A Follow Up On My Last Story.

I previously wrote about how I had to wrestle a 7 year old and in turn, hurt my arm. That was nothing compared to what happened yesterday.

The day started ok. He was in class and he was fine, in fact, in a good mood and doing what he should be doing. We walked down to assembly and before it started, he asked if he could use the toilet. Normally, I would have said no, but to keep him sweet and out of trouble, I let him go. When he came back, his seat had been taken, which lead to lots of fussing.

"Come and sit here, there's more room." 
I thought that was an easy enough and fair gesture.

Apparently not.

As he went to lash out, I put my arm in the way, to stop him from hurting himself and the child in front of him. There are 500 kids watching as this takes place, as well as all the teachers and support staff and student teachers.

He scratched my wrist and drew blood. He bent back the fingers on my other hand and bit me. I let him run away.

I followed him, to where he locked himself in one of the toilets. With the door open I did the usual count down, which somehow works 90% of the time, luckily this wasn't the odd 10% where it didn't!  We sat in the corridor and talked, in fact, we talked a lot. He calmed down and I told him I had to tell the headteacher and SENCO because he had hurt me. He accepted that and together, we held hands and walked back to join the class.

They took photos of what he had done to me, cleaned me up and said they would go and get him. On the way back to meeting the class, he had punched two other children, after I left him, and ran outside. The gate was still open.

At one point, they threatened to send him back to class. Not only was he dangerous to the children, and adults, he was also a danger to himself.

By lunchtime, my hand and fingers were so swollen, they sent me to hospital. I have to wear a splint for the next two weeks to give my tendons and chance to heal properly. He got the wrist that had just healed from torn tendons.

The headteacher wanted him permanently excluded. The rest gave him the benefit of doubt, and Im glad they did too. In fact, if he had been taken out completely, I would have felt bad about the whole thing.

He's 7 years old.
He's a 'looked' after child. He's adopted by his grandparents, who he calls Mum and called Dad.
His Dad, his grandad, was killed in Jamaica two years ago.
His Mum, his gran, has gone over there for the court case.
She's left him with family, with his younger brother, who he hates.
His real parents chained him up and left him for days on end.
He's a neglected child.

There's nothing in place for this child to feel safe and secure in a family setting. He doesn't know how to communicate. He can't express his anger, and when he does, it's explosive.

He needs help. He's only 7 years old.
MrsLalaninjacakes MrsLalaninjacakes
26-30, F
6 Responses May 5, 2012

This child does not need to be with other kids- you mentioned his actions not being safe for the other kids, but, with his emotional and social problems, HE'S the one not safe around them. He should be put in a different environment where he can learn interpersonal and social skills without as much pressure from having to practice them with so many other kids so often. He needs a very small, comfortable environment and then be slowly introduced back into social interaction with a big group- your 500 students can be the whole entire world to someone that small. Unfortunately, that does mean expulsion may have been a best option for him... but supplemented with other educational and social development opportunities.

Next year I'm doing Social and Emotional development through art, he's the first on my list

Thank you for writing this. People need to know what teachers have to try and handle. I am glad you did not give up on this child as I do believe rejection from the school would have compounded his problems. However, there needs to be a comprehensive and co-operative programme of release time for you with this child. He sounds very much like a child I taught about seven years ago who was later diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I found that reading books on Aspy helped me to understand and come to terms with the difficult behaviours and learn to manage them better. Good luck!

lala, You are a very patient and caring person, and I am so pleaased that You are a teacher. There are lots of children like the boy You describe, who need that extra bit of understanding. Unfortunately, there are not lots of teachers like yourself.<br />
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I hope your wrist is better soon.

This is what happens to kids who are abused. I wish there was a better way to help kids like this. How has he been lately and are you fully recovered?

You're a saint!<br />
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This is what our school counselors should deal with. I think every district should have one counselor dedicated to dealing with children like this. Not sure how it is across the pond, but as far as I can tell there's nothing in place on this side like that.

Similar, but I think mostly abandonment and frustration