Distressed or Deliberately Defiant?: Managing challenging student behaviour due to trauma and disorganised attachment

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Judith Howard Australian author

Distressed or Deliberately Defiant?
104 pages
2013
ISBN: 9781922117151

It is not unusual for educators today, whether in the early childhood, primary or secondary sectors, to be confronted with severely challenging student behaviour - students who fly into unexplained violent and oppositional outbursts with little warning; who respond poorly to tried-and-true behaviour management processes. Such behaviour has considerable impact on the delivery of teaching and learning programs and the emotional wellbeing of the teachers themselves as well as raising safety risks for the entire school community.

This book explains the basis for such behaviour as the neurological, physiological and behavioural outcomes of "disorganised attachment" due to prolonged exposure to a traumatic home life and provides practical advice to educators on ways that schools can effectively manage these students. By examining the science behind attachment theory, the neurobiology of behaviour, and the manifestation of disorganised attachment in the school context, this book will help educators:

  • minimise such challenging behaviour,
  • manage crises and disciplinary responses such as suspension and expulsion,
  • improve student compliance,
  • enhance education and overall wellbeing, and
  • deal with parents.

Covers early childhood, primary and secondary settings.

Chapters include:

  • Managing behaviour in schools
  • Attachment and trauma
  • The science lesson
  • What does this look like at school?
  • What can we do about this — that works?
  • Crisis management
  • Compliance, and working with parents

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE: MANAGING BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOLS

  • What we believe about managing these students' behaviour?
  • How these students present at school?
  • Rodney
  • Garry
  • Taylor

CHAPTER TWO: ATTACHMENT AND TRAUMA

  • Let's talk about Attachment
  • Bowlby and Ainsworth: Two early theorists with important messages.
  • The neurological and physiological impact of disorganised attachment

CHAPTER THREE: THE SCIENCE LESSON

  • The nervous system
  • The human brain
  • Neurons and synaptic activity
  • The early childhood brain

CHAPTER FOUR: WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE AT SCHOOL?

  • Fight, flight or freeze
  • Revisiting Rodney, Garry and Taylor

CHAPTER FIVE: WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS - THAT WORKS?

  • Relationships (both the problem and the solution)
  • Emotional self-regulation
  • Six-element model for student support
  • A list of recommended strategies and approaches

CHAPTER SIX: CRISIS MANAGEMENT

  • Preparing for and managing a behaviour crisis
  • Example of a crisis management plan
  • Helping teachers to understand and manage their own reactions and emotions during and after crisis
  • Considerations for school policy
  • Suspension and expulsion
  • Moving a student to a new school

CHAPTER SEVEN: COMPLIANCE, ADOLESCENCE AND WORKING WITH PARENTS

  • Recognise difficulties with compliance for what they are
  • Physiological and social concerns in adolescence
  • A note on working with parents
  • A final word