very clear she is the boss and stand her ground.

I said to her 'once you give in with him that will be the end'.

Its difficult because he does get tired but he will also use that as an excuse when hes not to get out of something because he knows they know that he does.
Thats why we decided that if he ever chose to not participate in something like drama because he was too tired he would be required to start the lesson and then sit down if it was becoming too much. Not just choose to sit out from the beginning.

I might need to re-iterate this again to the school.

#17 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:26 PM

QUOTE (Regular Show @ 17/02/2013, 01:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She is first year out of school.

by this do you mean she graduated from her B Ed in 2012?

If so, get her mentor teacher (really hope she has one!) involved as well. No one, not her, not you, not her school can possibly expect her to do this on her own. I don't know a single teacher - even ones who've been out for years who are doing that sort of behaviour management on their own.

#18 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 17/02/2013, 03:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
by this do you mean she graduated from her B Ed in 2012?

If so, get her mentor teacher (really hope she has one!) involved as well. No one, not her, not you, not her school can possibly expect her to do this on her own. I don't know a single teacher - even ones who've been out for years who are doing that sort of behaviour management on their own.


Yep I feel pretty sorry for her. I was pretty angry the school gave her these kids especially with no for-warning.

After talking to the teacher it turns out her mother was quite furious when she found out too.!!

She very very young but I think she is fantastic - just a little out of depth.  I'll try and find out if she has a mentor.

#19 Beancat

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:57 PM

As a teacher I would try the following:

Adequate differentitation so the work is suited to the child's level and interests.

Giving the child a choice (to some degree) to what they will do/how they will learn.  This gives them some ownership over the activity.

Working in groups/pairs as appropriate so the other students can provide some leadership.

If attention span is an issue, set short shap tasks that can be achieved quickly.

Try different working environments, ie sitting on the floor, in a beanbag etc.  Sometimes the physical environment is an issue for students with special needs.

#20 Lyra

Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

I had a student once who frequently sat under the table, I gave him his work on a clipboard and he could do it under there. I was working on the theory that I would fight the battles I could win

I also agree that she should not have been given so many students with SN so soon after graduating and she really needs a lot of support

#21 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:28 PM

QUOTE (Lyra @ 17/02/2013, 04:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had a student once who frequently sat under the table, I gave him his work on a clipboard and he could do it under there. I was working on the theory that I would fight the battles I could win

I also agree that she should not have been given so many students with SN so soon after graduating and she really needs a lot of support


Lyra a clipboard is a great idea. I have a spare one here I was using for sign language when he was little so I might give it to the teacher and she can give it to him when he goes to the quiet corner or under the table original.gif

Im going to compile some of these great ideas and nut it out with the teacher. Thanks all

Edited by Regular Show, 17 February 2013 - 04:29 PM.


#22 pinkpineapple

Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:41 PM

Our school has a daily behavior/reward chard which the teacher puts a smile or frown on each session so comment on behavior/work. They get praised a lot for all smiles and often choose another teacher to show at the end of the day for a high 5.

An asd boy who was iPad obsessed had to earn his time eg work well for 20 min and he got 5 minutes to play. He had a timer at his table and could choose to use it then or accumulate his time.

#23 Lyra

Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:43 PM

QUOTE (Regular Show @ 17/02/2013, 05:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lyra a clipboard is a great idea. I have a spare one here I was using for sign language when he was little so I might give it to the teacher and she can give it to him when he goes to the quiet corner or under the table original.gif

Im going to compile some of these great ideas and nut it out with the teacher. Thanks all


I also remembered something. On the clipboard I had a list that was stuck down with contact that had things he would need and it said something like

Do I have my pencil?
Have I written my name?
Have I written the date?

etc etc

that way he wouldn't sit there 'stuck' Also when he pulled the 'I'm tired' line I would say you need to do all the things on your list and two questions and then we will talk about what you are going to do next. I never budged on that and often once he saw that it wasn't as hard as he thought he would then have a crack at some more questions.

#24 Regular Show

Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

QUOTE (pinkpineapple @ 17/02/2013, 05:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Our school has a daily behavior/reward chard which the teacher puts a smile or frown on each session so comment on behavior/work. They get praised a lot for all smiles and often choose another teacher to show at the end of the day for a high 5.

An asd boy who was iPad obsessed had to earn his time eg work well for 20 min and he got 5 minutes to play. He had a timer at his table and could choose to use it then or accumulate his time.


Yeah unfortunately that wouldnt work with him. If he got a frowny face that would be it for the rest of the day. There would always be a reason why he couldnt do what was required and it would be someone elses fault, and he was trying blaa blaa.

There would be tears every day.

It needs to be very very clear for him.It needs to be a personal reflection on how his own behavior has caused the associated reaction/reward/punishment.

#25 baddmammajamma

Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:04 PM

There are already some great suggestions in this thread (I'm a long time fan of howdo & glad to see others chiming in as well). original.gif

QUOTE (ausbokkie @ 17/02/2013, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not a big fan of teachers using different consequences/rewards for specific children. If there is a whole-class reward system (and consequences for not making the right choices), it's much better to work within that system so he sees himself as part of the class. The consequence could be missing some playtime for example - children quickly tire of that and decide to participate. It's important to sit him down and explain clearly what the expectations are and what will be happening if he doesn't follow through. Then it's important for everyone involved to be consistent.
Good luck, I hope things start to improve for you!


Speaking as a mother of a Year 2 girl with ASD, and whose very experienced psychologist is involved in her school program, I can assure you that positive reinforcements -- specific positive reinforcement that speak to the individual child's "currency" -- are one of THE most effective ways to get a child consistenty involved in classroom work.

OP, you mentioned that you guys have a psychologist on board. If at all feasible, could you have him/her come to school and sit down with your son's teacher and son and design a behavioral plan? My daughter has an awesome but relatively new teacher this year, and the confidence that her teacher has gained from having the psych's guidance (including having her phone/email address in case she has specific questions) has been massive. Involving my daughter in the process has given my daughter a sense of ownership as well.

We use a positive reinforcement (reward) system. My daughter has 4 behavioral goals for each segment of the day, which she helped design - things like "I will calmly ask my teacher if I need help or am unsure of something;" "I will stretch my brain, even if I don't know the answer."

If she meets all of her goals for each lesson, she earns 10 minutes of creative writing time at the end of the day (in addition to whatever the other kids are getting -- like stickers or praise -- for good work). I have purchased a full array of Sharpie pens (her instrument of choice) and cool notebooks. It has proven to be a great success, and her attitude toward school and her overall compliance has improved dramatically since adopting this system.

Good luck! I know how hard it can be to motivate some kids, especially when there are SNs involved. Hope you see some improvement soon.






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