Our 5-year-old is very aggressive in school. When they don't do what she wants she tends to react very aggressively. What is happening with her? We don't know what to do. Sometimes I bring it to her attention but she doesn't seem to understand.
There can be a number of reasons for your child being aggressive in school and it is not uncommon for children with an intellectual disability to show aggression and other difficult behaviors when they are asked to do things that they do not want to do. When this seems to be a trigger it is important to consider the type of task that the child is being presented with.
Tasks that are too difficult, presented in a way that the child does not understand, are not very rewarding or occur when the child is engaged in highly preferred activities will all lead to incidents of difficult behavior. If the aggression then occurs and the task is removed the child will learn that aggression is one way of saying "no!" as the behavior is rewarded by the removal of the task. In this scenario it is important to break tasks into small steps, present tasks in a way that the child understands what is required and to present very high levels of reward for compliance. These rewards can be faded over time.]
CO/ TK 7-13-10
Legal Disclaimer: Please take note that the CdLS Foundation's Ask the Expert service is comprised of volunteer professionals in various areas of focus. Response times may vary and a response is not guaranteed. Answers are not considered a medical, behavioral, or educational consultation. Ask the Expert is not a substitute for the care and attention your child's personal physician, psychologist, educational consultant, or social worker can deliver.