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Addressing Behavior Problems in School

on Tue, 05/06/2014 - 02:31

When a student’s behavior interferes with the student or peers ability to learn, the school district is required to include strategies that address the behavior.1 All too often, school districts respond by suspending or otherwise disciplining students, when the law requires the district figure out positive behavior supports to replace the inappropriate behavior with more appropriate behavior.  

By acting proactively, the folks at the school can positively change a student’s behavior so that the focus can go back to learning. I suspect that the failure to provide positive support is one of the reasons that mental health hospitalization is rising among children with autism – it certainly does not help.  

Those sorts of strategies should be included in the IEP and explained to you in writing. If behavior strategies are in place informally, but are not a part of the IEP, then you risk the strategies vanishing or being implemented ineffectively when the school personnel working with your child change over time. Get rid of informal interventions and accommodations that are not included in the IEP.  

I should not need to say it, but striking children as a form of discipline is not appropriate. Restraint is also prohibited as punishment.  

120 U.S.C. § 1414(d)(3)(B)(i)  

News and Upcoming Events  

This week is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Find more information about events this week here.  

Grady Hospital is hosting a We Do Recover – Removing the Stigma as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. The event will be from 10 am to 1 pm at the Piedmont Hall Auditorium (22 Piedmont Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30303)  

I will be presenting information about the basics of special education law at the ELLAFANT meeting on May 21 at 6 pm. The meeting is hosted by the Church of Nazarene in Gainesville (1301 Otila Drive Gainesville, GA 30504). More information is here.