Friday, 15 September 2017

Results of School Meeting

On Wednesday, we had our meeting with Alex's teacher, EAs, the learning support teacher and the vice principal.  It ended up going very well.

They had read the behaviour consultant's report and had some good questions.  For example: what to do when Alex uses aggression to get out of a task?  At that point, there are two conflicting behaviour goals (put Alex in a time out for the aggression and make him complete the task).  I explained that we used a diminishing reward system in those cases.  We would do the time out, then go back to the task, but now the reward for completing it is a less preferred one.

I was also able to go through our behaviour recording system and show them how easy it is to make notes.  Having this kind of data collection will make it much easier to track any issues and I should be able to catch problems well before they escalate.

There was some uncertainty about the baseline levels for head-banging.  I explained that at home, the vast majority of the time we have no head-banging and even on a very bad day, we don't go above 3 incidents.  They pointed out that school is different with more demands, which I can agree with, but I still believe that if they follow the protocol, they will see similar results.  He'll find other ways to protest, but the head-banging should be reduced.

The other thing which made me nervous was their insistence that if any staff feel that the head-banging is unsafe, the staff will have the full support of the school to intervene.  On the one hand, I can recognize why that condition needs to be in there since the "common sense" rules don't apply to bureaucracy and I don't want anyone to get in trouble for doing the right thing and stopping Alex from hurting himself.  On the other, I know that we had an issue last year with a staff member deciding that any head-banging was harm and thus they were going to intervene in all of it (which is what lead to the problems).  But in the end, the data collection will let me keep track of that and deal with the issue down the road.  So I will wait and see how it all plays out.

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