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Dyslexic Son Acts Out at New School

Question:

My 10-year-old son recently started attending a new school and is having problems. His teachers say he is being disrespectful, and he tells me that his teachers are being mean to him. He is dyslexic, and while the school is helping him academically, I can’t afford to send him anywhere else. How can I help him excel where he is?

Answer:

Some teachers have lower tolerances for behaviors and some schools as well. When children are used to getting by with certain things and then suddenly no longer can, negative behaviors can result.

To help your son adjust and be more successful in school, ask his teachers for specific examples of his misbehaviors. Ask what the setting was, when it happened, who was around and what was said to him prior to his acting out. Look for a pattern and try to figure out what your son is getting from his behaviors. Work with his teacher to develop a plan to teach him an alternative behavior that can take the place of the disrespectful talking out. Follow these three steps:

  1. Describe what you want him to do instead of his talking back.
  2. Give him a reason that points out the benefit to him.
  3. Help him practice doing what you have taught him.

Be consistent and support his efforts in making positive changes in the right direction.

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