Understanding Neurological-Based Atypical Behaviors in the Classroom

Categories: Temple Grandin

The reflection paper I wrote focused on Neurological-Based Atypical Behaviors (NBB). These behaviors go beyond typical self-control boundaries and are often seen in children. Dr. Paula Cook, an expert in educating students with NBB, estimates that about 10% of students struggle with maintaining consistent behavior or speech patterns. These students can be found in most schools, even though their specific disorders or conditions may vary. NBB encompasses a variety of disorders that fall under this umbrella term.

During my reflection, I will provide a brief explanation of the most common NBB diagnoses, including their symptoms and how they should be addressed in the classroom.

While reading this chapter, I encountered various scenarios in which students exhibited misbehavior, but I struggled to understand the reasons behind it. Further reading highlighted the importance of having proper training to recognize and manage children displaying NBB symptoms. Three key indicators to identify NBB in students are behavior, language, and academic difficulties, with behavior being the most significant.

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Students in the classroom may encounter challenges like behavior difficulties, language difficulty, and academic difficulty. Behavior issues can manifest as compulsive, atypical, or inconsistent behavior. Language struggles occur when students have trouble understanding and communicating learned information verbally. Academic challenges can involve difficulties with motor skills, math abilities, and memory gaps in learning. There are 8 common disorders that can be identified in the classroom, including SID (Sensory Integration Dysfunction), which will be briefly addressed along with its symptoms.

Students with Sensory Processing Disorder face difficulties processing information through their senses, resulting in issues like hyperactivity, lack of focus, and restlessness during class.

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These challenges can affect both learning and behavior. Creating a tidy and structured environment, limiting exposure to loud noises and bright lights, and minimizing distractions from colorful objects are crucial steps in supporting these students academically. Additionally, it is worth noting that ADHD symptoms can sometimes be confused with those of Bipolar disorder or OCD.

ADHD is defined by typical symptoms such as a brief attention span, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. It is more prevalent in males due to neuro-developmental reasons. Educators can assist students with ADHD by offering techniques to deal with their challenges related to organization and hyperactivity. One successful approach involves implementing a checklist for all students to track completed assignments and enhance organizational abilities.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is defined by extreme defiance and hostility in children, often resulting in tantrums when confronted with tasks they do not want to do. This disorder can be effectively managed through acknowledgment, positive reinforcement, and indirect compliments to boost self-esteem and promote positive conduct. Bipolar disorder is commonly misdiagnosed as ADHD, depression, or OCD because of the overlapping symptoms these disorders share, despite subtle differences that can have a major impact on diagnosis.

It is essential to establish a personal connection in order to help "Student X" seamlessly integrate into the class and effectively manage their disorder. By fostering trust with the child, the teacher can better handle mood swings and sudden behavior changes. Learning disabilities (LD) encompass various disorders that impact a student's learning process, with dyslexia being the most common LD characterized by difficulties in language processing.

LD, or learning disabilities, include dyscalculia, dyspraxia, and dysgraphia, which tend to impact visual learners who excel with hands-on activities and visual aids. In addition, ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) are mentioned. ASD is marked by delays in communication, challenges with social interaction, limited social development, and repetitive behaviors. Dr. Temple Grandin is a renowned figure in the autism community.

He has been featured on television programs such as the Today Show and Larry King Live, and has also been highlighted in The New York Times and Forbes magazines. It is important for children with autism to lessen sensory overload, regardless of the severity of their condition. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a preventable disorder that can be caused by alcohol or smoking during pregnancy, making it essential to abstain from these substances while pregnant. The symptoms of individuals with the same disorder can vary greatly due to their unique personalities.

After discussing all the information above, I have been requested to provide my opinion on the subject. While I was already familiar with most common disorders related to NBB, I have now gained knowledge on how to identify them in a classroom setting and how to support students in these situations. What stood out to me the most was the importance of effectively managing these students in an inclusive classroom. While the methods may differ, balancing sensory input and minimizing talking are crucial approaches.

I have personally known students who have struggled with mild ADHD and moderate to severe OCD, both of which are common disorders that can impede the learning experience. Both of these students were my friends. Student 1, who had ADHD, would become distracted during exams if he found a typo. His mild color blindness exacerbated his ADHD as it would divert his attention away from the main content of a question. Student 2, who had severe OCD, required therapy and was prescribed anti-anxiety medication to help manage his disorder.

It is important for teachers to recognize and address students who have difficulty staying still or fidgeting, as this can impact their learning. Students with severe cases of NBB should be given individual attention outside the classroom. Proper training can help teachers effectively manage an inclusive classroom or provide additional support through a shadow teacher.

Updated: Feb 21, 2024
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Understanding Neurological-Based Atypical Behaviors in the Classroom. (2016, Jul 23). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/neurological-based-behavior-essay

Understanding Neurological-Based Atypical Behaviors in the Classroom essay
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