Friday, March 9, 2012

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

When GL is frustrated, he says outrageous things to get attention. These are different from the threats he makes when his meds aren't working—there's no actual violence, and there is usually an element of the absurd. Yesterday at school, he threatened to stab someone. No hitting or other violence, just the sort of outlandish thing he says to get a reaction. We generally downplay and redirect in these situations because the bigger the reaction he gets, the more often we'll see the behavior. Shock and awe is a recipe for perseveration. Thankfully, he does not attend a zero tolerance school (he wouldn't be allowed to for long) but staff at his school have apparently been trained to take all threats seriously.

Since it worked so well yesterday, he tried it again today. Today he told a classmate that he wanted to stab him to death with bumblebees. His teacher was busy when I picked him up, and I didn't get to talk to her. I only learned about this from reading his chart. At least they're charting again, so we know this now, not weeks from now. No one has said anything connecting this behavior with bowling, so I hope that's still on. We spent hours spelling out his behaviors in detail, along with what works and what doesn't work, but the school seems to insist on learning by trial and error.

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