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    I have some questions for you (long)
    By josephineg

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    before giving any suggestions:

    1. When you say "he does not have a good home situation", what do you mean? It is possible that most if not all of his behaviorial issues are due to that.

    2. If he has autism, he could be low-, medium-, or high-functioning. From what you say, if he is non-verbal, he might not be high-functioning, but he could be. Has he been evaluated by a professional and can grandma share some of that information with you, since you have become one of his teachers? Autism can run a pretty wide range of functioning and behaviors. Can you get the grandmother to tell you more about his evaluation(s), or to find out and tell you? Really, without this information, you won't know how much to realistically expect from him. It's not fair to you for the grandmother to just drop him off with you with no information to work with. You're not a baby-sitter, you're a teacher and you are entitled to some information here.

    3. Can you ask the grandmother WHY she will not keep him with her, especially if that was working fairly well before? I'd ask her if I were you. Seeing as his behavior falls into such a wide range, I think you are on safe ground to ask her for more information and to get an answer. As a last resort, you can tell her that if "we" cannot get these behaviors under control (make sure you tell her about the hitting, biting, and kicking), he might not be able to continue to stay in the class. Maybe that will at least get her attention and get her on board to support and assist you with some information.

    4. A child who hits/bites/kicks you at random may be a risk to you and/or to the other children. I would quickly get that conversation in with grandma and plan a strategy. I agree with prior posters that you might need to "bone up" on dealing with autistic children--but I would attempt to find out more about where on the spectrum he lies first, and understand the role of his home life in his behavior.

    5. I don't know many 6 year olds who can look at books or sit by themselves on the floor for 1.75 hours, much less a child with autism. He may need a level of attention that the situation does not permit you to provide, if you are teaching the other students. You need more information to come up with a strategy that supports him (and you).

    Hope that helps. Keep us posted.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on

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