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Challenging Behavior in Young Children
Challenging Behavior in Young Children
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Challenging Behavior in Young Children


    Table of Contents

Foreword by Marilou Hyson



1: What Is Challenging Behavior?
Basic Facts about Challenging Behavior
     What forms does aggressive behavior take?
     What happens to children with more serious behavior problems?
What Do Theory and Research Say?
     Some theories of aggression
     What else does research show?
The Role of Culture
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading and resources

2: Risk Factors
     What causes challenging behavior?
Biological Risk Factors
     Complications of pregnancy and birth
     Substance abuse during pregnancy
          Tobacco and nicotine
          Illicit drugs
     Neurological problems
          Executive functions
          Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
          Learning disabilities
          Language and speech disorders
          Intellectual disabilities
          Autistic spectrum disorder
     Emotional and behavior disorders
Environmental Risk Factors
     Family factors and parenting style
     Child care and school
          Lead exposure
     Exposure to violence
     Violent media
     Turbulent times
     Understanding risk
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading

3: Resilience
What Makes Resilience Possible?
     Responsive caregiving is key
     Provide a secure and predictable environment
     What is the role of context?
     The importance of culture
     The genetic factor
How Can You Promote Resilience?
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading and resources

4: Behavior and the Brain
How Does the Brain Develop?
     How does early experience affect brain development?
How Does Stress Influence the Young Brain?
Toxic Stress and Executive Function
What Role Do Genes Play?
     What does all this mean?
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading

5: Relationship, Relationship, Relationship
     The caring connection
Understanding Yourself
     “Who are you?” said the caterpillar
     What influences the way you relate to a child with challenging behavior?
     How do these barriers affect your behavior?
     What is self-reflection?
     Think like an anthropologist
     How do you reflect?
     What other techniques help you to reflect?
Understanding the Child and the Importance of Attachment
     What is the role of attachment?
     How does attachment affect behavior?
     Is attachment culture bound?
Establishing a Relationship with the Child
     How does a secure attachment to a teacher protect a child?
     How can you develop a positive relationship with a child with challenging behavior?
          Sensitive, responsive care
          Teacher talk
          Talk openly about feelings
          Positive outlook
          Banking time
Establishing a Relationship with the Family
     What keeps teachers and families apart?
          Obstacles for teachers
          Obstacles for families
     Engagement versus involvement
     Getting to know you
     Going home
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading

6: Opening the Culture Door
What Is Culture?
     How can you see your culture?
     What does culture have to do with identity?
     Are cultures really so different?
     The melting pot and the salad bowl
When Home and School Meet
     The culture of child care and school
     How does culture influence behavior?
     How can you make your teaching more culturally responsive?
          Form authentic and caring relationships
          Use curriculum that honors each child’s culture and experience
          Shift instructional strategies to meet diverse learning needs
          Hold high expectations
          Make the implicit explicit
Language and Culture
     How important is home language?
     How does language learning affect behavior?
     How can you support language learning?
          Encourage children to use their home language
          Interact with children as much as possible
          Create opportunities for peer interaction
          Develop predictable routines and activities that use language
          Concentrate on meaning
Some Cultural Characteristics
     Does each culture have its own special characteristics?
          Latino culture
          African American culture
          Asian American and Pacific Island culture
          American Indian culture
          Middle Eastern and Arab American culture
     Why all this matters
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading

7: Preventing Challenging Behavior: The Social Climate
How Does Prevention Work?
     We’re all the same, yet we’re all different
Creating a Positive Social Climate
     How does the social climate affect aggressive behavior?
     A caring community
     What is the teacher’s role in the social climate?
     How can you create a cooperative, inclusive community?
          Community-building activities
          Affect and language 
          Rules and policies
          Class meetings
          Peer partners
Teaching Social and Emotional Skills
     Why are social and emotional skills important?
     How do children learn social and emotional skills?
     How do you teach social and emotional skills?
     What skills should children learn?
          Emotional regulation
               Identifying emotions
               Impulse control and anger management
          Social problem-solving or conflict resolution
          Entering groups
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading and resources

