Thursday, 12 May 2016

Tips For: A Child who is Oppositional

Oppositional Disorder is reflected in a situation where a student refuses to comply with everyday requests, such as , to line up.  This child will refuse and remain where they are.  If an attempt is made to assist them toward the line up spot, they will hang on to furniture to make it as difficult as possible to move them there.

These situations can cause a disturbance in the class.  The teacher is often caught in a power struggle with a child who refuses to comply.

Why do children display Oppositional tendencies?

  • Serious emotional problems stemming from home life.
  • Social communication problems:  Does this child have trouble communicating in a social setting?
  • Cultural differences:  Does this child come from a different culture were expectations are different?  (This takes me back to a child whom I taught.  He refused to look the teachers in the eyes while being spoken to.  This reflected as being disrespectful and showing disinterest in what was being said.  But the reality was that he had been taught, in his culture, to show respect by not making eye contact!  Talk about confusing for a child!)
  • Language difficulties:  Are there underlying language comprehension difficulties and/or language and speech problems?
  • Social group problems: Has this child had experience in a social group with many other children? Has this child been exposed to routine and a structured day?

Tips to Handle an Oppositional Child:

  • Arrange for a speech and language assessment as well as a possible hearing assessment.
  • Introduce a buddy system.  Align the child with someone who is confident to steer him/her in the right direction and set a good example.
  • Give the child a choice where possible, for example, "Which puzzle would you like to build?"
  • Warn when activities are about to end or the situation is going to change, for example, "The bell will ring in 3 minutes and then we are going to move to the mat."
  • Display a visual timetable/daily program, to help the child establish routine and daily structure.
  • Determine the child's interest and touch on it at school.
  • Seek professional assistance if behavior continues.

Do you have any suggestions to add to this list?  I'd love to read about them in the comments sections :)

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