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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

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Lisa

These kids are not just learning school readiness... They are learning how to be typical kids. Their emotional development is not proceeding, and so their academic development cannot proceed. I have worked with kids with these behaviors before, but unfortunately each of them didn't have their own desk with a foot of space around it, and there was no other room for them to go into when their anger boiled over. In fact, I wasn't allowed to remove them from the classroom even when they were kicking, screaming, cursing, and threatening me in front of the other children, as it was a violation of their "human rights".

In my experience, most kids who have severe emotional problems have some history -- either physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, etc. -- or a psychological/biological disorder that causes them to be that way. It's probably rare to get a kid who is acting out destructively simply because they have not been parented in such a way that is compatible with school. Most kids easily accept that they can't eat whenever they want, they have to listen to adults even if they're being told to do something they don't want to do right then, and they have to get along with the other kids even though they don't particularly like every single one. Sometimes I do wish these sorts of lessons were taught more, and while children were young enough to avoid behavior problems -- but the kind of tantruming and violence described in the article is in the realm of true emotional disturbance.

liz

This is Lisa who really knows what she is talking about, having worked with kids this angry and out of control.

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