8: Preventing Challenging Behavior: Physical Environment, Routines and Transitions, Curriculum, and Teaching Strategies
The Physical Environment
     Arranging the furniture
     What about personal space?
     Does the level of stimulation make a difference?
     Deck the walls
     Consider the results
Creating a Predictable Day with Schedules, Procedures, and Transitions
     A daily schedule
     Teach procedures
     Legitimize movement
     Getting from A to B
          Pay special attention
          Give a warning
          Assign tasks at cleanup
          Rethink the line
     Moving from subject to subject
     The hardest transitions of all
          Drop-off time
     How do the Common Core State Standards affect your program?
     The importance of play
     HighScope Curriculum
Teaching Strategies
     Being there
     Differentiated instruction
     Providing choice
     The Project Approach
     The Reggio Emilia Approach
     Working in groups
          Cooperative learning groups
          Peer tutoring
          Partner learning
     A compendium of teaching strategies
          Get them going
          Expect the best
          Give it over
          Break it up
          Mix it up
          Shake it up
          Wait it out
          Out in the open
     Homework or not?
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading

9: Guidance
About Guidance Strategies and What Makes Them Effective
     What makes a strategy work?
Some Guidance Strategies
     What is developmental discipline?
     How does teacher effectiveness training work?
     Using collaborative problem solving
     How useful is positive reinforcement?
          What does new research say?
          How can you make positive reinforcement effective?
          What if positive reinforcement provokes challenging behavior?
     What about natural and logical consequences?
     Time-out and punishment
     Time-away as an alternative
     Diversity in discipline
When a Child Loses Control
     What about using restraint?
     Picking up the pieces
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading

10: Functional Assessment and Positive Behavior Support
Performing a Functional Assessment
     When do you use functional assessment and Positive Behavior Support?
     Create and convene a team
     How do you figure out the function of a behavior?
     What functions can behavior serve?
     What about appropriate behavior?
     What will help you understand the function of the behavior?
          Reviewing records
          Conducting interviews
          Observing the child and the environment
     How do you develop a hypothesis?
Creating a Positive Behavior Support Plan
     How do you develop a positive behavior support plan?
          Teaching appropriate replacement skills
          Responding to appropriate and challenging behavior
     How does the plan look?
     How do you evaluate the plan?
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading and resources

11: The Inclusive Classroom
About Inclusion
     Why is inclusion important?
     How does IDEA work?
     What services does IDEA offer young children?
     What’s happening on the front lines?
     How is a child who needs special education identified?
     Does IDEA include all disabilities?
     Can an IEP address behavior?
     Who is responsible for implementing an IEP?
Preparing to Teach an Inclusive Class
     Does disability play a role in challenging behavior?
     Who can help?
Preventing Challenging Behavior
     How can an inclusive social climate prevent challenging behavior?
          Develop sensitivity
          Teach values directly
          Normalize and include in every possible way
          Create opportunities for interaction and friendship
          Teach social and emotional skills
     How can the physical environment, routines, transitions, curriculum, and teaching strategies prevent challenging behavior?
          Make room for everyone
          Make the day predictable
          Implement the IEP
          Adapt assessment
Responding Effectively to Challenging Behavior
     Using the tools in your toolbox
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading

12: Working with Families and Other Experts
Preparing to Meet the Family
     Who can help?
     How do families react to news of challenging behavior?
     How do you feel?
Meeting with the Family
     Making arrangements
     Preparing for the meeting
     Talking with the family
     What if you and the family disagree?
     How do you handle challenging behavior when the parent is present?
     What if a child is hurt?
Working with Other Experts
     What about getting expert advice?
     Can you ask a child with challenging behavior to leave?
What do you know?
What do you think?
Suggested reading

13: Bullying
What Is Bullying?
     How common is bullying?
     How does bullying behavior develop?
     The importance of climate
     Why is bullying so hard to see?
Who Is Involved in Bullying?
     Who are the children who bully others?
     Who are the targets of bullying?
     Who are the bystanders?
     Who are the defenders?
     Why do bystanders behave the way they do?
     What are the effects of bullying?
How Can Teachers Reduce and Prevent Bullying?
     Teach the facts
     Make bullying part of the curriculum
     Look for hot spots
     Give students control
     Involve families
     What protects children?
     It takes a village
Responding to Bullying
     What does the law say?
     How can you respond to bullying?
     What if you don’t see the bullying?
     Should there be consequences for bullying behavior?
     Talking with the participants
          Meeting with children who’ve bullied
          Meeting with children who’ve been targeted
          Meeting with bystanders
     What do you do next?
     Working with families
What do you know?
what do you think?
Suggested reading and resources
Books to read with children

Appendix A: Reflective Checklists for Chapters 7 and 8

Appendix B: The Functional Assessment A-B-C Chart

Photo credits

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