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scottiebie

Re-Occurring Student Disruptions

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I have a relative with an auditoryprocessing  impairment that creates a painful internal physical sensation and response with certain music and  makes for some "odd" behavior displayed as the person tries to cope (hands over ears, turning away, grimaces).   For a long time he has lacked the common sense/assertiveness to tell people what's going on and wouldn't even ask that I don't play that type of music, nor would he take himself out of the room. He finally got medical & psychiatric  therapy,   a set of  special fitted ear plugs, some behavior modification tools, and lets some people in on what the deal is with the hand movements/grimaces. He also will remove himself now, if people choose not to change their music. It's working out OK.

On 7/13/2019 at 1:29 AM, scottiebie said:

she told me for future CD lectures if I could let her know prior to the next class

Seems to me that--regardless of any negative "tone" or attitude in her presentation--the student is actually just asking for a heads up/fair warning so she can remove herself from discomfort. That helps her,  the class, and you, as I see it. Maybe just acknowldedge that she is taking care of herself and thank her for "letting you know" that she might have to absent herself. She needs to own her behavior and condition---you do not have to change what you do to teach your  class.  Affirm that she's expected to return to the studio as soon as the CD is over, and give her a time frame (i.e. it will be over in 45 minutes). Have a substitute activity (equivalent education) ready for her, like reading a few chapters in a ceramics book, while she's waiting.  Let her know that she will earn the grade/credits the same as listening/watching the video would have. Ultimately, if she can't participate in the course, well, then she can't participate in the course.  You only have to make "reasonable" accomodation, and altering your course content is not reasonable. You are not obligated to turn things topsy-turvey. 

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I always *initially* approach difficult students, assuming that they are not behaving a certain way on purpose.  There are some people, some with a disability, some not, who do have difficult times behaving in a socially acceptable way.  I talk to them one on one, and try and find a solution.  

So, that's where I would start.  Talk to them, offer solutions, and possibly document your steps, so there is a record.  If you do all of that, and they are still causing disruptions or being difficult, then you know you did all you could, within reason, and it's on them.  Then you can bring in the necessary, other faculty, to help with the situation.  

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I think you might stop and think about why a student's saying she will need to excuse herself or asking for warning (notice you said 'asking' rather than demanding) makes you fear she wants to control how you run your class.  

I have taught students with disabilities whose accommodations explicitly include being able to excuse themselves in response to something triggering. 

I have had students who ask to be warned in advance about something we know will be triggering. I have said I will try but with upwards of 100 students to worry about, I might sometimes forget, so feel free to step out when you need to.

If the triggering thing is something you can easily avoid, it would be nice to do, like if it were something more recreational than pedagogical.

An example. I cannot stay in a room in which there is whistling going on. I need to leave. If I were in a class in which another student was continuously whistling while he worked, I think I would ask a teacher whether we could have a no whistling rule.

 

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43 minutes ago, Gabby said:

I think you might stop and think about why a student's saying she will need to excuse herself or asking for warning (notice you said 'asking' rather than demanding) makes you fear she wants to control how you run your class.  

I have taught students with disabilities whose accommodations explicitly include being able to excuse themselves in response to something triggering. 

I have had students who ask to be warned in advance about something we know will be triggering. I have said I will try but with upwards of 100 students to worry about, I might sometimes forget, so feel free to step out when you need to.

If the triggering thing is something you can easily avoid, it would be nice to do, like if it were something more recreational than pedagogical.

An example. I cannot stay in a room in which there is whistling going on. I need to leave. If I were in a class in which another student was continuously whistling while he worked, I think I would ask a teacher whether we could have a no whistling rule.

 

Gabby, thank you for your response.

In your response I've highlighted a sentence in bold lettering that you have taught students with disabilities. 

Even though this student has told me  about her disability, she chooses not to declare her disability status to the college's disabilities office, therefore no accommodations  have been issued. 

In my many years of teaching, have not taught anyone with this student's disability, nor do I have the expertise in guiding someone with her disability.

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5 hours ago, scottiebie said:

Gabby, thank you for your response.

In your response I've highlighted a sentence in bold lettering that you have taught students with disabilities. 

Even though this student has told me  about her disability, she chooses not to declare her disability status to the college's disabilities office, therefore no accommodations  have been issued. 

In my many years of teaching, have not taught anyone with this student's disability, nor do I have the expertise in guiding someone with her disability.

As you do not know how to guide someone with her disability and as she is an adult, the respectful thing, I think, is to defer to her understanding of her disability. She has not requested guidance from you, as I hear it.

Life can be extremely hard for a disabled adult. As the mother of a disabled adult daughter, I understand the students' not wanting to go into detail with people about her disability. She tries to get through the world while retaining her privacy as much as she can.

 

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4 hours ago, Gabby said:

Life can be extremely hard for a disabled adult. As the mother of a disabled adult daughter, I understand the students' not wanting to go into detail with people about her disability. She tries to get through the world while retaining her privacy as much as she can.

Indeed!!!  Scottiebie, to me, the most important thing is to not shame or reject or dismiss or focus anger or pity  toward the person or otherwise make things worse for the person who may, in fact, even be struggling with staying alive. Do the best you can with what you have to work with, with the student, and be reasonably accomodating, but also don't guilt-trip yourself if it's just not working despite your ernest efforts.  

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