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Autism

Confronting Disruptive Behavior

11/20/2007

Question:

I have a student in my third grade class who is constantly waving a pencil or other objects in front of him. He does it so much that it affects his school work. I constantly tell him not to do this, but I may be doing a disservice to him by telling him to stop. Do you have any recommendtation on how to deal with this in the classroom? How should I approach his parents about this behavior so they can possibly talk to their doctor about it.

Answer:

I believe the best way to start looking into this behavior is by talking to his mother about what you have observed. But before doing so, it would be wise to observe him for a period of time and then approach his mother taking into account the following questions.  

If everything else appears to be normal, then chances are he possibly may be experiencing attention deficit issues.  It's a fine line to walk, and he may just not want to be doing the work.

If what you have observed is not normal, including the above questions, then I would report these to his mother in addition to what she has observed at home. Then it's quite possible that he may need a referral to his physician to be evaluated.

Good luck with everything.

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Response by:

Susan Thompson, MSN, CPNP
Research Nurse Practitioner
OSU Nisonger Center
The Ohio State University