Reply To: Consequences for Unsafe School Behavior

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Devon Frye

This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

It’s important not to punish behavior related to a disability. Sending him to sit in the office is punishment, not to mention shaming him, which is a very detrimental discipline tactic.

Punishing a behavior he doesn’t have control of (poor frustration tolerance and lack of skills to manage frustration appropriately) can’t change the behavior. Working on the reasons behind the behavior (better frustration tolerance and better emotional reaction to frustration) can change the behavior. That is where the focus should be.

Ideally, I’d like to see the school do a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and formulate a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) from the results. The FBA will be a meeting facilitated by a Behavior Specialist and all teachers and administrators should be in attendance. The specialist will walk them through the behaviors and figuring out triggers and perceived benefits of each and then creating strategies to manage and change the behaviors. Those strategies go into the BIP and it’s implemented throughout school.

It sounds like there may be some sensory sensitivity at play as well ( If I read your note right, he’s struggling with behavior in the hallway after class is dismissed. That is a very overwhelming and anxiety-provoking experience for many kids, especially those with ADHD and SPD. My son has struggled with this in the past (his reaction was to make up any excuse necessary to avoid school). Once we realized the trigger, he was allowed to change classes separate from all the other students, if he needed to.

And we worked on emotional awareness and control (including frustration) with a private Occupational Therapist and it was extremely helpful.

Here’s some help with outbursts too:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism