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How much data is necessary for getting children with behaviors the help they need

  • 1.  How much data is necessary for getting children with behaviors the help they need

    Posted 10-15-2019 08:31 AM
    ​Hello all.
    I am a teacher in a state funded low income & at-risk preschool. I have a class size of 16 children. I have a child who is a repeat student with behavior issues. They were diagnosed with sensory processing and oppositional defiance disorders this past spring. We are trying to get them a dual placement between our program in the AM and the school district's Early Childhood Special Education class in the PM. We are having difficulty in doing this since she is not on an IEP. We have gone thru the local Area Education Agency to try to get this in place. I have spoken to the district's elementary principal about this as well. The child's parent has gone thru PCIT training, Love & Logic training, has had the child tested thru their physician, and the child will be seen later this year by a pediatric behavior specialist.

    My question is the  area education agency wants data and how much data is necessary? We gave the coordinator the doctor's test results in which they did the Conner's rating scale on them. We also gave them the goals that them play therapist is working on with her. We  gave them a written account of what their behaviors were like the previous year and the strategies we used to manage them in the classroom. But they still want more data and to use more strategies. We are currently doing as they have requested. Our problem is the strategies work for awhile and then don't work anymore. Then we are back to square one with them. I would like some input as to other data that can be used or if we have provided enough data already. I would appreciate any input. I just feel like we are wasting time getting this child into a smaller class where them will get more one on one help than we can provide for them.

    Sue Miller
    team leader
    Child Development Center
    Hawarden IA

  • 2.  RE: How much data is necessary for getting children with behaviors the help they need

    Posted 10-16-2019 07:24 AM

    Hello Sue. This is a complex issue that SO many are dealing with. 

    You state that the child was diagnosed and the first question is by who.  Doctors can diagnose many things that do not warrant an IEP.

    Yes, data collection is required and an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) is usually developed between an Early Childhood Agency and the local school district on exactly what the process will be. Ask if you have one and read it. It might need to be revisited. 

    Lastly. I would ask that your agency think hard about 1/2 day placement with one center and then 1/2 place somewhere else. This is hard on young children and not always a good solution. 

    Please feel free to email me as I might advise a different thought process  

    Retired Elementary Principal
    Currently Early Childhood Specialist in Region IV

    Cindy Kaier
    EC Specialist
    Rockledge FL

  • 3.  RE: How much data is necessary for getting children with behaviors the help they need

    Posted 10-16-2019 02:24 PM
    I agree that dual placement can be hard on children. The only reason we thought of this is that the elementary school will have this child next fall and change is very difficult for her. This way they would get gradually acclimated to the school they will attend next year and also they would be able to ride home with their sibling who attends that school now. This building also has the ECSE classroom. I guess what frustrates me so is that if this was a medical issue I could understand but behavior issues are so much harder. The child is intelligent  but the behaviors get in the way of her learning abilities and experiences, thus disrupting the other children's learning experiences. We thought a smaller class size would benefit her with more 1 on 1 availability than we can give them. I am gathering data and following the agency's suggestions for behavior modifying strategies. We meet again in 2 weeks and I knew this was probably the way it would go before I even got them involved. I understand a doctor's diagnosis is different. The child is in play therapy and has been for over a year. I had this child in home base setting before she even got into my classroom (I have a classroom and do EHS home base as well). So I have seen these behaviors for going on 3 years and they aren't getting much better. I want them to succeed and thought that acclimation to where they will be next fall would help if it was done now. That's my thinking and it may be way off - I just feel helpless in trying to find the help this child needs.

    Sue Miller
    team leader
    Child Development Center
    Hawarden IA

  • 4.  RE: How much data is necessary for getting children with behaviors the help they need

    Posted 10-17-2019 03:06 PM

    Hello Sue!  First, I must say you are not alone.  As I support more head start grantees and school districts this is a common issue.  As a retired elementary principal for 17 years and an early childhood specialist for the last 5 years I have worked around these issues a lot.  Here are my thoughts.


    As you say change is difficult for her.  Instead of doing a transition every day by doing ½ day with you and ½ day with the school district, which will be hard for her, my suggestion is just wait till next year and have her start in her new environment.  She gets to spend the whole day in one classroom with one set of teachers.  This is what we usually recommend for a lot of reasons.   She can acclimate NEXT year to this environment.   I could spend 30 minutes just writing you about this piece but to say trust me on this one. 


    YES, behavior issues are VERY difficult to diagnose in young children.  Physical disabilities are so much easier.  This will not change. 


    YOU ARE NOT OFF BASE, you just struggle with providing the best environment for her AND the rest of your children. 


    What your center needs is a set processes for determining each step to assure children get the support they need.  Many of our grantees do not have a process to get this done and when they finally start it, it is really to late for the child and meanwhile the teacher has struggled sometimes for over a year.....   


    Also, head start and early childhood classrooms are needing to modify the set up, the amount of children they take (some classrooms must have a lower child/teacher ratio) and have the ability to bring in extra staff when need be.  This is not being done and therefore many children are not making it in our early classrooms.  Also, some of our grantees are even starting to put a part time behavior specialist ON STAFF.  Not cheap but we are dealing with more and more children who need help and teachers who need guidance, training and just plain HELP. 


    Ask for a sub day and ask if you can visit the room you would like the child to go to.  See how the teachers handle the children, what processes are in place and what plans are utilized would be very helpful to you.  You could put some of those things in your classroom.  As a principal we were consistently sending teachers to ECSE classroom to pick up pointers and ideas.


    You have a lot of experience with this child and you know she needs help.  It is just the process is not clear and exactly what steps to take and when.  I would ask why the child didn't start the process 2 years ago....   You do not need to answer that but think about asking your director this...


    • Do we have a clear process for identifying children for special education?
    • How is different for children with perceived behavior challenges?
    • Do you have an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the school district?  If so, what does it say and when is the last time you looked at it. 


    I have attached some things to look at.  I use the CSEFEL Briefs and they are easy to read and VERY good.  I attached a couple of briefs and the list of what they have.  This is a great website. 


    There is so much more I could tell you....   I am on the road training for the next 2 weeks but if you want to talk with me I am more than happy to help you.  Don't despair as you are doing the best you can in a difficult situation.  The child is lucky to have a teacher seeking help and advice so you can meet her needs!  Hang in there!!


    Cindy Kaier






    CSEFEL Briefs.docx   14K 1 version
    wwb10.pdf   902K 1 version
    wwb9.pdf   970K 1 version

  • 5.  RE: How much data is necessary for getting children with behaviors the help they need

    Posted 10-17-2019 05:00 PM
    ​Thank you Cindy for the affirmation that we are trying. I wish we could be an all day program and more than 3 days a week so that the consistency might help more. Unfortunately that is not the case. We will keep doing the best we can and see what the end of the month brings.

    Sue Miller
    team leader
    Child Development Center
    Hawarden IA

  • 6.  RE: How much data is necessary for getting children with behaviors the help they need

    Posted 10-17-2019 05:28 PM
    Dear Sue Miller
    This young girl must be 3-5 years age range.
    Behavior disorders come from seeking attention, power and control, imitating an adult that they bonded with and poor processing of verbal input secondary to poor attention span and impulsivity.
    The social Emotional Learning deficiencies lead to all cognitive and emotional imbalances.
    Child is the biological unit of the family. Sensory processing, inference, integration and binding of information through all senses occurred 90% by the 30-36 months.
    1. There are ASQ-SE scales, Devareaux scales and ISD E team assessment that can be done to seethe need for PPCD through ISD or not. This is a fixer upper
    2. Prevention of further behavior issues is an evaluation of getting to know parenting skills, behavior management that is being taken care of at home.
    3. Are there loud noises in the house?
    4. Are there significant spouse bonding issues?
    5. Are there poor anger management issues at home?
    6. Are there drug and alcohol problems among one or the other care takers?
    7. How much creative redirections parents are using to ward off triggers at home?
    8. Are parents aware of love and discipline strategies, positive redirections offered ?
    9. If it there is a reward system, what is being used?
    10. Is there control on I pad use, TV, VCR and movies that are detrimental at 2 hrs per week or even half an hour a day?
    Behaviors in infants and children get triggered for their inability to be in control and detest an adult imposing control.
    They are very focused on winning the battle with sleep, food, back talk, jealousy, controlling adults much more so when they are angry and lose control , start yelling.
    The teacher, day care supervisor, and family should really have a heart to heart talk on how things are handled at home.
    Children love rules and rewards.
     They love to make a choice.
    That opportunity of straight eye contact, calm voice, redirection with nasal breathing for 2-3 minutes with classical music with ear phones, quiet corner to self regulate works wonders. Child is instructed on  2 choices with spelled out related consequence to the behavior. Good choice reward or privilege is explained. If the child is off the handle already, start with the next step first and then spell our choices, reward and consequences.
    Immediate notice and stamp for making healthy choice.
    The self respect of the child is protected if this quiet breathing with classical music and ear phones is done behind a screen or a section where they are not being noticed.

     When a child with so much negative behaviors is told by adult to do something, they lose control, freeze in fear, fight or dissociate, withdraw and dart out.
    Ifthey sequentially understand that a transition is occurring and they have been told, they transition. If they have difficulty, music therapy with nasal breathing and choice making prevents cortisol induced escalation from mid brain reactivity.
     Much more can be explained with multi sensory integration tools.

     That is one of the reasons why all parents need to be taught the role of nurture, 0-3 year neuroplasticity and help with a universal curriculum that makes multi sensory processing and integration possible with. SEL, Cognitive intelligence, Cognitive Flexibility, Expressive language by 18-24 months.
    Ability to explain  feelings comes naturally if nurture curriculum is implemented from prenatal period, prevents behavior and learning disorders.
    Family understanding, acceptance , recorrecting parenting strategies is important. There are parent attitude scales also.

    [Meena Chintapalli, M.D. F.A.A.P
    Founder and C. E.O of A thru Z Pediatric Clinics, retired December, 2018.
    Founder and CEO of The SAI Institute Of Educare
    April, 2002.
    Society For Assistance International
    San Antonio, Texas.[FirstName]

  • 7.  RE: How much data is necessary for getting children with behaviors the help they need

    Posted 10-16-2019 07:28 AM
    If the child is over the age of 3, the mother can send a written request for the school district to evaluate the child dor an IEP. The school district has 60 days to complete that. Yes, that means going through the evaluation process again, but some school districts have different requirements to qualify for an IEP than a doctor does to give a diagnosis. I would suggest the parent bring an advocate with to the meeting to help when determining IEP eligibility.

    We have a similar issue here in Wisconsin where a child can be diagnosed with Autism but not qualify for an IEP using the state department of Public Instruction's definition. How their definition can differ from the DSM, I don't know, but it does.

    Heather Finnegan
    Preschool Teacher
    Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with School
    Delavan WI